Where Have all the Houses Gone?

In today’s housing market, it seems harder than ever to find a home to buy. Before the health crisis hit us a year ago, there was already a shortage of homes for sale. When many homeowners delayed their plans to sell at the same time that more buyers aimed to take advantage of recording- low mortgage rates and purchases a home, housing inventor dropped even further. Experts consider this to be the biggest challenge facing an otherwise hot market whole buyers continue to compete for homes. As Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com explains:

“With buyers active in the market and seller participation lagging, homes are selling quickly and the total number available for sale at any point in time continues to drop lower. In January as a whole, the number of for sale homes dropped below 600,000.

Every month, realtor.com releases new data showing the year- over-year change in inventory of existing homes for sale. As you can see in the map below, nationwide, inventory is 42.6% lower than it was at this time last year:

Where Have All the Houses Gone? | MyKCM

Does this mean houses aren’t being put on the market for sale?

Not exactly. While there are fewer existing homes being listed right now, many homes are simply selling faster than they’re being counted as currently inventory. The market is that competitive! It’s like when everyone was trying to find toilet paper to buy last spring and it was flying off the shelves faster than it could be stocked in the stores. That’s what’s happening in the housing market: homes are being listed for sale, but not at a rate that can keep up with heavy demand from competitive buyers.

In the same realtor.com report, Hale explains:

“Time on the market was 10 days faster than last year meaning that buyers still have to make decisions quickly in order to be successful. Today’s buyers have many tools to help them do that, including the ability to be notified as soon as homes meeting their search criteria hit the market. By tailoring search and notifications to the homes that are a solid match, buyers can act quickly and compete successfully in this faster- paced housing market.”

The Good News for Homeowners

The health crisis has been a major reason why potential sellers have held off this long, but as vaccines been more widely available, homeowners will start making their moves. Ali Wolf, Chief Economist at Zonda, confirms:

“Some people will feel comfortable listing their home during the first half of 2021. Others will want to wait until the vaccines are widely distributed.”

With more homeowners getting ready to sell later this year, putting your house on the market sooner rather than later is the best way to make sure your listings shines brighter than the rest.

When you’re ready to sell your house, you’ll likely want to sell as quickly as possible, for the best price, and with little to no hassle. If you’re looking for these selling conditions, you’ll find them in today’s market. When demand is high and inventory is low, sellers have the ability to create optimal terms and timelines for the sale, making now an exceptional time to move.

Bottom Line

Today’s housing market is a big win for sellers, but these conditions won’t last forever. If you’re in a position to sell your house now, you may not want to wait for your neighbors to do the same. Let’s connect to discuss how to sell your house safely so you’re able to benefit from today’s high demand and low inventory.

Perfect Life/Work Loft Condo for Lease

Have you been looking for the perfect space to combine your work and life space? Look no further because this condo could be the perfect place for you.

Characterized by its soaring ceilings & enormous windows, this fabulous loft-condo corner unit is a true live/work space with its own separate entrance along with an entrance from the lobby. The main live/work space has spectacular double high ceilings, great natural light, built-in shelves, & an open stairway which leads to the BR on the second floor, great for sheltering in place, working from home,& entertaining (post Covid). The recently renovated eat-in kitchen has quality stainless steel appliances, a beautiful tile floor, handsome Caesarstone countertops, recessed lighting, & ample cabinetry for maximum storage. Adjacent to the kitchen is a full bath with W/D. The upper-level BR has floor to ceiling windows, wood floors, a large closet, and remodelled ensuite bathroom. One car parking is included. Building amenities include a shared courtyard. Close to many wonderful restaurants,shops & parks, w/easy access to freeways, BART/MUNI,& corporate shuttles.Property is virtually staged.

Reach out to schedule a COVID Compliant listing today!

How to Make the Dream of Ownership a Reality This Year

1. How Can I Better Understand the Process, and How Much Can I Afford?

The process of buying a home is not one to enter into lightly. You need to decide on key things like how long you plan on living in an area, school districts you prefer, what kind of commute works for you, and how much you can afford to spend.

Keep in mind, before you start the process to purchase a home, you’ll also need to apply for a mortgage. Lenders will evaluate several factors connected to your financial track record, one of which is your credit history. They’ll want to see how well you’ve been able to minimize past debts, so make sure you’ve been paying your student loans, credit cards, and car loans on time. If your financial situation has changed recently, be sure to discuss that with your lender as well. Most agents have loan officers they trust and will provide referrals for you.

2. How Much Do I Need for a Down Payment?

In addition to knowing how much you can afford on a monthly mortgage payment, understanding how much you’ll need for a down payment is another critical step. Thankfully, there are many different options and resources in the market to potentially reduce the amount you may think you need to put down.

