Unlike other industries, the coronavirus pandemic has not brought the local real estate market to a halt. It is just the opposite; many people are still house hunting, and they are finding prices continuing to rise. Agents are frustrated because they are seeing homes go for way over asking. The rules do not seem to apply to reasonable offers. Many are searching for a multi-bedroom home on the South Shore and even with experienced agents involved, dealing with 8 or more offers is scary.
Agents are saying that from a buyer’s perspective, real estate competition is fierce right now because it is a sellers’ market. Due to the virus and more families staying at home, the same room you are lounging in is the room where you are eating, and often it is the room where you are working; it is all one space. More are coming to realize that if they are going to be home for at least a year, they need more space.
Also, with no commutes to tie newly remote workers down, many urbanites have decided to pack up their home offices and move south. Many started with a summer rental, but now looking to make a move permanent.
As for suburbs vs. the larger city homes, it is not that city owners vacation homes have gone out of style, but low inventory and a large pool of motivated buyers have propelled a sprawl to Cape Cod and the South Shore. The greater space of homes on the south shore have become more attractive compared to the loss of accessibility to shops and proximity to the city.
The condo market is not what it used to be either. It is not hard to see that the single-family home is where the market is hot right now. COVID-era house hunters are all looking for more space to themselves. A yard to spread out is currently more desirable than a walk through the Back Bay. The condo sellers looking to relocate and buy larger cannot sell due to the rising buyer’s trend to move further from the city and have more space.
Part of the decline in condo popularity is that the shared areas many condo buildings once promoted as value now appear as risky. Who wants to struggle with staying six feet apart in an elevator? Instead, single-family converts compromise for fewer amenities but the peace of losing their face mask as soon as they get home. In both cases the move is motivated by a need for more space or more affordability, and you get more for being outside the city condo.
Kiernan Middleman, an agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Warren Residential in Boston, which just published its third-quarter report on the city’s condo market. “Buyers are simply leaving the city and heading to the suburbs.” The best scenario for an agent is finding a renter looking to purchase and take advantage of the weak condo market.
There is no denying that the complex market has increased the demand for an experienced real estate agent, and the good ones are slammed. Better to be safe than sorry is the key advice of today. Call one of our knowledgeable South Shore real estate agents to book a time to discuss your housing goals.