PENNSYLVANIA, USA — With the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases, more and more people continue to work from home in the new year.
Some are still relocating from big cities including New York to places like our area for more affordable living.
So, what’s it mean if you’re buying or selling?
Newswatch 16’s Ryan Leckey talked with local experts and a recent home buyer and has more on the trends.
The good news is in 2022, even if you’re not selling or buying, home values are not expecting to decline anytime soon.
Carey Smith is a realtor for Century 21 Real Estate in the Bloomsburg area; she describes the trends in 2022 versus 2021.
"So a lot of the same trends, we have a lot of buyers coming into the area working from home. We have low-interest rates and we need some more houses to sell."
Ryan asked Carey about the misconception right now.
"Misconception really across the country is that we have a low inventory in sellers and that's not the case, really. Our numbers for listings is higher in 2021. It was higher than it was in 2020. So it's not an inventory issue. It is an issue with more buyers in the marketplace," added Carey.
Like last year, that still means more buyers vying for the same home which can lead to bidding wars, AKA good news for sellers and sometimes a tough pill to swallow for buyers.
Cait Monahon, a new homeowner from Bloomsburg recently went through the whole process and shared a few tips.
"Buying a home in 2021 was definitely challenging and required a lot of patience and flexibility. We were moving from Towanda and Bradford County to Bloomsburg due to my husband changing a job and something that we definitely had to remember was to be flexible, be patient and be willing to drive all over to look at houses that happen to still be on the market," said Cait. "I really think that being calm about it and trying to not be emotional was key for us. Do the best we could to not get caught up in the craze of bidding more on a house just because we wanted it because it doesn't mean that five years from now you're going to be able to recoup that when you go to sell."
So what about interest rates?
Carmen Caputo who helps oversee Mortgages at Fidelity Bank in northeastern Pennsylvania weighed in.
"So mortgage rates are still at historic lows. Ryan, mortgage rates, right now, are averaging in the low to mid 3% range. It wasn't too long ago where rates were a full percent higher in the low to mid 4% range. So there's affordability still there for someone who's looking to purchase a home to take advantage of rates that are still at historic low levels."
And if you’re looking to build a home rather than buy in 2022?
"The first thing I would say is if you're looking to build a home, talk to your mortgage lender to find out what you can afford because we're seeing a little bit of sticker shock when someone's looking to sit down with the builder to see how much it costs to build a home right now," added Carmen. "Unfortunately, the cost of materials have gone up. However, during this pandemic, it is very easy for a customer to work with a lender virtually, they can apply online. They can communicate online, and we can pretty much do everything with the exception of the closing online these days."