Summertime not slowing down Bay Area housing market

Summer time report, to be followed by local real estate reports…hope all enjoying their summer.



Summer is typically the time of year that our housing market slows down as buyers, sellers and agents all take time to enjoy the great weather and go on holiday before school resumes. But for the most part, we are still seeing a vibrant market around the Bay as the calendar turns to August and the final month of summer.


From the entry-level market to the Previews luxury end, sales remain very strong for this time of year. Lack of inventory remains the number one challenge for many parts of the Bay, especially San Francisco, the Peninsula and Silicon Valley, although we are seeing listings gradually creep up in parts of the South Bay and East Bay.


A couple of highlights from our most recent office reports tell the story of a resilient housing market around the Bay:


  • The Previews market in Marin is strong with several multi-million sales in contract in Ross and Kentfield.  Our local manager reported that just this week we closed an $8.35 million sale in Kentfield, representing the buyer with all cash. 
  • One  manager says he’s seeing as many as 20-30 offers on a single home as a result of the incredibly low inventory of homes for sale.
  • In San Francisco, virtually every sale brings in multiple offers, according to our Lakeside office.  A new listing near the $4 million mark sold in three days, over asking price, all cash, and closed in five days, our Lombard office reports.
  • The shortage of homes is particularly acute on the Peninsula, leading some agents to wonder what will happen when the hundreds of newly minted Facebook millionaires (and a few billionaires) begin searching for homes once they’re allowed to cash in their shares.
  • Even in South Santa Clara County, which had its share of distressed listings a year or so ago, it’s hard for buyers to find a home to purchase. Gilroy is down to one month of supply – only 55 homes in an active status. Of those only 16% are distressed – short sales or REO’s. Oh how things have changed!


While the entry level – and mid-level – markets are experiencing the greatest shortage of inventory, the upper end is also seeing a striking imbalance between supply and demand as a result of very strong sales of luxury properties.


Our latest Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage luxury reports show the high-end Previews market continuing to heat up all around the Bay. Luxury home sales in Silicon Valley over $1.5 million soared 27% in June. The upper end of the Luxury market – homes over $3 million – nearly doubled from last year. In San Francisco, there were 90 sales over $2 million in the latest quarter compared to 55 homes sold the previous quarter. And East Bay luxury sales were up 19%.


No one knows what the future will hold. We certainly have our economic challenges, both in the U.S. and overseas. The latest jobs number did offer some encouragement with hiring up much more sharply than expected. But I suspect we’ll continue to face economic headwinds for a while, which of course will impact the housing market.


But having said all that, we are seeing a very strong, resilient market – especially for the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer!


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