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
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 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
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
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.
The real estate industry has always been a very human one. Successful REALTORS must gain an understanding of people to make their real estate dreams come true. It’s the sort of business that perhaps doesn’t appear to lend itself to technology – the combination of a firm handshake, an understanding ear and honest, bespoke advice is difficult to create out of zeroes and ones. But while the real estate industry isn’t one that is a slave to technology, it can certainly be enhanced by it. Modern tech can make the process of matching property with a buyer and make it even more human than it already is, by providing insights and avenues that improve the quality of the realtor/buyer connection. How can you leverage technology when selling real estate? Let’s take a look at four of the most effective ways. 1. Be everywhere on social media Social media is proving to be an incredibly valuable tool for REALTORS. A visual medium designed to facilitate connections, the likes of Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram are right in the sweet spot of real estate professionals. The value of social media will entirely depend on how well you use it. There are several mistakes that many realtors make, and some opportunities that tend to be missed. To maximize the effectiveness of social media: Know your niche and talk specifically to that audience. Give them a reason to follow you by offering value – post tips and tricks, share helpful articles, and give them a reason to laugh every once in a … Read More
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
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
On October 18, 2019 I appeared on KSCO Radio in Santa Cruz as a guest on the Mike Young Radio Hour. Mike is a REALTOR I have known virtually my entire career in real estate. He has a weekly radio show and he usually has another Santa Cruz REALTOR, Dennis Casey, as his wingman. For the October 18 2019 airing, I was invited on as a guest to discuss the recently-enacted California AB1482 legislation, which establishes rent control state wide in California. We touched on a few other topics of interest to followers of Santa Cruz and California real estate as well – so if you want to learn more about AB1482 and rent control, please listen to the audio of the radio show below.
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