In a recent survey of U.S. home sellers by Qualtrics, 87% of people said they were concerned that if they listed their home, their home would not sell because of the pandemic. The data, however, is showing that home purchasers are still very active despite COVID-19, and in fact, many buyers are considering a move that did not consider moving before the lockdown.
The latest Existing Home Sales Report published by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed that 340,000 single-family homes sold in this country last month. NAR's most recent Pending Sales Report (homes with an agreed-upon purchase and sale contract) surpassed last month's number by over 44%, which far exceeded analysts' projections of 15%. ShowingTime reported that appointments to see homes (both virtually and in-person) have increased in every region of the country and are up 21.4% nationwide over the same time last year.
Virtual showings are where the real estate agent is in the home and has the buyer on the phone live and is showing the home through the phone's camera. It can be done by Zoom, Facetime, Google Duo, and other formats. The buyer can ask questions and details can be pointed out that can't be done by looking at pictures online. In addition, the real estate agent can show the neighborhood and the neighbors' properties.
This significant rebound is a major boost for the housing market and the U.S. economy which is traditionally driven by the housing market. With mortgage rates hitting an all-time low, dropping below 3% for the first time last week, potential homebuyers are poised to take advantage of this historic opportunity to buy a home. Competition among home buyers is contributing to home price increases as well, as more home buyers are finding themselves in bidding wars in this environment.
In Anacortes and throughout Skagit County, home prices rose during the lockdown and are likely to rise even further due to heavy buyer competition and a significant shortage of supply. While buyer activity is surging, the number of listings has fallen to an all-time low running about 2 months of inventory instead of the 6-month norm. Prices are expected to continue to rise with demand. It is a great time to sell your home!