Santa Cruz County September 2020 Market Report

sebfreyCharts and Statistics, Santa Cruz Real Estate

In the context of the horrible fires we’ve seen in recent weeks – with so many of our communities and neighbors so terribly affected – a real estate report seems trivial. But since I have clients still trying to make buying and selling decisions, I’ll continue to deliver straightforward data on market conditions.  Surprisingly, the fires did not significantly impact the number of deals being made in most Bay Area counties during the last 2 weeks of August – the exceptions being those worst affected by the crisis: Santa Cruz (-33%), Sonoma (-22%), Monterey (-16) and Napa (-13%). However, activity began to pick up again in Santa Cruz County in the first week of September – though still about 20% below the pre-fire level. (This week by week chart runs through the end of August.)   Year-to-date house sales volumes and median sales prices by city:  Short-term and long-term median house sales price trends are illustrated in the following two charts.  Average house dollar per square foot values:  A snapshot measure of how many listings were typically active on any given day of the specified month: Inventory levels have been running very low, a big factor in market dynamics.   Active house listings and median house asking prices by city, as of 9/7/20: These numbers will change daily with ongoing market activity.  The percentage of active listings going into contract by month: A clear indicator of how high buyer demand has been this summer.  The number of price reductions has been very low, another indicator of a very … Read More

Santa Clara County September 2020 Market Report

sebfreyCharts and Statistics, Silicon Valley Real Estate

In the context of the horrible fires we’ve seen in recent weeks – with many of our Bay Area communities and neighbors so terribly affected – a real estate report seems trivial. But since we have clients still trying to make buying and selling decisions, we will try to continue to deliver straightforward data on market conditions.  Surprisingly, the fires did not significantly impact the number of deals being made in most Bay Area counties during the last 2 weeks of August – the exceptions being Santa Cruz, Sonoma, Monterey and Napa Counties, which saw declines of 13% to 33%. Santa Clara County actually saw activity increase in the second half of the month. (This chart looks at week by week activity in the Bay Area.)  Median house sales price trends  Year-to-date house sales and median house sales prices by city or San Jose neighborhood:   Bay Area median house sales prices by county Bay Area luxury home markets: Year-over-year summer sales volumes and percentage changes. Santa Clara County – the largest luxury home market in the Bay Area – saw a solid increase in sales over summer 2019. Some counties saw stupendous jumps.  Santa Clara County year-to-date condo sales and median condo sales prices by city or San Jose neighborhood:  Median condo sales price trends by bedroom count: Demand in the condo market has been weaker than in the house market, a relatively common situation around the Bay Area.  Year-over-year trends in new listings coming on market, and listings going into contract.  A snapshot measure of … Read More

Compass Bay Area Market Share

sebfreyCharts and Statistics, Luxury Homes, Marketing

Prior to 2018, few people in the San Francisco Bay Area had heard of Compass, the combo tech startup / real estate brokerage based in New York City. That all changed quickly when Compass acquired several leading brokerages in the area, including Pacific Union and Alain Pinel Realtors. It’s fair to say that Compass is a juggernaut, with the Compass bay area market share towering over the competition. With those acquisitions, Compass immediately rocketed to the top of the leaderboards. However, since that time, the company has continued to grow, based on the strength of its brand, the savvy of its agents, and the leading-edge software tools and programs it has developed to empower agents and consumers to simply and ease the sale and purchase of residential real estate. This article features six charts which show how Compass has come to dominate the San Francisco Bay Area real estate market. These charts were first published in June 2020. The first chart shows how Compass towers over the competition when it comes to total dollars of sales, with Compass claiming nearly $25 billion in sales over 12 months. The next chart shows how Compass stacks up to the competition in terms of market share of sales dollars. Compass sells about 23% of all homes at all price ranges throughout the Bay Area – more than double the nearest competitor, Coldwell Banker, which has about 9% market share. How do you define luxury? That means different things in different markets, but in the San Francisco Bay Area, Compass … Read More

