Written by Riezl Baker, Luxury Lake Oconee Real Estate Group
To say that 2020 has been an unprecedented year is an understatement. The pandemic has impacted every industry including real estate in our area where a surge of activity resulted in a record-breaking year with over $892 million in sales volume (per Lake Country Board MLS data)
The key trends we saw this past year were:
- The rise of remote working that fueled a migration from urban areas into our community.
- Bigger is better. Families who were stuck in closed quarters upgraded to larger homes with more room to roam.
- Vacation homes have become primary residences providing the ultimate “staycation.” Pools, outdoor kitchen and amenities became hot trends as the pandemic drove the emphasis to spending quality time together.
- From cabinets to cubicles. Home offices and virtual learning spaces for children have become priorities.
- COVID fueled the rise of multi-generational living and family compounds.
According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, US home prices “are in no danger of declining” in the new year as buyers compete for inventory.
“More companies will allow their employees to work from home and the demand for larger homes will continue,” added Yun. He predicts prices to rise 3% this year following a 6% gain last year.
Here at Lake Oconee, we continue to see sales activity even during these historically slow winter months, with buyers having more time and freedom to continue their search.
There is no crystal ball to tell the future as we learned last year, but if the economic predictions are accurate, how will the market affect buyers and sellers? First, fewer listings and record-low inventory will continue to create a huge advantage for sellers. If you have thought about selling your home or property, now is the time. For a buyer, you must decide fast should you find your dream home or you could find yourself in a bidding war. It is also a good idea to get your financing in order while interest rates remain low.
As real estate continues to evolve, it is important to strategize and work with a realtor who has her finger on the pulse of the market. Knowledge of the inventory and a keen understanding of comparables are invaluable when making big decisions this year. Predictions are pointing to a strong spring selling season as the market remains competitive. If you are selling or buying, I will be glad to sit down (or zoom) to chat.