A Buying Opportunity

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It’s one thing to read national real estate sales statistics, and another thing to read statistics for California. But Real Estate is all really about local markets – what San Diego is doing really has very little, if anything, to do with what’s going on in Santa Cruz. So, how was the Santa Cruz market in March?

Today, the Santa Cruz Sentinel had a front page article, saying that real estate sales were at a 10 year low in March:

http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/archive/2006/April/08/local/stories/06local.htm

It’s important to read the whole article – it’s a fairly balanced piece, saying that while the sky isn’t falling, there is a lot of inventory out there, and sales are lagging in general. Of course, this could have a lot to do with the fact that while not record-breaking, there was a heck of a lot of rain in March – and February was pretty moist, too!

To me, it feels like there’s a lot of strength in the market. To a seller who has had their home on the market a month or two, and remembers how things were last year this time when homes were selling in 7 days with multiple offers, and selling for over asking price…the market may feel pretty weak. A lot of these sellers are going to be feeling antsy, and may be open to considering offers that are significantly lower than asking price.

Mind you, there are plenty of properties out there that are getting multiple offers, even today. Please don’t think that sellers of prime, well-priced properties are going to sell at anything less than asking price – it isn’t that kind of a buyer’s market. However, it is the kind of market where if there are many similar houses for sale in the same price range, in the same area…the owners of the houses (or condos) who’ve had them on the market the longest…may be (and should be) considering taking a lower offfer.

All in all, this is the best market for buyers that Santa Cruz has seen in years. Although buyers may not always be in the driver’s seat – at least they’re riding shotgun.

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