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

How Multiple Offers Affect Sale Price

sebfreyBlog, Charts and Statistics, Commentary, North Monterey County Real Estate, Santa Cruz Real Estate, Sellers, Silicon Valley Real Estate

It’s that time of year again! Early in the year, inventory is low – but there’s no shortage of eager buyers looking to purchase a home. While an imbalance of supply versus demand is not uncommon in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, it’s especially acute early in 2020. New inventory is trickling onto the market, and it will continue to ramp up as we get into spring. But at the moment, there’s nowhere near enough new inventory to meet demand. Sellers with well-priced homes across the region are being rewarded with multiple offers from prospective purchasers. That is of course a wonderful situation for a seller – but it’s more like a nightmare for buyers. Many of these buyers will have been looking for months, even years, before they finally put an offer in on a property…only to find out that the seller has a number of competing offers to choose from. A buyer never knows how a seller will respond in a multiple offer situation. Will they accept just one offer from the “best” buyer? Will they make counter offers to specific buyers? Will they ask all buyers to respond with their “highest and best” offer, knowing that there are multiple offers on the table? What’s more, a seller can make different counter offers to different buyers, with different prices and terms. I’m helping clients manage a few multiple-offer situations at the moment, as listing agent and as buyer’s agent. Working with buyers in a multiple offer situation is especially fraught, because of course, … Read More

2019 Mid-Year Real Estate Update for Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Monterey

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

And here we are, just past half-way through 2019! Happened so quick, I’ll bet you feel a bit of whiplash. It’s been an interesting half-year so far, especially when it comes to the Monterey and San Francisco Bay Area real estate market. For this 2019 Mid-Year Real Estate update, I took a dive through the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) to dig deep through the numbers for Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, and Monterey counties for the first six months of the year. So how is our real estate market doing, at the mid-point of 2019? One that comes through loud and clear is that just like politics, all real estate is local. The story told through these numbers is much different in all three counties.  If you want, you can skip down to the county that interests you most:  Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, or Monterey. Seb Frey Talks Real Estate Mid-2019 on Seb Frey TV Santa Clara County Santa Clara County is the heart of Silicon Valley – what happens there affects the real estate market for a large portion of northern California, and all of the San Francisco and Monterey Bay Areas.  The numbers for the first half of 2019 are markedly different than the first half of 2018.  In particular: Homes are taking almost twice as long to sell this year (93% longer) Price Per Square Foot has dropped 6.76% Average Sale Price has dropped 6.63% Median Home Price has dropped 8.95% Sale to List Price Ratio down 8% Home Sales are down 9.5% this … Read More

Hottest U.S. Real Estate Markets in February 2018

sebfreyCharts and Statistics, Commentary

It's One Hot Market

The folks at Realtor.com have come out with their list of the top 20 hottest housing markets in the United States…and, no surprise, California dominates the rankings. Not for the first time, our beloved city by the bay, San Francisco, takes the top prize as the hottest housing market in the entire United States. Once again, as in so many other ways – the city is #1. A lot of other northern California cities made the top 20 however: #3: Vallejo #4: San Jose #5: Sacramento #7: Santa Rosa #10: Stockton #11: Santa Cruz #13: Chico #15: Modesto #17: Fresno And, in fairness to our southern cousins, I’d like to point out that these other great California towns made the list: #9: San Diego #14: Oxnard #20: Los Angeles You may be asking, how did they determine which housing markets are the hottest?  It’s not about how much prices are rising year over year.  Their magic formula is quite simple: Using the key indicators of days on market and listing views per market, realtor.com came up with its monthly list of the hottest real estate markets in the nation. OK, so maybe that’s not the most scientific method in the world to determine the hottest housing markets. But it’s at least pretty good anecdotal evidence, strong enough to make me ask: What are you waiting for? This is the hottest seller’s market we’ve seen since…well, that’s hard to say, because the market has been pretty hot for years. It’s like the weather now – fire season … Read More