What’s Changed Since the Pandemic

It’s hard to believe it’s been a whole year since the COVID-19 pandemic forced New York State into lockdown. A lot has changed in that time, and the Western New York real estate market is no exception. Here’s a look at what’s changed about buying or selling a home in the Buffalo area since the pandemic began, and a look at how the Enas Latif Sales Team is responding to those changes.

Reevaluating Priorities
The pandemic has prompted many people to reevaluate their priorities about what they want from a home. With much of life now confined to the home, many have been driven to upsize, seeking amenities like a home office, a fully fenced yard, or a larger kitchen. Meanwhile, changes in the economy have brought on a rise in early retirement, leading many to consider downsizing. At the same time, many people have been inspired to relocate altogether, whether to escape crowded urban areas like New York City, to be closer to family, or to live somewhere they’ve always wanted.

Whatever your motivation, the Enas Latif Sales Team can meet your needs. We can help you upsize or downsize, or resettle in the Buffalo Niagara region. Thanks to our wide network of contacts and partner organizations, we also offer our clients a robust relocation service for those looking to move out of the area.

High Demand, Low Inventory
With so many people reevaluating their priorities and looking to buy a house that meets their needs, the pandemic has driven demand for homes incredibly high, including in Buffalo. Meanwhile, the supply of homes for sale, which was already below average pre-COVID, has only decreased during the pandemic. Here in Western New York, the inventory of homes for sale is 45% lower than it was a year ago.

These conditions have contributed to a true sellers’ market, and home prices have been rising fast. The average sale price in Buffalo is nearly 14% higher than it was a year ago. This really is an excellent time to sell your home, and the Enas Latif Sales Team can help you do it safely, adhering to strict COVID protocols and using technology to provide virtual open houses, 3D tours, and other services.

Help for Buyers
By definition, a sellers’ market is a tricky time for buyers, with competing bids driving up prices. The saving grace setting today’s real estate market apart, however, are the low mortgage interest rates. Since the pandemic, interest rates have plummeted, dipping under 3% at their lowest point. While rates have started to creep higher again, they’re still very low by historical standards, softening the blow of rising prices.

While it can be a frustrating market, there’s a lot the Enas Latif Sales team can do for Western New York home buyers, from helping you find a house that meets you needs to advising you on how to gain a competitive edge. If you’re interested in selling your current home but are nervous about being able to buy a new one, we can also guide you through the process of a reverse contingency, where the sale of your current home only goes through if you successfully purchase a new home.

Is It a Bubble?
Many people look at today’s real estate market, with its escalating prices, and wonder if we’re in a housing bubble that’s about to burst. The answer is a resounding no. Unlike the housing crisis of 2007, when supply radically outpaced demand to drive down home values, today’s rising prices are a rational response to the circumstances of the pandemic—a low supply of housing that can’t match the high demand. Economists believe there’s still room for home values to grow. Meanwhile, between rising home values and more conservative lending practices, the average homeowner has a much higher share of home equity than in 2007.

How We’re Doing
Despite the reduced housing inventory and the pause in activity at the start of the pandemic, the Enas Latif Sales Team has had a remarkably successful year. Our team facilitated over 130 sales in 2020, totaling nearly $32 million. We ranked second in our entire company for the year, and in the top 10 among all realtors in the Buffalo Niagara area.

We’re proud of the work we do for our buyers and sellers, and we know we couldn’t have had such a successful year without the support of clients like you. As we move past the one year anniversary of the pandemic, we look forward to continuing to help our clients navigate the changing Western New York real estate market in a safe, responsible, and intelligent way. To learn more about what the Enas Latif Sales Team can do for you, give us a call at (716) 417-4755, or fill out our Schedule A Consult today!