Monthly Archives: January 2021

Employment and the Housing Market

The virus crisis has financially impacted many of our friends, neighbors, and family.

For some, it has been positive as working remotely has meant more time at home, as well as money saved in travel and other business related expenses.

For others, the impact has been negative as hours have been cut or jobs lost, particularly in the hotel, restaurant, retail, and entertainment areas. (As we know all too well living on Cape Cod.)

Nonetheless, the real estate market here had a record setting 2020. As we start the year, we’re still seeing strong buyer demand, but inventory is at an all time low as potential sellers remain reluctant to market their homes.

If you’ve been thinking about making a move, but concerns about employment and the economy are holding you back, here’s what you should know…

Earlier this month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their most recent Jobs Report that revealed the economy lost 140,000 jobs in December. That’s a devastating number and dramatically impacts those households that lost a source of income.

However, we need to give it some context. As Greg Ip, Chief Economics Commentator at the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), explains:

“The economy is probably not slipping back into recession. The drop was induced by new restrictions on activity as the pandemic raged out of control.”

More importantly, according to Michael Feroli, Chief Economist at JP Morgan/Chase:

“The good news … is that outside the hopefully temporary hit to the food service industry, the rest of the labor market appears to be holding on despite the latest public health challenges.”

Some are concerned that with millions of Americans unemployed, we may see distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales) dominate the housing market once again. Rick Sharga, Executive Vice President at RealtyTrac, along with most other experts, doesn’t believe that will be the case:

“There are reasons to be cautiously optimistic despite massive unemployment levels and uncertainty about government policies under the new Administration. But while anything is possible, it’s highly unlikely that we’ll see another foreclosure tsunami or housing market crash.”

As someone thinking about selling, what can you expect over the next few weeks and months?

For the households that lost a wage earner, there’s no denying that these are extremely difficult times. Hopefully, a new stimulus package will help the situation. With the health crisis improving as more vaccinations become available, the expectation is that the job market will also progress significantly.

If you’re contemplating selling, it’s important to remember that while the economy has been unkind to some, most have kept their jobs and income. We have now worked with several clients who — frustrated at not being able to find property on Cape — have bought in communities like Rochester, Randolph and Fairhaven.

Although not the Cape, these and other similar communities offer many of the same attributes including less congestion, more open space and access to recreation, while being close enough to Boston and Providence for those who may still may need to go to the office every now and then.

So the question for Cape home owners is this: is it time for you to realize a solid return on your real estate investment while interest in your home is strong?

Helping our clients make the best decisions for their individual situations has been our full time job for 21 years, not a part time hobby. If you would like to review your options, let’s connect at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. Talk soon…

Don’t wish for it; go for it!

Mari and Hank

Housing Prices Expected to Increase in 2021

The year just ended has been full of surprises. While those who truly knew the real estate business always understood that the market would lead the economic way out of the virus crisis, we’re not sure how many predicted the dramatic rise in prices and drop in inventory.

Nationally, home values increased by 8.2% over the last 12 months. On Cape Cod, the median sales price for a single family home rose nearly 18%!

The stunning increase came about as inventory reached historic lows at the same time buyer demand was buoyed by record-low mortgage rates. As CoreLogic explained:

“Home price growth remained consistently elevated throughout 2020. Home sales for the year are expected to register above 2019 levels. Meanwhile, the availability of for-sale homes has dwindled as demand increased and coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreaks continued across the country, which delayed some sellers from putting their homes on the market.

On Cape demand also increased as urban dwellers – many allowed to work remotely for the first time – looked for greater square footage, fresher air, and more opportunities for recreation.

Where will home values go in 2021?

Housing Supply

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the current number of single-family homes for sale is 1,080,000. At the same time last year, that number stood at 1,450,000. Nationwide, we are entering 2021 with approximately 370,000 fewer homes  available for sale than there were one year ago.

On Cape, there were 542 homes for sale in December; that’s down from 1,369 a year ago — a 60% decrease!

There is some speculation that the inventory crush will ease somewhat as we move through the new year for two reasons:

1. As the health crisis wanes, more homeowners will be comfortable putting their houses on the market.

2. Some households impacted financially by the pandemic will — unfortunately — be forced to sell.

Housing Demand

Low mortgage rates have also driven buyer demand over the last 12 months. According to Freddie Mac, rates stood at 3.72% at the beginning of 2020. We’re starting 2021 with rates one full percentage point lower than that. Low rates create a great opportunity for home buyers, which is one reason why demand is expected to remain high throughout the new year.

Taking into consideration these projections on housing supply and demand, analysts project that homes will continue to appreciate in 2021, but that appreciation may be at a steadier pace than last year. Here are their forecasts:

What Does 2021 Have in Store for Home Values? | MyKCM

There’s still a very limited number of homes for sale for the great number of purchasers looking to buy. As a result, the concept of “supply and demand” mandates that home values iwill continue to appreciate.

If you’re looking to buy, waiting for prices to drop is a strategy that will only cost you money. While supply is limited, there are houses available for those who are pre-approved and have a clear understanding of what they’re looking for in a new home.

