As we continue to navigate the pandemic, one wonders just what long term effects COVID-19 will have on our society as a whole. Interestingly enough, according to Steve Brown, Real Estate Editor of the Dallas Morning News, what used to be hot buttons with buyers, like media rooms, wine cellars and home spas, are being replaced in the COVID-19 world, with a home office or two.
With millions of people working from home, and oftentimes cohabitating with their children during the workday, buyers are looking for more space to “hang their work hats!” According to Realtor.com, nearly half of home shoppers nationwide say they have converted space at home into a remote office. More than 60% of potential homebuyers say that working from home is influencing the kind of house they want and the location.
“The ability to work remotely is expanding home shoppers’ geographic options and driving their motivation to buy,” said Realtor.com Senior Economist George Ratiu, in a new report. “Although it’s too early to tell what long-term impact the COVID-era of remote work will have on housing, it’s clear that the pandemic is shaping how people live and work under the same roof.”
With interest rates falling to record lows, the housing market surge has been a bright spot as the US economy struggles against the pandemic. The top economist for Fannie Mae, Doug Duncan, believes the home market’s bull run will continue, boosted by even lower home loan rates. People who feel safe with their salaried jobs, are in the market to buy. Some forecasters warn of a decline in prices, but Duncan thinks home prices will rise approximately four percent through 2020. A lack of homes on the market is keeping prices higher than earlier forecasts. Many home sellers have been slow to market as a result of the pandemic.
As we go to press on the Summer Issue of The Breeze, while navigating the pandemic, Northwood Hills has had 37 homes change hands this year, as compared to just 29 during the same period one year ago. The average SOLD home price in 2020 was $798,251.00 or $200.87/sqft. That compares to a SOLD price average in 2019 of $800,750.00, or $197.78/sqft. As I’ve often said, average sales prices and $$/sqft are also a function of which homes are on the market at any given point in time. Since the beginning of 2020, SOLD homes closed between $390,000 and $1,625,000. That corresponds to a range of between $116.18/sqft on the low end, to a high of $278.64/sqft. In 2019, we had properties close as high at $315/sqft, which raised the overall high price and average $$/ft.
The Days on Market [DOM] increased in 2020, as you might expect. Homes were on the market about thirty percent longer, from 46 days in 2019 to about 69 days during COVID.
Northwood Hills homes are ideally suited to the wants and desires of today’s buyers. Many of the homes in the neighborhood have five bedrooms, or four plus an office. Some have more than three living areas. These large floorplans offer flexibility to those who believe they will continue to work from home.
If you are contemplating selling your home, feel free to reach out to me at 214-801-7273 to help you market your home to meet the latest needs of post-COVID buyers. It is hard to predict, but many believe they will continue to work from home, long after the pandemic.