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Local Agents Report Less Interest And More Sellers Forced To Lower Prices

A report from the Mercury News in California. “Bay Area home sales ground down in October, with seasonal slowing and further indications that buyers are taking a wait-and-see approach before plunging into a record-setting market. CoreLogic analyst Andrew LePage said price growth has slowed as buyers pulled back from sky high price tags. ‘There’s been a psychological shift in the market,’ he said. ‘It can only go up, up and away for so long.'”

“Homes sales in October were the lowest for the month since 2011. Overall sales in Bay Area counties have dipped, year-over-year, for the last five months. Local agents report less interest in open houses and more sellers forced to lower prices. Price cuts and longer sale times have become more typical, but most agents are unwilling to yet call it a buyer’s market.”

“‘We’re at a point now where I think salaries just can’t keep up with home prices,” said Tim Ambrose, president of the Bay East Association of Realtors. ‘Buyers just can’t go that high any more.'”

“Buyers are less active during the holiday season, he said, but sellers are typically motivated if they are selling in November and December. ‘The market is changing,’ Ambrose said. ‘I’m noticing it throughout the Bay Area.'”

“San Jose agent Jeff Hansen said the market for condos has cooled in recent months. Identical units are fetching less than they did in the summer peak. But Hansen added, ‘It’s not a horrible time to be selling. It’s still a seller’s market.'”

“Mark Wong of Alain Pinel in Saratoga had a seller negotiate with a low-ball offer and reach a deal that satisfied both parties. But he said it’s not quite a buyer’s market. ‘The prices haven’t come down yet,’ Wong said. ‘Not yet.'”

“Homes in the middle and high-end of the market are moving more briskly, LePage said. About 8 in 10 homes in the Bay Area sold for more than $500,000. Bargain hunters and first-time buyers stayed away, with sales of homes under $800,000 dropping 16 percent and under $500,000 dropping 21 percent, according to the company.”

From the News Tribune in Washington. “This week’s Five Spot — Five ways homeowners might react to news that house prices fell faster in the Pierce-King-Snohomish metro area than anywhere in the U.S. during the past few months.”

“1 Panic. Call your Realtor, scream ‘the end is near, I’m moving to Ellensburg!’ and insist she take all necessary measures to sell your home by Christmas.”

“2 Relax. Accept that it’s an inevitable correction in a hyperinflated market, sit down with a glass of scotch and cue up the classic rock tune ‘Spinning Wheel’ on your iPod. (‘What goes up, must come down …’)”

“3 Set your property apart by boosting curb appeal. Try a fresh coat of paint, lawn gnomes or giant letters spelling ‘HELLO. HOW ARE YOU?’ in your front yard.”

“4 Find someone to blame. Candidates include President Trump, Gov. Inslee, the Seattle City Council, Amazon and God.”

“5 Be glad you live in Pierce County. Home prices dropped less here than up north, and compared with a year ago they’re still up 11.2 percent.”

This Post Has 37 Comments
  1. ‘We’re at a point now where I think salaries just can’t keep up with home prices…Buyers just can’t go that high any more’

    We’ve seen a few versions of this and I can’t recall one time somebody said “the buyer couldn’t get a loan for that high a price.” And salaries were outpaced years ago.

  2. ‘San Jose agent Jeff Hansen said the market for condos has cooled in recent months. Identical units are fetching less than they did in the summer peak. But Hansen added, ‘It’s not a horrible time to be selling’

    Unless you bought one last summer.

  3. If all else fails…

    Business
    House won’t sell? Time to call on St. Joseph
    By Leslie Sargent Eskildsen Orange County Register
    October 21, 2017 at 7:37 am

    As we head into the heart of the holiday season, where both the supply of homes for sale and the demand for homes slide to their respective annual lows, it might be helpful for a brush up on one of the last-resort sales tactics available to savvy Realtors and home sellers at the end of their patience.

    Yes, you guessed it. It might be time to call upon St. Joseph – the patron saint of real estate.

    Why St. Joseph? Joseph was Jesus’ father on earth and is the patron saint of homes and families.

    When to call on St. Joseph: As a Realtor, I only call on St. Joseph in the most desperate situations. When a house has been on the market too long, there are too few showings, and there are no offers in sight.

    What? You thought all of my listings sell on the first day? No. I’m only human and sometimes the market doesn’t see the house the way the sellers and I see it.

