February 2021 Market Insights

So, March is here. Last year at this time we were ramping up for what should have been one of the busiest years in history for TN Real Estate. Instead, we shut everything down in just a couple of weeks. Several new words and phrases became part of the vernacular. We talked about “pivoting” while we collectively worked on “flattening the curve.” Seemingly overnight the  common man was throwing around concepts like “herd immunity,” “comorbidity,”  “asymptomatic,” “PPE” and “super-spreader.” Prior to 2020, I can honestly say I don’t remember EVER saying those words or phrases. Not one time. Now they are everyday words.

Meanwhile, real estate plodded along. People locked down hard for about 6 weeks and realized the flaws in their current living spaces. That gloriously open concept became a curse as they sought spaces for each child and adult to work from home and “jump on a zoom.” When people started poking their heads out again, the market slowly, surely, took off. Our curve was flattened too. By August, 2020 was on its way to STILL be one of the busiest years in real estate but also to be one of the weirdest. The market did slow just a tiny bit, following its typical seasonal pattern, but it was much less pronounced than in years past. Currently, we are going at can only be described as a desperate frenzy for inventory. Every price point is seeing multiple offers in Rutherford County. Historically, this phenomenon is reserved for lower prices. No longer.
Inventory shortages have caught every single sub market. Our team, in our frequent discussions, has compiled a list of factors contributing to our current state of the market: 

• This fear: “If I list, will I be able to find a home?”
• Interest rates being historically low make higher priced homes more attainable
• Staying home more has increased overall expendable income savings
• Price increases over the past 5ish years have us sitting on more equity in our current home than ever before which makes higher priced homes more attainable
• Rental rates are higher than ever before
• Lumber prices have made new construction building costs higher per square foot than ever before
• Lot development costs, land prices and labor shortages have driven prices up on building lots
making it impossible to build single family “starter homes” in our county
• Longing for the market to dip again has people hesitant to make a move (trying to time the market)
• Watching things rise at a rapid pace makes people want to “let it ride” until it reaches the theoretical
top of the market (trying to time the market)
• Hesitation to list and let strangers walk through the house (due to COVID)
• Hesitation to walk through strangers’ houses (due to COVID)
• Reintroduction of institutional buyers after a hiatus due to COVID
• In our particular market, a growing net migration IN from out of the area

There are others but these seem to be the major ones. Several of these are misconceptions and are conditions we’ve devised a plan to handle. If you relate to any of these, let’s have a conversation and work through them.

Acknowledging is the first part. The second is strategizing and the third is implementing, on the correct time frame. If you are wanting to make a move and are hesitant, let’s get coffee. Completely and totally no pressure. Just a conversation.

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