As Realtors, the most frequently asked question of us in both professional and personal settings is, “How is the market?” Here in the DC Metro area, the answer for the last two years has been HOT. Inventory has been slim for many years in our area, but a combination of the Amazon HQ2 announcement and life during Covid has had even bigger impacts on the real estate market resulting in low inventory. During Covid, many sellers who were immuno-compromised didn’t want to put their homes on the market for fear of exposure to the virus. This was especially true of many sellers who would traditionally be downsizing. At the same time, many move-up buyers were in the market for larger homes that those sellers would typically have been vacating, causing a pent-up demand especially in the single family market between $800,000 – $2,000,000.
As we emerge from the worst of Covid, how will the market fare in the second half of 2021? As of this writing in mid-July, the market continues to be hot in many price points and neighborhoods, but we are seeing an uptick in inventory. Why? We believe it’s for a combination of reasons. First, many people who have been waiting for the worst of Covid to be over to sell are putting their homes on the market. Second, there has been a pent-up demand for travel, and buyer clients have been out of town for good stretches of the summer months.
While the summer market has been busier than usual, we anticipate the second half of the summer to be more like a typical quiet summer market. People in general now have more escapes and their attention is not as fully focused on the deficiencies in their homes. With summer soon ending and kids heading back to school, we anticipate the market to pick up like it would in a normal real estate market that experiences a slower summer and a solid fall market from September through November. As our area returns to a more normal way of life post-pandemic, so will the real estate market.
What does this mean for buyers and sellers? For buyers, summer is a great time to buy!! We are seeing less competition which means the possibility of keeping in contingencies and not escalating in price – unheard of just a couple of months ago. Of course, the market is still a seller’s market as it has been for the last several years in our area and quite frankly, we anticipate it to be for quite some time, so there will always still be competition in certain neighborhoods and price points. For sellers, as noted above, it is still a great time to sell. Sellers who are pricing their homes strategically and preparing their homes properly are seeing great results. It is more important than ever right now not to push the market on price. If you price correctly, we are seeing escalations. But if you miss the mark and the price is too high, buyers are moving on. We are back to a regular seller’s market where price and presentation are important and if you do those things correctly, you will still see great results on your bottom line on the sale.
All real estate is local. So what is true in one neighborhood or price point may not be true in another. If you would like advice on when the right time might be to buy or sell for your situation, please contact us. We would be happy to chat with you about your needs and layout a plan for you to move into the next stage of your life.