If you’re concerned about saving for a down payment, start small and be consistent. A little bit each month goes a long way. Jumpstart your savings by automatically adding a portion of your monthly paycheck into a separate savings account or house fund. AmericaSaves.org says:

3. Saving Takes Time: Practice Living on a Budget

As tempting as it is to pass the extra time you may be spending at home these days with a little retail therapy, putting that extra money toward your down payment will help accelerate your path to homeownership. It’s the little things that count, so start trying to live on a slightly tighter budget if you aren’t doing so already. A budget will allow you to save more for your down payment and help you pay down other debts to improve your credit score.

survey of millennial spending shows, “68% reported that shelter in place orders helped them save for their down payment.” Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com, also notes:

“If there is any silver lining to the current economic landscape, it’s that mortgage rates are hanging around record lows…Additionally, shelter-in-place orders helped many who were fortunate enough to keep their jobs save for a down payment — one of the largest hurdles of buying a home. The combination of low rates and the opportunity to save is enabling many millennials to move up their home buying timeline.”

While you don’t need to cut all of the extras out of your current lifestyle, making smarter choices and limiting your spending in areas where you can slim down will make a big difference.

Bottom Line

If homeownership is on your dream list this year, take a good look at what you can prioritize to help you get there. To determine the steps you should take to start the process, let’s connect today.

What Does 2021 Have in Store for Home Values?

According to the latest CoreLogic, Home Price Insights Report, nationwide home values increased by 8.2% over the past twelve months. The dramatic rise was brought about as the inventory of homes for sale reached historic lows at the same time buyer demand was buoyed by record low mortgage rates. As CoreLogic explained:

“Home price growth remained consistently elevated throughout 2020. Home sales for the year are expected to register about 2019 levels. Meanwhile, the availability of for-sale homes has dwindled as demand increased and coronavirus outbreaks continued across the country, which delayed some sellers from putting their house on the market.

While the pandemic left many in positions of financial insecurity, those who maintained employment and income stability are also incentivized to buy given the record low mortgage rates available; this is increasing buyer demand whole for-sale inventory is in short supply. “

Where will home values go in 2021?

Home price appreciation in 2021 will continue to be determined by this imbalance of supply and demand. If supply remains low and demand is high, prices will continue to increase.

Housing Supply:

According to the National Association of Realtors, the current number of single- family homes for sale is 1,080,000. At the same time last year, that number stood at 1.450,000. We are entering 2021 with approximately 370,000 fewer homes for sale than there were one year ago.

However, there is some speculation that they inventory crush will ease somewhat as we move through the new year for two reasons:

  1. As the health crisis eases, more homeowners will be comfortable putting their houses on the market.
  2. Some households impacted financially by the pandemic will be forced to sell.

Housing Demand:

Low Mortgage rates have driven buyer demand over the past twelve months. According to Freddie Mac, rates stood at 3.72% at the beginning of 2020. Today, we are starting 2021 with rates one full percent lower than that. Low rates create a great opportunity for homebuyers, which is one reason why demand is expecting to remain high throughout the new year.

Taking into consideration these projections on housing supply and demand, real estate analytics forecast homes will continue to appreciate in 2021, but that appreciation may be at a steadier pace than last year. Here are the forecasts:

Bottom Line:

There’s still a very limited number of homes for sale for the great number of purchasers looking to buy them. As a result, the concept of supply and demand mandates that home values in the country will continue to appreciate.

Considering Selling your Home this Year? Here are 3 must do’s!

It is exciting to put a house on the market and to think about making new memories in new spaces. However, despite the anticipation of what’s to come, we can still have deep sentimental attachments to the home we are leaving behind. Growing emotions can help or hinder a sale depending on how we manage them.

When it comes to the bottom line, homeowners need to know what it takes to avoid costly mistakes when its time to move. Being mindful and prepared for the process can help you stay on the right track when selling your house this year.

1. Price Your Home Right

When inventory is low, like it is in the current market, its common to think buyers will pay whatever we ask when setting a listing price. Believe it or not, that’s not always true. Don’t forget that the buyer’s bank will send an appraiser to determine the fair value for your house. The bank will not lend more than what the house is worth, so be aware that you might need to renegotiate the price after the appraisal. A real estate professional will help you to set the true value of your home.

2. Keep Your Emotions in Check

Today, homeowners are living in their houses for a longer period of time. Since 1985, the average tenure, or the time a homeowner has owned their home, has increased from 5 to 10 years as seen in the graphic below.

This is several years longer than what used to be the historical norm. The side effect, however is when you stay in one place for so long, you may get even more emotionally attached to your space. If its the first home you bought or the house where your child grew up, it very likely means something extra special to you. Every room has memories, and its hard to detach from the sentimental value.

For some homeowners, that makes it even harder to negotiate and separate the emotional value of the house from the fair market price. Thats why you need a real estate professional to help you with the negotiations along the way.

