Summer Travels Slow Down Real Estate Demand

But Not Enough to Solve Housing Shortage

After a year of reclusion due to the COVID-19 pandemic, relaxed travel restrictions shifted some people’s priorities from buying a new home to traveling.

Still recovering from a traumatic year, a few buyers and sellers put their real estate needs on hold and are now being driven by a new motto: you only live once. Vaccinated and unvaccinated people are enjoying their freedom and paying high-ticket prices to visit any other place that is not home.

Despite the frenetic travel surge, houses are still selling incredibly fast and for skyrocketing prices. Easton median sales price soared 54.7%, jumping from $575,000 to $889,450 compared to last June, and 36.8% year to date. 

Although vacations and the shift on spending direction may have slowed down open house attendance, low inventory is still making it extremely difficult for those on the hunt. Historic low mortgage rates and housing shortages are still creating a competitive market for those hunting for their dream home. Inventory in the whole country has been low the past five years, but the pandemic and low interest rates exacerbated the crisis. New listings in Easton are down 21.4% compared to last June, down to 22 listings from 28.  

New listings hardly stay in the market for longer than a few days. Sellers are receiving remarkable offers. Houses are selling with multiple offers within a few days, many with offers over asking price, very few contingencies and an incredibly fast process from beginning to end.

A house would normally last 100 days on the market until sale in 2020. This year houses stayed on the market on average of 42 days until closing. This new hype has motivated some sellers to enjoy the buying tide, but not enough to turn the housing shortage around. The town registered 22 closed sales in June, and 79 sales year to date. 

The promise of a stress-free lifestyle and great education system offered by Easton has attracted new buyers to explore housing options in town. When the home supply hit record lows, developers decided to scale up their land development work and create their own inventory.

Developers are taking advantage of the intake of new buyers and creating new developments with high price tags and customizable plans. This new trend created a hitch for new buyers. Builders and investors with all-cash offers often outbid first-time buyers, impeding those fighting for a chance of homeownership. High price tags are not only hurting first-time buyers, but also renters. Investors are choosing to sell their rental properties instead of keeping them, forcing families to depart town. Priced out and overwhelmed renters are being forced to decamp and start their search for a family nest somewhere else. 

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