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Real Estate In the Time of Covid: December 2020; 2020 Recap; and What Now?

Blog by Patricia Houlihan - Personal Real Estate Corporation | January 6th, 2021

Well 2020 is over and I have to say I am not sure why people are so excited. We still have Covid; numbers are still not good; sadly people are still dying.... so 2021 has hope but so far it doesn't seem a lot better than 2020!

On the real estate front, there have been a lot of predictions about what 2021 will hold for the market. Most of the "reputable" sources seem to think that we could see a significant decline in both sales activity AND prices over the next year or so (please see past articles for details). For now, the market has continued to be very strong.

December is normally the quietest month of the year; however it was far from quiet this year. Some numbers:

-sales of all types of homes were up a whopping 53.4% over December 2019

-sales of detached homes were up 71% over December 2019 (that's crazy!)

-sales were up 0.9% over November 2020 (this lower number makes sense given how strong November was)

-sales were up 57.7% over the 10 year average AND December 2020 had the HIGHEST SALES FOR DECEMBER ON RECORD

-the benchmark price for detached homes was up 10% over December 2019; for attached homes the increase was just under 5%  

For now, the market continues to be very strong.  
Looking at the year as a whole, the numbers for 2020 show that, even though there were 6 weeks of almost no activity, the year ended very strong. This was due to the extreme activity seen in some months, with an increasingly stronger market every month from May to December.  
The sales volume for 2020 was however, down 2.8% from the 10 year average-understandable when the traditionally busiest months of the year were hit hard by Covid.  

The key question now is, what can we expect for 2021? 

We still have insanely low interest rates and pent up demand. Not a week goes by where an agent doesn't call me to ask if I have "anything coming up". There are many buyers out there and almost nothing for sale. This suggests that, at least for the time being, it will continue to be a VERY strong sellers' market.  Having said that, obviously the longer the economy is not firing on all cylinders, and people remain out of work or not fully employed, the more likely we are to see impacts in the real estate market. Many people who are "thinking" of selling over the next few years have moved their timelines up to ensure they don't miss this historically amazing market for sellers. As most people know, by the time we know the market is taking a turn for the worst, it is too late!

If you would like to discuss the current market (or anticipated future market) and how it may affect you, please let me know.
Stay healthy!