2021 Housing Market - Still Hot?

Despite everything that happened this past year, most economists are predicting 2021 to continue to be a hot market with high demand and low inventory. Home sales and prices are expected to continue to rise. The 20-plus housing and economic experts participating in NAR’s annual Real Estate Forecast Summit predicted housing prices to increase 8% in 2021 and 5.5% in 2022. Danielle Hale, chief economist for realtor.com expects home sales to jump 7% with home prices up 5.7%. Mortgage rates are expected to remain low with a slight uptick in the 30-year fixed rate to 3.0%. 

Svenja Gudell, chief economist for Zillow, stated “there are millions of millennials aging into their prime home buying years, and millions more Gen Zers behind them that all will want and need homes of their own, keeping demand at a boil for years to come.” Also, the ability to work remotely for many now means people can live where they want versus where their workplace is located. With a thriving real estate market in 2021, buyers should take advantage of the historically low interest rates. Sellers will continue to benefit from the high buyer demand. Whether buying or selling, contact me for more information on how this hot market impacts you. Donna@DonnaForest.com; 603-526-4116 (O); 603-731-5151 (C).

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Remodeling to Sell?

Not all remodeling projects deliver the same bang for the buck when it comes to resale. If you are planning to sell soon and think that renovations will increase the value of your home, then some research might be in order. Studies suggest that most renovation projects do increase the price of a house; however, the increase is typically less than the cost of the project. The 2020 Cost vs. Value Report shows a homeowner will generally experience a return of 60% to 75% on the dollar at resale. Some of the more cost effective improvements are minor kitchen upgrades (recoups 74% of cost), garage door replacement (recoups 99%), and window replacements (recoups 75%). Keep in mind the cost recouped can be affected by the quality of finish and even the type of neighborhood and local conditions.

One of the biggest advantages remodeling has is the fact it increases the appeal of your home to buyers. A gleaming state of the art kitchen with granite countertops and bathrooms with tile and glass can sell a house more quickly. Given the nature of this market, buyers are definitely willing to pay more for an updated, move-in ready home. Feel free to contact me for more advice on prepping your home for sale! 603-526-4116; www.DonnaForest.com; Donna @DonnaForest.com

Real estate markets are local, and we have the real scoop on ours.  Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate - The Milestone Team

5 Common Myths About Selling

There are a number of myths about how real estate actually works. These misbeliefs can hurt your chances of selling at the right price and in a timely manner. Below are a few common misconceptions. 

1. Overpricing leads to higher offers. Quite the opposite is true. Overpriced homes sit on the market longer and end up with lower offers. They become stale listings and buyers wonder what is wrong with them. 

2. Spring is the best time to sell. Typically spring & summer are known as the selling seasons. However, any time can be best depending on the market. Given the lack of homes for sale, sellers are still seeing multiple offers and quick sales - we expect this to continue through the winter.

3. If you get an offer right away then the house was underpriced.  A correctly priced home will receive offers right away. After all, isn’t the goal to sell the house and not have it sit on the market for weeks on end?  Buyers are online constantly looking and are ready to jump when something comes on that fits their needs.

4. Homes don’t need to be prepped for sale. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Most buyers want move-in condition homes. Houses that are decluttered, cleaned, and staged sell faster and for more money.

5. Good marketing includes open houses. The reality is only 6% of buyers find their home through an open house.

Contact me for more professional advice on the right way to sell your house. 603-526-4116; www.DonnaForest.com; Donna @DonnaForest.com

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Home Sales Continue to Amaze

With the national housing inventory down 39% since last year, the high buyer demand and low inventory means the housing market will continue to be strong through the end of the year and into 2021. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors says “it will be one of the best winter sales years ever.”  He also said “home sales continue to amaze, and there are plenty of buyers in the pipeline ready to enter the market…Further gains in sales are likely for the remainder of the year, with mortgage rates hovering around 3% and with continued job recovery.”

Like the rest of the nation, NH is experiencing strong buyer demand and not enough homes to sell. The median selling price thru September was $329,500, up 9.8% from 2019. The average days on market was 52 days, although it seems like most houses in our area tend to go under contract in a week!  Bottom line, many economists feel the housing market will continue its momentum through the winter. Contact me if you are interested in taking advantage of this current sellers’ market!

603-526-4116; www.DonnaForest.com; Donna @DonnaForest.com

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Are We Seeing the Fall Slowdown?

Typically, as we slide into our fall season of apple picking and pumpkins on the porch, the real estate market starts to slow down. Usually there are fewer buyers out looking and not as many homes for sale. But as we all know, this year is anything but normal!  Homes are still selling quickly and values continue to rise. Data from the Mortgage Bankers Association showed loan applications were up more than 30% year over year and they expect buyer demand to continue into 2021. In the words of Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors' chief economist, “this market momentum is very solid.”  He also stated "home sales continue to amaze, and there are plenty of buyers in the pipeline ready to enter the market." 

“With unusually high buyer interest this late in the home buying season, buyers are moving much faster than this time last year to beat out competition and lock in low mortgage rates. This means homes are sitting on the market for much less time, despite notably higher price tags,” the report’s author, Realtor.com economist Danielle Hale, wrote. “Campisi, Natalie  The Fall Real Estate Market Is Abnormally Hot As Mortgage Rates Break Records”  Forbes 9/11/20

Bottom line, it’s not too late to get your house on the market! Contact me if you want to know how to successfully sell your home this fall. 603-526-4116; www.DonnaForest.com; Donna @DonnaForest.com

Real estate markets are local, and we have the real scoop on ours.  Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate - The Milestone Team

And so the Market Continues...

