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Listings On Track To Blow By Recent Totals

A report from the San Francisco Chronicle in California. “If it seems like more ‘For Sale’ signs are popping up in your neighborhood, you’re not imagining things. In most parts of the Bay Area, more people put their homes on the market in August than they did last August, and this month is on pace to be the biggest September for new listings in many years. Combine that with a small slowdown in the pace of sales, and buyers are finding a little more to choose from in a market that has been starved for inventory.”

“‘The market has shifted. The foot has come off the accelerator but we haven’t seen the foot slam on the brakes,’ said Jordan Levine, an economist with the California Association of Realtors.”

“The number of existing, single-family Bay Area homes for sale on Sept. 8 was 34 percent higher than the same date last year, the association in its report for August. The median time on market before an offer was accepted was 18 days in August compared with 15 days in July and 15 days in August of last year. The median price for an existing, single-family home was $935,000, down 4.6 percent from July but up 10 percent from last year, the report said.”

“Statewide, active listings were up 17.2 percent from August 2017, the fifth and largest of five consecutive monthly increases. Before that, active listings had declined for 33 straight months. ‘I’ve had an influx of inquiries’ from people who own second homes, some of which are rented out, said Dona Crowder, a Coldwell Banker agent in San Francisco. She has brought them up to date on Prop. 10, she said, and ‘I think you will see rental houses being sold if that passes.'”

“In San Francisco, new listings in August were below last year, but September is on track to ‘blow by recent totals,’ said Patrick Carlisle, chief market analyst with Compass, a real estate brokerage.”

“In the first 20 days of September, 738 homes, condos and other residential properties were listed in San Francisco, he said. If that pace continues, new listings could top 1,000 for the month, compared with 749 last September and 785 the one before that.”

“Carlisle noted that only 21 of this month’s new listings specified that the homes or condos were under lease and subject to a tenant’s rights for possession, ‘so it doesn’t look like Prop. 10 is a major motivator to sell.'”

“In Alameda and Contra Costa counties, new listings this month are on pace to be the highest since 2011, said Michael McFann, chief technology officer for the Bay East Association of Realtors. In San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, September new listings totaled 419 and 905, respectively, through Thursday, according to MLSListings, the multiple listing service for those counties and three others.”

“At that pace, they could reach 628 and 1,357 for the full month, surpassing last year’s totals of 527 and 983 and becoming the biggest September for new listings since 2010.”

“Tom Watson, an agent with Climb in Oakland who works in San Francisco and throughout the East Bay, said he typically has ‘about eight buyers in my pipeline: getting approved, looking, writing offers. In the last three months I’ve had one, maybe two buyers.’ On the flip side, he normally has one or two listings; now he has 10 clients who are selling or getting ready to list.”

“Most of his listing appointments ‘are people saying, ‘I’m at or near retirement, I can’t believe my house is worth what it’s worth. I’m cashing out and getting out.’ I have people who moved to Oregon, Redding. Most are people whose house is a significant portion of their net worth. They are moving to markets where they can buy houses for $200,000 or $300,000,’ Watson said.”

From Curbed Seattle in Washington. “After years of rising rent costs, could things get a little easier for Seattle renters? A new report from real-estate group Zillow shows that for the first time in years, rent not only didn’t increase in the Seattle metro—it showed signs of reversal. In Seattle proper, median rent decreased a full 4.5 percent within the city limits.”

“This data shows signs of a tipping point for Seattle rentals that’s been on the horizon for a little while. Back in January, reports showed a dramatic slowdown in rent increases. Landlords, increasingly, tried to entice prospective tenants with giveaways and short-term deals, but at the time, the rent itself wasn’t decreasing yet.”

“Zillow senior economist Aaron Terrazas attributes the change to a dramatic increase in inventory. In the metro, rental housing supply grew a whopping 32.9 percent over the past year. ‘The boom in multifamily building after the housing market crashed is catching up, with new units coming online and adding to the supply of rentals in Seattle,’ said Terrazas. ‘At the same time, a large swath of millennials, particularly at the older end of the age range, are entering the homebuying market, which eases up on the demand for rental units.'”

