The Great Migration to the New Normal

By: Kelsey Lane


Everyone always asks me what the market is doing. Sometimes I so wish I had a crystal ball, especially with the election coming up and unknown lingering Covid-19 outcomes.


In Silicon Valley, the market is one of the hottest markets I've seen in my 17 years as a Bay Area Realtor. Oddly, the spike of activity seemed to coincide with close to the beginning of the shelter-in-place orders. When we started staying at home, occupied homes were not allowed to be shown, but once that lifted everything took off. Fast forward to today, new listings that are desirable make showing slots available for socially distanced tours, but slots are hard to nail down for the weekend unless you book several days in advance.


The average single family home price has gone up to $1,736,317 for Santa Clara County from a year ago which was $1,567,695. Inventory is so low, and we don't have enough to keep up with what buyers currently want. So what is happening?


The trends I'm seeing when I pull market stats monthly for our Santa Clara County Price Trends page on our blog, is that single family homes have been significantly going up, and townhomes moderately going up. Condominiums themselves are staying fairly stable. My gut feeling is also telling me people are buying real estate because it gives a sense of accomplishment and falls under "something they can control" in an unpredictable world of change and shifting conditions. And the trends I'm seeing when I'm showing homes to buyers (lots of buyers!) are the following 1) yards 2) kitchens 3) affordability.


Let me expand on these. If they're currently in an apartment, shoppers are looking for either a townhome or a single family with an outdoor space. And additionally, any features like a larger kitchen or desirable indoor qualities like office space get good attention. The other big trend is since so many people are working from home, they're deciding to move further away from their actual company location in order to get a bigger home or more yard. Though risky, people seem willing to stomach the unknowns and get the home they want & deal with commute issues later. It will be very interesting to see how this impacts the Silicon Valley market - since there is still a housing crisis, it may not have the impact many people project. The other migration is to out of state - sellers who've long been on the fence about when to leave seem to be more decisive of late. I've been going on quite a few listing presentations of sellers who are moving out of the area, whether it be a different region in California or to a new locale altogether.


What do you see as being the current trends? I'd love to hear from you. And if you have any real estate questions, I'd love to help.