Market Update – Real Estate remains strong despite the pandemic

It is interesting to see the actual numbers. Overall unemployment is still extremely high as businesses shutter their doors, yet real estate prices are still rising, even during the uncertainty.

Why?

The Charlotte and North Carolina markets in general have been strong for years because of tax incentives for businesses to move here and a lower cost of living. Not to mention, this place has it all: beaches, mountains, cities, lakes, land, trees, big time sports, weather….need I say more? Despite the long term attraction to our incredible state, today there are several new factors at play.

As people in large cities in the northeast exit in droves, many are heading south. The numbers are so large that Florida even has roadblocks at the border to check people for the virus. Investors from those northern cities are buying properties in North Carolina sight unseen (I find this phrase to be an oxymoron, shouldn’t it be site unseen? It isn’t). The numbers just work. Prices in Charlotte are low enough that they can afford to purchase 2-3 properties here for the price of 1 in NY/NJ. Given the rate at which Charlotte has appreciated (averaged about 16% for the last few years), the investors feel confident their investment will continue to climb at a good clip. This year Charlotte even overtook San Francisco as the 15th most populous city in the United States.

Queen City at night

Still, despite being a desirable place to live, fear of the market is another factor driving up prices.

Seller’s just can’t seem to see that homes are selling like hotcakes here – especially in the below $500,000 market. Multiple offers above list, homes are selling quickly. The media narrative about the economy is a bird’s eye view, not at a detailed level, so the facts about the state of real estate are hidden.

It is a fantastic time to sell if you are in a move up market. You will likely enjoy a quick sale, at a good price. This high sales price you are likely to fetch combined with low interest rates creates awesome buying power. This is an incredible opportunity for those looking to upgrade. Timing wise, May and June are the best months to sell because people want to be settled for school. Another factor helping sellers currently is the bank forbearance policy – giving owners a brief reprieve from their mortgage obligations. It is possible that once this grace period ends, (and it’s not really a grace period, it’s just a delay– see my post here: (https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/carolinahome.blog/107), many owners will suddenly be faced with payments larger than they can afford. This could lead to a flood of homes on the market. While the current low inventory is driving up competition for homes and therefore prices, once the market floods with homes at the end of the forbearance period, a larger supply could temporarily suppress the rising prices. Supply and demand definitely play a huge role on pricing.

The net of all of this… if you have given selling some thought but are worried about this market, call your trusted real estate advisor. Have them do a real estate review for you and learn if your house is in this super sweet spot . Don’t miss this potential window of opportunity.

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