Thanks to COVID-19, everything has changed, including the current local real estate market. With the ability to work from home from wherever, we’ve noticed buying trends in real estate in the Wake, Durham, and Johnston County markets that we’re sharing here on the blog with you, our clients. Kelly Cobb, our leader here at Kelly Cobb Home Team, answers your questions about how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting our local market.
Q: In your opinion, Kelly, how has the pandemic impacted the Wake, Durham, and Johnston County markets in general?
A: We certainly started the year as we’ve been for quite a while, which was low inventory, and the pandemic has made the process more evident and more prevalent! There were already property owners with concerns about opening their homes for showings and some homes that were on the market, initially, we did see sellers to chose to take them off the market out of an abundance of caution. When you’re dealing with less inventory than ever and the lowest interest rates ever, it’s kind of a perfect storm.
Not Enough Inventory + Lots of Buyers = An Accelerated Market Frenzy
Q: You mentioned low-interest rates, are there other things bringing this influx of buyers to the area?
A: A couple of our transactions recently have been people that our team has never physically met in person and they never saw the house, except virtually, until the day of closing! While that type of transaction certainly wasn’t unheard of before, it was rare. Now, we’re seeing continued interest from high-density areas around the country and as more out-of-market buyers are realizing they can work from home anywhere, they’re choosing to buy and work in the Triangle. With the pandemic, we’ve also noticed that there is a stronger than ever interest in backyard pools, also.
Q: With that in mind, what types of properties are selling right now?
A: We worked with a buyer from Seattle, Washington, recently and they bought—believe it or not—a small trailer for $129,900 on a full-acre lot because they were getting out of Seattle, retiring, and that suited their budget and their lifestyle. The flip side of that is, last week we sold another full-acre lot, but this one in a cul-de-sac with a swimming pool! For buyers who can afford to, we’re seeing a desire to exit from high rise or small homes in a blink into much more spacious offerings. It’s just a matter of what your pocketbook can handle and here in the Triangle area, our market offers everything in between. With that in mind, condos aren’t going anywhere, either! We have an inspection going on right now for a condo for a first-time buyer who’s thrilled to death to get out of her mom’s house and into her first property. 😉
Q: What types of properties and transactions does the Kelly Cobb Home Team handle? It sounds like everything from the smallest land-only deals to luxe living at a big estate.
A: That’s it, exactly! And we’re hoping to list something in North Raleigh on two acres, well over a million. We realize that a purchase is a big deal, regardless of the price point, and we are happy to help any price range.
When you get low inventory, low-interest rates, and a desire to get out of the city, this market looks really attractive. We worked with a couple last week who are relocating from 30 minutes outside of New York City and they are happy as a clam to have closed on an acre in Raleigh. I think this pandemic and working from home is changing everybody’s idea of what “lifestyle” looks like for them, it really has changed a lot of perspectives.
Recently, Triangle Business Journal and The New York Times featured a survey noting that, “Nearly 1 in 3 [office workers] said they would move to a new city or state if remote work continued indefinitely, which companies like Zillow and Twitter have already said they would allow. Some people have moved to less expensive places, or to be closer to family or nature.” READ MORE HERE
I think we might never be back to where we were before and maybe that’s not such a bad thing. A focus on what works for our clients and their ultimate comfort in their next home is one of our best offerings!