By Catherine Fisher, Managing Principal Broker
During normal times, we as brokers are regularly asked many questions about the market. In these definitely-not-normal times, the volume of questions we receive is tenfold. Some of the most common are:
Are houses selling? Yes. Sellers are still listing and selling their homes, and Buyers are still buying homes. While sales volume is not quite at our usual rate for this time of year, we see many, many homes get snatched up right away, some with multiple competing offers.
Have prices dropped, are prices dropping, or is a price drop expected? Unfortunately, we do not have a crystal ball. However, we have not yet seen prices drop. There are two issues that continue to drive the prices. First, we have had low inventory in nearly all price points and all areas for years now. While we have more inventory now than in the last four years, there is still a shortage of homes. Second, mortgage rates are historically low. People will want to lock in these low rates before they likely go up sometime in the future.
What will happen to the market when we go “back to normal”? I’m not sure we will ever go back to the way it was. However, when we are no longer sheltering-in place, and people are back to work, we expect a surge of activity with more sellers and buyers than ever to be looking to move. First, low mortgage rates, which are expected to remain low, will encourage people to make a change to their housing. Second, some people will experience job change, which may require a change in residence. Third, there were already a large number of buyers looking that have paused due to the pandemic that will begin looking again. Finally, and perhaps the most compelling reason that many people will decide to move, is that most of us are stuck at home.
People are spending a good deal of time thinking about their home – whether it is too small, too big, too close to the neighbors, too far from the neighbors, too much maintenance, too much yard, too much this, or not enough that. Whatever it is, people will likely crave something different. Additionally, people may find their family growing or changing after being cooped up together. Add the people craving or needing something different to the group of people who were already looking, all driven by low mortgage rates and there will be a surge of activity.
What should I be doing right now? If you have a mortgage on your own home and are not planning to move, consider refinancing your mortgage. Reach out to your favorite mortgage broker. If you need a recommendation, reach out to us so we can help you find a great one.
If you want to buy or sell your house, contact us now, even if you are not planning on making a move right away. Many things can be done to prepare for the future. We will help sellers make their home show-ready, buyers become preapproved for their mortgage, and provide everyone with information about the local market, pricing and strategies for how to best reach your real estate
We are living in strange times right now. With uncertainty around the economy, health, safety, employment, and where you can find your next roll of toilet paper, it may feel daunting to think about buying or selling a home, especially if you have a pressing need. We understand, and we are here for you. Call us at 541-757-1781 in Corvallis or 541-924-5616 in Albany.