The whole world seems to be going crazy right now, but one thing is for sure— people are still moving. Whether it’s for a job, to be closer to family, or just because their housing needs have recently changed, people are still moving.
Because of Covid-19, some sellers seem reluctant to list their houses and want to wait until things seems safer. This partially contributes to the housing shortage in the Lafayette area. Compared to this time last year, lists are down 14%. It is still a sellers market here.
Interest rates are still historically low, so many buyers want to take advantage of this. First time home buyers are still just as eager to get into homes this year as last. Because of the housing shortage, homes under $200,000 are selling quickly, often with multiple offers on them, for list price or over, if they are priced correctly from the start. Homes over $200,000 are still selling relatively quickly compared to previous years and for top dollar, there are just fewer buyers fighting for them.
When I say that buyers are fighting for a house, I mean that buyers need to come fully armed with what they need to buy a home as soon as they start looking. They must have a pre approval letter from their lender and often their own down payment and closing costs. If a buyer is in a multiple offer situation, the more favorable offer is one without seller paid closing costs. Once a buyer identifies the house they want, they must write a strong offer. This is a sellers market. Gone are the days when homes sell for deep discount. If a buyer waits a day or two to see a house, the house will be sold before they step foot in the door.
I am frequently being asked if houses are still selling. The answer is yes! Even though listings are down, home sales compared to last year are only currently down 4%. There are many buyers for fewer listings. The market may change as the year goes on, but as of right now, the market is still very strong.
It would be naïve of me to talk about the stable/successful housing market without broaching the topic of current unemployment. Many people are out of work therefore can’t make their mortgage payment. If you find yourself in this situation, please call me or at the very least, call your mortgage company. Mortgage companies want to work with home owners to come up with a plan. They do not want to foreclose. There is a very good change that you have equity in your house and if you sell it now you will walk away with money in hand.
This is why it’s important to work with a local, professional realtor that understands the current market conditions and can guide you as you buy and sell a home. Also, The Alexander Group take safety seriously and wears masks to client meetings and carry hand sanitizer and Lysol wipes in our cars. Stay safe everyone and please let us know if we can help with your housing needs.