Springtime is just around the corner and we all know that under normal circumstances, it is during this season that the real estate market is the most active. But is spring still the best season to buy real estate property?
Springtime is just around the corner, and we all know that under normal circumstances, it is during this season that the real estate market is the most active. However, we are not under normal circumstances now and the chances of the property market being abuzz at this time may be slim.
The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted what was supposedly poised to be a great year for the real estate industry and has caused several changes in the way things are normally done.
It’s Springtime, the Best Season to Buy and Sell, or is it Still?
Normally, around this time, those who are seriously considering having their properties listed would have already started making certain home improvements and updates. A lot of people would have already started making plans for spring cleaning, preparing the house for repaints, or making some calls for concrete repair. Since springtime is the season when the property market is at its strongest, sellers take this time to go all out in preparing their homes hoping to get a great deal on it. After all, this is the season when most real estate professionals say that “when the sun is out, the buyers are about.”
However, because of what we saw in 2020, a lot of potential sellers, and even buyers, are approaching this season with extra caution. It’s not because the industry was a total disaster in 2020. Far from it. In fact, although the market plummeted for a couple of months following the start of the pandemic, it has steadily recovered and surprisingly ended up in a pretty good spot considering the global health and economic crises we’re in.
It’s a Seller’s Market
There was an unexpected boom in the real estate industry in 2020 amid the pandemic. This is due largely to several factors, the first of which is the increase in the number of buyers. 2020 was a seller’s market and 2021 looks to be a repeat of it. For instance, millennials who failed to get on board the first-time homebuyers train a couple of years ago who were renting apartments found themselves wanting a bigger space. It totally makes sense since people experienced cabin fever and became claustrophobic when we were all sent back to our homes when the pandemic started.
They wanted to have a bigger space to move around in if they were to spend their days locked up at home. They started looking for gardens and backyards, wanted their patios and decks, and felt the need to move away from densely-populated areas and into the suburbs where it’s quieter and more peaceful. Since work is no longer a big concern thanks to work-from-home arrangements, they now had the freedom to move where they want as long as they can afford it.
This leads us to our second contributor to the surprise property market boom: lower mortgage rates. Sure, the prices on several properties skyrocketed because of the law of supply and demand. Being in a seller’s market meant that there is an overabundance of buyers in contrast to a limited supply of listings. However, despite the property price increase, mortgage rates have hit some of their lowest rates in recent history and are expected to remain low for quite some time. Even if they go up, it will still be very affordable for the regular Joe.
When is the Best Time for Real Estate This Year?
Now having said that, how will all of these factor into the real estate industry’s status in 2021? Will we go back to springtime as the industry’s peak season or are we going to see another variation of the 2020 market this year?
Springtime was considered to be the best time of the year to sell and buy property because football season is done, lawns and gardens look fabulous, and sellers believe that this is the time that buyers come out to play.
But just like any other market, trends vary depending on certain circumstances (such as COVID-19) and the development around these circumstances (like economy reopenings and vaccine distribution and administration). As such, industry experts cannot give an accurate forecast because we’re navigating uncharted territory. There is no existing playbook for something like this. We’re literally writing the playbook as we go along.
For sellers and buyers, this means that at this time, there is no best or worst time to have a property listed or to buy one. You will have to play this one by ear.
Give careful thought to your situation and do your research first before coming to a decision. There are some things that you need to know if you’re considering listing your property at this time or if you’re looking to buy one. Don’t be reckless.
As long as you’re armed with enough accurate data and information, you have enough money for the downpayment and incidental expenses, and you have a stable source of income to pay for monthly mortgages, then you’re in a much better place compared to others.