Santa Cruz August 2020 Real Estate Update

sebfreyCharts and Statistics, Santa Cruz Real Estate

Median House Sales Price – Short-Term & Long-Term Trends Bay Area Markets Comparison This table ranks each county by the percentage of active listings going into contract in June/July 2020, a standard statistic of market heat, compares it to the same period of last year, and then rates the scale of the year-over-year change.  Many counties are seeing dramatically increased demand over last year, with Santa Cruz seeing one of the biggest jumps.  Supply & Demand Active listings, new listings, listings going into contract, closed sales volume Lower inventory levels + increased buyer demand Higher-Price Home Sales – Year-over-Year Comparisons Selected Market Indicators Price reductions, average days on market, months supply of inventory, sales price to list price percentage

Santa Clara County August 2020 Real Estate Update

sebfreyCharts and Statistics, Silicon Valley Real Estate

Santa Clara County is lovely this time of year! Median House Sales Price – Long-Term Trends  Supply & Demand The number of active listings remains low. House vs. Condo Markets As is not uncommon in other Bay Area Counties, the condo market is substantially softer. Selected Market Indicators Year-over-year, the number of price reductions remains moderately low (chart 1); the average sales-price-to-list-price percentage is down from the heights two years ago (chart 2); and average days on market, though climbing a little, also remain moderately low (chart 3). Luxury Home Sales A comparative table on homes selling for $3,000,000+ Substantial spikes in higher-price home sales Bay Area County Markets Comparison This table ranks each county by the percentage of active listings going into contract in June/July 2020 – a standard statistic of market heat – compares it to the same period of last year, and then rates the year-over-year change. The Santa Clara County market is substantially hotter than last year, but some other Bay Area counties – especially outlying, more rural counties – are seeing huge year-over-year increases in demand.

The Dangers of Overpricing your Home

sebfreyCharts and Statistics, North Monterey County Real Estate, Santa Cruz Real Estate, Silicon Valley Real Estate

The Truth about Overpricing your Bay Area home Click here to skip down to the charts and graphs for Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Monterey counties. Fair market value is that price a qualified, reasonably knowledgeable buyer is willing to pay, which a seller, not under duress, is willing to accept after the home has been properly exposed to the market. Many sellers, however, set a price higher than the market will bear – to their significant detriment. This article explores the dangers of overpricing your bay area home, with lots of facts, figures, charts, and statistics. Ironically, instead of getting more money… Over-pricing usually stigmatizes a property and reduces the eventual sale price to less than it would have been with more realistic pricing.”House Selling for Dummies Neither agents nor sellers determine market value: Only the market – willing and able buyers — determines market value. Agent and seller work together to create a plan which includes pricing, preparation and marketing — to maximize the conditions that reliably achieve the highest possible sales price. The vast majority of buyers will not make offers on homes they consider significantly overpriced. Either they don’t want to waste their time, or are uncomfortable with possibly “offending” the seller. In any case, they simply move on to other listings. Well-priced homes create a sense of urgency in the buyer/broker communities to act quickly with strong, clean offers, and often lead to competitive bidding between buyers – which is the most likely way to increase sales price. Overpricing wastes the … Read More

July 2020 Santa Clara County Real Estate Market Update

sebfreyCharts and Statistics, Local, Silicon Valley Real Estate

Santa Clara County R.E. Market Rebounds from COVID-19 Plunge Despite the ongoing health and economic crisis precipitated by COVID-19, the real estate market made a dramatic recovery from the steep declines in March and April. The median house sales price in Q2 was only a tad below its 2018 peak, and high-end homes, in particular, have seen extremely strong demand – this applies to virtually every market in the Bay Area. More affluent buyers – the demographic least affected by COVID-19, unemployment, and also having the greatest financial resources – have been jumping back into the market to a greater degree than other segments.   The first chart below illustrates the big rebound in buyer demand, as the number of listings accepting offers in June 2020 rose higher on a year-over-year basis.   Demand for luxury homes has soared in the last 2 months.  Inventory started out low in the beginning of 2020, and remains well below the levels of last year.  Three angles on house value trends: median sales price and average dollar per square foot by quarter, and then a longer-term perspective. The condo market has been softer than the house market, as measured by both sales activity and median sales price. This is a common dynamic around the Bay Area.  Average days on market were quite low in Q2.   The overbidding of asking prices has declined very dramatically from 2018, when Santa Clara County was probably the hottest market in the country.  Median home prices by city or San Jose neighborhood, by bedroom count.  The … Read More

