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Buyers Pulling Back And Sellers Rushing To List Their Homes

A report from the Napa Valley Register in California. “The number of local homes sold dropped 13.7 percent — from 131 sold in September 2017 to 113 sold this September. ‘There was a big slowdown once school started; more so than I’ve ever seen,’ said NorBAR Napa Vice Chair Tim McCall. ‘We’ve transitioned from a seller’s market over the past year,’ he said. ‘Sellers have definitely come to grips with the fact that they are not going to get as many multiple offers’ as they previously might have.”

“‘We’re starting to see a little bit of a slowdown in sales,’ said Desi Capaz, the chair of the Napa chapter of the North Bay Association of Realtors (NorBAR). The decline in sales can be somewhat attributed to the start of the fall holiday season, Capaz said. ‘But the real reason is that the market is somewhat slowing down.'”

“‘We had been on such a tear for so long with big increases,’ he said. However, as prices and interest rates continue to rise, more buyers are being priced out. ‘It’s not like we’re headed for dire straits,’ said Capaz, ‘but I’m thinking we’re seeing our plateau.'”

“‘The rebalancing between buyers and sellers is driven by affordability constraints and buyer fatigue,’ said Selma Hepp, Ph.D., a chief economist with Pacific Union International. On the other hand, buyer competition led some buyers to step back and put home purchases on hold, said Hepp.”

“‘Both sides may believe that housing price growth has reached its peak and are acting accordingly, with buyers pulling back and sellers rushing to list their homes before the slow winter season kicks in,’ said Hepp. ‘Also, a sentiment that the housing market has reached the top has impacted sales activity, with buyers not wanting to purchase at the top of the market,’ Hepp wrote.”

The San Mateo Daily Journal. “Housing market analysis center CoreLogic found Bay Area housing price jumps in September were the least aggressive in over a year, and sales are decreasing in frequency as well. September also featured 5,970 home sales across the Bay Area, the fewest transactions in that month since 2007, when 5,014 homes were sold, according to CoreLogic. Last year, 7,358 sales occurred in September.”

“‘The main takeaway for September data is that sales slowed very significantly,’ said Andrew LePage, analyst for CoreLogic.”

“He suggested shoppers are becoming more selective in their approach to buying homes, which could result in the decreased transaction rates and sales price stagnation. ‘If this continues, buyers will have more to choose from and less urgency,’ he said.”

“Mortgage rates aside though, LePage said the writing on the wall is encouraging for those who, for an extended period of time, may have felt that there is no hope that the market would turn. Time will tell whether those trends continue, he noted, while suggesting prices could be calming.”

“‘It is certainly possible that price growth continues to weaken,’ he said.”

From SocketSite. “Having peaked at a 7-year high last month in the absolute, the relative number of homes listed for sale in the San Francisco (940) remains around 40 percent higher versus the same time last year. The number of single-family homes currently listed for sale in the city (340) is running 56 percent higher on a year-over-year basis.”

“Having hit a two-year high last month, the number of homes on the market listed for under a million dollars is now running 44 percent higher on a year-over-year basis while 24 percent of the homes listed for sale in San Francisco have undergone at least one price reduction (which is even with the same time last year).”

This Post Has 29 Comments
  1. ‘It is certainly possible that price growth continues to weaken’

    Prices are sinking like a turd in a well Andy:

    ‘the number of homes on the market listed for under a million dollars is now running 44 percent higher on a year-over-year basis while 24 percent of the homes listed for sale in San Francisco have undergone at least one price reduction’

    Just where did all these under $1 million shacks come from? Did they build them in the last year? No that’s unpossible according to some posters. So they must have been there all along during the crisis/shortage. So maybe there was never a shortage at all but rather a bunch of speculators trying to time the market!

  2. Eeee-bola Napa Valley!

    ‘Both sides may believe that housing price growth has reached its peak and are acting accordingly, with buyers pulling back and sellers rushing to list their homes before the slow winter season kicks in’

    This doesn’t sound like a group of people who suddenly decided to move Selma. Right before the holidays?

  3. drumminj – if you’re here today … any idea why the Joshua Tree plugin wouldn’t be auto-updating in firefox, even with Automatic Updates turned on in the options?

