Climate Change in the Winter 2021 Housing Market
Normally, the housing market freezes over with the winter season. Spring is generally considered the best season to sell, once the ground and the market thaw out. However, winter 2021 might be an exception to this rule. Here’s why selling your house this winter could be a genius idea:
Low Inventory, High Demand
Ever since the COVID-19 shutdown, there has been an overwhelming demand for housing. Though there may still be slightly less homebuyers than spring and summer, this demand is still going strong through the winter. With low inventory and high demand, houses are likely to sell quickly. Lower inventory means that more buyers will see your listing come up in their searches, and yours will be one of few available.
Homebuyers in the winter are very serious and motivated to buy. During this season, especially the holidays, many are looking to close a deal quickly rather than linger over tedious back-and-forth exchanges. You’ll spend more time with serious potential buyers, rather than people who come to open houses on a whim or schedule 15 home showings without showing any real interest.
It’s a Seller’s Market
In HomeLight’s Q2 2021 survey of Top Agent Insights, 98% of top real estate agents said that it was a seller’s market. Never has such a high percentage of agent responders described their locale as favoring sellers
Peak in Home Price
Prices are currently at an all-time high, with median home prices up 9% from the previous year. However, there are signs that these high prices are leveling off. Sellers may want to take advantage of peaking home prices before they drop.
Interest Rates are Inching Up
Interest rates in the past 20 months have been at an all-time-low, prompting many buyers to shop for real estate; but interest rates are starting to increase. In November, interest rates were 2.98% for a 30-year fixed-rate loan. The Mortgage Bankers Association estimates that rates will rise to 4% by the end of 2022. Increasing interest rates mean reduced purchasing power for buyers and less ability to offer top dollar, which could mean less aggressive buyers moving forward.
It may seem like a small factor, but the winter holidays can boost the warm, welcoming qualities of your neighborhood. Holiday lights and decorations can help show your neighborhood in the best possible light.
Conditions Won’t Stay This Competitive Forever
The current housing demand stems from irregular conditions created by the COVID-19 lockdown. In 2021, homes were selling faster than the fastest-selling months in any previous year from March all the way into October. However, the current market has pushed many buyers to the point of fatigue. Housing experts agree that the past year-and-a-half’s pace of price increases isn’t sustainable. Sellers looking to take advantage of current conditions may want to take action, even in the winter; the current competitive conditions won’t last forever.
Overall, if you’re looking to sell your house, don’t write off winter 2021 as an option. If you’re unsure, talk to one of our real estate agents; we can help you weigh your personal and financial motivations and find the best time for you to sell.