A Strong Housing Market Expected to Continue into 2021

The New Normal

“2020 will be known for a lot of things, and a record-breaking year for real estate will certainly be one of its more unexpected legacies.”
—Daryl Fairweather, Economist

Most of us would have expected the housing market to suffer from circumstances like a once-in-a-hundred-years pandemic and historic inventory shortages.

But, rather than a slowdown, we are continuing to experience a surprisingly robust real estate market across the country. And experts estimate that these conditions are likely to last well into the new year. Fannie Mae Senior VP and Chief Economist Doug Duncan predicts that existing home sales will ultimately “be up a percent or more in 2021.” He believes home prices will continue to rise due to limited inventory, but he is confident the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates low into the future, which will be “very good for households.”

Market conditions like fewer available listings, changing criteria for desired homes, and record-low mortgage rates are changing the way people buy and sell homes, most likely in a lasting way. But this sustained activity, even in the uncertainty that is 2020, proves that our country still views real estate as a sound investment. The only question now is how you can take advantage of the housing market’s “new normal.”

FEWER LISTINGS EQUALS A SELLER’S MARKET

Inventory, meaning the number of homes for sale, is at a record low across the country. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports there are fewer homes on the market today than the association has seen in data going all the way back to 1982. Currently, the total housing inventory is about 1.47 million units, which is a decline of 19.2% from one year ago.

For now, the fact that there are fewer listings creates an advantageous housing market for sellers. There are several reasons why.

For one, buyers have to act fast to snap up available homes. As a result, most properties that come on the market stay for an average of just 21 days before they are sold. “That is the fastest ever recorded in our monthly series,” says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.

Another benefit is that sellers are enjoying higher net returns on their listings. This is thanks to the tough competition for homes, which often results in bidding wars between buyers. Nationwide, the median home price in September rose to $311,800. That translates to about $40,000 (15%) more than just a year ago.

This seller’s market is not simply a product of the pandemic. In fact, in the country’s top 100 metro markets, inventory has been dwindling since the first quarter of 2020. This means that even with increased construction, buyers can’t simply wait for things to go back to normal before reentering the market. Rather, all signs indicate that this is the new normal.

What It Means for Homeowners:

These higher home prices show that buyers are willing to spend more on a home right now than they did last year. So, if there ever were a time to list for top dollar—and expect to receive asking price quickly—that time is now.

What It Means for Home Buyers:

Due to low inventory, buyers could easily find themselves in a bidding war. Time is of the essence in a seller’s market, so you’ll need to get your financing in order and be preapproved for a loan before you begin your home search. Ask me for a free consult to get started.

BUYERS BENEFIT FROM LOW MORTGAGE RATES AND A BIGGER PLAYING FIELD

Don’t worry, home buyers. This “new normal” of real estate has benefits for you too.

For example, people used to base their next home purchase on how far the commute was to work or in which public school district it was. But now, thanks to the pandemic shifting the location of jobs and work, you are free to consider what you need from a home to make it a place you truly want to be in as you work, teach, exercise, cook, and live.

Often, this equates to needing more space in different types of areas. Realtor.com consumer surveys show that people are desiring quieter neighborhoods, home offices, updated kitchens, and access to the great outdoors.

Another advantage for buyers is the record-low mortgage rates. The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit a record low in mid-October when rates fell to 2.81%. That’s the lowest since Freddie Mac began conducting the survey in 1971, and well below last year’s 3.69%.

Thanks to these rates, buyers are afforded the opportunity to buy nearly $32,000 more home than they could one year ago, while keeping their monthly payment the same. So even though home prices are high now, it is currently more affordable to buy a home now than it was last year.

If you want to take advantage of these rock-bottom mortgage rates, you need to act fast. Though rates are projected to stay low, housing economists predict that the window of opportunity to get the best rate could be closing in the coming months.

What It Means for Homeowners:

Record-low mortgage rates offer you the opportunity to lower your monthly payment—or even take out some equity—with a refinance. With those additional funds, you could even choose to invest in a second home in a new desired location. Reach out to me for a complimentary loan review and/or a referral to a trusted real estate professional in your market.

What It Means for Home Buyers:

The time is now to determine how much home you can comfortably afford and make a plan to find it. I can work with your real estate professional to set up a search for you to find homes that best meet your new needs, even if they’re in neighborhoods you wouldn’t have considered before.

REAL ESTATE IS A SAFE BET

Your other investments might have been on roller coasters this year, but the real estate market has been steady, competitive, and strong throughout. That makes it a good choice for your financial future.

National real estate numbers can give us a pulse on the market, but real estate happens in our own backyard. As your local market expert, I can help you understand the finer points of the market that impact sales and home values in your own neighborhood.

If you’re considering buying or selling a home before the new year or in early 2021, contact me now to schedule a free consultation. I’ll work with you to develop an actionable plan to meet your goals.

