After several years of an oversupply of homes on the market and an undersupply of qualified buyers, the tables have turned for the Bay Area’s housing market. It may be hard for some consumers to believe, but our local housing market has bounced back in a big way over the past year or two. Eager buyers are once again out in force ready to purchase their next home. But ironically, the only thing stopping them is a serious shortage of homes for sale!
We’ve come a long ways from the recessionary days when homes sat on the market for many months or even a year or longer waiting for a buyer. Today, properties are once again being snapped up quickly, often with multiple offers due to the shortage of inventory. While this imbalance is frustrating some would-be buyers, it is also creating a great opportunity for savvy homeowners who have gotten the message that now may be the best time in many years to sell their home.
In the Bay Area, inventory levels are down more than 62 percent from a year ago in some areas. This comes as the economy gains momentum and the job market and the financial markets improve – all providing more ready cash and incentives for buyers to purchase. The result is that there are more offers for good homes for sale. Sellers are getting higher prices and properties are moving faster than they have in years.
As a result of this shortage of homes for sale in the Bay Area, we are back to seeing offers with no contingencies in some cases, and buyers making offers on several properties before they actually get into contract on one. Multiple offers of $100,000 to $200,000 over asking price is not unusual in some prime neighborhoods. In one extreme example, there were 28 offers on one property that sold over listing price by 20 percent.