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February 2022

The number of Bay Area homes for sale at record low

With the number of houses for sale in December sinking to historic lows, it’s getting harder to find a home to buy. Data from Zillow shows the supply of homes for sale from the previous year dropped 22% in San Francisco and the East Bay and 32% in the South Bay from the previous year.

Under normal market conditions, a three-month inventory of homes for sale — how long it would take for all the available homes to sell — is considered balanced, giving buyers sufficient choices and sellers enough opportunity to move. But inventory in December slipped to less than a month in the Bay Area, according to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

2020-2022 January Stats for Santa Cruz, Monterey & the Bay Area

Jan20 22

Comments: Can you believe what has happened during this time of Covid-19? I am not sure it would not have happened anyway, due to the low inventory. New listings haven’t changed much even considering the migration out of CA. Sold listings do show a decline especially from 2021. Then there is median price, yikes an increase 39% in Santa Cruz, 8.6% in Monterey and 35.7% in Santa Clara County from 2020. Days on the market have stayed steady in 2021-2022 most likely because there were no showings in 2020 due to the pandemic. The list price to sale price ratio in Santa Cruz and Monterey remained close to the two previous years with Santa Clara increasing in double digits. (Display of MLS data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the MLS)

Anti-Ellis Act Bill won’t Advance this year

AB 854 (Lee) will not advance in this legislative session. The bill would have forced property owners to stay in the rental business for at least 5 years before being able to use the Ellis Act to go out of business. The Ellis Act, which was enacted by the Legislature in 1985, prohibits local government agencies from forcing property owners to continue operating their private properties as rental businesses in rent control jurisdictions.

C.A.R. was opposed to AB 854 and mobilized the REALTOR® Party of California with targeted red alerts and active work by key contacts. Monday, January 31st was the last day for the Assembly and Senate to pass bills that were introduced in their house last year. Since AB 854 was not brought up for a vote, thanks in large part to opposition from REALTORS® and their allies, it will not move forward.

Fewer buyers are waiving contingencies

Home shoppers are showing less willingness to waive appraisals, home inspections, or other contract contingencies during the purchase of a home compared with just a few months ago, according to the December 2021 REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey conducted by the National Association of REALTORS®. Nineteen percent of buyers waived the inspection contract contingency in December, down from a peak of 27% in July 2021, NAR’s survey shows. Twenty-one percent of buyers waived the appraisal contract contingency, down from a peak of 29% in June 2021.

California Mortgage Relief Program launched

Are you struggling to keep up with your mortgage payments because of financial difficulties related to COVID-19? Starting in January 2021, the California Mortgage Relief Program began to accept applications to help California homeowners catch-up who have fallen behind on their housing payments because of the pandemic.

The program will cover past due mortgage payments in full as a one-time grant – up to $80,000 per household – with a direct payment to the homeowner’s mortgage servicer. There is no cost to participate, and the money does not need to be repaid. To qualify for mortgage relief an applicant must be at or below 100 percent of their county’s area median, own a single-family home, condo, or permanently affixed manufactured home in California, and have experienced a pandemic-related financial hardship after January 21, 2020. Applicants must also meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Receive public assistance; or
  • Be severely housing burdened; or
  • Have no alternative mortgage options through their mortgage service provider.

    California received $1 billion from the federal Homeowner Assistance Fund for this program. The money will be disbursed to qualified homeowners until the funds are allocated, with a projected end date of 2025. While there is no strict deadline to apply, homeowners in need should apply as soon as possible. In addition, the homeowner’s lender must participate in the program. Even if a foreclosure process has started, there may still be time to seek help.

    In California, we need to be Water Smart…

    While California has seen a good amount of rain and snow so far this year, experts agree that it has not been enough to end our State’s long drought. So, all of us must keep doing our part to help save water.

    As a licensed real estate agent, I want to encourage you to make water conservation upgrades and not waste water. It’s water smart, responsible, and can make a single-family home more valuable.

    Here are some simple tips:

  • Shop for a new washing machine to compare resource savings among Energy Star models – some can save up to 20 gallons of water per load.
  • Be sure to test toilets for leaks. One simple way is to put food coloring in the toilet tank; if it seeps into the bowl without flushing, there’s a leak. And check the toilet flapper; if it doesn’t close properly after flushing, it needs to be replaced.
  • Upgrade older toilets, especially those installed before 1992, with water-saving WaterSense® labeled models.
  • Consider installing dual-flush toilets with two flush options: a half-flush for liquid waste and a full-flush for solid waste.
  • Check faucets and showerheads for leaks. One drip every second adds up to five gallons of water per day wasted. Leaking devices should be replaced with new WaterSense® labeled devices.
  • When upgrading landscape, consider xeriscaping, which depends on low-water-use plants. See homeowner landscape upgrade videos at:
  • Spread two-to-four inches of organic mulch around plants, which helps them retain moisture and can save hundreds of gallons of water a year.
  • Adjust adjust sprinklers so that they water only the yard and not the house, sidewalk, or street.
  • Install drip irrigation for shrubs and trees that applies water directly to the roots, where it’s needed.
  • Check outdoor faucets, pipes, hoses, and sprinkler system valves for leaks, and keep sprinkler heads in good shape.

    For more water saving tips for inside and around your home see: For California laws regarding the installation of water use efficiency improvements, see Civil Code Sections 1101.1 – 1101.9. g H

    Measuring America from the Census 2020

    Over the last decade, according to NAR, the United States grew at its slowest rate since the 1930s, and minorities made up almost all of that population growth. The 2020 census bears out what demographers have been predicting for years. Between 2010 and 2020, Asian Americans experienced the highest population gains (36%) followed by Hispanic (23%) and Black (6%) Americans. In contrast, the White population dropped by 9% from 2010, increasing the overall racial and ethnic diversity of the country.

    Shifts in the demographics of a nation can have a large impact on the real estate market. Population changes lead to changing demand for housing. In the future, expect to see homeownership rates of fast-growing minority groups increase across the country, easing the homeownership rate gap between the White and minority population. Time will show how the typical home buyer will change in the years ahead.
    Read the full article here.