Musings from the Mountains

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year from all of us at Mountain Dreams Realty.

The last 4 years have certainly been challenging in real estate.   We experienced a pandemic starting in 2020.  At the start of the pandemic, none of us knew what was ahead for us in real estate.  I believe that most of us thought the pandemic would really curtail sales, as many of us stayed home more and were reluctant to venture out among the public.  And certainly, at first this happened. However, the pandemic caused many to work from home, rather than go to the office, where they would be more exposed to others.  Then those “at home” workers started realizing they could work from anywhere.  If anywhere was an option, why not go to the mountains, seashore, lake, or other desirable location?  So, a migration of sorts occurred.   Many workers moved to their dream locations.   Those that could afford a second home also joined the migration away from crowded cities.  Real estate sales really started to swell in 2021.  That swell continued into 2022, as many of us in real estate had our best sales year ever in 2022.  Then in 2023, sales began to slow down, although we still had lots of potential buyers.  Lack of inventory became an issue.  Record sales had drastically reduced the number of available homes for sale.  Also, a parallel issue developed.  Inflation was rising too fast for the Federal Reserve, so they began a series of rate increases to slow inflation.  This caused interest rates on 30-year mortgages to rise from the 3 and 4 percent range to the 6 and 7 percent range.  Homeowners with existing mortgages in the 3 percent range were not going to list their homes for sale and upgrade to a newer home with a mortgage rate twice that of their current home.  This created additional pressure on inventory levels, as fewer homes were listed for sale.  Real estate prices have always been based on supply and demand.  As inventories dropped, buyers were competing to purchase fewer homes.  This drove home prices upward almost 50 percent over a 3-year period in some areas.  Consequently, many of us in real estate had record low sales in 2023, in stark contrast to 2022.

So, that is my take on our real estate market for the last 4 years.  What will 2024 bring?  I really don’t know, but I am curious to see how it develops.  Rest assured if you are looking for a home to purchase, or wanting to list your existing home for sale, let us know.  We know the market; we know the area.  Put our expertise to work for you.