The low mortgage rates, which ended the year near all-time lows, are also helping to send home prices to levels never seen before in Lincoln.
As of Nov. 30, the median price of an existing home in Lincoln was $207,000, 10% higher than last year and an all-time record. Barring a huge drop in prices in December, that means 2020 will end the year with a local median price above $200,000 for the first time.
Another factor that is boosting prices is a lack of inventory.
The local market has had a shortage of homes for sale for a few years, but it’s gotten worse this year.
The monthly average of existing homes for sale this year so far is 346, down nearly 33% from the average in 2019. At the end of November, there were only 239 existing homes for sale, 57% fewer than at the same point last year.
Rich Rodenburg, partner and associate broker with Coldwell Banker NHS Real Estate, said that number shrunk ever further in December, especially in Lincoln, where there were fewer than 140 homes for sale.
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“This is an all-time low, at least in the 20 years I’ve been watching,” he said.
Rodenburg said the lack of inventory means homes coming on the market are selling quickly, often in a few hours. That leads to bidding wars and offers above the listing price.