From The Chronicle in Washington. “Western Washington had the largest supply of homes in three years this August, according to Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Buyers also saw fewer bidding wars. Northwest MLS director John Deely said many buyers are showing more caution and presenting offers with standard contingencies. These would include inspections and financing provisions.”

“‘Sellers should be careful to avoid overpricing as savvy buyers are wary of properties pushing (on) the upper end of the market,’ Deely said. ‘Properly priced properties will still see heavy activity in this market. Sellers of homes that linger on the market are reducing their prices to spur activity.'”

This Post Has 26 Comments
  1. ‘first time in years, rent not only didn’t increase in the Seattle metro—it showed signs of reversal’

    ‘If it seems like more ‘For Sale’ signs are popping up in your neighborhood, you’re not imagining things’

    It’s like magic…

    1. Very similar to late 2005 or early 2006 here is SW Florida. Stalemate in sales once the prices got high enough, followed by early downward pricing which catalyzed a sales increase, but the downward momentum continued due to loss of confidence in price appreciation.

      This could happen again. At that time, stocks were high, economy vibrant, and interest rates had begun to rise from lows. Home investors no longer buying to fix flip because appreciation was gone and placed investment properties on market. Although loan underwriting is different, our area has always been about 40% cash sales and still got clobbered. Possibly history and human nature repeating.

      Love the realtorspeak in this article about “foot off accelerator but not on brake”. Add this to top 20 list please! Seems to be no end to these.

      Regards everyone.

      1. I just got this email:

        Reduced $350K | Priced to Sell | Open Sunday 2-5pm

        14755 SUTTON ST, SHERMAN OAKS, CA | $3,900,000

        OPEN Sunday, September 23rd • 2-5PM
        Welcome to The Sutton House, an outstanding example of a luxury farmhouse. Located on one of the finest streets in Sherman Oaks, this gorgeous 5600 sqft estate sits on an extra wide lot with more than 200 ft of depth. Featuring exceptional finishes including Calcutta marble slabs, Waterworks fixtures, Wolf and Subzero appliances, a spacious home theater and separate guest house with a bathroom and shower. A lush landscape frames a spectacular, extra-long pool and separate Jacuzzi. This is truly an exceptional one of a kind property that should not be missed.

      2. Underwriting is different, yet ridiculous. I know a person with a 49-page credit report, chock full of late payments, nonpayments, and lawsuits. She just signed a contract to build a four-bedroom, three-bathroom house for herself to live in. Conventional mortgage, no mention of a down payment. She will definitely not repay the loan if and when she loses her job and prices decline.

    2. Over 180 resale open houses this weekend in Denver. I am an open house junkie but had to stop until recently because there were usually less than 40 per weekend the past few years, and they were too far spread apart to make it worth my time. Not to mention, the ever rising prices really irked me. Last two weekends I have been seeing lots of price cuts and there is a sense of desperation and fear on the seller side, making it much more of a fun activity and easier on the blood pressure.

      https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/Denver-CO/fsba,cmsn_lt/pmf,pf_pt/11093_rid/100000-3000000_price/408-12242_mp/1_open/39.891826,-104.589844,39.474895,-105.235978_rect/10_zm/

  2. ‘In the metro, rental housing supply grew a whopping 32.9 percent over the past year’

    So long shortage. Who knew supply could grow by a third in one year?

  3. From the first link:

    ‘Priced out of Silicon Valley, first-time buyers Emily and Jason Lopez are closing next week on a house in Gilroy with three bedrooms plus a bonus room. It was the first home they looked at, and snagged it at the asking price, $740,000. “It had everything we were looking for and was move-in ready,” said Emily Lopez, a high school English teacher in east San Jose. “We put in some loan and appraisal and inspection contingencies,” she said. “Our agent said just a few months ago you couldn’t do that.”

