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Hot Home Market

Working from home and record-low interest rates fuel a boom.

by Julie Halpert

From the January, 2021 issue

Though Matt Dejanovich didn't sell a single home between March 23 and May 6, the Real Estate One agent says 2020 is his best year in thirty-two years as a Realtor. Even after the state lifted its pandemic-'related prohibition on open houses in May, Dejanovich feared that with Covid-19 causing record unemployment, the market was headed for a downturn. Instead, buyers came out in droves.

With parents working from home and kids studying remotely, Dejanovich says, his clients "want as nice of a home as they can find to live their life the way we have to live our life these days." Some are looking for home offices, others for more square footage so that family members can spread out. "That's the driving force behind people wanting to move in a pandemic," he says. Though the recession has hit some industries hard, he adds, there are plenty of people with university or corporate jobs who remain comfortable financially.

Reinhart Realtor Tracy Rose, the treasurer of the Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors, says she's never been busier in thirty years. According to the board's December report, single-family home sales increased by 27.3 percent in November compared to the same time last year, while the average listing price was up by 9.4 percent.

Record low mortgage interest rates are also fueling the hot market. Rose says a buyer can now spend $30,000 more now for the same payment.

Dejanovich believes that the changed attitudes driven by Covid-19 will remain after the virus threat is gone. "People may appreciate their home more," he says, "because they had to spend so much time in it."     (end of article)

[Originally published in January, 2021.]


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