Monday Market Update July 20,2020

Today is July 19th, 2020 and I'm here to tell you a little bit about what's going on in the real estate market here in Westchester County.

Well, we certainly know that the pandemic has made people question are they happy with where they're living? And if not, what would be the ideal home for them? And they are out on the prowl.

If you haven't been seeing headlines, let me fill you in on a few-- Second Home markets are strong across the United States and we have seen a huge increase in the number of pendings from the month of May and June.

In fact for the month of May the number of homes in pending jumped 44 percent which was the highest percentage jump in 20 years. Here is a chart for Westchester County's pending sales over the past three years. You can see the huge dip from coronavirus and the v-shaped upward spike, much like the national Trend.

We are seeing records in so many different housing categories--- one being of course increase in pending sales, and also mortgage rates. This week mortgage rates hit a 50 year low for the 30-year rate --under 3% and economists are predicting that number might continue for quite some time, which would be really exciting for the housing market.

So all of that sounds great except inventory is also at historical lows. Because of the coronavirus, home builders weren't able to build at the rate that they need to be building to meet the current demand for housing and their costs have gone up. Plus buyers out there are snapping up existing inventory, (inventory that had been on the market for a while), as well as anything new that's hitting the market.

With the low inventory, that creates a challenging market for both buyers and sellers. So if you're a buyer, how do you deal with this market? You need to be pre-approved for sure, especially with the coronavirus.

We see more than ever that sellers are requiring buyers to provide a pre-approval before coming into their home. So that's a priority and having that pre-approval is great. It lasts 90 days before it needs to be renewed. If you're thinking about buying a house, don't go out and make any major purchases right now until after the closing of your new home because that can also affect your mortgage or getting a mortgage.

Another thing buyers should know right now that is you need to be ready to act fast. Know the market-- spend your time online --check out all the houses in the areas that you're considering.  If you haven't narrowed it down yet, it's a great time to meet with a real estate agent, take a tour of some of the communities and figure out what kind of lifestyle you're looking for.

If you're a seller, this is a great time to sell! Inventory is low and buyers are out there. We know that according to Redfin last month 50% of all offers that were submitted by Redfin agents were in multiple bids, and we certainly are seeing that here in Westchester County.

This is a great time to give a call to your local agent to find out how the value of your home might have changed during Coronavirus-- the markets have definitely picked up and the values have changed over the last several months.

So finding that out will be really important.

And then you're going to need to get your home prepared. I always tell my sellers that preparing your home for sale for sale is similar to preparing for a paint job. The better you do the taping and the prepping for a paint job. The easier it is to paint and then the ultimate product looks fantastic.

It's the same with selling your home-- that presale prep --getting that done ahead of time, putting in the time of cleaning the closets, painting what needs to be touched up, you know doing some staging, all of that pays off in droves immediately when you put that house on the market. As you know, buyers are finding their homes online and the homes that pop in the photos are the ones that they're going to going to want to see. Working with an agent who's great at staging and preparing a home is going to be very important.

Then finally, as a seller you need to be realistic that if you're selling in a seller's market, it's going to be tough to find a new spot to move to. That is a challenge, and that is one of the reasons why inventory is down the way it is. If you're prepared to do some temporary housing until you find your next spot, that would be great. There are a lot of rental opportunities out there as well.

So if you're prepared for all of that, it's a great time to sell-- put your house on the market and take advantage of what's going on.

So to sum it up, we are at a very interesting time to be in real estate, especially in the Westchester markets with all of the historical benchmarks that we are reaching right now with the mortgage rates, inventory levels, and increased pending home sales.

It's a challenge for both buyers and sellers.

So I'm happy to discuss any questions you might have on these issues or help you navigate through these complicated waters.

Let me know how I can help!

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