The Pandemic Has Magnified the Value of “HOME”
In March of this year, we in Real Estate, like other industries, began to hunker down, cut costs, and prepare for the worst. The headlines were outright scary as the travel industry, restaurant industry, and countless others stopped dead cold. March and April were very quiet as we all began to pivot and determine how we could still service our customers while keeping them safe. At ELEETE, we implemented more videos, floor plans, photography, virtual open houses, and we now build a custom website for each home we have listed. We were doing what we could to adapt and continue to provide excellence and expertise.
Fast forward two months later, to the end of June, and buyers were back in force. The lightbulb turned on; “if we are going to have to hunker down, then let’s find a better place to hunker.” Whether they were selling to get out of the high rise and avoid tight spaces, finding a larger home to get sanity with kids in remote learning, now working from home and needing a dedicated home office, or giving up the gym membership and finding workout space, it was clear, if you must stay home to stay safe, then improve your home. Contractors are in high demand, prices are increasing, and everyone is doing what they can to make their home a slice of heaven.
Today, we are seeing prices that have appreciated 7.6% from September 2019 to September 2020 according to Case Shiller. As a point of comparison, the September 2018 to September 2019 appreciation rate was 2.7%. Additionally, the available inventory of homes has dropped to record low levels, currently there is only 1.0 month of inventory on the market. Owners are largely staying put, leaving Buyers to compete for limited inventory. We are not far from an average home price in Portland of $500,000.
How long will this last? Only time will tell. It is unclear how long it will be before the housing market experiences the economic repercussions of the industries that have all but shut down. What we do know is this; if you want to buy a home now, it is likely more work than preparing a home to sell. You need to see everything out there, the day it hits the market. You need to be pre-approved and have your cash ready. And you need to determine your tolerance for risk: are you prepared to pay over asking price? Will you waive the appraisal contingency? Would you pay for the seller’s repairs found by the inspection? All these questions and more are crucial for you to discuss upfront with your ELEETE Realtor. You must be prepared to act fast with confidence and be ready to drop what you are doing at a moment’s notice to see homes. We are here to be your advocates and you have our full support and expertise to successfully guide you through the buying experience in this competitive market.