Real Estate going strong – what you can do to be competitive

Vacations and weekend getaways haven’t had much of an impact on home sales this summer.   Sellers are experiencing a dip in number of offers but the end result, the final purchase price, remains high and sellers are just as happy. California is living up to its national “high demand” real estate reputation, with three Bay Area cities appearing among the country’s hottest real estate markets in a recent report. The report, released July 1 by Realtor.com ranked the most booming markets in the month of June and found that three Bay Area cities – San Francisco, Santa Rosa and San Jose – placed among the top 20, with San Francisco No. 1, followed by No. 4 and No. 6, respectively.

How’s that for national attention? But that’s not the only method turning people’s attention toward our steadily prosperous Mid-Peninsula residential market.

May 2015 numbers are in and they have people talking. The median sold price of a home in San Mateo County went up significantly in just one month to an average of $1,330,000 in May 2015. That’s up from $1,280,000 in the previous month.

May home prices, according to recent numbers, show a national rise of 6.3 percent!

It’s hard to believe that the new average home sale price is $1.7 million – a 9 percent gain from May 2014, and up 5 percent from the average sale price in April of $1.623, 421.   One of the driving factors is still lack of supply. There were 403 home sold in the county in the month of May, down about 4 percent from April, where 421 homes traded hands.

If you are a current homeowner then these statistics are comforting to hear. But things are tough for first-time buyers or relocation buyers that are trying to get into this hot market, especially those who have lower down payments. San Mateo County is the nation’s fourth least affordable down-payment market, according to a study produced by RealtyTrac, which analyzed more than 350 counties in the nation on affordability and accessibility for those buyers. In San Mateo County, in order to purchase a home, it required 87 percent of household income, compared with the historic average of 70 percent.

So, what does that mean for potential homebuyers in our county? Save up! We live in a unique enclave of real estate where there is a lot of competition, financially and otherwise. Presenting the best offer really matters.

Turning the focus on one of our key neighborhoods, in San Carlos alone during the week ending on July 12, only four homes closed. There were only 10 homes on the market that week. One of those homes, located on the east side of Old County Road, sold for over $1.2 million. This is an area traditionally known for its affordability for first time buyers, but these days unless you have $240,000-plus already saved, you may be out of luck.

Who knows what August will bring, with the end of the summer and beginning of another school year, which traditionally brings some heated activity. We are extremely optimistic. Our networking with local realtors and community members has us feeling like will be seeing a lot more new homes listed. We’re hoping to help some frustrated buyers find their dream homes before the holidays.

What do we recommend? Prepare, prepare, prepare. If you’re thinking of buying, save up for a competitive down payment and a clean offer overall with no contingencies.

Contact us for further advice on how to win in this competitive market. We are keeping abreast of all reports; vociferously seeking knowledge that we know can help our clients experience a successful and prosperous real estate transaction.