Sierra Nevada Realtors compiles data from local agents’ sales. Through November, Carson City’s active inventory and new listings decreased, while prices and median days on the market rose.
It’s not unusual for the housing market to slow through the holiday season if you ask Carson City real estate agent Megan LoPresti. Folks like to sell before the end of the year, or delay selling until after the new year for tax and financial reasons.
But “slow” doesn’t fully describe the market this year.
Based on data from Sierra Nevada Realtors, at current rates, it would take less than a month to sell through Carson City’s available inventory.
Prices rose through November, reaching a median sales price of $509,750, a 9 percent increase from October and 39 percent increase compared to November 2020.
At the same time, active inventory remained low at about 66 homes. Pre-pandemic, from 2016-19, Carson City averaged about 130 units of active inventory every November.
Median days on the market rose to 21, and that’s the highest it’s been all year. October was second highest, at 14 median days on the market. Though LoPresti agreed that it’s a slow-down compared to the housing market earlier in the year, it’s not slow at all compared to long-term figures.
Especially difficult for her is watching her clients make multiple strong offers and receive repeated rejections.
“It’s a lot more stressful than it’s been in the past on the buyer side,” she told the Appeal over the phone. In her 20 years of experience in Northern Nevada, she’s never seen homes sell so quickly.
LoPresti recently went through the “whole crazy sales cycle” herself. She and her husband sold their home that they bought in September 2010 for $235,000. They closed on Nov. 8 for $825,000.
“That is a prime example of what has happened in our market since that time,” she said.
What’s less quantifiable is the emotional toll that it takes to buy and sell a home during the pandemic. LoPresti said that it was startling to have owned and raised kids in a home for 11 years, “and it was gone in an instant.”
She and her husband are now staying in a multifamily unit that they own. It has less square footage, and they had a difficult time finding storage or selling their home goods that wouldn’t fit in their new space.
“People can get very emotional in this market. There’s a lot of trials and losses in a lot of ways,” LoPresti said.
It’s becoming more common for real estate agents to double as counselors. Her biggest piece of advice that she gives to buyers and sellers is to be patient and keep planning.
Some are waiting for a market crash to lower prices, but LoPresti doubts that will happen. She cited predictions from the Federal National Mortgage Association, saying 2022 will see a combination of limited supply, higher interest rates, and steady demand. Those factors would cool and slow the market, she said, not crash it.
Even if predictions are wrong, “There’s no reason to go back through what happened in 2010. There are options and ways to prepare for that,” LoPresti said. Buyers and sellers need to have a backup plan, even if that means renting or downsizing for financial security.
She added that there’s a silver lining to the pandemic: “It made us all reevaluate our lives.”