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GACAR releases real estate market data for Q1 2021

Press release from Gainesville-Alachua County Association of Realtors

Buying a home can be quite the rollercoaster, even without a global pandemic and housing inventory shortage affecting the market. Buyers in particular are depending on their Realtors® to help navigate securing a showing at a popular property to preparing for multiple-offer situations that are becoming more commonplace. Ericka Gilchrist, 2021 Gainesville-Alachua County Association of Realtors® (GACAR) Vice President and Realtor® at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate | Thomas Group, explains how the market has impacted local Realtors® and their clients.

Q: What’s causing the current market conditions?

A (Ericka): The current market conditions have been driven by historically low interest rates combined with low housing inventory. In simple terms, there are not enough houses on the market to meet the buyer demand.

Indeed, local housing inventory has reached extreme lows, with available single family homes going down from 797 homes in Q1 of 2020, to only 303 homes in Q1 of 2021. The 62.0% drop in inventory has created a competitive market for homebuyers, especially with multiple-offer situations becoming more commonplace.

Q: How long do you think those conditions will last?

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A: Considering the COVID-19 vaccine has become widely available to Alachua County residents and businesses are starting to safely reopen, we will see that sellers are more inclined to put their homes on the market. We are hoping to see somewhat of a shift as we approach the third and fourth quarter of this year.

As of today’s date (5/10/21), a total of 122,097 COVID-19 vaccinations have been distributed in Alachua County. According the US Census Bureau, the population of Alachua County is estimated at 269,043 residents as of July 2019. Those interested in receiving a vaccine can register online at https://uf.tfaforms.net/f/achd-vaccine-waitlist.

Q: What can be done to fix the market?

A: We need more inventory! The market has a way of always fixing itself. We need more homes from the builders and more resales to enter the market. This will slowly soften the competition, but we will still remain in a strong sellers’ market.

Currently, the number of available manufactured homes in Alachua County is down from 51 homes in Q1 of 2020 to just 20 homes in Q1 of 2021. The 60.8% drop in inventory is significant, with many builders dealing with the increasing price of lumber and other building materials.

Q: To the general public, sales and house prices being high seems like a win for Realtors®. Can you tell us how that might not be the case?

A: While the demand is great, Realtors® don’t win until our customers win. We are extremely challenged to find housing when prices are increasing at such a rapid rate, especially for new homebuyers entering the market. We are writing more offers than we ever have for a single buyer. We are trying to keep buyers encouraged to not give up and to keep at it. Buyers and Realtors® will have to become more flexible and more creative in order to win the bid. We as Realtors® too have been forced to move outside of our own comfort zones. I recently had a first-time homebuyer who was heavily weighing renewing her lease and throwing in the towel after losing six homes she fell in love with. She refused to give up and was finally able to secure a home after an existing contract fell through. Needless to say, she was overjoyed to finally obtain the American dream of owning a home of her own.

In the first quarter of 2021, the average sale price of single family homes has gone up from $273,543 to $315,390 – a 15.3% increase compared to the first quarter of 2020. Multiple offer situations and low inventory are needling the average sale price higher, challenging the expertise of local Realtors® as they work to find homes for their clients.

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  • Looking for Cornell to “assist” the people looking for affordable housing by lowering, better yet, dropping his fees.
    Won’t hold my breath on that one.

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