California Real Estate Forecast for 2020

sebfreyBlog, Local, Santa Cruz Real Estate, Silicon Valley Real Estate, Video

As you may have heard, I recently became a Broker Associate with Compass in Los Gatos (the former Alain Pinel REALTORS). There are a lot of benefits to working with a large, upscale brokerage – one of them being that you can get access to valuable information before the competition. Yesterday, our office had the first meeting of the year and it featured a feature presentation by Jordan Levine, the Deputy Chief Economist for the California Association of REALTORS. I have also seen many presentations by Jordan’s boss, Leslie Appleton-Young, and I even had her as a guest on an episode of the Bay to Bay Podcast. Jordan, by the way, is also a podcaster as he is the co-host of California Association of REALTORS Housing Matters podcast. Video of California Real Estate Forecast for 2020 The presentation was about 40 minutes long, as there was a lot to digest in there. The bottom line is that the 2020 real estate market is expected to look a lot like the 2019 real estate market: tight inventory, low interest rates, poor affordability, but with slightly more sales at somewhat higher prices (statewide, but the greater Bay Area should be an exception). Key Points for California’s 2020 Real Estate Forecast Housing prices may be up, but actual mortgage payments are down Lowest Unemployment in 50 Years Prices at the very high end softening, lower priced homes rising in price. Higher-end homes taking longer to sell U.S. 2020 GDP Projected @ 1.6% (down from 2.2% in 2019) U.S. Inflation … 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

Silicon Valley Real Estate Prices Drop Sharply in Q1 2019

sebfreyCommentary, Local, Silicon Valley Real Estate

A couple of days ago I attended a regional meeting of local REALTOR Association leadership. We had officers and staff from around the greater San Francisco Bay Area all gathered in a room. Folks from San Francisco, Contra Costa, Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Monterey counties all got together to talk about how we can better serve our customers. I sat next to a broker from Santa Clara county, and I asked her how the Santa Clara County Market is doing. “It’s bad,” she said. “Bad?” I asked. “How bad?” And she said home prices are down 10-12% versus a year ago. That would be pretty bad – if it were true. I hear stuff like that a lot from different agents. But then when I go and dig into the stats, I usually find there’s more to the story – or a different story altogether. So imagine my surprise when I dug into the stats and found that actually, prices were down by much more than 10-12%. Houses took about twice as long to sell in Q1 2019 vs. Q1 in 2018. And the number of sales has dropped by nearly 10%, while the number of new listings is up by almost 4%. Santa Clara County Q1 2019 Real Estate Wrap-Up Video In case you’re not a regular consumer of my social media, you may not know that I have a “TV” show called SebFrey.TV – I made a special episode where I did a wrap-up of the Santa Clara County real … Read More

Selling a Home in 2019 vs. 2020

sebfreyCommentary, Local, North Monterey County Real Estate, Santa Cruz Real Estate, Silicon Valley Real Estate

One of the most popular pages on my website in 2018 was an article where I addressed the perennial question, “Is it better to sell my home this year, or next?”  In that posting, I opined that the preponderance of evidence is that 2018 was shaping up to be a pretty good year for home sellers.  Today many sellers are wondering about selling a home in 2019 vs. 2020. In last year’s article, I said that given a choice, it would be better for homeowners to sell in 2018 rather than rolling the dice on 2019, as the economic forecast for 2019 was cloudy. Now that we’ve flipped the page into 2019, I can say it looks like the jury is in on this one:  2018 was the peak year for this real estate market cycle.  The question before us today is, I think:  will 2019 prove to be a good-but-not-great year for sellers – or will it be the year the market falls off a cliff, again? Why The Real Estate Market Has Gone Soft After much thought and analysis, it seems to me that the softening of appreciation in home prices is due to the market finally reaching the limit of affordability.  In Santa Cruz county, only 12% of households can “afford” a median-priced home (with a 20% down payment).  In Santa Clara county that number is 16%.  In Monterey county, it’s 19%. It looks like what we’re seeing today simply comes down to the fact that buyers simply can’t afford to pay more … Read More

California 2019 Real Estate Forecast

sebfreyCommentary, Local

Crystall Ball

It’s that time of year, and high-profile prognosticators are breaking out their crystal balls to come up with their California 2019 real estate forecast.  For the past couple of years or so, I’ve given you a blow-by-blow video of Leslie Appleton-Young’s California market forecast (Leslie is the Chief Economist of the California Association of REALTORS, aka C.A.R.).  This year, though, I’m going to skip that and instead give you just C.A.R.’s forecast highlights, and a round-up of other California real estate forecasts for 2019 as well. But let’s start with C.A.R.’s 2019 California real estate forecast…you can get it right from the California Association of REALTORS web site, from their October 11th presentation to REALTOR members. Also, I do have a copy of Leslie’s slides from the presentation she made to the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS on November 16th, 2018 – if you want to download the slide deck as a PDF, you can do so using this link. In a nutshell, here’s what Leslie and the folks at C.A.R. are predicting for the 2019 California real estate market: A combination of high home prices and eroding affordability is expected to cut into housing demand and contribute to a weaker housing market in 2019, and 2018 home sales will register lower for the first time in four years… In essence, the message from C.A.R. is that the California real estate market in 2019 can be characterized as changing “from great to good.”   I’ll break out a few key predictions for you. California Association of REALTORS … Read More

The World’s Greatest Realtor 2018 Award Winner

sebfreyCommentary, Local, North Monterey County Real Estate, Santa Cruz Real Estate, Silicon Valley Real Estate

