A Flight to Quality
While you may not be taking as many airline flights these last few months, I can bet you there’s one move that’s been on your mind constantly since the coronavirus pandemic began, especially if you’re in the market for a luxury home. A flight from urban metro living to a more rural, small-town lifestyle.
With major employers like Google and Facebook paving the way for permanent work-from-home policies, it’s easy to see how executives that used to view living in the heart of major cities as a necessary evil are now considering just how far away they can get from crowded and busy urban centers. And that consideration is playing out in real time in the real estate market.
Where I live in Massachusetts, real estate listings are down 60 percent outside of Boston, while they are up 40 percent inside the city limits. In Aspen, Crested Butte and Vail, Colorado — traditionally resort and vacation markets — school enrollment is hitting record numbers. In Greenwich, 85 single-family residential closings were reported in July of 2020 compared to just 72 in the same month last year, while median sale prices increased. Median sale prices for condos also increased, while the average days on the market for single-family homes decreased from 222 days in July 2019 to just 164 days this year.
All this to say, if you live outside a city you’re currently sitting in the best seller’s market I’ve ever seen in my 20 year career. But how long will it last?
There’s no doubt the major driver behind the rise in sales of luxury homes outside major metro areas has been the pandemic. But what the pandemic has caused more than anything else is uncertainty about the future. And when considering how long the current real estate market will last, there’s a few things to keep in mind.
The first is obvious — an end to COVID. A vaccine or a successful treatment could quickly change the landscape of well, just about everything. And it’s anyone’s guess when one or both of them will be available.
In the meantime however, a second factor comes into play — demand. As families flee the cities, there are still many questions surrounding if remote work will be a permanent solution. For many, it may be. But for some, it might not be long before cities and metro areas become attractive again, leading to potentially major shifts in the market. It’s also true that only a certain number of families and executives can afford to make the move, and once the demand for luxury homes in rural and resort areas is filled, it’s gone.
So let’s say your home in Aspen, Greenwich or Cape Cod is currently on the market. Maybe it’s been on the market for years. Your home is listed on MLS and other major search portals, but you have no idea who is looking at it. It seems like all you can do is wait for the perfect buyer to swing through town and make you an offer. Your neighbors, your friends and your agent all assure you this is just how it works.
I’m here to say that right now, in this market, you can no longer be so complacent about selling your home. Now is the time to take control in selling your house, or you risk being left behind once the market inevitably shifts. It is not the time to wait around, and with SparkOffer we are ready to work with you to change how these properties are bought and sold.
Our exclusive online marketplace allows buyers and sellers to work directly with one another to make and accept offers quickly. We eliminate pricing guesswork, and provide real-time insights around demand. Our data strategy also allows both sellers and buyers to think outside the box and matches buyers with homes that actually interest them. Our active marketing solution ensures your home won’t sit for months on end, waiting on too many variables that are out of your control.
In mid-country Greenwich, we recently sold a fantastic property where the owners knew they had no time to waste. A freshly-remodeled home that used our market value price range, we took the guesswork out of making an offer. When matched with the right market of buyers, the home sold fast with a transparent and empowering process that got everyone to the closing table quickly.
In the current market, there’s no time to waste. So let’s get moving.