Have Bay Area Homebuyers Returned After The Rainstorm?

Have Bay Area Homebuyers Returned After The Rainstorm?

Welcome everybody to our February Bay Area Housing Market Townhall, you can find the recording of the complete episode on our YouTube Channel. Let us start with housing market stats.

There are so many things that we want to share with you, but really last month I'm sure everybody experienced some kind of storm and the rain still keep coming in and out for a little bit which is really exciting because we haven't seen so much rain for so long now; but because of the rain, our housing market in January was definitely a lot slower.

Typically, most of the years that January 1st starts we see buyers start to come out, and start to look at properties, but I would say the first three weeks of January, it was really, really, really slow, and it was so slow that it was even on the news that talks about how slow the market was but things started to change. Let us just look at some of the statistics for the month of January.

In terms of active listings, the inventory is still quite low. We don't see a huge jump in the inventory. Well, that's expected typically as buyers are ready first but sellers start to get their properties ready after January 1st. So, it takes them about two weeks, or maybe even four weeks, to get their properties ready before they hit the market. So, we typically will see active listings probably increase a lot more in the month of February.

On top of that, if you look at the number of active listings versus the number of sales and you still see that there is quite a bit lower in terms of the number of sales in January because the market is so slow, in December and January, even though we already have very low listings. We don't really have a lot of listings compared to last year as you see we peaked over almost 9,000 units but at the same time because buyers are just really at this moment where they're not sure where the market is going. On top of that even though 2023 started, the rain had really stopped them from coming out to look at properties. So, that's why you see that the number of sales versus the number of active listings has such a wide gap.

In January, again, as we mentioned a lot of buyers are not coming out, so you see that month of inventory has shot up to 2.4, but again I am reminding everybody over and over again that the month of inventory for a normal market is four to six months. So, 2.4 months is still not a bad number. It's still actually pretty good. Although we're not used to it because for many, many years we've been seeing around 1 or 1.2 or one month of inventory, things just move really fast but 2.4 is still a relatively fast market for a normal market.

What about the days on the market? We have gone through again, as we mentioned just now about one week, less than two weeks’ time frame to get the properties under contract. Now, it has gone up to, January, was 28 days, so in January definitely even longer than December which is really rare, again go back to the rain, blaming it on the rain, but then we do need the rain. I'm not really complaining about it. I'm glad that we have rain. It's just that it did affect the housing market a little bit.

In terms of the sales price to list price ratio, we have started to see as high as 14% last year in April and then, it had started to come down slowly every month down to 99.4% of the asking price. So, definitely during the last two months, December and January, a lot of our buyers were able to actually negotiate down the price to get it under contract below the asking price.

In terms of how many listings are withdrawn or canceled, these typically happen when the seller is like "oh, forget it!" I'm going to just give up. I'm not going to sell anymore because maybe it's not moving or maybe they feel like the timing is not right so they withdraw for now or cancel the listing. But we see that in the month of January, actually, the number of canceled and withdrawn has come down quite a bit as compared to December.

But December, of course, a lot of times, if the property is not sold by maybe the beginning of December, a lot of sellers would decide that, hey, I'm going take the listings off the market until the next spring or until next year when the market comes back up. So, this is the reason why you see that there's quite a bit much higher in terms of withdrawn and canceled in the month of December and January, typically, we have a much lower number. But if you compare it to last year our numbers went back to about like month of April, which I thought is pretty interesting because the month of April was a very, very hot market back then in April. And January, well, I would say also our inventory is not as high so that's why we have less number of withdrawn listings and canceled listings.

In terms of list price decreased, we are pretty much similar to the month of December, not as many compared to September, October, and November, main reason is because that a lot of sellers are a lot more realistic now in terms of asking price, and they've learned that if they ask way too high, the property is just going to sit on the market and hopefully, this is what most of the realtors are advising their clients and not to expect such a high price because right now a lot of buyers are expecting sellers to reduce their price before they would make an offer. So, a lot of times like sellers will try to maintain a certain price point that is a lot more realistic than what the buyers are expecting.

In terms of transactions fell through, similar numbers as December 2022, at around about 74 listings for the entire of five counties that we are tracking right now. The numbers are pretty low. It means that transactions are actually going through, and there isn't a lot of falling through of Ester right now.

