“As long as there is very low supply, high-paying jobs and low interest rates, it will continue to go at this rate. Until the mechanics of something in the economy change, this is still going to be a bumpy ride for the next five or six months for buyers.”
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Buyers in San Mateo County are struggling to find homes on the market, as the local stock of available housing has shrunk precipitously in recent weeks, according to local experts.
As the lack of available options decrease, prices continue to surge, setting a market that is extremely difficult for those interested in purchasing a new home.
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The year started off with a bang in some regions of the Peninsula, but has ground to a halt recently, as fewer homes are coming onto the market.
This year touted the most new homes available in San Carlos in the month of January since 2012. But that momentum was not indicative of more good things to come, as February featured the fewest homes listed in that month since 2007.
The setback was so severe that the first two months of the year combined for the fewest homes becoming available San Carlos in eight years.
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Realtor Steven Hyman, who sells property along the coast in San Mateo County, echoed those sentiments.
He said there are 30 homes currently available for sale on the coastside, but normally there would be near 100.
“The inventory is just incredibly low,” he said.
According to data from the San Mateo County Association of Realtors, or SAMCAR, 181 single-family homes sold in the county last month, down from 202 during the February prior and 260 sold in February 2013.
It’s a culmination of factors has resulted in an unprecedented degree of difficulty for those currently searching for a new home.
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“It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen in this market,” he said. “It’s a combination of low inventory everywhere, and on top of that, there’s an unprecedented amount of wealth.”
The dearth of options is spread across the county, as there are 587 homes available on the market, down from 1,181 homes in February 2012, according to SAMCAR.
“It’s the perfect storm. There are very well qualified buyers, and nothing to choose from.” Hyman said he attributed the lack of available homes to how promptly real estate is being purchased.
“Houses are just getting snapped up in days,” he said.
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It is common for home buyers to make offers well over the listing price, or offer much of their down payment in cash with hopes to improve their odds of striking a deal. He said some buyers may be overreacting out of frustration associated with possibly being turned down repeatedly in a highly-competitive market, which could result in some being willing to pay considerably more than market rates.
“There is a certain desperation in the mind of some buyers. They are getting fed up with being outbid, and when people get that emotional and that frustrated, they tend to write very strong offers,” he said.
Average sales price in San Mateo County has climbed to $1.4 million in February 2015, up nearly $500,000 from that same month in 2012, according to SAMCAR.
“The county has gone into hyper drive,” he said. “This year blew through previous high sale prices.” And there is likely little relief in sight for those hoping to see the market slow down.
While large technology companies such as Facebook and Google are present in the area and offering well-paying jobs to young residents, home buyers will be able to continue paying the prevailing exorbitant rates.
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As well, housing stock is not likely to increase drastically, because space is limited along the Peninsula. Expect to see more high-rise housing developments built, similar to recent projects in Redwood City, because there is such a significant demand for housing but not an abundance of space to build.
(Post from Daily Journal)