“What’s happening in the market?” This is a question I often get. The truth is, I am not 100% certain. The area in which I work, predominately Boulder County Colorado, has always been in high demand. Even with the crash much of the country saw in 2008, Boulder saw a little blip, then rebounded and stabilized. Then, as we headed into 2012, prices started climbing exponentially, and for the most part, have not stopped. Sure, we see the ebb and flow of the seasons, and things flatten out a bit, but overall, the value of homes in this area have been, and remain, a solid investment.
Enter 2019, then roll into 2020, a worldwide pandemic, and a sudden need for more work / live space at home. In 2019 we were already feeling the pinch of low inventory and high demand. Sellers thought about selling, but were concerned that they would not be able to find a replacement home so they stayed put. We were seeing a lot of remodeling, as homeowners decided to improve upon what they already had vs. looking for something new, and so the inventory shortage was born. 2020 marches in, and families found themselves having to pivot and work from home and homeschool their school age children; their homes went from being a place where family lived, to a place where family worked, learned, lived and played; it was a LOT of togetherness! With restrictions in place, and outings limited, having a backyard, and some private / safe space to call your own was suddenly a desired commodity, and we saw a flood of interest in the suburbs. The once desirable urban living was waning and the demand for more single-family housing rose quickly; so quickly that the demand was impossible to keep up with. This demand further tightened inventory, and drove prices through the roof. We saw rents rise as well, driving even more demand into the market from those that were renting, to try to find a place of their own to purchase.
For homeowners that were in a position to sell during this time life was sweet! They could basically name their price (within reason) and the offers would flood in, often exceeding the list price by $50k - $100k or more. Buyer agents were crafting purchase contracts stating that their buyers would not make any requests of the seller to make repairs, and offering to cover the cost difference between the list price and the purchase price should the buyer’s appraisal come in light. As a buyer’s agent, we were expected to get creative, while still working within our legal limits, and giving our buyers sound advice. The stress of the past 18 months has driven many agents out of the business. Buyer and agent burnout has been high, and after spending countless hours looking at homes, often dropping everything to accommodate our buyer and meet a tight offer deadline set by the seller, writing numerous offers, and trying to hold it all together while supporting our buyers, who were feeling defeated and frustrated, our buyers often turned to signing a lease and renting “until the market cooled off” – who could blame them? It was brutal and heartbreaking both for home buyers and agents alike.
Ironically, it was not easy to be a listing agent either. Seller expectations were often unrealistic, placing undue demand on their agent. Even the most professional and kind buyer agents were understandably tired and cranky, and would react out of character when the seller would elect to accept an offer before the offer deadline. As the listing agent, you would often be the target of that frustration when you had to make the call that the listing was no longer available. Then there was the buyer fallout to deal with; buyers feeling desperate would make fantastical offers, then once accepted would have remorse and sometimes find a reason to terminate, frustrating agents and sellers alike.
Everyone was tired. Everyone was burnt out.
But, back to the original question; “How is the market?” I do believe that there is light on the horizon! As it always does, I believe that the market is starting to correct itself.
I am seeing homes sit on the market for a week or more (in a healthy market, 90 days is not unusual). I am seeing price reductions. Instead of 15 – 20 offers on a single listing, I am seeing 1, maybe 2 or 3. Things are starting to normalize.
This is excellent news for buyers! I would not go so far as to say it’s becoming a buyer’s market…I think we are a long way from that, and buyer’s need to be mindful that they still have to submit a competitive offer in order to be considered. However, finding a home, and having your offer accepted, is more a reality now than it has been in the past 18 months!
Although sellers are not rejoicing quite as much, I do see this as a good thing for sellers as well; less fall through transactions / more authentic offers, less adversarial and more cooperative transactions, and more opportunity to find a replacement home.
I do believe that we are heading towards a more stable, healthy, real estate market.
If you have been on the fence, or renting because you were not in a position to be competitive, now may be the right time for you to revisit homeownership!
If you were thinking about selling, but had concerns about your ability to find a replacement home, now may be the time to revisit your dreams!
I would love to help you strategize reaching your goals! The market correction is a good thing for everyone! Please reach out to me if I can be of any assistance.