My ears are still ringing after the celebration that was New Year’s Eve in Gilbert – did you hear it?
It was a mixture of fireworks, singing, yelling and probably a lot of general celebration for the end of one of the most unprecedented, unexpected, uncalled for years of immense loss, unanticipated challenges and unappreciated fear.
What I woke to, however, was this amazing display of grit usually reserved for a toddler as they get back up after tumbling to the ground - with determination, and focus and a unique energy that can only be manifested after a fall.
There was this trend on social media of posting the best memories you had from 2020, which was this beautiful way of acknowledging that we all experienced a year like no other AND simultaneously we all experienced a year like no other.
Taking a moment to reflect on the year that we had and how much had changed, it was nice to see how much had really stayed the same.
The real estate market was a similar mirror of our experiences.
The trends followed our patterns of anxiety and anticipation of the new year and while unexpected outcomes created new challenges for us to tackle in 2021, our houses still remain one of the most important things to our families – and in some ways, more important now than ever.
We started January 2021 with one of the lowest home inventories in history.
After under-building in the Valley for over 10 years and continued population growth, the low interest rates of 2020 ensured that we would not be making any headway in closing the inventory gap with the new construction you see sprinkled across the Southeast Valley.
Surprisingly, we actually had about the same number of new listings in Gilbert in 2020 as we did in 2019 – but with 35 percent more sales than your typical year. We still ended up with less than 100 single family homes in Gilbert without a contract.
We’ve watched prices soar more than 17 percent annually in Gilbert with 65 percent less supply and homes selling on average for 100.13 percent of list – meaning that some are selling for WAY over list and others right about list price.
We reached an all-time low of just seven days of inventory in the town – meaning that if we didn’t list another home after today, everything we had to sell would be gone by next week.
Bought a home in 2019 for $300,000? You are probably ringing in the New Year with a sales price of $350,000-$400,000 if you were to call to get it listed today. That’s great you say, if I’m leaving Gilbert! But what if you want to stay? What if you WANT to ring in the next new year in this same beautiful place?
The good news is that as long as interest rates remain low – one of the greatest unknown factors of our current housing market – you will always be buying low.
As prices continue to climb at a rate even faster than we saw at the end of 2020, those interest rates are keeping monthly payments lower than they might ever be again. That’s good news for your primary purchase and for that rental you’ve always considered buying but didn’t want to wait a decade to make money off of.
Any change in the interest rates will likely cause some emotional reaction with buyers, as well as prices that rise a little too quickly for them to stomach and monthly payments that become less and less appealing.
It will take some time for this to happen, but it is possible that the rate of appreciation might temper by the second half of 2021 because of some of these very things.
This is going to be a year of reflection and also of immense creation which will take fortitude, creativity, and exactly what I saw on New Year’s Day – grit.
To break into the housing market, to move up, to move down, to leverage your equity – there are options but they might take a little out-of-the-box thinking and some suggestions from full-time professionals who are committed to your success.
But the stories of people who’ve done it: the families who stayed in a short-term rental to ultimately ring in the new year in their new home; the first-time homebuyers who escaped the fate of a 30-day notice to get their family into a home that’s appreciated $60,000 in one year. The stories are plentiful. And we hope that your proverbial cup will be too.
Mindy Jones Nevarez, a Gilbert Realtor and owner of the Amy Jones Group at Keller Williams Integrity First, can be reached at 480-250-3857, Mindy@AmyJonesGroup.com or AmyJonesGroup.com