Over the past few months, those of us in the Raleigh area have been under pretty strict stay-at-home orders, and many of us have been working from home or have been out of work entirely. Life may have been put on pause, but real estate hasn’t taken a rest. In fact, a recent study by Housing Vacancy Survey shows that homeownership rates are higher than they’ve been in eight years!
Why Are Homeownership Rates Rising Despite Shut-Downs?
While shut-downs and closures have shaken up daily lives like never before, for many of us, being at home has meant having more time to slow down and appreciate the little things in life. Spending time at home has given us an increased value in the sense of home—so really, it’s not too surprising that homeownership increased to the highest it’s been in eight years.
Low interest rates have made buying affordable
The first quarter of 2020 saw an increase of about 2.7 million homeowners—and for many, this was made possible by low interest rates. Especially after the fast-climbing rates of 2018, the lower rates of 2019 were quite surprising. But even those were nothing compared to the pandemic-driven drops of 2020. With some of the lowest interest rates in American history, 2020 has actually proven quite favorable to buyers.
New homes have increased availability
New home construction has also been on the rise in the last several months, which has provided eager buyers with more options than existing homes alone can offer.
The Raleigh area especially has seen some fabulous new construction developments in recent months and years—providing both affordable and luxury options for buyers of all ages and means.
Ownership is up in all age groups—but especially millennials
Thanks to favorable economic conditions (like low unemployment and high household income) in late 2019 and early 2020, many younger buyers have been making moves to settle down and buy homes. In fact, households under age 35 (many first-time buyers) saw the largest jump in homeownership rates, with a climb of 1.9% from last year. The next age group, households aged 35 – 44, saw the second-largest gain of 1.2%. Even the 65+ age group saw a minimal gain of 0.2%.
Homeownership provides a sense of home
The recent closures have certainly shined a light on which businesses and services are truly essential to keep our country running. And there’s a reason real estate was deemed essential by the majority of states and towns across the country—including North Carolina and the Triangle. That’s because it is essential to a vast majority of people across America.
Homeownership has long been an important element of the American Dream. And this recent health crisis has helped us to appreciate the homes we’ve shared with family, with friends (and virtual friends), with pets, and with kids—and truly see the value of homeownership.
Dreaming of Homeownership in the Triangle?
If you’ve been dreaming of buying a home in the Triangle area, we’re here to help! Whether you have questions about how your goals might have been affected by the global health crisis or you’re ready to start searching, Linda Craft & Team is here to put our 350+ years of experience to work for you. Give us a call today at 919-235-0007 and let’s get started!