Local couple details home buying battle as housing market rages

(WGHP) – The scorching housing market has seen median house prices skyrocket since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is great for sellers. For buyers? Not really.

“There are so many people who are getting so many offers for homes like constantly, constantly, constantly,” said Joel Zaldivar, who started looking for his family’s home in an attempt to move from the Charlotte area to the Piedmont triad.

The market was so competitive that Joel and his wife, Fayla, started bidding without looking at the houses.

“The first property we bid for $ 20 to $ 25,000 above asking price, visibly. The second, on invisible sight, ”said Fayla.

The pair placed so many bids on houses that they couldn’t count them with one hand.

“It was crazy. “We were making offers on houses that we didn’t even want,” they added.

According to Kelly Marks, president of the North Carolina Realtors Association, it takes about six months of supply to have terms of buying and selling real estate.

Last month, he said, the country was working with about a quarter of that.

“It’s not a bubble,” Marks said. “It’s supply and demand.”

With such a depleted inventory, every time the Zaldivars made an offer, it was a battle.

“Before, you loved, you wanted to stay within your budget, ask for thousands of dollars off and all those stipulations. “You can’t do this now. ” You can not do that. Like at all, ”they said.

“I feel terrible for buyers because I hear from all over the state that you have people who are 0-3, 0-5, 0-8 with offers,” Marks said.

Marks says it all started about 10 years ago, not because of the pandemic.

“Real estate investment trusts that invest in office buildings, commercial properties, shopping centers, began to turn their attention in 2011 when residential real estate was relatively cheap,” he said.

Marks went on to explain that many trusts should hold residential real estate for about five years before selling it. Then the rent went up at such a high rate that they decided to hang on to the properties. Across the country, he said, the market is about 5.5 million homes below what is needed to meet demand, adding that the trusts own more than 7.4 million homes.

“And at this time, no additional inventory is posted,” Marks said.

Eventually, the Zaldivar prevailed, finding a home in Kernersville. However, the people they bought the house from were only able to move in mid-August.

“It’s crazy compared to, like before, you find a house, you bid on the house, they take it,” they said.

Yet the Zaldivar admit that they would not have been successful in their search without the financial help of their family.

“Between his mother and my mother, we walked into this house, I mean we were blessed in that regard,” Joel detailed.

This blessing, Joel says, widens the gap between people who can and cannot afford to buy.

“There is a certain class of people who are now going to be raised and there is a certain class of people who are now forced to be tenants,” he said.

Marks sees a way out. In the short term, he said, it starts with tax policies.

“If you could get REITs to bring the affordable housing category back to market, it could be immediate and it could be driven by tax policies,” he said.

In the long term, Marks sees a potential solution in national and local zoning and density policies.

“Remember, winning the war is more important than the battle,” he said of potential buyers. “Eventually, they’re going to have their home. “

As of last month, there were less than 220 single-family homes on the market in Greensboro, including pre-construction. According to Zillow, home values ​​in North Carolina have increased 17.4% in the past year.

“We had areas, pockets and neighborhoods that grew by over 20%,” Marks added.

Marks says the areas with the greatest demand in Guilford County are zip codes 27410, 27408 and 27455.

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