With stay-at-home orders starting to gradually lift here in Louisiana and Mississippi, data indicates homebuyers are jumping back into the market. After many put their plans on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, what we once called the busy spring real estate season is shifting into the summer. In 2020, summer is the new spring for real estate.
Fortunately, our local real estate market not only still exists, but it is alive and well with houses being listed and sold each day. We understand that you may have questions regarding the economy both locally and nationally, and as your trusted local real estate advisor, I can advise you on the up-to-date market trends that we are seeing. Yes, we are in a challenging time, but as GARDNER, REALTORS’ President and CEO Glenn Gardner wrote, the 2020 Housing Market is nothing like it was during the 2008 crash. Think this is a housing crisis? Think again! We are preparing for a surge this summer, and we’re here to help you ride that surge to create the life you love.
Chip Gardner, VP of Operations and Special Initiatives at GARDNER, REALTORS recently held a Real Estate Q&A to discuss the state of the local real estate market and what to expect as we move forward. He notes:
“We know that Real Estate, or shelter, is one of our three basic needs. When you take away one of those needs like we’ve seen during the pandemic, there is what we refer to as pent up demand. The local housing market is still very healthy with new contracts coming in and opportunities for people to invest. So, with all of the uncertainty in the world, let’s move Real Estate down the list of worries. There is a wave of real estate activity coming, and we believe housing will be one of the biggest factors leading the way to economic recovery.”
Joel Kan, Economist at The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) notes:
“Applications for home purchases continue to recover from April’s sizable drop and have now increased for five consecutive weeks…Government purchase applications, which include FHA, VA, and USDA loans, are now 5 percent higher than a year ago, which is an encouraging turnaround after the weakness seen over the past two months.”
Additionally, according to Google Trends, which scores search terms online, searches for real estate increased from 68 points the week of March 15th to 92 points last week. With all of this activity happening, I can’t wait to see you soon as we safely open back up for open houses. But even if you’d like to stay at home a bit longer while you begin your home buying or selling process, you can also do this safely and effectively virtually.
What’s the Opportunity for Buyers?
Another reason buyers are coming back to the market, even with forced unemployment and stay-at-home orders, is historically low mortgage rates. Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac indicates:
“For the fourth consecutive week, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has been below 3.30 percent, giving potential buyers a good reason to continue shopping even amid the pandemic…As states reopen, we’re seeing purchase demand improve remarkably fast, now essentially flat relative to a year ago.”
With mortgage rates at such low levels and our states gradually beginning to reopen, there is more incentive to buy a home. And when you’re ready, you can talk to our partners at Movement Mortgage. As the “#1 Fastest-Growing Mortgage Bank” in North America, Movement Mortgage has earned a reputation for putting customers first no matter how large or small of a loan you’re looking for.
What’s the Opportunity for Sellers?
Finding a home to buy might be a bit of a challenge as sellers removed many listings from the market this spring. Though more people are now putting their houses up for sale this month as compared to last month, current inventory is still well below last year’s level, meaning less competition and more eyes on your property.
According to last week’s Weekly Economic and Housing Market Update from realtor.com:
“Weekly Housing Inventory showed continued tightening. New Listings declined 28% compared with a year ago, as sellers grappled with uncertainty and hesitated bringing homes to market. Total Listings dropped 20% YoY, a faster rate than in prior weeks, leaving very few homes available for sale. As Time on Market was 15 days slower YoY, asking prices moved up 1.5% YoY.”
This is great news for you as a seller. If you are thinking of selling your house this summer, you have a great window of opportunity. With fewer homes on the market for buyers to purchase, this season may be the time for your house to stand out from the crowd. With the backing of GARDNER, REALTORS excellent client service, and award-award marketing strategy, you can rest assured that we are your trusted real estate advisors and can help you list safely and effectively, keeping your family’s needs top of mind. Buyers are certainly looking, and your house may be at the top of their list.
If you are thinking of buying, you can take advantage of record-low interest rates. If you are thinking of selling, there will be fewer homes on the market, and more eyeballs on homes like yours. Let’s connect to make sure you are informed of your home’s current value as well as the opportunities available to you. We are always here for you as your GARDNER, REALTORS local real estate advisors, so feel free to reach out anytime!