Those of you who know me know that I am focused on the data. And, for the past few months our residential real estate market has been, “HOT, HOT, HOT!” So I just had to check the numbers. WOW! This is something to write about.
Last fall we experienced what I would consider our typical “holiday slow down.” Are there sales in November and December? Of course there are, but showings and sales wind down considerably. I tell my Sellers to take advantage of the time to get their homes ready because Groundhog’s Day is just around the corner and some people will think it’s Spring. If you’re not on the market by February 1st you’ll miss that first wave of buyers.
“As you can see in the data, we were off to a pretty good start. And then there was COVID19.“
Yes, there were home sales during the lock down, but most of my colleagues were focused on getting homes already under contract to the closing table, checking in on family and friends, and venturing out as little as possible. As you would expect “new listings” and “pendings” were way down. Sellers were and continue to be concerned about strangers coming into their homes resulting in a shortage of listings. Many buyers did not venture out to see homes. Online shopping? Yes. In person showings? Off pretty dramatically.
Fortunately, since the lock down restrictions were at least partially lifted, we’ve made up for what we lost and in some areas, like the area between LSU and Country Club of Louisiana, we are outpacing last year’s numbers.
“What blows me away is the high end of our market! In the area between LSU and Country Club of Louisiana, in every price range over $500,000, we have substantial year over year growth. Add it all up … as of today we’re at 183 sales in 2020 vs. 127 sales in 2019. That’s a 44.1% increase!”
Why? As is the case nationwide, I suspect that many of our higher income earners have been able to transition to work at home. The interest rates are historically low – below 3% on a 30 year mortgage for borrowers with strong credit scores. And, I think we are focused on our homes and our need for “living space” perhaps more than ever before. Our homes are now our offices, our children’s schools, and a place were we can feel safe. And, I suspect that need is going to be with us for a while.
If you’re thinking about selling a higher priced home, NOW would be a very good time.