Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past two years, you’ve no doubt heard that home values climbed their assent into the stratosphere.
But as local agents for over 25 years, even we have a hard time wrapping our heads around the staggering numbers.
You may have also heard that there’s “no inventory”. Well, that’s not exactly true.
Then what’s causing the spike in prices? High demand, not lack of supply—unlike the overall economy that’s suffering from a lack of supply and high demand.
Comparing the annual number for 2020 to 2021, we’ll start with the inventory of homes for sale.
The number of new listings that came on the market in 2020 was 234 in 2020 and 249 in 2021 which is an increase of 6.4% more homes available for sale in 2021. Then why is everyone talking about low inventory? Because sales went from 183 units in 2020 to 254 in 2021—a whopping 38% increase—so there are no homes left to buy.
One might ponder, “How can that be?” If you only have an increase of 6.4% in new listings, how can you have 38% more sales. The answer is everything is selling in 2021 while in 2020 some of those new listings never made it into escrow.
That’s evident in the days on market, which dropped 45%, from 20 days to only 11, and the percent a seller received over the asking price climbed from 105% in 2020 to 114% in 2022.
Another indicator of the scant number of homes available at any given moment is the “Months of Inventory” statistic, that measures how long it would take to sell all of the available inventory at the current rate of sales. That dropped from a meager .4 months, to an almost immeasurable .1 month, (overall, the U.S. stands at around six months of inventory at any given time).
What effect did this have on home values? Nothing, but it had a lot to do with home prices. They hit their highest level in history recording a median home price of $2,245,000 up from $1,888,000—a 19% increase YOY and a 28% increase in the past two years—while the size of homes selling in the last two periods stayed statistically similar at 1,968 and 1,962 square feet respectively.
There is some cooling off of the astronomical climb in prices as noted by the Case-Shiller study for the Bay Area’s metropolitan area, but that may not reflect our local hot spot trends in the mid-peninsula.
What to Watch Out For
Rising interest rates may give buyers some relief from a super-heated market, may also serve to quell their purchasing power while softening prices. The irony is just when buyers may be able to compete in the market, even if they were to pay less for a home, they’ll end up paying more in interest in their loans.
Drew & Christine Morgan are REALTORS/NOTARY PUBLIC in Belmont, CA. with more than 25 years of experience in helping sellers and buyers in their community. As Diamond recipients, Drew and Christine are ranked in the top 50 RE/MAX agents nationwide and the top 3 in Northern California. They may be reached at (650) 508.1441 or emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The information contained in this article is educational and intended for informational purposes only. It does not constitute real estate, tax, insurance or legal advice, nor does it substitute for advice specific to your situation. Always consult an appropriate professional familiar with your scenario.