What On Earth Is Happening With Home Sales?

The real estate market has been a bit weird pretty much since the turn of the century, with rampant condo conversions and subprime mortgages, the Great Recession, investment companies buying up properties to rent out, migrations out of expensive states, and now the pandemic. That being said, the market is likely going through its weirdest phase yet.

There's little new housing supply being built and many people are no longer tied to a particular location for work, which themselves can cause a housing crunch. But there's something else driving the current rush for purchased (as opposed to rental) housing. Not only are people seeking out homes in other cities and states, but they're also moving away from areas where they may have already owned homes or may even be looking in the same city despite already owning a home there. It can't just be the drive to finally get a house or live in an area normally reserved for vacations. So what other factors are driving the current housing madness?

Getting to Know the Neighbors

Anyone who started working from home before the pandemic was already familiar with the unpleasant surprise of finding out that their neighbor liked to play an amplified electric guitar during the day or blast a stereo with doors and windows open. With many more people working from home during the past several months, a lot of people are finding out that their neighborhoods aren't as quiet as they want; others are finding out the opposite, where they want to play music while they work but are being shushed by neighbors used to quiet days. Then there are actual musicians trying to practice from home, and even unamplified instruments can make quite a racket. People are moving to other neighborhoods in search of a better fit.

Work-From-Home and Life Balance

Others need more space. A small home may not be big enough to accommodate a two-income family where both workers now work from home. It can be difficult to set up your desk in your bedroom and have both your work and sleep environment be exactly the same; there may not be enough room, either. And constantly switching spaces can be disruptive. People are seeking out houses with enough rooms to have home offices and remote class space.

Remote and Back Again

This dash for housing may continue for some time. Companies that allowed people to work remotely for an indefinite time could change their minds and call people back, for example, or there could be a split schedule that sees workers dividing their weeks between locations. And no one knows what will happen with the housing supply; it could increase or continue to fall behind demand.

Because it's so difficult to predict what will happen, and because housing markets are becoming so tight, it's helpful to work with a realty company to get better chances of finding a house that you like. With access to many listings and the knowledge needed to make deals without sacrificing home quality or safety, a Realtor can help you glide through the normally rough waters of home buying.