May 22—HIGH POINT — The ongoing pandemic has not slowed the housing market. If anything, it has accelerated the market with unprecedented housing prices. And the trend is expected to continue.
When COVID-19 hit in March 2020, local restrictions temporarily prevented real estate agents from being able to operate, recalled Realtor/broker Pam Webb of Stan Byrd Realtors and president of the High Point Regional Association of Realtors.
"We did have a period of more restrictions for Guilford County compared to other counties, but we were all put back on the same path by the beginning of June," Webb said.
Many homeowners who put their homes on the market wound up getting offers higher than the listed price, Webb said. She noted a client who bought a house through her in May 2020 made $35,000 more when she sold the same house a year later. That's possible because of a combination of factors, including historically low interest rates and incredibly low inventory, Webb said.
An additional development is that more people are buying homes with cash rather than relying on a loan.
"Cash is king, and those terms make a big difference when offers come in for sellers to review," Webb said. "A buyer who can pay cash most of the time wants the right to an appraisal, so that's one less hurdle out of the way for the sale process. There is a trend to include an addendum saying a buyer will waive an appraisal, an inspection or even agreements to go X amount above an appraised value."
The pandemic also appears to have driven more people to move to the kind of places like the Triad, Realtor Stan Byrd said.
"People who were urban wanted to be suburban and rural because they don't want to be around other people to catch COVID," Byrd said. "There are some dynamics changing in the rural areas because the virus has changed people's way of thinking of our market."
Webb agreed the regional housing market reflects not only people from this area who are trying to move but people from other regions who are trying to migrate into this area.
"This can be to be more rural, but a lot of people who are transplanting here are from areas of greater restrictions and higher tax bases," Webb said. "They come to the Triad and get a lot more bang for their buck."
The influence of the internet with "coming soon" promotions also has amped up housing sales.
"I'm seeing multiple offerings on listings," Webb said. "This has become a new norm. Now showings can go for two to three days with many offers received, or a seller may get a fabulous offer they can't refuse. I am seeing my sellers being a lot more selective — not jumping on the first offer and negotiating back-and-forth to get the best terms for them."
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