No matter where you live, the past year and a half have had one reliable theme: ironically enough, change. Some have been welcomed change, while others have been changes we have had to cope with.
Despite a global pandemic in 2020, Americans were on the move. Homeowners were making listings, possibly due to new work, space limitations, or the desire to relocate from communal to independent housing. Potential buyers were scooping up properties faster than homeowners were selling. This trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down either – in 2021, the housing market continues to remain competitive.
Realtors, homeowners, and prospective buyers are doing things they’ve never done before in 2021’s housing market. At TNT Moving Systems, we’re well versed in the housing trends, the effect of the pandemic for buying and moving homes, the top destination cities, and how we can help you with your next move.
2021 Trends in the Housing Market and what’s driving those outcomes?
It’s a been seller’s market for a while
The lack of inventory for housing incomes is no surprise to buyers. At the beginning of 2021, the median home prices were up 10%, the fastest rising pace since 2006. Low mortgage rates and high demands have sellers enjoying the housing market. Sellers are getting multiple offers and heavy outbidding.
While the market is great for sellers, first-time homeowners only benefit from increased home equity (an average of $26,300). It hasn’t been beneficial for affordability, especially since first-time homeowners typically seek houses at the lower end of the market, which is where inventory is the most limited right now.
The average house is going for at least their asking price, if not more – by the thousands. Outbidding is standard and basically expected at the moment if you want to get a house.
Buyers are waiving appraisals and waiving the right to inspect. Buyers are also buying sight unseen, taking on the brunt of repairs, and sticking to the seller’s timeframe.
They might be doing more hands-on activities like writing handwritten letters to neighbors in prospective neighborhoods, and trying to get the scoop on prospective sellers. Lucking out with a Zillow listing is a thing of the (recent) past – buyers are having to act ahead of time and be more than prepared to lose out multiple times as they bid for houses.
On the West Coast, the outbidding and incentives are even more intense. Some buyers are paying up to $100,000 over the asking price, or offering wild incentives like a European vacation or a new car in to score the house of their dreams.
COVID-19 Effects on the Housing Market
Real estate sales were going steady in most areas across the U.S. until March 2020. The pandemic mainly affected the number of new listings and closing sales, seeing a brief drop in April. COVID-19 hasn’t impacted home prices, however; as inventory continues to drop, home prices have continued to rise.
Residents are looking for a change. Many people who used to split their time between work, school, and home have found themselves at home more than ever. People see their homes in a much different light, especially when all residents are home.
Many children and working adults are still remaining at home this year, creating the need for spaces that better define a work-life balance. Some simply have the desire for a change of scenery.
For others, the economy kicking back into high gear has made ample job opportunities across the U.S. Some have turned to more remote work opportunities, providing the ability to work from anywhere, or the opportunity to move to a new city. While there were reports of many working professionals leaving expensive and smaller square footage urban areas for more remote settings during the pandemic, the overall trends still show increasing movements of people flocking to major cities across the U.S.
Supply Chain issues continue to affect housing development
New construction is on a less reliable timeframe now. While it used to take an estimated 6 months to have a new home built, COVID-19 delays and lumber shortages are pushing that number up closer to a year.
What’s the national average price for a house?
The national average price for a house currently stands at $265,312.
Popular Cities to Move to in 2021
Wilmington, North Carolina
Many people cited the lower cost of living as one of their top reasons for moving to Wilmington, NC. The housing market in Wilmington averages at about $265,312, with its state income tax lower than many states, and property taxes about $1,000 lower than the national average. This city is known for its great school system, vibrant film scene, and prime location west of Wrightsville Beach.
Ranked high for the quality of life, a steady job market, college readiness among high school students, commute time, crime, and access to quality health care, Portland is a very desirable city to move to. Portland is Maine’s largest metro area and embraces homegrown and homemade products. Farm-to-table dining is very popular, and the art scene is delightful. The city faces a crossroads on opposition to development, a large demand for affordable housing, and an aging rental and housing stock. The median house price is $310,300.
During the throws of a freezing winter, we’ve all said we’re going to pick up and move to Florida! Well, if you’re dreaming of beach life without the traffic and costs of Miami, then Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida might be the perfect city for you. Florida doesn’t have a state income tax, and the city is cherished for its laid-back vibes and appreciation for the arts. Home prices in Sarasota are up nearly 9%, but if you go farther inland towards the Bradenton area, you can find houses that are about $46,000 cheaper on average.
