Here we are in what’s probably been the most frustrating month for home Buyers and Sellers this year. It seems like every 2-weeks, we turn a new page and the trends are different. Sellers are different, Buyers are different. 40-year veteran Realtors have told me this is the hardest market they’ve ever worked in — running circles around the Great Recession, literally.
We are living in what will likely be known to future generations as The Great Reshuffling.
And here we are, doing a spectacular shuffle of our own here in Grassland. My colleagues and I here in the area are the busiest we’ve ever been, because so many people want a slice of the life you and I have built here. And because more people can work remote now, they’re able to come for it. It’s flattering but it’s taking more strategy, skill and care than ever for those of us who work in the industry every day. We work hard to maintain our values and put our Sellers in the best position possible. And Sellers are thrown so many curveballs in the past couple of weeks that are taking some serious navigation.
But for most Sellers and Buyers here in Grassland, when it’s all said and done, it’s turned out to be the best “move” they’ve made in a long time. Interestingly, a nationwide survey by Zillow reflects the same.
The Real Estate platform says more than 1 in 10 Americans reported moving in the past 12 months. 54% of Americans told Zillow they experienced happiness, and 53% said they felt relief following their move. Nearly 80% said the move was the correct decision. And approximately 60% said the move led to positive life events, such as a bigger home, a cheaper mortgage, and new experiences in a new city and state. They’ll write books about this.
Grassland Market Performance
Here at home, we sold more homes in Grassland during March 2021 than we did in March 2020. (30 vs. 28, to be exact.)
These are homes zoned for Grassland Middle School. And get this.. Our average sales price year-to-year jumped from $815,099 in March 2020 to $1,648,061 in March 2021. That’s more than DOUBLE — a 102% increase—in our Grassland average sales price year-to-year as of the end of March 2020.
Compared to the county’s performance, our Grassland sales price is about double that as well. Williamson County saw an overall average sales price of $824,266 in March 2021. This means homes in Williamson County sold for $195,000 more on average last month than what they sold for in March 2020. A $195,000 increase year-over-year!
Nationwide, the latest report from Real Estate data company CoreLogic shows home prices are growing at their fastest pace since 2006, rising 10.4 percent in February alone.
It’ll be interesting to see how our April numbers look when this month closes.
Looking Even Further
Each of our Grassland neighborhoods are being stalked by shoppers from outside of Tennessee. It’s fascinating to see what they’re willing to pay, and where. The days of Grassland being Williamson County’s best kept secret are over but, as you read above, we’re seeing some hefty returns on our investment because of it.
Of the homes that sold in Grassland during March 2021, here are the average prices for each neighborhood where homes were sold. I’ve also hyperlinked the homes sold so you can see what you get for the money:
- Brentwood Pointe: $289,900
- River Rest: $309,900
- Prescott Place: $358,000
- Walnut Hills: $355,000
- Fieldstone Farms: $506,300
- Stonebridge Park: $660,000
- Temple Ridge Estates: $685,000
- Blossom Park: $762,500
- Cottonwood: $800,000
- Cardel Village: $829,000
- Breckston Park: $850,000
- Horseshoe Bend: $916,250
- Hunters Ridge: $978,212
- Whitehall Farms: $1,010,000
- Brothers Russell: $1,155,000
- Temple Hills: $1,373,333
- Legends Ridge: $1,509,500
- Laurelbrooke: $10,075,000
Remember these are just averages, and most neighborhoods only had 1-3 sales during the month of March this year. So it’s not a good basis to judge your home value. But it’s still fascinating to see the price brackets where each neighborhood fell during March!
It’s also interesting to see that all price points are selling in our community. In fact, anything priced at $2 million and below will likely be fought over.
When will the “Fight” be “Over”?
We all know there are ups and downs in the market. The real estate market is cyclical much like our economy. And I’m starting to get this question a lot:
“Are we in a housing bubble?”
According to CNBC, Google searches for ‘When is the housing market going to crash’ spiked 2,450-percent this past month!
More buyers are asking me when the bubble will pop, and this is where the stress is creeping in for Sellers.
Buyers are becoming afraid of over-paying for a home and being underwater when the market turns. Sellers are starting to have issues with Buyers once they’re under contract and Buyers’ remorse has set in. The Buyers back out during inspections, and create more lag time for Sellers on the market. There are strategies and ways we can side-step these issues, but it’s taking more skill and care than ever by those of us who work in the industry every day.
The crisis is not coming — We’re literally living it right now. More people need homes than there are homes available and it has created an “auction” mentality among Buyers and Sellers. Any time you have more demand than supply, prices go up. And we have A LOT of demand, especially here in Williamson County, due to all the people from other states now able to work remotely and escape high-taxation states. These are completely different conditions than we saw in the Great Recession. Any speed bump in the market now would be relief.
That relief will likely be from builders catching up to the demand — or from a Silver Tsunami, where Babyboomers age out of their homes. Rising mortgage interest rates will help as well. Either way, neither of these things happen overnight. And it will likely take a combination of all three for us to see any real change in this climate.
When Should We Buy or Sell?
Buyers: If I were thinking of buying a house in the next 5 years, I’d buy ASAP. Mortgage rates are ticking back up which is only going to weaken your buying power in the future. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is over 3.1% now. (This is an increase from 2.67% at the end of 2020.) And seeing how quickly home values are increasing year-over-year (and $25,000 average sales price increase month-to-month in Williamson County!), I’d be afraid I’ll be priced out of where I want to buy if I wait. Even when a correction comes down the line, chances are prices won’t drop so dramatically that we fall below where we are now.
Sellers: If I were thinking of selling a house right now, I would also get in while the gettin is good, for a lot of the same reasons. Weakening buying power could force a lot of Buyers out of the game and create less competition for your home (therefore not yielding the pricing and terms that we’re getting so used to seeing in today’s offers). Zillow Economist Jeff Tucker says potential Sellers are likely hanging on the sidelines waiting for home prices to reach their peak — and they may not have peaked out yet. “The catch,” he says, “is that waiting to sell may raise the cost of trading up to their next home.”
Let’s be honest, there’s never really an “ideal” time to jump in the Real Estate game, unless its an even market (not a Buyers or Sellers market), which is rare here.
But right now, Sellers are gaining confidence with news of job gains, a positive outlook for demands of goods and services, and the expectation that the US will surpass China as the largest single contributor to global growth. We’ve had the third disbursement of stimulus checks and have met– and passed– the country’s vaccination goals initially set. Mortgage rates still remain historically low despite their climb — They’re still below the 2019 average!
As Sellers gain confidence, we will likely see more Grassland homes coming to market this spring and summer. Still not enough to meet demand — but perhaps just a smidge enough for Buyers to feel a little bit of breathing room. (This doesn’t mean prices will go down. Values may just slow down their rate of acceleration.)
This is definitely one for the history books. Will you be a part of The Great Reshuffling?
For questions about selling or buying a home, please reach out! I’m a Grassland area resident and I’m a Two-Time Platinum Award-Winning Williamson County REALTOR® ranking in the top 1.5%. I have been featured on TV and my success is the topic of an article in the July 2020 edition of Nashville Real Producers magazine. But most importantly, I specialize in helping my friends and neighbors buy and sell homes!