The state of local real estate
By James Hanlon
Leader Staff Writer
It might be midwinter, but the housing market is hot, hot, hot. “It’s definitely a seller’s market,” said Andrea DeGasperis, a real estate agent with Real Living Kee Realty in Oxford. “Sellers are getting multiple offers right now and buyers are fighting.”
Homes are averaging 35 days on the market, which is 22 percent lower than last year. “This time of year, we see houses sit on the market a little longer, just because of the weather. But the stats are showing that doesn’t matter this year. They’re still selling.”
DeGasperis sold her own house in Oxford in November. “We were on the market for three days with multiple offers.”
Like all other industries, realtors had to adapt to the pandemic. DeGasperis and her colleagues set up virtual showings over Zoom, as well as interactive walkthroughs where potential buyers could take a self-guided tour through a home by clicking through arrows and exploring 360 degree views. “It was like they were walking through the home, just on the computer.”
Properties are selling fast because inventories are low. In Oxford, inventories are down 36.4% from last year. In Addison Township, they’re down 43.4%. At the same time, sales prices are up 5.6% in Oxford and 9.6% in Addison.
New developments are still happening, but the cost of lumber shot up last year, which contributed to higher construction costs and higher prices for new homes.
On the other hand, interest rates are low too, so that gives borrowers a lot of buying power. It’s uncertain if this trend will continue through 2021.
Last year, then-U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order putting a moratorium on housing foreclosures and evictions through the end of 2020. One of U.S. President Joe Biden’s first initiatives was to extend that through the end of March 2021.
“Once the banks start releasing the foreclosures, I’m hoping the market is not flooded with foreclosures, but it’s definitely going to change the market.”
DeGasperis’ advice is, “If you are thinking of selling, I would do it now. I have told people, my clients that are waffling whether they want to put their house on the market right now because it is winter, you’re going to get the highest money right now because our inventory is so low.”
And for buyers, “take advantage of those low interest rates before those start going up.”