2022 Oxford Real Estate Outlook
Real Estate in Oxford: 2022 Outlook
2021 was a wild ride for the world of residential real estate in Oxford. Historically low interest rates and a shortage of inventory drove a competitive market defined by high demand and increasing prices. At the same time, many of the norms of home buying in the area took exception in 2021, which only exacerbated the already unusual environment.
“Seasonality typically plays a big role in home buying in Oxford, with buyers looking to get in their home before the school year begins,” said Keith Kessinger, principal broker, Kessinger Real Estate. “In turn, at the end of the year, we see a significant slowdown. In 2021, that slowdown didn’t exist and many of our agents saw an increase in transactions during that period.”
According to Kessinger, many of these themes will continue to carry through to 2022. That means, if you are looking to buy or sell a home this year, you need to have an understanding of what will be dealing with.
“One of the best things about Oxford is that it’s a university town, it’s a sports town, it’s a retirement town, which means the real estate constantly moving,” said Kessinger. “There are still a lot of great deals to be made for buyers and sellers alike, if you navigate the market correctly.”
If you are selling your house.
“In my 14 years at Kessinger, we are currently experiencing the best seller market I’ve ever seen,” said Kessinger. “Houses are staying on the market for shorter periods of time.”
Historically, Kessinger adds, homes in the area remain on the market for 60 to 90 days, if they have been priced well. Today, he would be shocked if it goes a couple of weeks. At the same time, buyers are making offers with fewer contingencies than ever.
If you are a parent interested in purchasing a condo for your Ole Miss student.
If you can purchase a home for your child to spend their college years, it almost always works out in the positive, and that remains the case in today’s market, according to Kessinger. The three- and four-bedroom condo in the $250 thousand to $300 thousand dollar range, which is typically where these parents land, still makes sense when you factor in roommates who will cover your mortgage combined with appreciation on the backend.
The current market, however, can be difficult for many of these buyers because the number of condos on the market is few and far between — and the ones that come on the market go in record time.
“If you are looking for a condo, you need to work with a realtor who is connected to this market and how will monitor the market at an even hourly basis to ensure you don’t miss the opportunity to purchase what could be the perfect place for your kid to call home,” he said.
If you are looking for a second home or gameday home.
As the cost of hotels continues to rise in the area, the benefits of a second home in Oxford continue to make sense.
“I have family from Texas who spent $14,000 on hotel rooms for football games alone,” said Kessinger. “This benefits of second home become even more valuable when you consider that families who purchase these second homes often end up using them more than they think. They come for Double Decker, baseball weekends or just to get out of town.”
In this current fast-moving market, however, the difficulty becomes finding that perfect place that meets your needs, including the right location, the right number of bedrooms, etc.
“You need to have a real estate agent in your corner who understands your needs, is familiar with the local market and who will stay on top of listed properties, not listed properties, and for-sale-by-owner properties,” he said.
If you are a first-time homebuyer.
In 2021, 1,322 homes were sold in Oxford, compared to 981 in 2022. That significant increase of buyers — many of whom were very motivated — created an environment that can be very frustrating for first-time buyers.
“Many buyers were offering above and beyond the asking price, which can be difficult for first-time buyers who often don’t have as much earnest money as more experienced homebuyers,” said Kessinger. “First-timers may also be competing with buyers who are able to pay cash for a house, which allows them to waive the home inspection and appraisal and makes the offer more favorable to the seller.”
In addition, the low inventory hit low-priced houses hardest, which is typically where first-time homebuyers are looking.
“To make the process easier, these homebuyers need to work with a realtor who understands the market and who can help make their offer look as attractive as possible, given those circumstances,” said Kessinger.
For example, a tuned-in realtor can ensure your strongest offer is turned in at the right time, which can be essential for ensuring it is as attractive as possible. If, for instance, the seller confirms they will respond to offers right away as they come in, it is important to get the offer in first.
“There are many nuances to our real estate market, which makes it exciting, but also difficult,” said Kessinger. “Having an agent on your side who is experienced and engrained in the area will make the process a successful one, no matter the market.”