Summer of Love.
During the summer of 1967, roughly 100,000 people gathered in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of
San Francisco. Music, drugs, free love, and anti-war beliefs were the common threads of the gathering crowd.
In fact, all up and down the west coast the hippie generation was feeling the summer of love vibe. I picture everyone with a flower in their hair.
Summer of 2021: vaccination numbers growing; COVID-19 numbers declining and an entire world dealing with the fatigue of stay-at-home orders for the last year. I’m foreseeing another summer of love for entirely different reasons. Nearly everyone is ready to travel again. Everyone is ready to hang with friends again. Everyone is ready to cut loose. And I’m predicting many will.
What does this have to do with Seattle area real estate?
The year kicked off with a bang. The real estate market has been white hot since January. Nearly every decent home is experiencing multiple offers. Prices are soaring and inventory of available homes is at all-time lows. The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices reported on this trend, showing that in the first quarter of 2021, inventory levels fell more than 50 percent compared with last year and demand rose more than 18 percent. If anything, the global pandemic has accelerated home buyers’ efforts to find their own space while also constricting the flow of would-be sellers who are nervous to make a move. We keep waiting for some event or headline to shift our market to a more balanced situation. A spike in inventory, a tumble in the stock market, or even sharply rising interest rates could calm this frenetic pace. But as we look for some change, our hot seller’s market continues.
Enter: Summer of Love 2021.
People vacationing. Taking the boat out with friends. Celebrating new freedoms brought on by the vaccines. In short, the joys people will seek may provide a general shift in focus or distraction from all things real estate.
As we reach June and July, I’m predicting we will see a calming of the Seattle market. Homes that previously received 30 offers may only get 5. And homes that sold full price with one great offer might sit on the market a few weeks longer. This isn’t a massive shift, but it may be just enough to allow hopeful homebuyers to get in without taking drastic measures.
If you’re looking to sell, it’s always best to list before July 4th and I think that is especially true this year, though this doesn’t mean prices will decline or summer 2021 will be a terrible time to sell. I simply think “would-be” buyers will experience enough distraction and fatigue from the last few months to bring a little more balance. Perhaps I’m wrong and our Seattle area market will handle the summer of love 2021 just like every other speed bump.
But as we get closer to July, watch for the headlines to change and our market to calm. And don’t stress about it! We’ve been dealing with a year full of extremes. Just like us, our market needs more balance. And if you find yourself worrying a bit too much about any market shift—take a page from our friends in 1967.