Is now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the right time to sell your home? You might be surprised to learn this could be one of the hottest home markets in years.
The nearly yearlong COVID-19 pandemic forced people across a number of business sectors to put their lives on hold and write off 2020 in hopes of a better, more productive 2021. Early on, it seemed real estate was heading in the same direction.
Then came an abrupt and sudden course correction.
In a surprising development, after a deep and immediate plunge in April and May, the housing market across much of the U.S. rebounded. Pent up demand unleashed a flurry of deals across all property segments, and depending on the city and type of housing, sellers reaped some significant rewards.
After that flurry of activity in late summer and early fall, do the conditions remain ideal for sellers? Is now still a good time to sell your home?
The answer is: it depends.
The factors that helped drive the feverish deal-making remain in place. Demand is up, inventory is down, and interest rates are at historic lows.
Even as the combination of the first two factors drove up home prices (great for sellers), the third factor made those homes more affordable for the life of the loan (great for buyers).
For sellers with homes in the suburbs of any major city, COVID-19 added another wrinkle. Many office-based employees began performing their duties from home, and their urban digs quickly proved to be too small — or, at the very least, not flexible enough for their new work-life balance needs.
Suddenly, big houses with big yards and dedicated dens, offices, or flex space were all the rage. They still are.
At first glance, this doesn't bode well for sellers with condos and townhomes near the city center. Investors are currently descending upon major metros looking for deals and properties that provide room for negotiating. If you want to part ways with a long-held piece of real estate and want to do so quickly and without regard to a significant profit, you can easily find an enthusiastic buyer.
But it's not all doom and gloom. With the first COVID-19 vaccines coming before the end of the year, we are getting closer to normalcy. As with prior crises (post 9/11 and after the financial crisis of 2008), look for urban housing demand to rise again.
So, is now still a good time to sell your home?
If you own a home in the suburbs and are looking to move onto the next chapter in your life, the market may never be hotter. If that property is in or around the urban core, it might prove wise to hold it until 2021, when urban recovery begins in earnest.
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