Many individuals frequently (or at least occasionally) have “things to do, places to go, and people to see.” Most people are still busy, however there are fewer places to go and fewer people to actually see, unless you count FaceTime and Zoom meetings. We now spend a lot more time living and/or working from home, a scenario which has created new dynamics that may likely outlast the current pandemic. In some ways we have come to appreciate and enjoy these lifestyle modifications. These changes have affected how and where we work, interactions with our children and parents, the importance placed on outdoor spaces, our cooking habits … even pet adoptions have increased nearly 70 percent this year!
It is no wonder that 2020 was a banner year for home selling and buying (even during the pandemic), and all indications are that 2021 may well deliver strikingly similar results. This housing demand is based on changing consumer needs and desires, fueled by wanting to lock in low mortgage rates and taking advantage of newfound freedom to work more from home. These wants and needs continue to defy seasonal market norms, pretty much usurping the actual weather as the barometer of a new season.
Since May, anywhere from 20% to 44% of Denver-area homes traded slightly above the list price, more than doubling the percentage from a year ago, according to Zillow. The national average was about 22%. Competition is steepest in the lower-to-mid price ranges (under $750,000), but multiple offers also take place in newly listed luxury home price points. Remember, not all homes sell right away, meaning if priced incorrectly (location, condition, competition), buyers found good situations by locating homes remaining on the market for weeks or months. Another excellent illustration of buyer demand stems from Google home searches for “process of buying a home,” an increase of 950% this year, which suggests buyers are working to be financially prepared, as demonstrated by another search: “Minimum credit score to buy a house.”
From time to time, I talk about the vacation/second-home market, especially in the Colorado mountain communities. Many readers are curious, if not genuinely interested, in these areas, and accordingly these areas have experienced increased demand. Coloradans and buyers from coast to coast have been discovering the benefits of both winter activities and the appealing benefits of year-round recreational opportunities. This is also why LIV Sotheby’s International Realty is intimately knowledgeable about these areas and has opened active real estate offices in most resort areas across Colorado.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) follows 200 counties across the United States identified as vacation home counties. NAR consistently gathers pertinent information that is worth sharing:
For local homeowners considering a new home (and what a fabulous time to sell), it’s imperative to consider three fundamental elements that influence a successful sale:
All three aspects should be given the same consideration. The majority of today’s buyers desire “move-in ready” homes and are willing to pay a premium. The process of buying a home starts on the internet about 97% of the time, meaning great photos are essential, much like online dating, since buyers give a listing maybe 7-10 seconds before swiping left. If the property isn’t updated or doesn’t show well, there will still be buyers, but at lower price.
Pricing is obviously critical, no matter how well a home may show. If listed too high, it will become stale and sell for less than if priced correctly. And the broker you select to represent your interests and market your home is crucial!
Disruptions in one market usually create opportunities in other markets. One shift that has some staying power is that buyers are moving from large, expensive, coastal cities like New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. NAR projects cities that will benefit from this change include Portland, Austin, Charlotte and Denver.
Inspired to make a desired move? Contact LIV Sotheby’s International Realty by calling 303.893.3200 or visiting livsothebysrealty.com.