    As a seller, I would put a St. Joseph statue in the front yard the same day the For Sale sign goes up, regardless of my faith practice.

  4. To expand on the 5 list:

    6. Write a letter to the potential buyers of the house. Tell them how much you’d love for them to choose YOUR shack over the others. Show them a picture of your kids/grandkids in their potential new retirement place in Florida. This will let you know you are a wholesome couple and not nasty Asian flippers. Throw a .22 in the deal to get rid of those pesky squirrels in the backyard…….

      1. unthreatened by criminal or state-sponsored hackers

        Not until “hackers” goes back to the original meeting implying machetes.

    1. Why not similarly give away vacant shacks in US cities where vacant properties are a blight, instead of keeping them empty until they crumble while US citizens sleep under bridges outdoors?

      1. If you admit that the value of real estate in your city has fallen to zero, doesn’t that reduce your ability to tax the people still there? It probably can’t work politically until there is nobody left there with any money.

        1. There could still be an assessment for services without the property having a sales value. They do this at the yacht club.

      1. Interesting. I always wondered why they made them buy new cars or put new motors in the old ones at 40k miles. Must be built into the culture.

        1. They don’t. Japan is small, hence lower mileage engines for the time most vehicles are owned. Their vehicle inspections are stringent so it’s not really a used-car-buying-country, mostly liking new stuff as status symbols, so they tend to remove the most expensive components (engines, trannies, etc) and sell them wherever they can get the most money for them. I spent 8yrs there in the Navy (Iwakuni, Yokosuka) and was amazed how cheap you could get a decent older car.

    1. Or just sit tight renting and ride the roller coaster to the bottom…

      Chico #19
      The wildfires may be one reason the Chico metro area makes this list. Others likely include the area’s surging violent crime rate and its above-average rate of residents in poverty.

      But while Redfin says many residents are eager to leave, bidding wars are common for homes here, and they’re selling for an average $328,000

      Yeah didn’t this happen in Sonoma too after the fires and then after the frenzy finished the values tanked. Another short term mania that will end

      1. I went to undergraduate at Chico State many moons ago. The town has changed, huge homeless problem and more crime.

        The North State is such a beautiful area, shame that is has gone downhill.

        1. “huge homeless problem”. Which adds to the perks such has human waste on the streets, used needles, crime, etc. over thanksgiving I heard a conversation about how a family members son moved to SF and while unpacking his vehicle, came back to get his vehicle to see a homeless man rummaging through his stuff. He asked the homeless guy what he was doing and the guy responded “oh, I thought this was some else’s stuff”. High price to pay for all these “amenities” we have here in CA, it’s no wonder we are the butt of many people’s jokes…

    1. Safe as houses
      The housing market is having a wobble
      Don’t be alarmed
      Print edition | United States
      Nov 29th 2018 | WASHINGTON, DC

      HOME BUILDERS and buyers are feeling hesitant. Residential fixed investment has dragged back GDP growth in each of the past three quarters; in October sales of existing homes were 5.1% below their level a year before and new ones down by 12%. Since March price rises have slowed. As housing has historically been seen as a canary in the coal mine for the American economy, this wooziness is worrying. But it is not yet cause for panic.

      1. It’s going to be awfully difficult to bring back the fly-by-night-flipper hordes who drove US housing prices skyward without respiking the Fed’s rock-bottom interest rate punchbowl. Right now, said flippers are eyeing the exit door, trying to figure out how to get out without losing more than the full value of their investment gains.

        1. Sadly, more muppets and Bitcoin HODLers will face slaughter if the Fed makes good on announced punchbowl removal plans.

          Dec 1, 2018, 7:20 am
          Jerome Powell and The Interest Rate Forecast: Yes, They Are Going Up
          Bill Conerly, Contributor
          Leadership Strategy
          I connect the dots between the economy … and business!

          Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell speaks at the Economic Club of New York, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
          ASSOCIATED PRESS

          Wall Street liked Federal Reserve Chairman Powell’s hint that maybe interest rates would not be pushed up too aggressively. Stock market bulls misunderstand the Fed’s likely course, however, because they misunderstand how the Fed will act in the continually-strong economy. Those interest rate hikes are coming despite Jerome Powell’s recent remarks.

      2. “Don’t be alarmed“ “not yet cause for panic”

        Is that what the crew told the passengers on the titanic? Best to be the first off the ship so yeah, be alarmed and panic!

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