Not infrequently I am asked, "how's the market?" Occasionally the question is, "are we heading into a recession?"
In order to properly answer questions like those I turn to data (as well as anecdotal stories such as this one) I start with county data, then drill down to towns, neighborhoods, types of property, and general price ranges, property sizes, etc.
I work in three counties in the San Francisco Bay Area, primarily in San Francisco and San Mateo counties, with the balance in the Silicon Valley towns of Santa Clara County. While all are strong markets the data varies widely.
I reported recently on the San Francisco real estate market; today we'll look at San Mateo County in some detail. The first picture shows average prices of single family homes as reported to the multiple listing service over a 5-year period. Prices are high; the trend is good.
Next, let's look at how the various towns in San Mateo County performed in Q1 and Q2, 2019:
Quite a difference in median sale prices from city to city! If we broke each city into neighborhoods, price ranges, size, etc, more differences would appear.
Next, let's take a look at Days on Market:
Even three of the most expensive towns in the county show that homes are selling quickly, 44 to 51 days, lower price San Bruno averaged 13 days on market, with most others not far behind.
Now, checking San Mateo County current inventory, today there are 610 active listings of single family homes, 319 pending sales, and 354 have closed escrow between 8/16/19 and 9/18/19. Again, the data shows a strong sales in a short period of time.
Another educated opinion, this from Frank Nothaft, chief economist CoreLogic:
"With the for-sale inventory remaining low in many markets, the pick-up in buying has nudged price growth up. If low-interest rates and rising income continue, we expect home-price growth will strengthen over the coming year."
So, when I'm asked by a fearful buyer or seller "how's the market?" I'll continue to educate them, give them data pertinent to them, share anecdotal stories and then advise them, "the right time to buy (or sell) is when the time is right for YOU."