    1. No clue. Am in New Zealand for the next two weeks so not in a place to look into it, but its been auto-updating for me on desktop chrome and Firefox. Mobile FF doesn’t seem to update right away.

      Suggest just uninstall and reinstall to get latest version. Let me know if that doeent at least get you up to date

      1. I was not able to make JTE work on mobile last time I tried. Please let me know if that has changed. So far everything you’ve talked about I have assumed applied to PC only.

        1. I was not able to make JTE work on mobile last time I tried

          I’m using it on mobile now. The syncing to your account won’t work (not supported by FF) but everything else works fine.

          1. I am using mostly Chrome at the moment but could go back to FF. But if it doesn’t synch then it’s still not helpful for me. I’m reading across two desktops and an optional mobile device. If there’s no synching with the mobile device then I’ll just stick to the desktops for the HBB. Still beats the heck out of not being able to find the comments I haven’t seen yet.

          2. But if it doesn’t synch then it’s still not helpful for me.

            Both should sync across desktop, but Ive not tested that lately. Mobile FF doesn’t support syncing add-on data, and chrome doesn’t seem to support mobile addons. Note these are all browser limitations, not lack of trying on my part! 🙂

  4. Atleast the RE folks are acknowledging the changing conditions. That is a big shift from last month or 2, although with the ubiquitous disclaimer that we not not headed for a large fall and that “rebalancing” or some similar used term is occuring.

    What will they be saying in another 30 days?

  5. Who is the bonobo, before Lawrence Yun in Realtors ass-ociation, that always champion RE Always go up?

    I think he had the same situation in 2008/2009 till all blown up — Blame Media for too much negative coverage, temporary plateau with minor ups/downs, best opportunity to buy, Never too late to buy, ….

    Ben must have known him. 😀 And then the new clown Yun took over.

  6. “Buyers Pulling Back And Sellers Rushing To List Their Homes”

    It almost sounds like there is a race to the exits on amongst specuvestors who until recently firmly believed that real estate always went up.

    Got panic?

    1. I think a lot of it is Baby Boomers who are living in massive homes that they don’t need or want that are finally pulling the trigger. I bet if you looked a humans per square foot the number is insanely low right now for single family homes.

      There are almost no move-up buyers in this interest rate environment, but what fraction of homeowners are downsizing? I suspect we’re about to find out.

        1. Humans per square foot–that’s an interesting and worthwhile metric. If you count all the unoccupied stuff that’s been bought and built by nonresident speculators, the figure would be even lower, perhaps significantly so.

      1. I bet if you looked a humans per square foot the number is insanely low right now for single family homes.

        Holy moley, not in the neighborhoods around me here in Las Vegas. I don’t know if there are cars in the garages. But the driveways are full, and one would be hard pressed to find a parking spot along a curb. Definitely more than one or two adults in those houses.

  7. ‘Both sides may believe that housing price growth has reached its peak and are acting accordingly, with buyers pulling back and sellers rushing to list their homes before the slow winter season kicks in,’

    Any thoughts on for how many years the slow winter season is likely to last?

    1. Prediction – Lawrence Yun will be apprehended in 2019 attempting to administer Ambien to Punxsutawney Phil. Seriously though, the industry has suddenly and collectively stopped understanding how YoY numbers are impervious to seasonality, it’s crazy.

  8. Now it will begin to get interesting. Speculative investors can rush to the market, but they don’t have “play” in terms of lowering prices. IMHO the people who will really begin to move the market in another direction are the ones who bought their house long ago and can afford bigger price cuts without ending up owing money to the bank (if they do not decide to pull the house off the market).

    For example, in this listing the house was last sold in 2001 and the price has come down by 400K since September. I have not seen this type of behavior in flipped homes or those bought within the past couple of years.

    https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/Los-Angeles-CA-90064/20496946_zpid/96045_rid/globalrelevanceex_sort/34.077189,-118.384381,33.99333,-118.475619_rect/13_zm/0_mmm/

    1. In a downward market, those sellers with the lowest cost basis and who are not greedy are the ones that will survive. They have the strong hand. Those who purchased at the top have the weakest of all hands and things start to get ugly when they have to bring money to the table to close the deal. Short selling time!

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