Last year was one of the wildest rides in recent memory for the real estate industry. For realtors representing their buyers, 2021 was one long, mad scramble to help clients buy their home, with realtors representing sellers facing challenges of their own.
The perseverance and patience of buyers’ agents was deeply tested throughout the year. With home inventory shortages stacking the odds in favor of the sellers, winning calls for highest and best offers could be quite discouraging.
On the financing end of things, buyers were rushing to prequalify for letters of pre-approval so that they were able to take advantage of the ultra-low mortgage rates. According to the National Association of Realtors, home sales were up 8.5 percent in 2021 in comparison to 2020. Existing home sales ended 2021 with a bang, reaching their highest point since 2006.
Although the scales were tipped in favor of seller’s agents, the market was not for the faint of heart. Open houses faced ever-evolving COVID protocols while demand was fueling the best sign in turnouts in decades. Serving snacks and beverages became a compliance nightmare. As lockdowns came and went, agents were forced to come up with a ways of touring homes without intruding on the health and safety of those inhabiting the properties. Most agents adapted by showings via video or virtual tours. Be sure to express any health concerns to your agent before listing your home, so that they can provide proper accommodations from the get-go.
When trying to predict what 2022 has in store for the industry, it is important to consider the following five key indicators in your area of interest.
Home Prices: On average, the median existing-home sales price was up 15.8 percent in December 2021 vs December 2020, with similar findings in other states. Every major region of the United States reported gains, with the warmer South leading the pack.
Inventory: Total available inventory of housing reached an all-time low in December 2021. This type of gap reversal is predicted to take years to correct.
Days on the Market: On average, homes were lasting less than one month on the market. The December average for 2021 was 19 days.
First Time Home Buyers: Roughly 30 percent of the sales in 2021 went to first-time home buyers.
Investors and Second Home Buyers: The majority of these types of transactions are typically cash deals. Investors and second-home buyers saw a 3 percent increase from December 2020 to 2021.
Last year was a crazy rollercoaster rider for all parties involved, including home inspectors, land surveyors and attorneys, to name a few. What 2022 and beyond will bring us is still in the cards for us to play out!
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