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.

Just Listed

101 Lombard Unit 712W


This remarkable condo features exceptional finishes, wide plank floors and quality upgraded fixtures making it a lovely oasis in North Waterfront. Designed with entertaining in mind, this condo has plenty of space to move around in, also ideal for working from home. The condo also features a private terrace with views of Coit Tower and Telegraph Hill. This prestigious 5-star amenity building has Resort-style Amenities, including 24-hour concierge services, heated outdoor pool and hot tub, and a fabulous club room and library. Close to Telegraph Hill, the Ferry Building, Waterfront, Parks, North Beach, FiDi, and Transportation.

Reach out to schedule a private showing 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.

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.

Where are Home Values Headed over the Next 12 Months?

As shelter-in-place orders were implemented earlier this year, many questioned what the shutdown would mean to the real estate market. Specifically, there was concern about home values. After years of rising home prices, would 2020 be the year this appreciation trend would come to a screeching halt? Even worse, would home values begin to depreciate?

Original forecasts modeled this uncertainty, and they ranged anywhere from home values gaining 3% (Zelman & Associates) to home values depreciating by more than 6% (CoreLogic).

However, as the year unfolded, it became clear that there would be little negative impact on the housing market. As Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, recently revealed:

“The only major industry to display immunity to the economic impacts of the coronavirus is the housing market.”

Have prices continued to appreciate so far this year?

Last week, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released its latest Home Price Index. The report showed home prices actually rose 6.5% from the same time last year. FHFA also noted that price appreciation accelerated to record levels over the summer months:

“Between May & July 2020, national prices increased by over 2%, which represents the largest two-month price increase observed since the start of the index in 1991.”

What are the experts forecasting for home prices going forward?

Where Are Home Values Headed Over the Next 12 Months? | MyKCM

Below is a graph of home price projections for the next year. Since the market has changed dramatically over the last few months, this graph shows forecasts that have been published since September 1st.

Bottom Line

The numbers show that home values have weathered the storm of the pandemic. Let’s connect if you want to know what your home is currently worth and how that may enable you to make a move this year.

6 Reasons You’ll win by Selling with a Real Estate Agent this Fall

There are many benefits to working with a real estate professional when selling your house. During challenging times, like what we face today, it becomes even more important to have an expert you trust to help guide you through the process. If you’re considering selling on your own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO), it’s critical to consider the following:

1. Your Safety Is a Priority

Your family’s safety should always come first, and that’s more crucial than ever given the current health situation in our country. When you FSBO, it is incredibly difficult to control entry into your home. A real estate professional will have the proper protocols in place to protect not only your belongings but your family’s health and well-being too. From regulating the number of people in your home at one time to ensuring proper sanitization during and after a showing, and even facilitating virtual tours for buyers, real estate professionals are equipped to follow the latest industry standards recommended by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to help protect you and your family.

2. A Powerful Online Strategy Is a Must to Attract a Buyer

Recent studies from NAR have shown that, even before COVID-19, the first step 44% of all buyers took when looking for a home was to search online. Throughout the process, that number jumps to 93%. Today, those numbers have grown exponentially. Most real estate agents have developed a strong Internet and social media strategy to promote the sale of your house. Have you?

3. There Are Too Many Negotiations

Here are just a few of the people you’ll need to negotiate with if you decide to FSBO:

  • The buyer, who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent, who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
  • The inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find challenges with the house
  • The appraiser, if there is a question of value

As part of their training, agents are taught how to negotiate every aspect of the real estate transaction and how to mediate the emotions felt by buyers looking to make what is probably the largest purchase of their lives.

4. You Won’t Know if Your Purchaser Is Qualified for a Mortgage

Having a buyer who wants to purchase your house is the first step. Making sure they can afford to buy it is just as important. As a FSBO, it’s almost impossible to be involved in the mortgage process of your buyer. A real estate professional is trained to ask the appropriate questions and, in most cases, will be intimately aware of the progress being made toward a purchaser’s mortgage commitment.

Further complicating the situation is how the current mortgage market is rapidly evolving because of the number of families out of work and in mortgage forbearance. A loan program that was available yesterday could be gone tomorrow. You need someone who is working with lenders every day to guarantee your buyer makes it to the closing table.

5. FSBOing Has Become More Difficult from a Legal Standpoint

The documentation involved in the selling process has increased dramatically as more and more disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. In an increasingly litigious society, the agent acts as a third-party to help the seller avoid legal jeopardy. This is one of the major reasons why the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 8% over the last 20+ years.

6. You Net More Money When Using an Agent

Many homeowners believe they’ll save the real estate commission by selling on their own. Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real estate agent’s commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save on the commission.

study by Collateral Analytics revealed that FSBOs don’t actually save anything by forgoing the help of an agent. In some cases, the seller may even net less money from the sale. The study found the difference in price between a FSBO and an agent-listed home was an average of 6%. One of the main reasons for the price difference is effective exposure:

“Properties listed with a broker that is a member of the local MLS will be listed online with all other participating broker websites, marketing the home to a much larger buyer population. And those MLS properties generally offer compensation to agents who represent buyers, incentivizing them to show and sell the property and again potentially enlarging the buyer pool.”

The more buyers that view a home, the greater the chance a bidding war will take place.

Bottom Line

Listing on your own leaves you to manage the entire transaction by yourself. Why do that when you can hire an agent and still net the same amount of money? Before you decide to take on the challenge of selling your house alone, let’s connect to discuss your options.

2020 Homebuyer Preferences

A recent study from HarrisX shows the current health crisis isn’t slowing down today’s homebuyers. Many buyers are accelerating their timelines to take advantage of low mortgage rates, and staying home has enabled some to save more money to put toward a down payment. Reach out to a local real estate professional today if your needs have recently changed and you’re ready to make a move this year.

Luxurious Condo in an Award Winning Complex

1657 18th Street

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.