2020 had a ton of highs and lows. In real estate it went from 0 to 100 in no time after the stoppages of COVID-19. The year started as normal and as the virus dampened things, people started to realize that the homes they were living in were not quite fit for them as they once thought they once were. Overall, we had a great year in the real estate market in Western PA as the home sales went to high levels and the interest rates dipped to the lowest seen!
We are spending much more time in our homes; some of us now working and attending school from the place we once came to escape the stress of it all. As we are venturing out less often, we are gaining a new understanding of what we want and need in our homes. Many of us have looked for more space in our own dwellings to have a home office, a gym, a play room, or just some extra living space. These features became more prevalent with the loss of the outside facilities that used to meet the needs of our activities and many homeowners turned to the housing market. This lead to an influx of new buyers looking for larger homes and a limited number of properties to sell, creating bidding wars and a sellers market.
Homeowners saw this as an opportunity to upgrade, and many spent quarantine updating and fixing their homes to prepare for the market, in hopes of gaining equity. With the rates being at historic lows, it allowed families in PA an opportunity to upgrade to a new home without greatly increasing their mortgage payments.
The average sales price for a home in the region is up 17% to $227,000, and I believe that price increase is permanent. Now on the other hand, our home prices are still better than most as I have talked to agents in Florida, West Virginia, and North Carolina. Most of those places are seeing prices that are highly over the value of the home. It makes those areas very desirable places to live but difficult to know if the value will hold over time. Pittsburgh still shows these homes to be at Market Value giving us some top values in the country!
New houses are coming on to the market and selling within days. Of the homes I listed and sold in January, 2 of them were under contract within 2 days. I expect the housing market to remain consistent through this new year as the lenders seem to think there is no change in interest rates coming anytime soon and because of the lack of listings in our current inventory, they will continue to move quickly.
Look to the future and know that we are in some of the best of times to buy or sell in our Pittsburgh Market. Mortgage rates are still near all-time lows, and I’d love to help your family love your home again. Let me help you start this process no matter where you stand. If you’re interested in getting your home listed on the market, I am happy to provide a free and instant home value estimate report for you. By working with reputable lenders, I can get you pre-approved at the best rate, so we can upgrade your home into something that more suits your needs or so you can refinance; making the improvements you’ve been dreaming about. If you aren’t ready to take that leap just yet, please reach out to me and I can educate you on the market in the area you are looking in and give you advice on the timeline for buying and selling as it changes frequently.
I know more than anyone that it matters who you work with and with so many realtors out there, it can be hard to know who to choose. As Pittsburgh’s Hardest Working Realtor, my goal is to make buying and selling your house as easy on you as possible while keeping you informed through the entire process. Please consider me to help you navigate your real estate needs in 2021 and let me help you love your home again!
Best Wishes and Happy New Year!