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Hot Topics in the Housing Market

If you’re a prospective buyer or seller, it’s important you understand current real estate market conditions and how they affect you. The Counselors of Real Estate (CRE) just released its Top Ten Issues Affecting Real Estate report. Here are three hot topics from the list and how they impact today’s housing market.

Technology Acceleration and Innovation

The past year ushered in many changes to the real estate industry, especially when it comes to technology. The CRE report explains that: “Lockdown-driven changes in our work, the economy, social structures and personal behavior have pushed our reluctance (to use technology) aside. The acceleration and adoption of technology during the pandemic has impacted everything, and real estate is no exception.”

For real estate, innovations like digital documentation, virtual tours, and video chats enable agents to connect with clients no matter their location. These options are ideal for prospective buyers and sellers, who aren’t local to the area, or who need the added flexibility of signing documents online or doing virtual tours.

These technologies will remain in place as they provide greater flexibility and convenience to clients.

We completed a transaction last week on a house whose new owners conducted the much of the process — including the home inspection — virtually. The first time they physically saw their new home in Sandwich was the day before they signed closing papers.

Remote Work and Mobility

Working from home has become the reality for many, and the latest list from the CRE identified that and mobility as an important influence on the real estate market.

According to the report, the virus crisis universally caused a movement away from urban cores, particularly for those people with higher incomes, who could afford to move, and for some lower-income individuals seeking to decrease living expenses. Most of these relocations — about 84% — remained within their general region.

Some question whether this was a permanent urban exodus or just a short term reaction to the virus crisis. Here on Cape, many wonder how these new full time residents will react when they discover that our February is not their summer vacation!

Housing Supply and Affordability

The limited supply of houses for sale and the related affordability challenges also made CRE’s list of key factors for the year. On Cape Cod and elsewhere inventory remains tight, even as more homes come on the market.

But, there is good news. Homes are still more affordable than they have been historically thanks to today’s low mortgage rates. As the supply of homes for sale improves, buyers will have more options.

As we’ve noted before, waiting for prices to drop is not a sound strategy as both the cost of homes and mortgage interest rates are predicted to continue to rise at a modest pace.

What we are seeing is a calming of the market with the buying frenzy of a few months ago dissipating — at least for now. There’s no telling what the impact of the Delta variant spike will have going forward.

New technology, remote work, housing supply, and home affordability are key factors in the housing market right now for both buyers and sellers. If you want to better understand how these and other topics can impact you, please get in touch at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We’re happy to answer your questions.

Mari and Hank