Walla Walla Real Estate – 2020 Year End Report:
The real estate market remained resilient in the face of Covid-19 challenges and was far busier than many could have imagined.
Here are a few takeaways from 2020:
2020 Homes Sales Tied for 2nd Best: Record-setting low-interest rates fueled buyer demand throughout the year resulting in 807 closed home sales in 2020, tying 2018 as the 2nd most active year ever. The record high of 838 annual home closings occurred in 2016.
Listing Inventory Hit Record Low: The year ended with a record low inventory of just 95 listings. In comparison, there were 121 more homes listed for sale at the end of 2019. However, the low inventory levels did not mean sellers didn’t list homes for sale during the year. Most homes that came to market immediately sold, which kept inventory numbers extremely low.
Median Sales Price Hit Record High: As reported throughout the year, low inventory levels continued to put upward pressure on price. Buyers often found themselves competing with other buyers, needing to bid up the price to secure a property. As a result, the 2020 median price was $308,928, a 15% increase over the previous year.
So what will 2021 bring?
To help answer that question, here is a summary from Windermere’s Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner:
Existing home sales are projected to increase by 6.9% in 2021. For this to occur, listing inventory must also increase. There are two reasons a listing increase is expected. First, many sellers who delayed putting their home on the market due to Covid -19 related health and/or economic concerns are expected to move forward with their plans to sell in the new year. Second, new home construction is expected to increase by 18% in the new year bringing much-needed inventory to the market. Buyer demand is projected to remain high in the new year, with first-time homebuyers leading the way.
Mortgage rates will increase in the new year, but the increase will be modest. The 30-year mortgage rate is projected to remain around 3% throughout 2021.
Home price growth is expected to slow in the new year. Many markets like Walla Walla have seen double-digit increases. However, in 2021, home prices are projected to increase by a more modest 4.1%.
*WWMLS WA Data