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In early July 2021, Fannie Mae confirmed something that most real estate professionals already knew: Buyers and sellers are currently on a very different page. Over half of buyers (64%) think it is now a bad time to buy. By contrast, an even higher percentage of sellers (77%) think it is a great time to sell. But are the nation’s sellers and buyers right — is it really a bad time to buy and a great time to sell? And if they are right, what is likely to happen to the real estate market in the final quarter of 2021?

Bad Time To Buy, Good Time To Sell? It’s Not So Simple

On the buyer side, there are many reasons to be wary about buying at this time. In addition to the cost (some economists have suggested that home prices are currently inflated by15% to 20%), inventory is low and competition is fierce. Still, these factors shouldn’t necessarily hold buyers back. It may still be a great time to enter the market for anyone who was already planning to buy and financially ready to do so.

On the seller side, there is no question that the past year has offered many opportunities. Given the shortage of inventory in most regions of the country and the high demand for homes, many rural and suburban homeowners continue to realize phenomenal returns on their properties. In some small towns, prices have soared up to 25%.

Three key factors are fueling the current low inventory and high demand for homes, especially in rural and suburban areas. First, even before the pandemic, many millennial families were already leaving cramped quarters in urban areas for suburban and rural locales. Secondly, remote work, which seems here to stay, is expanding where people can live. Finally, buyers who may have once preferred to invest in a new home are increasingly looking at resale options as supply-chain problems continue to hamper the ability of developers to complete projects.

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