What buyers will be looking for post-pandemic may not be what they were looking for prior to the chaos. Just before the COVID outbreak buyers wanted beautiful open floor plans and large shared spaces, but after a few months of social distancing buyers are starting to place more value on comfortable solitude where they can work from home or concentrate on schoolwork. It sounds odd but dedicated quiet spaces are becoming a hot commodity.
The Great Migration to Americas Small Cities
The shift towards remote work, if permanent, will increase the number of buyers looking to relocate from expensive metropolitan hubs to smaller cities with a lower cost of living. The affordability crisis was already a growing issue prior to the pandemic. A strong pattern of people fleeing expensive coastal cities for a higher quality of life in places like Charlotte, Nashville, and Colorado Springs has only been strengthened by the pandemic.
Some Sellers are Waiting on the Market
Sellers who can wait are still sitting on the sidelines, continuing to push back their timelines to accommodate the virus. Many are worried about potential exposure to the virus by having buyers in their homes, or simply do not want to go through the hassle of masks, gloves, and disinfectant. As a result, inventory of homes for sale continues to shrink and is now down 24% compared to the same period last year.
Many Sellers Can’t Wait
Even though inventory is down overall, new listings have been steadily increasing week over week as the market gets back up to speed. Many sellers who are venturing back into the market now either need to sell because of a life change, such as a lost job or other upheaval, or they’re worried prices might fall in the future and want to get out while the getting is good.
Fewer Homes Means Higher Prices
The pace of sales has not returned to the feeding frenzy levels that engulfed the market in February, but prices are up overall, indicating that there is no shortage of willing buyers. Bidding war battle royals are still common for desirable properties. Agents across the country echoed the same sentiment that well-priced single-family homes are selling extremely fast, often above the list price.
All that said, not every home is flying off the shelves. Homes that are priced a little above the market, need some work, or are tough to show to prospective buyers are staying on the market. In particular, investors trying to sell a rental property are facing challenges getting buyers in the door because tenants are often working from home or have health and safety concerns and no incentive to help facilitate a sale. Buyers and sellers, now more than ever, will need the experience and local knowledge of a Sellstate Alliance Realty & Property Management agent. If so, do not hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to assist.