Uncategorized April 20, 2020

Has Contra Costa County Housing caught Covid-19?

*April numbers represent new and sold listings through 4/15.

Real Estate professionals should always discuss market conditions with buyers and sellers. It is more true in the current conditions as they are changing.  Because a home is usually the largest single investment most of us have, we need to have a fact-based understanding of its current value and how that value will change in the months ahead.  No investment professional makes promises about future value, but we want to share what we have seen actually happening in real-time.

There are currently two main pressures on the housing market: 1) Limitations on home marketing and transactions, and 2) Constraints on buyers’ financing. During shelter-in-place initially, there was no real estate activity allowed in Contra Costa County. And now only vacant home are really able to be sold, limiting the inventory, which actually has an upward pressure on values. The financing question is broader and we will cover in another blog post. But suffice to say here that at some price points above $1mil, sources for funding are being limited to certain lenders who have the resources. This puts downward pressure on home prices as there are fewer qualified buyers for the time being.

So what has that actually done to home values and sales? We are seeing less overall change in the market due to current market conditions.  As you can see from the graph above, there are sellers who have homes to sell and buyers who are approved for new mortgages and are ready, willing and able to buy.  March and April typically see a greater increase in new listings and general market activity than January and February.  But halfway through this April, we are seeing a similar number of homes coming on the market as the beginning of the year. With a more hesitant buyer pool with less financial resources, prices are holding. The playing field has leveled from a strong seller’s market to a more balanced market.  We no longer expect multiple offers that are going over asking prices, but we are also not seeing deep pricing cuts on appropriately priced homes.

If you have specific questions about your home’s value and current market conditions, please give us a call.