3. Stage your home properly.

We are generally quite proud of our decor and how we’ve customized our houses to make them our own unique homes, but not all buyers will feel the same way about your design. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you stage your house with the buyer in mind.

Buyers want to envision themselves in the space so it truly feels like it could be their own. They need to see themselves inside with their furniture and keepsakes- not your pictures and decorations. Stage and declutter so they can visualize their own dreams as they walk down the hall. A real estate professional can help you with tips to get your home ready to stage and sell.

Bottom Line

Today’s sellers’ market might be your best chance to make a move. If you’re considering selling your house, lets connect so you have the help needed to navigate through the process while prioritizing these must-do’s.

Looking Ahead… 2021 Home Market

Experts have forecasted an optimistic year for the 2021 housing market!

While 2020 came with many unknowns, the housing market continued to stay strong. Experts have weighed in on what is to come with 2021, and they believe the market will continue to be a strong force.

Mortgage Interest Rates are projected to remain at or near 3% in 2021, fueling strong buyer activity.

Home sales are forecasted to increase in 2021 while interest rates continue to remain low.

Home Prices are also expected to continue appreciating as more people buy in the coming year.

The Path to Homeownership

Do you feel ready to embark down the path to homeownership? Read over these steps to familiarize yourself with the process!

The journey to becoming a homeowner today can seen overwhelming but these listed steps are here to simplify the process for you. The first step down the path begins with saving money for a down payment. The second step is to understand your credit score and clear up any outstanding debts. The next step would be to find a real estate agent who can guide you through the process. After, make sure to get pre-approved for a loan, to suggest that you are a motivated buyer. The fifth step would be to work with your real estate agent to find a home that meets your needs, which leads you to making an offer. Once the offer is accepted, make sure to have a home inspection to find any hidden issues with the home. After the inspection make sure to get a home appraisal to ensure the property is worth the price you would be paying. Once these steps are completed with your trusted agent by your side, close the sale by scheduling a date to sign all of the final paperwork! The last step being to move into your brand new home!

Key Terms to Know in the Home Buying Process

Thinking about purchasing a home but feel overwhelmed by all the terms and the process? Let this infographic help you to better understand some common terms that might come up.

Appraisal: A professional analysis used to estimate the value of a home.

Closing Costs: The fees required to complete the real estate transaction. Paid at closing, they include points, taxes, title insurance, financing costs and items that must be prepaid or escrowed.

Credit Score: A number ranging form 300-850 that’s based on an analysis of your credit history.

Down Payment: Down payments are typically 3-20% of the purchase price of the home. Some 0% down programs are also available.

Mortgage Rate: The interest rate you pay to borrow money when buying a home.

Pre- Approval Letter: A letter from a lender indicating you qualify for a mortgage of a specific amount.

Real Estate Professional: An individual who provides services in buying and selling homes.

The best way to ensure your home buying process is a confident one is to find a real estate pro who will guide you through every aspect of the transaction with the “the heart of a teacher” by putting your needs first.

Why it Pays to Sell with a Real Estate Agent

Today it’s more important than ever to have an expert you trust to guide you as you sell your house. For sale by owner is the process of selling real estate without having a broker or real estate agent representing you. Here are a few reasons why this could be considered a mistake. You are more likely to net more money working with an agent. Selling on your own can be difficult from a legal standpoint. Negotiating the deal is complex, and now more than ever, your safety is a priority. Selling your house on your own leaves you to manage the entire transaction by yourself. Before you decide to take on this challenge, let’s connect to make sure you are safe and successful every step of the way.

Don’t Miss: The Perfect Loft-like Condo!

This 2-BR loft like condo offers three levels of luxury living in the  heart of the North Slope of Potrero. Located in an award winning  complex the home has a great separation of spaces, which is  ideal for working from home or sheltering in place. Graced by  beautiful maple hardwood floors throughout, the entrance to the  unit on the main level leads to a large living space with soaring  13-foot ceilings & a wall of windows allowing for plenty of natural light and views of the neighborhood. Down the stairs to the lower level an efficient gourmet kitchen has quartz counters, high-end stainless steel appliances, ample cabinets, and a washer/dryer. Tucked away behind the kitchen there is a private bedroom and full bath, great as a guest room or home office, and a fabulous outdoor deck. Up the stairs on the top floor there is a spacious main bedroom with ensuite bath and walk-in closet. The floors and some of the lighting have been redone and the unit has been painted throughout. A great 1-car parking space completes the home. Building amenities include a beautiful garden area, perfect for barbecues and entertaining (Post Covid). The building is in an excellent location, with many neighborhood restaurants, cafes, and local businesses only one block away. Enjoy the advantage of being close to UCSF Mission Bay, Dogpatch, SOMA, Caltran and tech shuttles, with easy access to freeways 280 & 101.