In 2022, real estate hit an all time high in terms of prices at which time I personally decided to sell my home as I thought real estate would be taking a nose dive due to rising interest rates. Part of decision was taking advantage of the strong real estate market but also the fact that I wanted to downsize from a large home to something smaller in not just square feet but also in overall payment.
Here’s What’s Interesting…
Real estate flattened in price for the next 6 months and with rates going higher, I thought for sure more inventory would come on the market as companies laid off thousands of employees locally. That didn’t happen and this year in February/March, we started seeing prices increase as inventory stayed low even with interest rates going even higher and just 900+ properties in Santa Clara County, 350 in Santa Cruz County and 920 in San Mateo County per the MLS (www.mlslistings.com).
As we enter Q4 and have pulled up local housing inventory, San Mateo County has 790 listings (comprised of houses, townhouses and condos). Santa Clara County has 1145 (a 17% increase) and Santa Cruz County has 340 with a very small decrease.
Thus far, not a significant change compared to last quarter. Per the Case Schiller Index for the Bay Area, real estate in near term seems to continue its way up since February of 2023.
Since inventory is still very low (and still a sellers market), competition for good property is fierce even with higher rates. Warren Buffet said, buy when no one is buying and sell when every one is buying to get the lowest price when buying and the highest price when selling.
There is consensus with Realtors, Lenders, Appraisers and Consumers that when interest rates start dropping (as they should in Q1 of 2024) that home owners will start considering to sell as many are wanting to downsize as they get older and others that may want to leave the area or state for lower taxes and lower housing prices.
Per the Federal Reserve in a report dated 9/20/23, the Federal Fund rate should go from 5.5% to 5.1% or lower in 2024 and 3.9% in 2025 and continue that trend in 2026. Time will tell of course but were getting near the end of high rates thank goodness and if the Federal Reserve does actually lower rates, we should see listing inventory increase as witnessed from 2012 onward where values exponentially grew as rated lowered.
Again, this could happen in other geographic areas but in the Bay Area, its more likely due to the wealth locally, the lack of land, high tech, VC and all the support services offered that include over 6 top tier universities and some of the best hospitals in the world as well as many other factors.
So…If your a Buyer or Seller…What Should You Do?
Any questions, please contact us. Thanks.
Senior Mortgage Advisor
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Note: Interest rates and loan programs quoted are subject to change without notice or until locked and approved by lender.