Realtor Logo

Sebastian “Seb” Frey is the The World’s Greatest Realtor 2018 Award Winner!  This prestigious award was granted to him by one of his clients upon the successful sale of their family home in San Jose, California.  Closing gifts are common in the Santa Clara county real estate market, but it is unusual for a client to buy the agent a gift – usually, it’s the other way around.  So why did this homeowner go through the trouble and expense of getting a custom made closing gift for their Realtor? The World’s Greatest Realtor Case Study Cathy grew up in a quiet, tidy neighborhood of San Jose.  Homes in the neighborhood consisted of single level ranch homes built in the 1950’s – most were around 1150 square feet or so, and the typical lot size was about 6,000 square feet.  Her parents were the second owner of the home.  Mom had died over a decade ago, and dad had just recently died. The home was being lived in by her brother Steve, who was on title.  A third sibling, another sister, was on title as well.  Steve had been living in the home for most of his life – and had a lifetime’s worth of items stored in the house. Actually, he had several lifetimes worth of stuff stored there. To be honest, the home was packed.  Many rooms had boxes and bags of items, stacked from floor to ceiling.  There were storage sheds in the back yard – crammed full of junk.  The garage was likewise completely … Read More

Selling a Home and Buying Another Is Easy!

sebfreyDownsizing, Local, North Monterey County Real Estate, Santa Cruz Real Estate, Silicon Valley Real Estate

The Real Estate Cycle

Are you itching to swap homes?  Maybe you have a new child on the way and want to step up into a larger home than you have now.  Or it could be that all your kids have left the nest (waaaa!  Or yeah!?), and now you’re looking to downsize into a smaller home.  Because our housing costs are so high, if you’re like 88% or so of the home-owning public, you’ll probably need to sell your current home before you can close on the sale of a new one.  If you’re in that boat, I’ve got some good news for you:  selling a home and buying another is easy! One of the first questions home owners have is, should I put my home on the market before I find the house I want to move to, or should I find my new home, and then put my current house up for sale?  For most homeowners, the answer is clear:  put your current home up for sale before making an offer on a new one. Here’s exactly what you need to do to make a smooth move from your current digs to the new pad.  First, get your home on the market.  I know, getting it ready to list for sale on the market can be a lot of work, but it’s got to be done.   It needs to be fully staged and prepared in order to expedite the sale and thereby maximize its sale price. After the home is on the market, the next step is getting your … Read More

Join Us at Our Upcoming Home Seller Seminar

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I want to take this time to invite you to a very special presentation. On Thursday, January 24, 2019, I would be delighted if you joined me at my live event. I’m calling it my “Savvy Seller Seminar” and I am going to teach you everything you need to know to sell your home for the highest price – yet quickly, and without a lot of hassle and expense. Not only will everyone who attends get my best strategies and tactics for selling success, but they will also get a free copy of my book, Get It Sold. While you can of course get my book, read it, and learn a whole lot from it, I’ve found that there’s a lot of value in coming together with a group of people who are participating in a live, dynamic event.  For sure, we’ll all learn a thing or two – myself included! Tickets are available at no charge on EventBrite – but hurry, seats are limited and are expected to fill quickly. Limit two tickets per person, and include snacks, drinks, end eligibility to win any of several door prizes. I’ll be joined by experts in different fields that are in involved with selling a home. We’ll have door prizes, snacks and drinks – it’s going to be an extremely fun and informative event, I promise. Topics that will be explored include: Current Market Statistics Ninja Marketing and advertising tactics Staging Your Home to Sell Quickly at Peak Pricing Disclosure Requirements Key Features of the Listing Agreement … Read More

A Very Special Offer of a Free Room-by-Room Review

sebfreyLocal, North Monterey County Real Estate, Santa Cruz Real Estate, Silicon Valley Real Estate

It’s springtime—the time of year when a lot of people start thinking about selling their homes. If you’re one of those people, I’ll bet that you’ve asked what you can do to the property to really boost the sales price and net the highest amount of money. Many people worry that they’ll have to make big, expensive upgrades or repairs.

Santa Cruz Median Home Price hit $920K in March

sebfreyCommentary, Local, Santa Cruz Real Estate, Silicon Valley Real Estate

Real Estate Report

The Santa Cruz real estate market is making headlines again.  A few weeks ago, the news was that the median home price in Santa Cruz county had dipped below $800,000 for the first time in 15 months.  But a fresh look at MLS data reveals that the Santa Cruz median home price hit $920K in March 2018.  This is believed to be the highest median home price ever recorded in Santa Cruz county. Here’s a quick break-down of the March 2018 Santa Cruz Real Estate Market data: $920,500 median single family home price (+12.3% vs. $820,000 a year ago) 132 Homes sold (+16.8% vs. 113 year ago) 37 Days on Market Average (-27.5% vs 51 DOM a year ago) $647/sf Average (+29.4% vs. $500/sf average a year ago) 210 New Listings hit the market (+2% vs. 206 a year ago) When the news hit a month ago that the January median price had dipped below $800K for the first time in over a year, I cautioned people that one month does not make a trend, it could easily be an outlier.  Likewise, March’s $920K number could also be an outlier.  Certainly, we are seeing a considerable amount of volatility in the market. Santa Cruz is 6th Hottest Housing Market in the USA Last month we reported on the 20 hottest housing markets in the entire United States.  Last month, Santa Cruz came in at #11.  This month, Santa Cruz is 6th hottest real estate market in USA.  This is according to a new article in Realtor Magazine.  Once … Read More