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March 2021

Days on Market (DOM), what's in a number?

Days on the market (DOM), the amount of time a home has been listed for sale on the MLS is one of the most important numbers for buyers and even sellers to consider. It provides a general idea of how other buyers are responding to the property and its price.

Homes that have been sitting on the market for one to two weeks, are considered 'stale listings'. Are they repelling buyers due to condition, location and/or price, or should buyers view them as potential bargains?

I often need to explain to sellers that the best opportunity for getting the highest price and a fast sale in this market is in the first week after the house is listed. This is when potential buyers are out in mass since they have been shut out of so many other properties. The rule of thumb is for every 10 showings there should be at least one offer. Once this peak interest wears off, the home will have lost some attention and fewer buyers may be interested in taking a closer look.

Never give up, be patient. Homes that have been on the market longer can present an excellent buying opportunity. Sellers may be ready to negotiate on price due to already purchasing another home, paying two mortgages or having to relocate.

On Rising Tides, by Tony Biasotti

Properties are being bought and sold today that could be underwater within the life span of a 30-year mortgage.
This story just blew me away and I had to share.

More single women buying homes than single men.

Despite the pandemic-driven recession that forced women out of the workforce at a greater rate than men, single women bought more homes at the end of 2020 than the year before, and the share of home purchases by single women held steady throughout the year.

Single women purchased 8.7% more homes in the fourth quarter of 2020 than a year earlier. That's a larger increase than single men, who purchased 4.6% more homes in the fourth quarter than a year earlier. Single women made up 15.7% of total home purchases nationwide in the fourth quarter of 2020, compared with 15.3% a year earlier. The share has remained stable between 14.8% and 16.1% over the past eight years. Single women bought more homes at the end of 2020 than the year, even as the pandemic-driven recession forced women out of the workforce at a greater rate than men, especially women of color.

On the other end of the spectrum, single women made up just 6.3% of home purchases in San Jose in 2020, a lower share than any other metro. Next come a handful of other expensive California and New York metros: San Francisco (8%), Anaheim (10.3%), Oakland (10.6%), New York, San Diego and Nassau County, NY (11.2% apiece).
The entire article can be read here.

Biggest hurdles causing closing delays according to N.A.R.

Financing and appraisals are causing the most delays in home sales or terminated contracts, according to NAR's latest REALTORS® Confidence Index survey.

With a dearth of inventory on the market, homes are continuing to sell quickly - typically within 21 days - and are garnering an average of nearly four competing offers, according to the report. Home prices have been rising by double-digit percentages over the past year, which could help explain some of the appraisal issues that are emerging. Please note that all markets are local and statistics vary state by state and city to city.

Sixty-five percent of sale contracts were settled on time, but 29% faced a delay, the survey shows. Only 6% were terminated prior to settlement. The top issues that prompted a delay in settlement in January were issues related to obtaining financing, appraisal, home inspection/environmental, titling/deed issues as stated in the contract.

Update on the California Real Estate market according to C.A.R

The sharp rise in interest rates caused the market to slow somewhat over the past two weeks. However, rates remain low by historical standards and fears about inflation, which have been bolstered by the probability of a new round of pandemic relief, are likely overblown. Interest rates remain very low by historical standards, and although inventory remains tight, buyer demand remains strong.

Although many closed transactions from February are still being reported, preliminary figures from MLS's across the state show that California likely grew by more than 15% on a year to year basis last month. That would represent a slight cooling from the 20%+ pace of the last several months, but it also represents ongoing growth at a relatively high volume of transactions.

Consistent with the preliminary market figures, more Realtors reported an uptick in key elements of their business in our latest weekly survey. Those that listed a property increased to 23.4%. A larger percentage also opened escrow on a new transaction (23.9%). Most importantly, the percentage that closed a sale increased for the second consecutive week to 24.8% and corroborates the pending sales data that suggests March will remain strong for closed sales.

Last week, the number of REALTORS® that had a client hold back from selling their home declined to 40.7%. That represents an improvement from January, when more than half of respondents to our weekly survey of California agents had sellers who had gotten cold feet. This is also dramatically improved from last spring, when nearly 90% of REALTORS® reported having at least one seller hold back from selling due to the pandemic.

Two-month comparisons for Santa Cruz, Monterey & the Bay Area

Comments: Not surprising, new listings were up 18.3% in Santa Cruz County and 21.2% in Santa Clara County most likely due to the weather and the notion of spring. Looking at one year over the other and pre-pandemic, numbers are significantly different. Bet you can't wait to see March and April comparisons year over year. Sales were down across all three counties yet up over 20% compared to 2020. And prices, well we all know the answer to that without even looking! Days on the market is naturally down given the surge in buying and list to sale price ratio obviously up. Display of MLS data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the MLS.

February Comparisons for the Bay Area, the Central Coast & Santa Cruz