Despite pandemic, the housing market continues to boom for sellers

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – So many buyers, not enough sellers. That’s the trend of the housing market in Fort Wayne. 

Despite the pandemic bringing the nation to its knees and the alarming rate of unemployment, the housing market continues to boom. 

According to Andy Zoda, a real estate broker with Coldwell Banker Real Estate Group, 12-years, ago Fort Wayne’s housing market crashed and there was a huge inventory; however, about six years ago inventory started to decline and never stopped. 

As of May of 2020 Fort Wayne now has 40% fewer houses than it did in May 2019. 

“As far as the whole supply and demand thing goes, there is not a whole lot of supply,” said Zoda. “I don’t believe there is an abnormal demand for housing, there is just an abnormal lack of inventory.” 

Zoda said that the perfect storm was created because the housing market was already predicted to be hot this summer, and the fear of sellers delaying or not putting their homes on the market back in March and April. 

Sam Hartman, another real estate broker at Coldwell Banker Real Estate Group agreed. He told WANE 15 that COVID-19 caused the number of April listings to be extremely low.  

“The pandemic affected the employment, it’s kind of shrunk the buyer pool a little bit, but we haven’t really seen that buyer pool shrink to the extent where inventory is starting to rise,” said Hartman. “Inventory is still low, interest rates are still low, there is still a really large buyer pool even with jobless claims rising.” 

Stephanie Mackin has been in that buyer pool for the past 6-months. Mackin says she is viewing two or three homes a day and still haven’t had any luck on closing.  

“It’s stressful, it’s heartbreaking sometimes. We learned not to get our hopes up,” said Mackin. “Putting offers in on any house that you think is decent really, you have to put an offer in almost immediately. Even when you do, there is no guarantee you’re going to get it.” 

Mackin said that her realtor from Century 21 sends her listings as soon as they are posted, they’ll go view the properties, but the majority of the time it’s too late. 

According to Zoda, an average time period of a house to be on the market is two days.  

Hartman mentioned that since the market is so competitive, buyers are doing anything necessary to have an edge on the competition.  

“People are going way over the asking price, I’ve seen people offer to cover any difference in the appraised price and the purchase price, “said Hartman. “Some people are even waving the inspection.” 

Hartman added that interest latest are at its lowest, and buyers are trying to capitalize.  

“Right now, interest rates are fluctuating between 3% and 4%,” said Hartman. “That is dang near record lows. I have even had some lenders tell me they locked buyers in the 2% which is basically free money.” 

With the market being so competitive, both real estate brokers warned customers not to jump at the first house available.  

“You have to be pretty quick to go look, but you have to be really careful not to rush into the wrong house,” said Zoda. “You have to be true to yourself as a homebuyer and really know what you are looking for and not allow yourself to purchase a home you’re really not going to like.” 

Zoda added that it is important to be preapproved before looking for a house. He said very few sellers will take an offer without preapproval. 

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