The real estate market continues to see low inventory and high buyer demand which means it is still a sellers’ market. In July, the state was reporting historically low inventory – half as much for sale this year compared to last year in July (which was also historically low). Buyers realize the importance of home ownership as evidenced by the Mortgage Bankers Association Aug.12 report which shows a 22% increase in mortgage home purchase applications over last year.

NH market data reveals the state had the highest July median sales price ever for that month at $340k. Year to date (thru July) the median sales price in NH is up 7% at $320k compared to $299k last year with the days on market at 56 days and sellers receiving 98.9% of the list price. In the combined towns of Newbury, New London & Sunapee, the number of home sales is a little ahead of last year (thru July) – 115 sales this year/110 sales in 2019. The avg. days on market is 74 and sellers are receiving 96% of their asking price. Currently there are only 43 homes for sale in the 3 towns; 29 of which are priced over $400k. Now is the ideal time to be selling as we expect buyer activity to remain strong thru early fall. Contact me if you’d like to know the value of your home in today’s active market! 603-526-4116; www.DonnaForest.com; Donna @DonnaForest.com

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July 2020: Record-Breaking Month for NH Residential Home Sales

On the eve of July 31st, 2020, the sun set on a record-breaking month for residential home sales in New Hampshire. NH REALTORS® reported 2,012 residential sales, the most in the state's recorded history for July---which even in slower years is a terrifically busy month for real estate transactions. The month's median selling price also coincided with New Hampshire's highest ever, at $340,000. 

This recent summer boom comes on the heels of five consecutive months of declining sales in the New Hampshire residential housing market. Ever since January 2020, sale volumes had been falling...but July swiftly reversed that trend. Not only that, but it soared ahead to achieve a 6.4% increase over 2019's July sales. July 2020 ushered in a strong seller's market, with sales prices increasing by 22%, and pending sales increasing by 19%. At the same time, the market supply dwindled: homes for sale decreased by a staggering 54%

July has come and gone, but this trend continues. We're now in the the final golden days of summer, in August, and "healthy buyer demand and constrained supply continue to be the story," reports NH REALTORS®. "A competitive market for buyers...is expected to continue into the late summer and early fall market."

Read more in-depth about this trend: https://www.nhar.org/assets/docs/NHAR_MMI_2020-07.pdf

Real estate markets are local, and we have the real scoop on ours.  Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate - The Milestone Team

Multiple Offer Situations

Today’s market is a bit on the crazy side right now as we don’t have many homes for sale and buyer demand is high. Sellers receiving multiple offers seems to be the new normal. Here is some advice for sellers when they are considering more than one offer.

  • With multiple offers, sellers can ask for “best and final” from all buyers, accept one offer if it is outstanding, or pick one offer to negotiate with and set the others aside.
  • Be sure to note all the terms of the offers. Closing dates, down payments, financing, inspections, and type of loan can be impactful.
  • Be aware if an offer is significantly over asking; there is an increased risk the house will not appraise if the buyer is getting financing. Which means the buyer can’t get the amount needed to purchase.
  • Cash is king. Even if the offer is for a little less money, it might be worth accepting as you skip all the steps required with a loan. 
  • Offers should come with a pre-qualification or pre-approval letter from the buyers’ lenders or they are not worth considering. 

Offers have many variables so discussion with your listing agent on how to choose the right one for you is vital. If you are thinking of selling, contact me and put my 26 yrs. of experience to work for you. 603-526-4116; www.DonnaForest.com; Donna @DonnaForest.com

Real estate markets are local, and we have the real scoop on ours.  Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate - The Milestone Team

Home Prices are NOT Falling

It’s natural to assume during this economic shutdown that home prices are dropping and foreclosures are up.  This is far from the truth and in fact, NH home prices are up 7% (YTD through April) with a median sales price of $304,900.  Nationwide the median sales price is up 7.4% which marks 98 straight months of year-over-year gains.  Prices are being pushed higher due to the undersupply of homes to sell.  In fact at certain price points, bidding wars are not uncommon in our area.  For example, in Newbury, New London & Sunapee combined, there are only 51 homes for sale and only 8 are priced under $300k (as of 6/2).

Many experts predict home prices will continue to appreciate through 2022; projections range from 0.4% to 4.6%.  And there are some who predict a small decline.   No one can say for sure what the future holds given the uncertainties of our times.  However, the benefits of home ownership go beyond pricing and provide stability, builds net worth and a sense of community.  Yes, it’s a great time to be a seller but buyers also can benefit from the record low mortgage rates.  Contact me if you are looking for guidance on buying or selling.  603-526-4116 (Office); www.DonnaForest.com, Donna@DonnaForest.com

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It's Alive and Moving!

Yes, the real estate market is still alive and people are moving.  Buyers are out looking and interest rates are historically low.  Houses are being listed for sale and most seem to be going under contract fairly quickly.  While the market is not as robust as it typically would be for this time of year, it is fairly active given current conditions.  True, some sellers have temporarily pulled their homes off the market and some buyers are delaying their search for a month or so.  However, the housing inventory faced a shortage before the pandemic and this is still the case.  Which means home prices remain strong and it is still a sellers’ market.   

The process has changed but the results are the same.  Virtual tours, Zoom meetings, FaceTime, protocols requiring masks & gloves for actual showings, remote closings, etc.  The industry has adapted to ensure properties can still be safely sold.   If you are thinking about buying or selling, contact me for help in creating a safe and effective plan for success in today’s market.  603-526-4116; www.DonnaForest.com; Donna@DonnaForest.com

“Word of Mouth” is the best advertisement, and we love it when you refer your friends and family to Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate - The Milestone Team