Spartanburg, South Carolina
In northwestern South Carolina, Spartanburg is attracting new residents with its low cost of living. The median home price is $156,300! Spartanburg’s metro area grew by 7.97% between 2015 and 2019 due to net migration alone. The town is home to the first full-time North American BMW plant and is home to the headquarters of the Denny’s Restaurant. It’s ranked as the #1 Best Place to live in South Carolina, and #12 of the fastest-growing places in the U.S.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Previously known for its strong religious Mormon community, the Salt Lake City of 2021 offers so much more! Situated along the Wasatch Mountains, Salt Lake City has amazing views, and incredible recreational activities basically in your backyard! From five national parks to several world-class ski resorts all within driving distance, Salt Lake City has a lot to offer. It’s also known for its low-unemployment job rate, with an annual salary of around $50,103. The median home price is $458,230.
If you’re looking for work in start-ups and technology, the ability to walk and bring your dogs everywhere, and you’re ready to “Keep Austin Weird”, then Austin, Texas is your city! Downtown Austin was built on a grid, planned that way since 1839. There are a number of large companies headquartered in Austin, but also has large government, education, and health care job sectors as well. Austin has a vibrant and energetic tourism scene, especially for live music. The median home price is $377,693.
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Best known for being the hometown of the Green Bay Packers NFL team, Green Bay is about 100 miles north of Milwaukee. The median home price is $181,700. Residents enjoy a low cost of living in Green Bay, spending about 19.83% of the median household income on rent or mortgage payments.
San Francisco, California
San Francisco ranks high in popularity, with a metro population of 4,701,332 people, and a median home price of $1,047,714. Despite high housing prices, its popularity remains due to its strong job market, bringing in an average annual salary of $75,890. The median home price is $557,273.
Denver also remains a highly desirable city to move to, with years of positive population growth due to net migration and a job market that’s stronger than typical U.S. metro areas.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Ann Arbor is located in southeastern Michigan and hosts the beloved University of Michigan. This city ranks high in the U.S. for its access to quality healthcare and hospitals, as well as ranks third in college readiness! The median home price is $270,567.
With a population of 710,743, Idaho’s capital scores high in popularity for its population growth due to net migration and housing affordability. The median home price is only $221,575.
Portland is a great city to move to if you’re looking to stay weird! Locals are embrace eccentricities (e.g. naked bicycle rides, Voodoo Doughnuts, and endless outlets for self-expression), and are known for their friendliness and laid-back attitudes. The city is home to many independent businesses and startups. The population also has more academic degrees than the national average. The population continues to grow at 2,445,761, and the median home price is $515,360.
Charlotte, North Carolina
TNT Moving Systems is located in Charlotte, NC, and we certainly have a feel for the desirability to move to or within our city!
Simply put, Charlotte’s housing market is on fire. Or perhaps, a feeding frenzy is a more accurate description! Over the last three months in Charlotte, around 3,500 homes have closed and the increase from the list to the closing price was 102%. The median sale price is around $312K, with an average listing price of $325K. The sale-to-list price ratio was almost 100%! Homes in Charlotte sell after 30 days on the market; for comparison, in a balanced market, homes would stay on the market for about 6 months to prevent the supply from outpacing demand.
In the past few years, the Charlotte housing market has been a seemingly never-ending seller’s market. This has resulted in a shrunken inventory and driven-up home prices. The pandemic barely affected the housing market; 2020 was the 8th consecutive year of home price gains, housing inventory remains low, and prices continue to rise. The supply of homes is at its lowest in 17 years, leaving only a little more than two weeks of inventory total.
Even after a year of pandemic protocols, the median sales price in Charlotte has seen a +9.7% year-over-year change, up from $282,995 in 2020. Charlotte is seeing an influx of residents from more expensive cities in the North and West, in states like California, Chicago, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
Charlotte ranked number 6 on the Real Estate US News’ top cities top 25 places to live in 2020, but has now fallen back to the number 20 spot in 2021! It ranks high for its desirability and sustained but quickly growing population.
Ready to make your move with TNT Moving Systems?
Managing your relocation is where TNT Moving Systems comes in! We offer a wide variety of moving services, with an unmatched level of care and professionalism. Whether you’re moving within Charlotte or making the move to another city, TNT Moving Systems offers packing and moving services tailored to you. Contact us today at (704) 523-1455.