2020 a year of rapid change, new housing market records

By KRISTI BAILEY

In a couple of weeks, we can close the books on the 2020 housing market. Sales and price appreciation are at an all-time high, according to November’s Home Sales Report. 

Here is what those numbers look like:

  • November’s sales posted another double-digit increase.
  • So far this year, a little over 8,000 existing home sales have closed. That 11-month total eclipses all other annual totals.
  • Sales prices have made handsome increases. This year, the average sales price is almost 11% higher than the first 11-months of last year. The median sales price – which is less vulnerable to high-end deals or below market sales skewing the average sales price – is up a little more than 10%.
  • Only three years have passed since residential sales volume went above a billion dollars for the first time. Now the 11-month total is knocking on the door of $2 billion.
  • The inventory of homes on the market is at an all-time low, and so are mortgage rates and the number of days a listing is on the market before selling.

While these numbers are significant, some fundamentals of real estate have also changed. We learned to pivot to keep our essential services moving. We learned to work from home, just like millions of other workers.  In fact, the home office – or space that can double as a home classroom – has woven its way onto the “must-have” list of buyers.  It was not that long ago that condensed living spaces and smaller homes were high on buyers’ want list.  Fast-forward to today’s market and the cabin fever effect; it seems everyone wants more elbow room.

Some slow-moving trends accelerated out of necessity. For example, aerial listing photography and virtual walkthroughs were moved from “new things” to staples for listings.  Sight unseen purchases are increasing.

REALTORS® made changes to keep the housing market thriving.  The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), with state and local associations’ support, moved quickly to teach and advise agents new best practices. At the same time, they used their communications expertise to inspire confidence by explaining to consumers what REALTORS® were doing to ensure the housing market remained a safe, viable, and necessary industry.  Real estate is a constantly evolving industry, and local REALTORS® are on the edge of that dynamic.

NETAR is the voice for real estate in Northeast Tennessee. It’s the largest trade association in Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia region representing over 1,400 members and 100 affiliates involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. The association’s monthly Pending Sales Report, Home Sales Report, Commercial Real Estate Transactions Report, and more on the NETAR website at www.netar.us

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