Written by Kelsey Lane
Lately, armchair real estate analysts like to say "everyone is moving out of the Bay Area" and "I wonder what that will do to prices." While to some extent it's true, I wanted to share what I'm seeing on a day to day basis, while frequently showing homes to clients.
Almost every day I'm on a property tour, showing houses in various parts of the Bay Area. Over the last 6 months or so I've noticed some consistent trends and thought I'd share my birds-eye view.
1) The trend to have a home of one's own. With the pandemic creating an out-of-sorts, out-of-control feeling for many people, some find that buying a home is one thing they *can* control. The logic is also that with staying at home more, buying a place that is better than what they are renting makes rational sense. Even people who already own a home are finding some solace in knowing that making a move is something within their power, in a currently powerless-feeling world.
2) The trend to have an outdoor space. People who live in apartments with no balcony are buying condos with balconies or townhouses with patios. People who currently own townhouses with patios are buying homes with yards. Everyone wants just a little bit more outdoor space, to create more lifestyle options during a season when the prized outdoor footprint creates some notion of safety, not to mention enjoyability.
3) The trend to move somewhere less expensive. The news does seem to cover the exodus from Bay Area to other states, but locally the same concept holds true within California, and even within the Bay Area. Most home shoppers are on the lookout for a variety of areas and options that would give them a larger home, with a larger yard, for less monthly output. For example, a Sunnyvale-ite may decide to move to Fremont, or a Palo Alto-an may decide to move to Livermore. Any give house hunter might be looking in Pleasanton, Morgan Hill, and Berkeley, exploring all their desirable options that make financial sense.
4) The trend to make decisions now and deal with ramifications later. Whenever I ask clients what they'll do about commute after the pandemic blows over, I almost always hear the same response. Clients are making decisions now for where they want to live, regardless of where their company is located for the most part. There is a high degree of confidence of continuing to work from home in the future, and that the worst case scenario is going to the office 2 days a week. People are factoring the possibility of a 2-day commute into their decision-making - other than that, they're charting their own course and figure they'll deal with upper management on the subject later.
Most homes that I'm helping clients to offer on are having multiple offers - 10 to 20 offers in most cases. These offers are highly competitive, with home shoppers waiving all their contingencies, buying As Is, and going "all in" with no chance to back out. I'm not seeing a reduction in prices, but I am seeing a different distribution of prices - areas that are further out, with a bit more bang for the buck, are starting to see more of an uptick as traditionally high-priced areas are holding steady.
We're happy to help with market insights and statistics for areas you're considering, or home valuations if you are contemplating selling. Any question is welcomed.
Kelsey Lane has been helping clients with the home selling process (and home buying process) since 2003 as a Silicon Valley Realtor DRE #01390557. She enjoys sharing her knowledge with real estate tips and steps.