Who knew?

Tom Brezsny
- Tom Brezsny

Who knew?

Who knew?  You can’t make this stuff up.  Five months ago, could anyone have predicted the stunning, shockingly crazy-busy real estate market we’re experiencing right now?  Or some of the record-setting sale prices we’re seeing in Santa Cruz?

If you’ve heard through the grapevine that real estate is busy, then you’ve heard right.  And if you’ve already been thinking there’s a  huge disconnect between the stock market and the real economy, you might also want to add real estate to the list. At the moment the real estate market feels like it’s unhinged from the concerns about jobs, the economy and the virus that all of us have.

Is there any data? Or at least anecdotal evidence that something weird is afoot? Using my best Rod Serling voice:  “I’d like to submit the following for your consideration…”

In July, the highest sale price ever, in the County, was recorded. A house near the harbor sold for $15.75 million, a number that  eclipses the previous high by 5 million.

A number of other sales close to the beach have also closed at record high prices – notably on the Westside and in Pleasure Point,  Las Olas and La Selva Beach (call for details).

In July,  our local median price point reached a million dollars for the first time ever.  Half the homes sold for more than that number and half sold for less. The average price of a home was more than $1.2m.

In San Lorenzo Valley, an area always known as more affordable, a Felton property recently sold for $1,500,000 with a reported 17 offers. There was a two week waiting list just to see the home.

There are currently more homes in escrow than there are active on the MLS. The available inventory is half of what it was last July.

The average price per square foot in July rose to a whopping $630 per sq ft.  And the number of closed transactions jumped by almost 50% year-over-year from July 2019.

And of course the weirdest thing at all?  The one unassailable fact is that we are living in the middle of a global pandemic. At the moment the coronavirus has disrupted, disconnected and  unhinged all of us from the “normal” lives and livelihoods that we thought we were living.  Right now, the entire country is untethered and everything feels like it is up in the air.

Next week we’ll look at some of the shifting patterns in real estate and how they reflect the ways people are adjusting and adapting their lives in the face of an emerging new normal.

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