July 2020 Santa Cruz County Real Estate Market Update

sebfreyLocal, Santa Cruz Real Estate, Uncategorized

Market Activity Soars after Early Spring Decline Recovering from the initial shelter-in-place drop in sales activity, Santa Cruz County has now jumped well above the highest points of the past 2 years. The first 2 charts below illustrate the big rebound in listings accepting offers in both the general residential market and the higher-price home segment.  The Bay Area markets with the largest year-over-year increases in the number of listings accepting offers in June 2020 were the 4 outer Bay Area counties of Monterey (up 61%), Santa Cruz (58%), Sonoma (47%) and Napa (37%). They also have among the lowest population densities in the Bay Area. The more urban counties saw more modest y-o-y increases: San Francisco (6%) and Alameda (7%).  The year began with a relatively low inventory of homes for sale, and though that number has been increasing, it is still well down year over year.  The next 4 charts look at median home sales prices from a variety of angles. Remember that median sales prices are not perfect indicators of changes in fair market value: They can fluctuate due to a number of other factors as well.  Average days on market were quite low in the last quarter, a common dynamic in Bay Area markets. The homes that sold went into contract relatively quickly.  In Q2 2020, the average sales price was 2.5% below asking price.  And interest rates hit another all-time low in early July, adding fuel to buyer demand. 

Why Sell Your Home During COVID

sebfreyMarketing, Sellers, Silicon Valley Real Estate

The grim reality is setting in: COVID-19 isn’t going away any time soon. It’s clear now that this pandemic will be raging in California and the rest of the United States for at least the rest of 2020. But what if you need to sell your home during COVID? It’s the new normal – for now. And some thing may never be the same again. One of those things which may be changed forever is the way we sell homes. While selling a home during COVID does present its challenges, it also presents some unique opportunities – especially in the second half of 2020. Watch this presentation recorded July 2, 2020. All the market statistics cited in the presentation were as of that date. As will be clear from watching the video, it’s not only possible to sell your home during COVID, in some respects it’s a better time to sell your home than any time in recent memory. Watch the presentation and understand what makes this an exceptional time to sell your greater San Francisco Bay Area home.

Tips for Creating a Stellar Home Office in a Small Home

sebfreyBlog, Home Care Tips

Home Office

There are many benefits that come with working from home. You don’t have to commute to an office, you can set your own hours, and you have minimal overhead to deal with if you are starting a business, to name a few. However, whether you are telecommuting part-time, full-time, or working as an entrepreneur, you need a space to call your own that allows you to work efficiently. And if you live in a small home, it can be challenging to create a workspace that helps you to separate your work and home life. But it’s possible! Here are some tips for putting together a home office in a small living space. Think about Your Needs First of all, what do you need from your home office? Consider the type of work you do and the equipment and space you will need to do it productively. Do you need a desktop, printer, shredder, multiple filing cabinets, and a brainstorming station? Or will a laptop, small desk, and chair suffice? Evaluating your needs will help you determine the location and layout of your workspace. Get Cash Even budget-friendly home offices require you to invest something, whether it’s in equipment, paint, decor, storage solutions, or any other number of items. Draw up a plan to see how much your workspace will cost, and if you don’t have the cash set aside for it, consider refinancing your mortgage. By refinancing a home, you will replace your existing mortgage with a new, larger one. The money left over will go … Read More