There are major stories that have nationally dominated the news, of course (with politics and the inauguration taking center stage)-- but even still, our daily lives go on and the subplot continues to be how important a home is to all of us. Yet, while the demand continues to be so high for a new home, the inventory is strikingly low here and all over the country.
The question I get almost every day is, why are there so few houses for sale? A new Wall Street Journal article by Nicole Friedman tries to answer that question and offers some insight. She writes that according to Redfin Corp, we are simply just staying in our homes longer. A typical homeowner in 2020 had remained in place for 13 years, according to their research. In 2010, that rate was 8.7 years. I think a big factor in all of this is of course the pandemic--buyers are seeking bigger homes in order to work and attend school remotely, whereas sellers have had the opposite reaction by canceling plans to list their homes or have become fearful of opening their homes to the public.
This is 2021 now, though. The vaccinations will hopefully gain momentum and people will be able to venture out more safely, so in my world, things could change in this market week to week. Who knows?! I have a client in Florida who hasn't seen her family in a year because she is high risk and can't fly. As soon as it's safe and she’s received the vaccine, she will be up here to buy. Other clients have put their interstate moves from Massachusetts to another region on hold for the same reason.
What I am curious to see is where prices will go this quarter. Last year, prices inched up higher and higher, as the limited amount of properties available sold at inflated price tags after sometimes vicious and emotional bidding wars. This years sellers will use those late 2020 price tags as starting points for their homes... but will the buyers "buy" into that or perceive the house as overpriced if it starts in a higher range than it really should be? We saw one example in Wellesley where the buyers didn't see the value at the listing price and 30 showings later, they only got one offer that was significantly lower than their expectations. The broker lowered the property to a more realistic price after only a few days on the market. There are only a dozen or so properties in the whole town, and this scenario proves that people aren't desperate, and no one wants to overpay.
As I mentioned last week, we have some really great listings coming up that we will share in the next few weeks. In addition, The Pinnacle Report will be released very soon! I know you are all anxious for a full recap on the year, and boy is this 2020 recap a good one, thanks to Elaine Bannigan, the owner of Pinnacle. Keep an eye out for that, which I will send soon... and have a great week.
Happy New Year! I am excited to start up our weekly real estate market update. While it was a little bit slower towards the end of fourth quarter as people hunkered down for the holidays, there were still houses selling and far outpacing the number of new listings presented.
At 5:30pm on New Year's Eve I sat down at my computer to put together an offer on a property. Hours later, my buyers had put it under agreement and were able to start off the new year with a beautiful piece of land. A great way for everyone to start 2021!
I am coming off a busy weekend of showings with buyers, and at each new property we visited, Realtors are reporting more than forty showings (yes, forty!) over only two to three days and upwards of ten offers. These were houses in Natick, Wayland and Weston. The Weston property was priced above $2.5M, so the incredible demand reaches across all price ranges in our region.
Will this rush continue? I really think so. While rates may tick up a little bit this spring, we don't see that affecting the incredible demand for homes. Typically right after the holidays, there is already a pent up demand for houses--so that, coupled with the increased urgency that was brought on by the pandemic, leads me to believe that it's going to continue to be a mad rush.
Even available rentals are at an all time low. On the Cape especially, the rental market is very tight-- the reason being that many renters last summer ended up buying the houses from their landlords. Realtors there are struggling to find vacation homes for their clients.
Amy and I are working on a number of great listings to be released in the coming weeks and will keep you updated. Time to get back to work and we can't wait. Continue to be safe, Covid is still out there and we can't wait to shake your hand or give you a big hug in the future after the vaccine kicks in.
It's a great honor to be named Pinnacle Residential Properties top broker for the 13th year. I am excited to start 2021 helping more people with buying or selling a home. Working with my clients is truly my greatest joy. Here's to a happy and healthy new year!
