After seven weeks of staying at home, everyone is figuring out ways to make life feel a bit more normal again. Buyers are adapting as well and are looking for homes again, the market is waking up. The real estate industry has adapted to selling homes in this new COVID-19 environment. The active listing inventory increased by 281 homes in the past two-weeks, up 6% even though “stay at home” orders have not yet been lifted. It is the largest increase so far this year. Yet, the current level is at the lowest level for this time of the year since 2013.
As a result, the expected market time will continue to drop in the coming weeks. Homes in escrow have already increased by 9%. The expected marketing time decrease has created a Balance Market. A Balanced Market does not favor buyers or sellers and home values do not change much at all. From here, expect demand to continue to outpace any increase in the supply. For homes priced below $750,000, the market is slightly more of a Seller’s Market as compared to homes priced between $750,000 and $1 million and more of a balanced market with a little longer marketing time.
Expect demand to continue to rise going forward, especially with the added incentive of record low mortgage rates. They reached an all-time low last week, dropping to an average of 3.23% across the country. With lower rates, homes become much more affordable. For example, in looking at a $700,000 mortgage, the monthly payment at 3.25% is $3,046 per month. That is a $712 per month savings, or $8,544 per year, compared to where rates were in November 2018, just a year-and-a-half ago. The savings are staggering, which helps explain why demand is starting to rise. It is hard to ignore the impact on affordability as rates hit these unprecedented levels.
For buyers in Southern California, the current environment may prove to be the best time to jump on purchasing a home given that there is no rush to act immediately and rates are at all-time lows. If you are unsure as to what the market is doing or how to proceed with selling your home contact me to help you prepare and make a plan specific to your needs.
I’ve made changes to the home selling experience to keep you safe and protected.
1. The 24/7 Open House – A realistic, interactive 3D + virtual reality allowing homebuyers to move through your property and view it from any angle.
2. Upfront Buyer Qualification – Home buyers to provide pre-approval and proof of funds ensuring your home is only shown to “serious buyers”.
3. Extra Safety Precautions – All agents and buyers who enter your home are required to wear a mask, gloves, shoe covers.
4. Signed COVID Disclosure – Before viewing your home, every buyer required to sign and acknowledge they have seen the virtual tour, are financially capable of purchasing and have no signs and symptoms related to COVID.
5. Showing Blocks by Appointment Only – Scheduling showing blocks and restricting to a single agent and no more than two individuals at the same time during a showing.
The Best Therapist Has Fur and Four Legs
I enjoy a structured work routine and I rarely work from home. Pre-COVID I went to the office in the morning, in and out with client appointments and went home at the end of the day. Like most of you, working from home has been an adjustment for me. What I can say is that I am certainly enjoying the extra quality time with these two. Bentley “Woofer” & Jessie “Bessie” are incredibly happy to have me home all the time which means more kisses, more ball time and more treats! They are my babies and have helped keep me smiling through all this. Send me a text or email, I would love to see photos of what is keeping you going during these COVID days.