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Testimonials

Kris G
{From start to finish a fantastic crew. I highly suggest using Brian and Team for any of your needs. It is hard to find somebody so knowledgeable and helpful, we are very pleased!!!!
Kathie C
{Best service great people to work with. All the team were extremely helpful I would recommend them for any of your house buying needs!
Alicia D
{We had a wonderful experience working with Russ and team Hunton! They recommended a fantastic realtor and made it all quick and painless. Closing got pushed back because of COVID-19 but they were highly responsive and knowledgeable with all of our questions. I highly recommend them!
JAMES C
{This is the second time I have used Brian and team I would recommend them to anyone they are very helpful and knowledgeable. I used them for my first home and now to refinance and will continue to use them in the future.
Jessie V
{My husband and I could not be happier with our experience. Russ and Christina were amazing to work with. They were there at all of hours of the day and night to always answer any questions we had. I wish I could have given this review 10 stars and would definitely recommend them to anyone.
Kara L
{Brian, Amanda, Russ, and Tristan are amazing to work with. They are in constant communication throughout the entire mortgage process and keep everyone involved updated on a weekly basis. They work extremely hard to make sure things get done when they need to and always have their client’s best interest in mind. They are a very competent group and extremely knowledgeable in their field. I highly recommend them!
Patrick O
{Great from start to finish, very responsive, knowledgeable, and professional. Extremely helpful with the entire process. Highly recommended. Tristan and Christina are wonderful. Thanks so much!
Chad S
{Brian and his team are dedicated and focused on what will work best for the customer. I am very pleased with everything they have done for me. Thank you so much for all the hard work and time you guys spend.
Laurie O
{Brian explained everything so clearly. He was always available to answer any questions that I had. He is very knowledgeable and accommodating. He was able to close our loan in a very short time period. And did all the work for us. His team made it easy for us. I would use them again and highly recommend them!
Christina D
{Brian and his team made our home buying process so much easier than expected. This was our 3rd time buying, so we know how stressful it can, and is, buying a home. They were always very professional, and kept us, our realtor, and the seller’s realtor informed. He is very knowledgeable about the process and all of his team replies back to you promptly through email, phone, and text. We would recommend them 100%.
Tom W
{Without Brian and his team, we would not be homeowners. Plain and simple. Brian and the team worked hard, both behind the scenes and in front of us, to make our mortgage happen. They were there quickly, any time we needed to answer any questions. I will happily recommend that Team Hunton to friends and family for their mortgage, whether it be first or hundredth.
KMH
{Brian and his team provided me with an endless amount of patience and guidance. They answered every email and phone call within minutes and were always steps ahead of the entire process. They have a great reputation in the industry, and I would recommend them to anyone purchasing or refinancing a home.
Gina G
{Brian and his team are truly the best. They got back to me quickly and offered me the best loan options. They listened to what I wanted and offered advice accordingly. I would recommend them to anyone.
Mike L
{Working with Brian and his team was a great experience really good people to work with extremely helpful and understanding. They answered questions in a timely manner and were always friendly to deal with. Would absolutely recommend Brian and his team to anyone buying a house.
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{Brian and his team went above and beyond what was expected of them to help make a stressful and difficult family transaction go as smoothly as possible. They always had answers and were quick to get back to us no matter time of day or week. I highly recommend him and his team if you’re in the market for a mortgage.
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{MBA Mortgage was awesome. They sure did a lot of work for us and kept reassuring us that things would work out. They were right and things finally came together, and we could not be happier to be moving into our new home. It’s been over a year now and they still periodically check in to make sure things are still going well. We have recommended them to several of our friends. Wonderful and caring people.
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The Rival Family
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H Worsham
{I really liked working with Team Hunton. They did a great job in keeping us informed of what was going on and information that they needed to make the whole process go as smoothly as possible, during the Corona Virus. Would highly recommend this team of professionals.
F.
{Brian and his team were great to work with. They were on top of everything and eliminated the stress involved with buying and selling our houses in regard to the financing aspects.
James
{Could not have been more satisfied with the team. I used Brian as a first-time home buyer made the process extremely easy extremely helpful throughout the process. Very quick to respond with any question I’ve had during the process.
Sara S
{We refinanced with the help of Brian and Amanda, and again, were very satisfied with the personal customer service we received. They are always looking out for our best interests and are incredibly quick to follow up to any of questions or concerns. I would not hesitate to recommend them.
Dan S
{Could not have asked for a better team. They were quick to answer questions and even quicker in seeing the process through to the end. I would highly recommend Team Hunton to anyone who is looking to buy a house or refinance.
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{I am very happy to work with Brian and his team! Brian provided me with an investment vehicle that is flexible and makes economic sense. He answers all of my questions quickly and made the process very easy. He is an integral part of my investments.
Rani C
{What a process! There were a few times during this home buying purchase I WOULD have been hyperventilating into a paper bag... if not for the MBA Mortgage team. This is my first time purchasing through MBA Mortgage and I found the experience personal, safe, and will highly recommend them!
Chris E.
{I fully recommend Brian and his team. They made the (what I thought would be) nightmare process of buying a home a smooth and seamless process. Brian and his team are extremely knowledgeable, and they made me feel at ease during the entire process. I could not have asked for things to have gone any better.
Laura
{Brian and his team were great through my home buying process. They were very professional. Always there to answer any questions. This is my first homebuying experience, and they were beyond great. I would highly recommend Brian and his team.

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Athol, MA 01331

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