Now, we're looking at the Median Price for these five counties. Let's take a look at Santa Clara County, we mentioned before that we peaked in April 2022 at 1.95. It was kind of coming down pretty quickly especially around the summertime, around July and August, and then December, because it was so slow, it came down even more. But interestingly in Santa Clara County, you see the median price actually came up a little bit slightly from December to 1.5. And we had mentioned a little bit last month as well that we did see some of the homes we have multiple offers, although they're not aggressively way above asking price, but would definitely be started seeing a lot more buyers, starting to come out and look at properties.

San Mateo County, it peaked at 2.25 and then it came all the way down to 1.48, it is lower than December's number which was at 1.539.

For Alameda County, we peaked in May 2022 at $1.5 million, last month in January it came down to 1.0225 for their median sales price. It also came down from December at $1.05 million as well.

As for San Francisco County, it peaked in April 2022 at $2.05 million and it dropped quite a bit to $1.385 million in January of 2023. It actually came down quite a bit if you look at comparing it to December 2022 number, was 1.55, and January is 1.385. It came down almost to a hundred thousand dollars.

As for Contra Costa County, it peaked in May 2022 at $980,000, and it came down to $725,000 and also compared to December it was at $755,000 dollars so it came down about $30,000 for Contra Costa County.

So, if you look at the percentage-wise Santa Clara County, like I mentioned earlier it actually has gone up slightly from $1.465 to $1.5 which was about 2.39%. But if you look at year-over-year, it compared to last year's number, it came to about 12.9% which is about 13%, but if you compare to the peak, it came down about 23%. And San Mateo County, it came down about 3.83% from last month, December, and then if you compared to last year, it came down about 18.49% and then when you compared to the peak in April for San Mateo County it actually came down to 34.22%. Now, Alameda County, it dropped about 2.62% from last month but it dropped about 14.6% from last year and about 31.83% from the peak in May. And as for San Francisco county, this is a big one that we mentioned just now, it came down 10.65% from last month however if you compared it to last year, it only came down like 4.91%. So, that is a pretty drastic change, but if you look at now, look at the peak in April, it came to about 32.44%. Lastly, Contra Costa County, it dropped about 3.97% from last month and 7% from last year and 26% from the peak in May.

So, as you see that it has quite a big difference again with the pricing has gone up a lot at the beginning of the year and that's why it sees such a drastic change. Now, the question a lot of people are probably going to ask is that so are we going to continue to drop even more from the peak?

I think compared to last year, we kind of expected at this range, but obviously, when you compare from the peak of the pricing, it looks quite dire because it's 20-30% of the value has been dropped. We're going to take a look at a lot of different macroeconomic factors based on that information and see where the market is going to go on my later slides.

What happens on the Battleground? Obviously, we want to share with you live what's going on with the offers that have been submitted. Here are just some examples for you guys. In the city of Santa Clara, single-family homes asking about 1.349, they received multiple offers. If you look down this column, you see that a lot of multiple offers, and this one was sold for $1.5 million which is not bad at all. It is still pretty high $150,000 over asking price.

As for townhouses, here they have three offers in six days and they sold it to a cash offer. And this is what we are also noticing these days is that sellers are so willing to accept cash offers even if it is a little bit lower than a finance offer. So, you see that just based on this chart, we already have 5 of these examples that have accepted cash offers instead of financed offers.

Then, Mountain View, asking price at $1.6 million, it did take about 20 days to receive two offers and ended up selling below asking price and while a fixer in Mountain View, but it is a single-family house that had received 14 offers and 55 days because they dropped the price and the asking price dropped down to 1.5 and they sold it at 1.57. So, I think if last year we had 14 offers this would have been like $1.7 million. People will be bidding like several hundred thousand dollars above asking price, but in this case, even with 14 offers, it is about just about seventy thousand dollars over asking price.

Now, in Palo Alto single-family, asking $3.1 million and they received 4 offers, they accept cash offers at 3.1.

If we come down to South San Jose, for single-family still getting 5 offers in 3 days and they accepted a cash offer above asking price.

If you continue to go south a little bit, Santa Teresa, for condo, even though it's a condo, received a cash offer in just three days.

Let me skip over to Cambrian which is also in the San Jose more Southwest area, asking price about 1.4, they received four offers and within the week and they sold at $1.5 million.

Now, these three are in the East Bay Area, as you see that, same thing we're getting multiple offers, although you see that this is a longer days, but then it's also because of prices have come down a little bit and then they start getting a few offers which in the end is still below asking price.

So, here you kind of give you guys a sense that there are still a lot of buyers on the market, there are still a lot of interest in coming into the housing market. It's just that buyers a lot more conservative now unless the house really does have everything that they want and the offer price could be slightly more aggressive, but otherwise, buyers are still pretty conservative in terms of making their offers.

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