As the prophetic Bob Dylan once said, “The Times They Are a-Changin’.” The truth is: markets can be volatile. While the future of our evolving economy is unknown, an apocalyptic frame of mind is counterproductive. Remember, as of March 2021, all ‘year-over-year’ numbers and percentages will reflect the difference between today and the beginning of the pandemic; please pause before drawing conclusions based on comparisons to black swan event derived data points. The following are highlights from recent housing market press releases regarding national and metro-Milwaukee area trends.
Existing-home sales fell in March, marking two consecutive months of declines […]. The month of March saw record-high home prices and gains. While each of the four major U.S. regions experienced month-over-month drops, all four areas welcomed year-over-year gains in home sales.
Existing-home sales in the Midwest declined 2.3% to an annual rate of 1,280,000 in March, a 0.8% rise from a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $248,200, a 13.5% increase from March 2020.
According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.08% in March, up from 2.81% in February. The average commitment rate across all of 2020 was 3.11%.Simmons, Quintin. “Housing Market Reaches Record-High Home Price and Gains in March.” NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
Normal spring increases in sales activity, coupled with relaxing COVID-19 policies, created a very busy March real estate market as buyer demand continued largely unabated in the face of rising home prices and mortgage rates. Existing home seller and new construction activity continue to remain below levels necessary to bring the market back into balance, pointing to a busy and competitive buyer market in the coming months.
[…] While many homebuilders are working to increase their activity, the cost of lumber and other materials and a backlogged supply chain continue to limit new home construction and have increased costs substantially. New methods of construction, including 3d printed homes, could speed construction and reduce costs in the future, but realistically are several years away from making a measurable impact in the market.Zielinski, Dan “Monthly Indicators“
The most inciteful graphs to note in the above Local Market Reports by MetroMLS & ShowingTime, are the “Year to Date” figures. In Q1 of 2021, compared to Q1 2020, we have seen fewer new listings, but technically more closed sales across Kenosha, Racine & Walworth Counties. Also noteworthy: median sales prices have gone down, in the month of March 2021 compared to March 2020, throughout Southeastern Wisconsin.
Sellers: If you have considered selling, but are stuck on the thought, “where would I go?” reach out to your agent about ‘lease-back options’ and ‘post-closing agreements.’ You may be able to live in your home after closing, until you find your next one. I would not wait to sell until next year, however, because 1) interest rates will eventually go up and decrease the number of buyers in the market, and 2) my magic 8 ball is broken. So. There’s that.
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Buyers: If you want to take advantage of the current interest rates, but aren’t sure whether or not your credit will allow you to: reach out to lenders (yes, more than one; shop around) ASAP. Inquire about potential credit repair programs to set you on the fast track to the closing table with the best loan. I would not wait until next year because there is no way interest rates are staying as low as they are forever. This market is not for the faint of heart, sure, but do not be scared, be prepared. Have a plan, and a plan B… and maybe a plan C, for where and how your moving; consider renting if crossing state lines, staying with family for 3 – 6 months, or even look into buying a duplex or multi-family home to live in.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, remember: it is Spring! Take time to soak up the sun and admire the budding life outside, you wont regret it.
All the best,
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KEEFE REAL ESTATE | LAKE GENEVA, WI 53147
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