By Kayla Anderson
The Reno/Sparks real estate market is still booming, even as we go into winter. People are still fleeing major cities to settle down in less dense areas and even homebuilders are selling brand new houses for higher prices.
According to the Reno/Sparks Association of Realtors (RSAR), in September the median price for a single-family home in Reno/Sparks was $440,000 which rose to $455,000 in October (as of press time, the numbers for November weren’t announced yet). In Sparks alone, the median price for a single-family home was $416,000 in September and $412,000 in October.
“In Reno the median price is going up whereas in Sparks the median price (of a single-family home) is going down,” says RSAR President Erika Lamb. “Typically in the winter months sale prices come down but the real estate market is still holding very strong,” Lamb adds. She attributes the strong market to low inventory, the coronavirus pandemic, and mortgage interest rates remaining at below normal percentages.
According to the RSAR October 2020 market statistics, there were 444 homes in active inventory, down 17.9 percent from the previous month.
“The interest rates are making buying a home more realistic and affordable for many,” Lamb says. “We’re probably going to have the strongest winter in a long time. And that’s not just in this region; that’s across the nation and even in Canada,” she adds.
Unlike in previous presidential election years, Lamb believes that the 2020 general election hasn’t yet affected the real estate market but like the trends going on with the pandemic, nothing is definite.
“Assuming that Biden takes office, he does have some plans in regard to real estate. Nothing is firm but he has talked about giving first time homeowners a $15,000 credit to put as a down payment on a house.” However, Lamb believes that the rumor about Biden eliminating 1031 exchanges could create a further decrease in inventory.
“We’ll see what happens…there will probably be negotiations to help benefit private property owners which could in turn help stimulate local economies,” Lamb adds.
That is why Lamb continues to say that the best time to buy a home is right now.
“(Sellers) receiving multiple offers is still very commonplace,” Lamb says. “It’s a frustration to buyers, having multiple people coming in and competing to pay the highest price on a home. Even in new home communities, we’ve never seen anything like this before,” she adds. Lamb explains that normally homes in new developments are sold at lower prices or put into a lottery system to give buyers a fair shot at the home, but now even homebuilders are only accepting the highest offers.
“The buyer needs to be very patient and not get their heart set on a house unless it’s in contract. But it’s definitely doable, and this is a time when having a realtor is more important than ever. We can help explain the trends and use our negotiating skills to get buyers into their ideal homes,” Lamb says.
For more information about the RSAR and to view updated real estate market dashboards, visit https://www.rsar.net/.