Almost twice as many homes as normal

Tom Brezsny
- Tom Brezsny

Almost twice as many homes as normal

These summer-like days we’re experiencing are a marked contrast to the cooped-up lifestyles we’ve been cultivating since Shelter in Place (SiP) started.  All this glorious sunshine tests people’s resolve to stay inside even further but it also feels like a sign that brighter days lie ahead.

Meanwhile, some of the more stringent restrictions for showing homes were lifted last week but that doesn’t mean we’re back to business as usual yet. The rules will probably continue to change in the coming weeks and if you have questions about best practice protocols for selling, contact me and I’ll walk you through it (virtually of course.)

Like the eerie silence hanging over our beaches last weekend, there’s an odd, expectant pause hovering around real estate right now as it gets ready to resume its course for 2020 – having just missed a crucial part of its annual rite of spring celebration of competitive offers and overbids.

Right now, there are almost twice as many homes as normal, sitting in the coming soon queue on the MLS,  just waiting to come on the market. Waiting for what? No one quite knows how this works.  Will they all come on at once? Are buyers going to be looking for steals and deals? Are sellers just assuming that the market will pick right back up where it left off?

There are lots of questions and very few answers heading into May. How does an economy jumpstart itself after such a long and unexpected interruption?  We’re going to find out over the next few months. As real estate gets closer to pushing the reset button, here are some positive factors to consider:

A surprising number of sales actually happened in March/April. Given the shelter in place order, one might have assumed that transactions would simply stop. That hasn’t been the case.

Many Sellers held their properties off the market in March/April and now there are incredibly low inventory levels. Low inventory along with pent-up demand usually leads to price appreciation.

The largest tech companies/employers in Silicon Valley have remained relatively unscathed by the coronavirus. NASDAQ, the source of so much wealth, is still near its all-time high.

Historically, the Bay Area/Silicon Valley real estate market has fared relatively well in downturns and has usually been one of the first markets to recover out of  recessions.

Prior to the pandemic, the market was poised for a very strong spring.  Home prices and activity were up. Interest rates were down. Employment and stock indices were near record highs. If we pick back up anywhere within hailing distance of where we were, that won’t be such a bad thing.

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