Is the pandemic the right time to buy or sell a home?

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

The uncertainty of the pandemic, low mortgage rates and limited supply have created a run on housing in Charlotte and nationwide. 

Yongqiang ChuYongqiang Chu, director of the Childress Klein Center for Real Estate and the Childress Klein Distinguished Professor of Real Estate and Urban Economics, says the Charlotte market will continue to be tight in 2021, with prices increasing at a faster rate. As he prepares for the release later this month of the “2020 State of Housing in Charlotte” research report, Chu offers this insight based on the data:

Is now the time to buy a home or is renting a better option? 

The prices of single-family houses are increasing at a faster rate than apartment rents in the Charlotte region. This means, going forward, renting will become relatively cheaper than buying a house. However, if you will buy a house in the near future, I would say buying now is a better choice because prices are increasing fast, regardless of the pandemic. If anything, the pandemic induced more renters to buy homes, which is fueling the housing market and pushing up the price of single-family houses. 

What about selling a home? Is this the right time? 

It depends on your plan after selling your home. If you are trying to move to a larger house, this could be a good time. My prediction is that the prices of larger houses will continue to increase. So, it is probably a good idea to sell a smaller house and buy a larger house. On the other hand, if you are just selling, it probably makes sense to wait a little bit longer because the price is likely to increase fast. 

How has COVID-19 affected the housing supply in Charlotte? 

Both supply and demand were negatively impacted by COVID-19 in March and April, but the market has since fully recovered. 

With more workers telecommuting, are there any trends you're seeing in Charlotte?     

There are definitely more people moving to the region from bigger cities like New York. 

Chu will provide a comprehensive, data-driven look at housing in the eight-county Charlotte region on Thursday, Oct. 29, at the second annual State of Charlotte Housing Summit. The virtual event will include the release of the “2020 State of Housing in Charlotte” research report and panel discussions on single-family and multi-family housing in the region.