A couple of days ago I attended a regional meeting of local REALTOR Association leadership. We had officers and staff from around the greater San Francisco Bay Area all gathered in a room. Folks from San Francisco, Contra Costa, Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Monterey counties all got together to talk about how we can better serve our customers. I sat next to a broker from Santa Clara county, and I asked her how the Santa Clara County Market is doing. “It’s bad,” she said. “Bad?” I asked. “How bad?” And she said home prices are down 10-12% versus a year ago.
That would be pretty bad – if it were true. I hear stuff like that a lot from different agents. But then when I go and dig into the stats, I usually find there’s more to the story – or a different story altogether. So imagine my surprise when I dug into the stats and found that actually, prices were down by much more than 10-12%. Houses took about twice as long to sell in Q1 2019 vs. Q1 in 2018. And the number of sales has dropped by nearly 10%, while the number of new listings is up by almost 4%.
Santa Clara County Q1 2019 Real Estate Wrap-Up Video
In case you’re not a regular consumer of my social media, you may not know that I have a “TV” show called SebFrey.TV – I made a special episode where I did a wrap-up of the Santa Clara County real estate market for the first quarter of 2019, comparing it to the year-ago period. Turns out it ran rather long but that’s me, I either have nothing to say or you can’t shut me up. I’m still trying to find the sweet spot in the middle.
Santa Clara County Q1 Real Estate by the Numbers
Q1 Real Estate Update by Leslie Appleton-Young
Earlier in the month, I attended a Q1 California Real Estate Market Update by Leslie Appleton-Young. She is the Chief Economist for the California Association of REALTORS, and she gives some of the most detailed looks at the California real estate market that anyone ever creates. I recorded the video – the audio quality isn’t great, but if you’re interested you can see it here here:
I did get a copy of the slide deck used by Leslie, if you want a closer and clearer look at the numbers. You can download that here. A few tidbits from Leslie’s presentation are:
- Q1 US GDP: +2.6%
- February 2019 Core Inflation: 2.1%
- US February 2019 Unemployment: 3.8%
- US February 2019 Job Growth: 1.7%
- Bay Area Unemployment Rate around 2.5%
- Mortgage Rates @ 10-month Low
- Bay Area Per Capita GDP = $80,000 (highest in USA)
- 26% Employment Growth since last recession
- Only about 1.6% of sales are “distressed”
- Bay Area Median Price up 21.5% since Prior Peak in May 2007
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California Association of REALTORS March 2019 Market Snapshot
- And hot off the presses, the California Association of REALTORS has come out with its March numbers and market report.
- Existing, single-family home sales totaled 397,210 in March on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, down 0.2 percent from February and down 6.3 percent from March 2018.
- March’s statewide median home price was $565,880, down 5.9 percent from February and up 0.2 percent from March 2018.
- The Unsold Inventory Index was 3.6 months in March, down from 4.6 months in February but up from 2.9 months in March 2018.
- Year-to-date sales were down 8.2 percent in March.
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