The question I get asked most often as a real estate agent is, “How’s the Real Estate market?”. Everyone wants to know whether the market is going up or down. Is it a buyer’s market or a seller’s market? Is the market going to crash like it did in 2008? What’s driving the current market?
No one has a crystal ball. All we have is data and although data can give us a good indication of where we’ve been, where we are now and what a reasonable projection will be for the future, there are just no absolutes when it comes to the real estate market.
We came into 2020 with a very strong real estate market. Everyone was feeling optimistic and looking forward to a banner year. And then this crazy, unexpected thing called COVID-19 came on the scene and all the air went out of the room.
When the nation went into lock down in mid-March, there was a lot of uncertainty in the real estate market. In a time of year that we normally see a lot of new home listings hit the market, we were instead seeing very few new listings. An already low inventory of homes for sale was about to get even lower.
But who can blame those homeowners for not wanting to have strangers touring their house when there is a pandemic of global proportions and we were just as the beginning of it. Fear and uncertainty ruled the day.
The phones stopped ringing. Everyone was being cautioned to stay home and shelter in place. Avoid any human contact outside of your immediate family. How long was this pandemic going to go on? People were getting laid off by the millions with no end in sight. How long would it be before people felt confident again to either buy or sell a home?
The answer? Not long. Within a month the phones were ringing again. Buyers were anxious to take advantage of interest rates that had dropped to historic lows while sellers were discovering they could take advantage of a market that was still very robust.
COVID had succeeded in delaying some real estate activity for a few weeks but now having the ability to look back at the data between mid-April and today, we can see that even a global pandemic wasn’t able to derail the real estate market freight train that had picked up momentum coming into 2020.
As an example, I have been a Realtor for 12 years and June of 2020 has been one of the best months in my entire real estate career. And, keep in mind that the transactions that have closed this month are a result of contracts that were signed in April and May.
So, how’s the market now? In one word, GREAT. There are opportunities for both buyers and sellers right now. We have adjusted to new safety guidelines and procedures that give people the confidence to move forward with their goals related to real estate.
We have learned that although life looks a little different than it used to, we can still press on. The real estate world looks a little different but it didn’t crash under the weight of a global pandemic as many thought it would.
So now what? What is the projection for the future? Sure, things are good now but there is so much uncertainty in the world. We are in an election year.
What if the wrong people are elected to office? So, What if COVID comes back with a vengeance and things get shut down again? What if (fill in the blank)?
It’s not bad to ask those questions. But we need to keep things in perspective. Historically, real estate is arguably the best investment a person can make over time. If you look at the real estate market of the last 100 years, you will see large gains and huge losses. But, you will also see an upward trend.
There will be highs and there will be lows but over time real estate is a great investment. If I’m a seller in this market, I’m selling high. If I’m a buyer in this market, I’m locking in a 3% fixed rate that’s good for the next 30 years. That’s what I call a win/win.