& Year-End Review
Typically, December is a slow month for real estate. The holidays and new year are seen as dedicated time to rest and recuperate; less activity allows us all to reflect on the past year and prepare for the next. Not this December, however; 2020 was an anomaly to the very end.
Sabrina Speianu, Sr. Economic Research Analyst for Realtor.com® said, ” […] December housing data release reveals that home buyers and sellers were much more active this holiday season compared to last year. Home listing prices continued to increase at double-digit rates compared to last year, fueled by buyer demand, which also continued to snap up homes at a rate almost two weeks more quickly than last year.” (December 2020 Monthly Housing Market Trends Report: Number of Homes for Sale Hits a New Low).
December is normally one of the slowest months of the year but strong buyer demand across most segments of the market, buoyed by near-record low interest rates, continue to drive a healthy sales pace in the face of a new wave of COVID-19 infections and a softening jobs market.
[…] With low mortgage rates and strong buyer demand in most market segments, the housing market of early 2021 looks to continue the trends we saw in the second half of 2020. Low inventory and multiple offers on in-demand properties and market segments are likely to remain common while the market waits and hopes for a boost in new construction and a surge in home sellers to help provide more balance to the market.December 2020 MetroMLS Monthly Indicators
Below are the Local Market Reports, by MetroMLS & ShowingTime, for the tri-county area of Walworth, Kenosha & Racine Counties. You’ll notice double digit percentage increases in new listings AND closed sales for December 2020, compared to December 2019. Median Sales price was also higher, across the board. On a hyper-local level, the Lake Geneva/Williams Bay/Delavan area saw a slight dip in the number of new listings, but also the greatest increase in median sales price — which makes sense!
Finally, I wanted to take a more cumulative look at our tri-county area this year. Using the data from Wisconsin Housing Statistics, by the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association, below you’ll see the Number of Home Sales and Median Sales Price for the Kenosha, Racine & Walworth County areas in 2019 compared to 2020. The pandemic impacted our market, significantly, in April and May. However, we surpassed the number of homes sold, and median sales price, every month from June onward, compared to last year.
Hindsight is 20/20! The numbers are in, and the charts don’t lie. Clearly, 2020 is not 2008, and we’re not having a housing market crash. The global pandemic impacted every corner of the economy, including real estate… but only briefly. Interest rates are low, demand is high, supply is low and prices are trending upward — but most importantly, we’re not imploding. All’s well on the real estate frontier.
Sellers: There are still buyers out there! Buyers that weren’t able to get what they wanted in 2020 are going to stay in the market until interest rates increases – which will eventually happen. Don’t wait to list your home, if you don’t have to. Take advantage of this seller’s market!
Buyers: Interest rates are still low, and prices have seemed to stabilize (see last chart above). If you want to buy a home in 2021, get your ducks in a row — ASAP. Have your realtor set you up with an MLS search, and check out all the active and sold homes in your desired area and price point, often. Call your lender and have your pre-approval ready to go before you start seeing homes. This is a “you snooze, you lose” market, so be prepared.
In sum, bring on 2021! Feel free to reach out and ask if you need anything…
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December 2020 Monthly Housing Market Trends Report: Number of Homes for Sale Hits a New Low by Sabrina Speianu Sr. Economic Research Analyst Realtor.com®