An Update on the Local Real Estate Market

Whether you are a seasoned homebuyer that has owned multiple homes over the years, or you are putting away every extra penny to save toward a down payment on your first home, there is plenty to think about when it comes to the residential real estate market in Nebraska. While the pandemic changed a lot of things in the real estate industry, one thing is certain: Nebraska continues to be a place for people to put down roots.

Market Update: Local Real Estate

The real estate market is very strong right now in terms of demand.

“In August 2021, Omaha home prices were up 11.6% compared to the same time last year, selling for a median price of $245,000,” said Jill Anderson, president of residential sales for NP Dodge Real Estate. “August of 2021 saw a total of 1,112 new listings, whereas August of 2020 saw 1,357 new listings come on the market.

“Homes that are priced correctly in Omaha are receiving accepted offers after seven days on the market (which is similar to last year). We saw less multiple offer situations in August, which doesn’t mean the market is cooling, but was normalizing to the seasonal market that we typically see this time of year.”

Angel Starks, Realtor at Team Locale with Nebraska Realty, agreed that the residential market in Omaha is healthy and will continue to progress.

“Home values are increasing steadily, but we also must acknowledge the lack of inventory and affordable housing options,” she said. “Due to low inventory, we are still in a seller’s market, yet buyers are experiencing more opportunities of choice within the last few months.”

Tasha Moss from Omaha Real Estate Group said that the market is robust and steady.

“We are seeing more homes on the market than we did the first six months of the year, which is helping stabilize things,” she said

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The pandemic threw people around the country a curveball that they simply were not expecting. It was no different for real estate agents and potential homebuyers in Nebraska.

“It has been a hard year for a lot of agents,” Moss said. “The inventory has been so low, and many buyers had to write offers on 10-plus homes before they got one. That is a lot of time spent not only finding the home but spending time trying to write the perfect offer to get the home. A lot of buyers and agents were fatigued from the market conditions.”

Starks reiterated that the competition is intense.

“The industry is very competitive. Ensuring that clients are taking the time to fully understand contracts and such versus making emotional decisions can be challenging, but it’s a challenge we all signed up for,” she said. “Asking lots of questions and preparing for the journey is key.”

Anderson noted that because the market is so hot, another challenge can be the emotional part of working with people that are experiencing the stress and pressure of the homebuying process. It can even feel a bit frantic at times.

“People hear houses are selling quickly above list prices, and sometimes get caught up in the frenzy of the moment,” she said. “If they are talking with a friend/relative/co-worker who just sold a house and hear a story about how they sold their house above list price, it sounds great; but they need to also realize that offer may have occurred 30-plus days ago. Real estate is fluid, so talk with a professional who has their pulse on the market and will provide the best information and advice.”

Local Trends

The pandemic impacted many local real estate trends that are happening right now. Because many people were home more and recognized their need for more space — particularly dedicated office space — people looking at buying a home put an increased demand on homes that had offices, larger yards or pools, and great views.

Another trend that popped up in the last year is the creative ways that people are finding to get the home of their dreams — especially when multiple offers are on the table.

“Buyers are sacrificing many amenities such as home inspections, seller concessions, etc. Yet, again, as of recent, we’ve seen an uprise in opportunities for home inspections and financing other than conventional loans,” Starks said.

Moss noted that she has also seen a lot of creative strategy going into residential home offers, but that things are starting to slow down a bit in that regard.

“When homes were getting 20-plus offers, you really needed to be able to find what the seller’s ‘dream closing’ would be like because every offer was well over list price,” she said. “We saw a lot of buyers paying for the seller’s closing costs, no inspections, escalation clauses, long-term rent back for free, and other perks offered in an attempt to entice sellers.”

Higher housing prices, particularly in newly constructed homes, is also something that people are facing right now. With limited housing inventory, many people opted to build their home, but labor and shipping shortages brought increased prices on lumber and other material for new homes. Residential homebuilders are working hard to keep up with demand.

Looking Ahead

A home is not just a sanctuary for you to relax, raise your family, and connect with the community and those you love most, but it’s also an investment. An investment in the Omaha real estate market is truly something to consider, as it could reap big rewards for you later. Real estate agents recommend working with a Realtor that understands the market and its current trends. Doing so will allow prospective homebuyers the opportunity to tap into the best knowledge and gain access to valuable information needed to get the best return on your real estate investment.

“Overall, Omaha has seen year over year increases in housing values, which should be expected in years to come,” Anderson said.