Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce

Cømmunity Guide 2021 Flip Book File

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s we look at the housing market outlook for 2021, we have to reflect back on the housing market in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic greatly impacted residential real estate, and the trend is expected to continue in 2021. Every industry in the U.S. economy was impacted by the pandemic and many have not fared as well as real estate. While real estate was identified as "essential" in Montana, that was not the case across the nation. "Essential" meant that properties could continue to be listed if the seller felt safe to carry out the transaction and if the buyer felt safe entering a property to view it. Additionally, with buyers being uncertain of how the pandemic would affect their income, if they were lucky enough to keep their jobs at all, listings and sales slowed during phase I of the governor's re-opening plan. By phase II, the market steadily recovered, and sales increased in Great Falls through mid and late summer of 2020. Technology has played a major role in how properties are and will be viewed now. While some Realtors® previously utilized virtual tours, Facebook Live, or videos, these are now a primary tool going forward for most Realtors. Sellers request these options to minimize their risk of exposure to the coronavirus, and potential buyers can safely view properties while limiting their risk of exposure, as well. There has been a dramatic increase in out-of-state buyers coming to Montana looking to escape highly populated areas due to the uncertainty of when the pandemic will end. Montana's affordability and people's desire and ability to work from home are primary reasons the housing market will stay strong in 2021. Great Falls is the most affordable community in the state. Record-low interest rates are expected to remain in 2021. The amount of homes being refinanced remains high, and low interest rates continue to benefit first-time home buyers and renters interested in home ownership. In a market like Great Falls, it can be cheaper to buy a home than to rent a home. The average median sales price for single-family homes sold in Great Falls is $200,000 (as of December 2020). There is no shortage of potential buyers, and the market is facing historically low inventory, not only in Great Falls, but across Montana and the nation. The inventory in Great Falls is down 24% over the prior year. While this is great for sellers who will receive asking price or multiple offers, buyers must be on their game, making offers in a timely manner. It is difficult to predict exactly what the housing market will be like through 2021, particularly if the pandemic continues to impact the US economy as it has. But we can all hope that the future of housing will remain strong and that some sort of normalcy will return. The challenge of housing affordability and availability are just two of the many issues the Great Falls Association of REALTORS®, the Montana Association of REALTORS®, and the National Association of REALTORS® are focused on locally, across the state, and the nation to continue the mission of protecting private property rights, defending consumers, and promoting the value of homeownership. Because that's who we "R". Terry Thompson, CEO Great Falls Association of REALTORS® 401 13th Ave S Great Falls, MT 59405 (406) 453-2752 gfar.realtor Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce www.greatfallschamber.org 57 H O U S I N G 2021 Great Falls Housing Market Outlook A

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