OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Plenty of Americans looking for homes took advantage of low interest rates in 2020, making for a booming market in spite of the pandemic. But what are experts predicting for 2021?
Bill Swanson, President of the Omaha Area Board of Realtors, thinks nationally, interest rates will remain stable - at or below 3% - something very desirable for potential buyers.
“You can buy, depending on your price range, 5, 10, 20 thousand dollars more house for the same payment. Or you can buy a house that you're comfortable with with payments hundreds of dollars less than they would be,” said Swanson.
One surprising shift in Omaha, Swanson said, is a busy market for homes costing over one million dollars - a trend believed to be tied to the pandemic.
“What we’re hearing is folks understand that this may happen again and they want to be ready and they want to have maybe that oasis for their family to come to,” said Swanson.
Locally, the market is starting the year strong, but it’s slim pickings citywide.
“We are at a low point in inventory for existing homes. If you take out our new construction in our Omaha area, we are sitting at somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 houses for sale. In my 30 year career, I've never seen it that low,” said Swanson.
Megan Bengston, President-elect of the Omaha Area Board of Realtors, said that low inventory could create barriers for those looking for the perfect home.
“The tough thing is, especially with those first time home buyers, we just don't have as much inventory to fulfill those buyer’s needs,” said Bengston.
Despite the low inventory, younger generations are tapping into the market more each year, a trend expected to continue into 2021.
“They’re out there. They want to get into homes. I think they see the value of owning a home versus renting,” said Bengston.