Why is it that week after week, I am continually amazed by the lack of inventory and brisk sales in our area? One would think by now we would be used to it. But the historic low inventory is startling:
Hopefully these numbers are an incentive for sellers on the fence to make the move and bring their homes to market next year. We have many anxious buyers on the sidelines. We are eager and excited to be building up new listings that we’ll be sharing in January.
And the prediction for the market next year by the economists at the National Association of Realtors is in line with last week's blog.
"Housing prices are expected to climb 8.0% next year and 5.5% in 2022, with 30-year fixed mortgage rates of 3.0% and 3.25% for 2021 and 2022, respectively."
So let's leave it on that high note. Have a wonderful holiday season and I hope you are healthy and able to relax over the next few weeks. I’ll see you in the new year with another market update.
Lots of firsts in 2020. Some are terrible milestones we never want to top again that involve the coronavirus and its effects, others are such surprising highs that evolved because of the pandemic...and real estate is one of them.
Like me, you may have seen article after article about new heights in sales all over the country. Vermont housing prices increased by 23% overall since last year and there isn't a seasonal or yearly rental to be found. Florida real estate that’s had plenty of ups and downs over the past decade has also become unstoppable. Of course we could expect the same to be true in our area where the weekly summary is similar-- inventory in the suburbs is at an all time low.
“Will this bubble burst? Should I wait to buy?” numerous people have asked me. I have talked to colleagues and read articles looking for an answer. The conclusion among other Realtors is the same as mine: it doesn't look like this trend is ending anytime soon. The supply of homes is just too low and housing starts (i.e., the number of new residential structures that begin construction in a given month) are also low. With that being said, the shortage we are seeing will continue-- and with the law of supply and demand, it seems unlikely we will see any downward change anytime soon.
As I’ve mentioned in previous newsletters, I think we are likely in for an early spring market. It could conceivably start in January if the weather stays mild. Like most years, we should see a pent up demand after the holidays and people will be ready to get out and find their home. Mortgage rates show no sign of creeping up, and while promising vaccines are finally here, it could still be months before we are really back to our normal routines-- thus, our homes are still very much the centerpiece of all our daily living and work.
It's been a wild ride this year. We all worked so hard and these last few weeks of December allow us to slow down a bit to get ready for all 2021 has to give us in the real estate world. I topped off the year with a gift from a client who had a mug made for me that brought a smile to my face:
It means the world that I was able to help people during this unprecedented year. I have to say, working as an agent in 2020 has been like therapy for me too. It felt so good to be with my clients, guiding them as they move forward in a year that seemed to stand still. Thank you! Be well. xx
I love sponsoring the Wellesley Hills Junior Women's Club each year because of their charitable involvement in our community. Luminary Night is one of my favorite events of the year! A limited number of Luminary Night kits and tote bags are still available for purchase, as well as the debut of the Wellesley At Home Cookbook. Please visit whjwc.org for more details.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, even if it looked a little different this year. Real estate agents aren't quite as busy getting houses ready to come on the market right now, as you can see from this week's numbers. The data is a two-week time period and not a lot of new listings were presented, but the buying numbers are still quite impressive:
And yes, even in the midst of a holiday, there are bidding wars in all price ranges. It should also be pointed out that some sellers have withdrawn their homes from the market for the season, which contributes to the low remaining number.
What we are seeing now should set the pattern for December, especially as people are focused on the holidays and wrapping up school. January will be a whole different ball game and we could see a really early and robust spring market.
Last week, we had a successful pie giveaway and it meant more than ever, as it felt so good to see clients and connect. What's better than a fresh baked pie!
In years past, pie pick-up has been at Pinnacle’s office, but because of the pandemic, the party moved to outside my garage instead. With a fire pit and hot apple cider to combat the chilly weather, this new covid-safe change was a wild success! Pandemic or not, this will be the background next year too.
Hope you're having a great start to your December. We'll see you next week with another update!
We wish you and your family a happy and safe Thanksgiving. There are a few less people around the table this year as we play it safe, but know that you are all in our thoughts. We are so thankful for the wonderful friends, family, and clients in our lives!