Monday, January 11, 2021 / by Anne Rose
Kirk Pugh, Broker/Realtor with KBT Realty Group - Keller Williams, in Wilmington North Carolina, reflects on 2020, a year which is in now in hindsight.
Eight days into 2021, and Kirk sees that the new year has started with a bang.
2020 was a challenging year for everybody on many different levels, although in real estate not one, Kirk reflects. Instead of talking about numbers, success, and patting the KBT Realty Group team on the back, suffice it to say, Kirk notes, that Wilmington North Carolina has a fast-paced, rapidly growing, dynamic real estate market that is extremely beneficial for sellers right now.
Certainly we can sell a house for top-dollar, in this market, in Wilmington, today, Kirk says. The challenge is, where does that seller go? Are they trading laterally, are they downsizing either from a location standpoint or a pricing standpoint?
For sellers today making a decision about selling, is the value of the sale great enough to buy you out of the pain-in-the-neck factor of having to sell and move? Even if you don't have a place to go right now.
That's going to be out challenge going forward into 2021, he emphasizes. We may not have a place for you to go yet, but is the reward of selling today great enough to cause you sell and maybe even rent temporarily until we can build, buy or find you a house to move into.
Market credit availability is still very, very tight, meaning you better be qualified if you are going to try to get a mortgage today because the banks are being very careful about who they lend to.
A study from United Van Lines, that they have been doing every year for the last 30 years, places Wilmington North Carolina as the #1 destination for relocations in the country. That's for incoming residents. Anecdotally, Kirk says, for incoming customers, KBT has traditionally started at about Quantico, Virginia, up the east coast through Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Vermont - that was the vast majority of where KBT's incoming traffic was. Now when the phone rings, however, it might be Chicago, Dallas, or San Francisco.
There are some interesting dynamics in the country today, he observes:
- As a result of COVID, people have had it with high density living
- People from everywhere in the U.S. are considering a move to the southeastern coastal region
- Young people have been told by the companies they work for that they will not be coming back: work-from-home is permanent
- Many companies have found that productivity has not suffered with remote workers
- It costs less for companies to have a team of remote workers than to maintain fancy offices in a big skyscraper in a major city
- Are big city salaries going to stay at their levels or will they be adjusted for geographic locations
- There may be a lot of very young people, making big salaries, living back in their parents' bonus rooms
- Mortgage rates are still historically low
- Inventory - housing supply - is non-existent