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.