Savannah Real Estate Market: What to look forward to in 2021
I’m one of those people who gets irritated when I see Christmas decorations on store shelves in October. Even my boys, who can’t wait for Christmas every year, comment on its absurdity. I’m of the opinion that we should take the time to appreciate the present moment, to the extent that we can, and celebrate the gifts of each season. So, I feel like a bit of a hypocrite about writing the market forecast for 2021 when we’re still in December and in the thick of the holiday season. Part of me, I guess, wants 2020 to be over and the optimist in me believes that 2021 will be a better year than the last. But, alas, this is my m.o. every single year.
I like to read forecasts by chief real estate economists all over the country. My research this year includes reports by NAR Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, and Realtor.com Chief Economist, Danielle Hale. But I didn’t stop there. I include my own analysis based on what I’m seeing from the trenches here in Savannah. And, at least for this year, my experiences seem to agree, in large part, with what these two economists are saying:
Home sales will be strong again next year, but we’ll be seeing a normal seasonal trend that we were used to seeing pre-Covid. Both Yun and Hale project a strong market into the fall and winter of 2021, especially as consumers resume normal patterns of spending thanks, in part, to the availability of the Corona Virus vaccines.
Remote working continues to be a strong trend in 2021. Twenty-five to 33 percent of all listings now boast an office. I’ve seen this in my practice as well. One of my client’s must haves for her next home is not one but two offices since both she and her husband now work from home.
Another continuing trend: Suburban migration. City-dwellers who no longer need to commute daily to the office are looking to less population-dense areas. Tired of living in areas with reinstated lockdowns, many, my clients included, want to live in areas that aren’t subject to lockdowns. And, finally, the appeal of a slower pace, relatively lower home prices, and milder winters are making places like Savannah highly desirable.
It’s an enviable position to be in. Working from home affords the best of both worlds for more and more homeowners just like my client: They are able to earn city wages but live in places where quality of life well surpasses what can be achieved in cities. I personally think that Savannah will be a hotter market than the national average and this is why scarcity in inventory will continue to be a strong trend for Savannah, specifically, in 2021. Yun and Hale echo this observation as well.
But this is a superb scenario for homeowners who plan on putting their homes on the market next year. Sellers, especially in Savannah, will be in a terrific position in 2021, provided that they have identified where they want to move and act fast on making a solid, if not aggressive, offer on their next home. There’s a little bit of a downside for buyers as low mortgage rates keep purchasing power robust, but monthly mortgage costs will increase as mortgage rates steady and home prices continue to rise.
There it is. Good things to look forward to in 2021, thank goodness. As we edge towards the end of the year, I hope you and your families have a peaceful holiday season. I’d like to leave you with this quote from Theodore Roosevelt that I find particularly encouraging as I look to 2021, “Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.” See y’all next year!
Margaret Federal is an Associate Broker with Celia Dunn Sotheby’s International Realty. She can be reached at 912-335-6688 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
*This article was originally published in the Savannah Morning News