It’s November. Time for Thanksgiving. Even in real estate.
We are surviving COVID-19. I first heard of the coronavirus standing in the basement of a friend’s home looking at face masks, food, and water. I thought he was a prepper; instead, he went on to tell me about Wuhan, China…. months before we were all talking about it. We are fortunate to be surviving; some were not as fortunate.
I thought the real estate market would essentially stop with quarantines. Indeed, the market took a hit in the spring of 2020. And as people hesitated moving, available homes on the market dropped. Demand drove higher prices, and the real estate market exhibited great strength. That’s where we started in 2021.
Buyers were particularly hard hit. With soaring demand, some buyers offered repeatedly and seemingly became desperate. Some took a pause. Some rented, some just upped their offer and removed contingencies (such as inspections, mortgage, and appraisals).
Sellers returned to the market. If sellers had a place to move, generally the sale of a house was a direct process. Sellers needing to buy at the same time as selling were often challenged.
Building materials became somewhat scarce. Some were not produced in factories hard hit by COVID and some are still sitting in shipping containers. Home improvement projects soared. Plywood and lumber set new highs. Colors and options shrank as factories focused on a limited assortment rather than a broad range of options. We are seeing this beginning to return to more “normal” times.
A side benefit of all this is renovations on tired homes. I clearly like homes, and while I don’t fall in love with the brick, it pains me to see homes falling into disrepair. Many homeowners did modest home improvements bringing additional life to their tired homes.
Contractors are difficult to find – at least the good, reliable ones. We are blessed to have a small group of “go-to” contractors we can contact. A good (capable and reliable) contractor is a gift!
Interest rates stayed relatively low. This helped people with refinancing or simply getting into a home. Rates are slowing creeping up and are still at relatively low levels.
In general, the financial markets are favorable. The DJIA is up 18.51% as of the end of October. As always, they have their ups and downs in the short term. Fidelity taught me to always take the long view….and the view is nice.
Vaccines provided some with a step towards normalcy, including an ability to host open houses. We still sanitize and wear masks as needed…and it is more “normal” behavior than a reaction out of fear. I’m not wearing gloves and booties to protect myself in 2021.
I know it’s silly, but the Macy’s parade will be real this year. Last year Macy’s and NBC did an admirable job of giving a made-for-TV event. There’s something about the “real” parade I like. I got to attend in person ten years ago, and it was very cool (and very cold) and we had a great time.
Enjoy this time of year and stay sanitized!
Here is a free app for your phone/tablet tied directly to the MLS https://www.homesnap.com/Gary-Kelley.
Gary can be heard on WCRN AM 830 discussing “All Things Real Estate.”
If you need advice on selling your home or buying a new one, give us a call at 508-733-6005.