Friday, December 18, 2020 / by Adam Donaldson
Article originally posted on Realtor Magazine on December 11, 2020
Despite the economic uncertainties continuing to surround the pandemic, one fact has become crystal clear: Americans are ready to buy a new home. Low inventory, bidding wars, and record-low mortgage rates are giving consumers a new sense of FOMO—fear of missing out—and spawning a hot housing market.
1.) Sellers, Builders May Ease Inventory Crunch
Inventory remains constrained as buyer demand surges. Potential sellers who are hesitant to list their home during a pandemic may not be aware of the housing market’s strength, said Danielle Hale, chief economist for realtor.com®. Sellers are often buyers, too, and they may not want to face the challenge of finding a home amid low inventory. These realities have limited the number of homes on the market during the pandemic, panelists said.Why can’t builders construct more housing to meet demand? Labor shortages and escalating prices for building materials have held many builders back, with 80% saying they had to raise their new-home prices last month due to higher expenses, according to Zonda research. Further, most new-home construction in recent years has occurred near expensive urban cores.
2.) Suburbs Grow, But Cities Aren’t Dead
While the suburbs are in a growth phase, not all buyers are giving up on city living. “The popularity of the suburbs is real, but [the housing market] is not reflecting a full-fledged urban flight either,” Hale said. “Real estate is booming everywhere."The suburbs were growing before the pandemic as millennials started migrating away from cities to form households. That trend has only accelerated, Wolf said. “The work-from-home environment has really fueled the ability for more people to migrate.”
3.) Assistance Programs Boost Affordability
Click on the link below to see the full article and more in-depth information about these trends: Link
Low mortgage rates can help buyers offset higher home prices, but not when prices are soaring into double-digit annual increases like they are now. First-time buyers are particularly in danger of being priced out of the market. “Affordability is going to be a key challenge in 2021 for first-time buyers,” Hale said.