For potential sellers: what are you waiting for?????

Helping our clients make the best decisions for their personal situations has been our full time job for 21 years, not a part time hobby. If you’re interested in reviewing your options, let’s connect at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com to start the conversation.

Don’t wish for it. Go for it!

Mari and Hank

Is 2021 The Year You Make Your Move?

We know that many people had 2021 circled on their calendars as the year they were going to make a move in the real estate market.

For some, maybe it’s finally time to get a bigger home to accommodate a growing family. For others, it’s time to downsize now that the kids are gone. Or, a rarely used second home has become a drain on finances.

If you’re hesitating, consumer sentiment about selling today should boost your confidence. Even with the current health crisis continuing to challenge the country, Americans still feel good about selling or buying a house.

According to the latest Home Purchase Sentiment Index from Fannie Mae, 57% of consumer respondents to their survey indicate now is a good time to buy a home, while 59% feel it’s a good time to sell one.

Why is now a good time to sell?

There simply are not enough homes available to meet today’s buyer demand, and they’re selling just as quickly as they’re coming to the market. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), unsold inventory available today sits at a 2.3-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from a 2.5-month supply from the previous month. This record-low inventory is not even half of what we need for a normal or neutral housing market, which should have a six month supply of unsold inventory to balance out.

Here on Cape, the months supply of inventory for single-family homes has dipped below two months.

With so few homes available for buyers to choose from, we’re in a true sellers’ market. Homeowners ready to make a move right now have the opportunity to negotiate the best possible contracts with buyers, who are feeling the pull of intense competition.

However, this sweet spot for sellers won’t last forever. As more homes are listed this year, this tip toward sellers may start to wane. According to Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.commore choices for buyers are on the not-too-distant horizon:

“The bright spot for buyers is that more homes are likely to become available in the last six months of 2021. That should give folks more options to choose from and take away some of their urgency. With a larger selection, buyers may not be forced to make a decision in mere hours and will have more time to make up their minds.”

So, if you’re ready to make your move, you can feel positive about the current sentiment in the market.

Helping our clients make the best decisions for their individual situations has been our full time job for 21 years, not a part time hobby. Let’s connect at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com to determine the best next step when it comes to selling or buying a home this year.


With the market remaining active as the virus crisis continues, we’ve gone back into the archives to share with you a video piece we did last year about safe home inspections.

Safety remains our number one priority when it comes to helping you buy or sell your home. For more information about our safety procedures and those of Today Real Estate, please reach out. Thanks.

Don’t wish for it; go for it!

Mari and Hank

Pricing Your House Right in 2021

Even in the current sellers’ market, pricing strategy is important for the successful and efficient sale of your home.

Your goal should be to increase visibility and drive more buyers your way. Instead of trying to win the negotiation with one buyer, you should be looking to list your home so that demand is maximized and more buyers want to take a look.

As a seller in today’s market, you might be tempted to price your house on the high end, since so many are searching harder than ever to find a home to purchase. But here’s the thing – a high price tag does not mean you’re going to cash in big. It’s actually more likely to deter buyers.

Why It’s Important to Price Your House Right Today | MyKCM

Even with inventory limited on Cape Cod and elsewhere, your house is more likely to sit on the market longer if it isn’t priced right from the very beginning. Unrealistic prices lead to “price improvements” and what can be appear to be too much time on the market raising questions about “what’s wrong” with the property.

When you price your home competitively from the start, you’ll likely have multiple buyers competing for the house, potentially increasing the final sale price.

Here’s another reason to realistically price your home. We’ve worked with several buyers over the last many weeks, who contacted us about property on the Cape. When they became discouraged because of tight inventory and/or unrealistic prices, they moved their search back over the bridges.

We’ve shown property in places as far off Cape as Fairhaven and currently have sales pending in Rochester and Randolph with offers made in a few more communities.

With buyer interest in the Cape remaining strong, now’s the time to maximize the return on your investment in your home.

Helping our clients make the best decisions when selling their homes has been our full time job for 21 years, not a part time hobby. Let’s connect at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com to discuss a pricing and marketing strategy that’s right for your home.

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More predictions for 2021

We shared with you last week industry predictions for the 2021 market.

Here are direct quotes from some of the more respected experts in the field..

“In 2021, I think rates will be similar or modestly higher, maybe 3%…So, mortgage rates will continue to be historically favorable.” – Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist, National Association of Realtors.

“We expect sales to grow 7 percent and prices to rise another 5.7 percent on top of 2020’s already high levels.” – Danielle Haille, Chief Economist, realtor.com

Mortgage rates are expected to remain low for the foreseeable future and millennials will continue forming households, keeping demand robust, even if income growth moderates. Despite the best intentions of home builders to provide more housing supply, the big short in housing supply will continue into 2021 and likely keep house price appreciation flying high.” – Mark Fleming, Chief Economist, First American

So, what are you waiting for? Whether buying, selling, or both, there’s no reason to hesitate about making your move in 2021!

Please let us know how we can help. Thanks…

Stay healthy. Stay optimistic.

Mari and Hank