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Friday was a rather dreary start to the New Year with rain washing away the snow from a week ago. Let’s hope that the rest of 2021 will be nice and sunny!

The outlook for real estate is certainly bright. Experts predict another record year with rising home values, low interest rates, and – that’s bad news for buyers – an ongoing inventory crisis.

Here are four trends you should watch in 2021 …

Affordability & Inventory Crisis

2021 will be a tough year for buyers, as the strong demand for new homes continues. While home prices are increasing, record low interest rates keep affordability high.

Here’s what to expect:

  • Interest rates will remain around 3%
  • Home sales will increase by 6 – 7%
  • Home values will keep rising an average of 5 – 6%

Virtual Home Buying

The pandemic forced Realtors to improve their marketing. Professional photography has become the norm in Columbus, and 10% of all listings provide Video Walkthroughs or 3D Virtual Tours.

Purchase offers, inspections, and loan applications are all digital. You sign contracts on your phone, and you can deposit earnest money with an app.

You still need to sign with “wet ink” when you close the transaction, because some documents have to be notarized. Round table closings, where buyers and sellers meet in the same room, have become a thing of the past.

Back to the City

Early predictions of people fleeing the city have proven wrong (except for ultra-expensive places like New York and San Francisco).

In Columbus there’s a lot of interest in walkable, urban neighborhoods like the Short North or the Arena District where sales are up by 23% year-over-year.

Bridge Park in Dublin is super popular with buyers competing for $600K+ condos.

Buyer Preferences

Many homeowners expect to spend less time in the office and work more from home. Individual rooms that serve as a home office or virtual classroom for your kids have become more important than open concept layouts.

Buyers are looking for first floor owner suites, private offices, and elaborate outdoor recreation areas, such as covered patios and decks.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the “Modern Farmhouse Style” – which was popular for the past 10 years – is out. No more sliding barn doors!

My Tips for Buyers and Sellers

BUYERS

If you want to buy a house in 2021 you need to start early. Call me this week! I can help you define a strategy to successfully compete with other buyers. You should also consider building new to avoid competition and get exactly the home of your dreams.

SELLERS

You will be in the driver’s seat for most of the new year. However, your house must be presented well to attract multiple, top dollar offers. Call me now so I can help you get your house ready before the spring selling season begins.

Buying or selling? You need a winning plan! Call or Text me Today at (614) 975-9650.

Susanne Novak has been a Realtor since 2007. She is the broker and owner of RE/MAX 24/7 in the Dublin Historic District. Susanne typically helps 50-60 families each year with their real estate needs. She's your trusted advisor when you search for your dream home, and a skilled negotiator when she lists your property to get top dollar when you sell.

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