Dear Friends and Neighbors:

We are seeing similar trends this fall to those through which we have been living since real estate began to emerge from the pandemic in late April/early May.

Usually, during the first two weeks of September, many new listings hit the market. Often, those new listings are actually old listings from the spring that did not sell, usually because they were mispriced in the spring. This year, however, so few suburban properties from the spring did not sell that there are very few re-lists in the fall, so most of the few new listings that have hit the market are actually fresh listings.

Plus, the same factors that have held back suburban inventory this year are continuing to hold back suburban inventory in these first two weeks of September.  Typical sellers of suburban real estate, empty-nesters and senior citizens, are continuing to decide to stay in their long time family homes, often opting for alterations to either suit their current needs (a first floor master, office, or multi-use room for guest bedroom/office) or to allow for multiple generations of family to be living in the same abode.  Longtime suburbanites are choosing the safety of suburbs over the densely populated cities, where such concerns as higher transmission rates of COVID-19, various levels of protest and greater occurrences of riots and looting have kept formerly would-be urban repatriators in their suburban dwellings.

Demand, which often cools after the summer, has remained high, as the need to move into a suburban home In time for a school year Is no longer as relevant with online learning, so those buyers from the spring are still in pursuit of their next home into the fall.  Would-be suburban movers have lowered expectations to move, accepting the possibility that they will find the right home at any time of year, rather than just in the spring or summer, although the sooner the better.

The general residential real estate market is also being kept particularly strong by record low mortgage rates, as a 30 year fixed mortgage for the most credit worthy of people has dipped back below 3% after blipping above 3% during parts of the summer.

On the other side of the coin, urban condos have softened for the same reasons that suburban real estate is hot. Investment property, especially in areas where one sees large amounts of student populations, have softened, although not by nearly as much as rental rates have softened, as those looking for a long-term investment generally see beyond the pandemic and foresee the need for housing in student areas remaining strong after the pandemic. Rents in areas with large student populations have particularly softened, especially for apartments with three or more bedrooms, as even those who are in school no longer want to live with multiple people. Young professionals, who often look for roommates, also have an increased desire to live solo.

I will continue to watch trends and try to keep you informed of any alterations in the current trends.