Are you planning to buy your first or an additional property this year? Or perhaps you already own one or more and just like keeping an eye on the market and new developments in real estate?
Either way, it pays to watch trends so you understand how pricing and other factors develop over time. Here are some top trends this year worth knowing.
Stock is Limited
It may not be what you expect to hear, but the reality is that real estate inventory is low right now. In recent months there hasn’t been the required number of houses for sale around the country to meet buyer demand. If you’re keen to purchase a property this year or next, you’ll need to move quickly as the best stock will get pounced on.
Get clear on what you’re looking for and where, so you don’t waste time umming and ahhing if a home comes up that could be a match for your criteria. You may need to sacrifice some “nice-to-haves” for your top “must-haves,” too, or potentially buy an older, smaller, or more rundown home in the neighborhood you prefer and renovate it. Alternatively, think about expanding your search range into other, less popular neighborhoods.
To deal with limited property supply, it’s also wise to get pre-approved for a mortgage ASAP before you begin looking at places. This way, you won’t lose out on properties because you don’t have a loan ready to go, and others do. Research mortgage options and compare prices and terms and conditions carefully. Search online for potential lenders to investigate in your region, such as “mortgage brokers, Charlottesville, VA” or “home loans Las Vegas,” etc.
Low Mortgage Rates Remain
Another key trend is that mortgage rates are staying very low. This means it’s an excellent time to get a mortgage from a quality lender or to refinance, as needed. Affordability is better, and you might find now is the perfect time to finally get on the property ladder.
However, make sure you really are ready for the commitment of buying a property and can afford to do so since low rates aren’t enough by themselves to take that step. Remember all the other expenses that come with owning a property on top of the mortgage, such as insurance, maintenance, repairs, and upgrades. No matter how low the mortgage rates are, if you can’t afford to own a home, it’s not the right time to buy.
Online Real Estate is a Growing Area
These days, with technology being so prevalent in all areas of our lives and consistently improving, it’s no wonder that tech is used more and more in the field of real estate, too. In particular, online real estate services are rising, and we’re now seeing more online real estate services crop up around the country. This made it one of the real estate trends you can no longer ignore in the field of home for sale. Not only are there numerous sites where you can list or browse homes for sale online, but there are more property services that offer to buy and sell homes for customers via online platforms.
For example, third-party buyers help those who don’t have the time, energy, or knowledge to handle real estate transactions. They get information from clients about properties they want to sell, then upgrade the homes and handle all the processing elements such as repairs, renovations, inspections, and home showings, charging a commission from the sales costs for doing so.
Also, there’s growth in the virtual agent service, where traditional real estate agent commissions are cut by taking processes online. Customers receive partial services that are like working with an in-person agent, but for a much lower cost (and to a much lower degree, too, of course). Many people who don’t want to pay the typical commissions but don’t feel comfortable selling their own properties go down this path.
Technology is having an impact when it comes to property transaction closings, too. Today, it’s simple to handle many document-based jobs digitally, such as via online notarization and electronic signatures. As a result, more and more people are using online options to streamline processes.
Creative Purchasing Options are Becoming Popular
If you don’t have the usual deposit amount saved up to purchase a property, you might be interested in the growth in the use of creative purchasing options. For example, rent-to-own is becoming more mainstream. This involves people agreeing to rent a home for a specific period before becoming its owner.
Also, some mortgage lenders now allow borrowers to take out a personal loan to fund a down payment on a property. However, this can be a hazardous buying option and can lead to customers paying ridiculous amounts of money in interest and fees, so it’s best avoided where possible.
Another notable real estate trend in 2021 is that people are increasingly moving away from the cities and general high-tax areas, so their money goes further. Plus, there’s surging demand for real estate from millennials, who are at the age where they’re starting to settle down, create families, and nest. Whether all or some of the above trends apply to you right now, keeping abreast of the market is sure to help.