    1. the Gilroy to San Jose commute is terrible. As a teacher I would assume they are right in the middle of the rush hour traffic but no worries, you can sit in the carpool lane which is just as bad as the other lanes because everyone drives a Tesla or carpool sticker car. I am sure they have a Prius that allows that for them. Now they get to reak of garlic, one of the perks of living in gilroy! I know people that live there and they say “you get used to it” well the people around you don’t…. Another soon to be sad tale of a knife catcher here in the Bay Area.

    2. $740,000 in Gilroy on a teacher’s salary. HOLY SMOKES. I would bet everything I own that this is a future foreclosure, or short sale at the very least.

    3. How in the world does anyone sign a contract to buy a house without a loan, inspection, and appraisal contingency? That is literally a stupid thing to do, unless maybe you are currently renting it and have cash to buy.

  4. ‘Lewis County is a county in the U.S. state of Washington. As of the 2010 census, the county’s population was 75,455.[1] The county seat is Chehalis,[2] and its largest city is Centralia. The county was created as Vancouver County on 19 December 1845, by the Provisional Government of Oregon,[3] named for George Vancouver. In 1849, the county name was changed, to honor Meriwether Lewis.[4] At the time, the county included all U.S. lands north of the Cowlitz River, including much of the Puget Sound region and British Columbia.[5] ‘

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_County,_Washington

    Eeee-bola Lewis County!

    1. Lewis County consistently has one of the highest unemployment rates in all of WA state, and very low wages though it’s right next door to Thurston County and Olympia, the State Capitol with lots of government leaches.

      “Drive until you qualify” is the only reason Lewis County real estate prices are what they are. Pre-bubble (and I’m talking before 2001), you could buy a single family house in Lewis County for $30,000.

  5. Hello Ben. I am on a desktop, but I am still seeing the two bugs people have referred to before. When you click the link to the blog it does not automatically refresh, you have to manually refresh. It gives the false impression there have been no updates. Also, it is not remembering my name and email like the old blog did. Minor things, and I like the new blog.

    1. Yes, I have been having the same problem. I have to hit refresh in order to load the threads. If I click on the main link it does not refresh and gives the impression everybody had abandon the blog. It took me a day to figure that out. 🙂

          1. I think the ones which only allow a comment to be edited for a short duration after posting are the best. This protects the quality of conversation and responses as somebody can’t do back the next day and delete, etc.

  6. ‘Statewide, active listings were up 17.2 percent from August 2017, the fifth and largest of five consecutive monthly increases. Before that, active listings had declined for 33 straight months. ‘I’ve had an influx of inquiries’ from people who own second homes, some of which are rented out’

    ‘he normally has one or two listings; now he has 10 clients who are selling or getting ready to list…Most of his listing appointments ‘are people saying, ‘I’m at or near retirement, I can’t believe my house is worth what it’s worth. I’m cashing out and getting out’

    Rather than the ordinary ebb and flow of people moving, this sounds more like speculators trying to time the top. Don’t everybody head to the exits at once or buyers may not see future appreciation in the cards.

    Where are the shortage people? Where are the “we gotta build shacks to bring prices down” posters?

    1. Examples of this behavior: 1) musical chairs, 2) everyone trying to leave the stadium at the same time. It doesn’t work for the majority of “investors”. It’s better to be early than late, but speculators gotta speculate.

      As to the “shortage” narrative: Houses held off market during periods of rapid appreciation, with many being rented out (s-t & l-t), or empty. Hence, “limited inventory”. Now there’s a wave forming of the same “investors” wanting to sell to “lock in” gains.

      The financialization of the housing market: Malinvestment + unintended consequences. No one seems to have learned the first time around. “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”

      “When the music stops, in terms of liquidity, things will be complicated. But as long as the music is playing, you’ve got to get up and dance. We’re still dancing.” – Chuck Prince, former chairman and CEO of Citigroup (told to the Financial Times on July 10, 2007).

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5f8z1NAzMlI
      Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Déjà Vu, 1970 Atlantic

      “As a dog returns to its vomit,
      so fools repeat their folly.” – Proverbs 26:11

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