With stay-at-home orders starting to gradually lift across Michigan, data indicates homebuyers in the Traverse City area and beyond are jumping back into the market. After many families put their plans on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, what we once called the busy spring real estate season is shifting into the summer. In 2020, summer is the new spring for real estate. We are seeing this to be true in our all-important tourism seasons here in the Great Lakes state, and real estate seems to be following suit.
Joel Kan, Economist at The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) notes:
“Applications for home purchases continue to recover from April’s sizable drop and have now increased for five consecutive weeks…Government purchase applications, which include FHA, VA, and USDA loans, are now 5 percent higher than a year ago, which is an encouraging turnaround after the weakness seen over the past two months.”
This national data is mirrored by much of the data we see here locally. According to the Traverse Area Association of Realtors, 52% of the homes listed in April and May have already sold, suggesting that demand is bouncing back in a big way.
Additionally, according to Google Trends, which scores search terms online, searches for real estate increased from 68 points the week of March 15th to 92 points last week. As we can see, more potential homebuyers are looking for homes virtually. The Brick & Corbett team has fully embraced virtual showing options, and has an entire protocol in place should that be something our clients are more comfortable with.
What’s the Opportunity for Buyers?
Another reason buyers are coming back to the market, even with forced unemployment and stay-at-home orders, is historically low mortgage rates. Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac indicates:
“For the fourth consecutive week, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has been below 3.30 percent, giving potential buyers a good reason to continue shopping even amid the pandemic…As states reopen, we’re seeing purchase demand improve remarkably fast, now essentially flat relative to a year ago.”
With mortgage rates at such low levels and states gradually beginning to reopen, there’s more incentive than ever to buy a home this summer.
What’s the Opportunity for Sellers?
Finding a home to buy, however, is still a challenge, as this spring sellers removed many listings from the market. Though more people are now putting their houses up for sale this month as compared to last month, current inventory is still well below last year’s level.
According to last week’s Weekly Economic and Housing Market Update from Realtor.com:
“Weekly Housing Inventory showed continued tightening. New Listings declined 28% compared with a year ago, as sellers grappled with uncertainty and hesitated bringing homes to market. Total Listings dropped 20% YoY, a faster rate than in prior weeks, leaving very few homes available for sale. As Time on Market was 15 days slower YoY, asking prices moved up 1.5% YoY.”
These numbers are further supported by more data from the Traverse Area Association of Realtors. According to TAAR, the list-to-sale ratio for April and May 2020 is just .04% lower than it was for April and May 2020, suggesting that offers haven’t turned into lowballs, and buyers are making reasonable, considered offers on properties despite the economic uncertainty in our country.
If you’re thinking of selling your house this summer, now may be your best opportunity. With so few homes on the market for buyers to purchase, this season may be the time for your house to stand out from the crowd. Trusted real estate professionals from the Brick & Corbett team can help you list safely and effectively, keeping your family’s needs top of mind. Buyers are looking, and your house may be at the top of their list.
Just in case you’re worried you’re the only one considering this, you are definitely not alone. During the period of Monday, May 25th to Friday, May 29th, there, were 76 new listings and 111 properties pending sale.
If you’re thinking of selling, many buyers may be eager to find a home just like yours. Let’s connect today to make sure you can get your house in on the action this summer.