And sho’ ’nuff…I see nary a leaf on a tree outside my window, but statistical and anecdotal signs of market activity picking up are legion.
Charts from our friends the statistical geniuses at Altos research show the traditional early year inventory bounce happening in Palo Alto — Swiss-clock-like in regularity:
- An escrow rep friend of mine says her order book is fuller than it’s been in six months.
- The manager of a mid-size local brokerage says his agents have been going on listing appointments, getting new listings, and writing offers at a much faster clip than in the last few months.
- At least one transaction in Palo Alto last week sold with multiple offers and sold for a substantial amount more than the list price.
Friend, fellow 3 oceans contributor, and Realtor Chris Iverson of The Ventoux Group says:
Listings are starting to increase, but slowly in Palo Alto. Mountain View and Los Altos seem to be off to a slower start this year than last as well.
I am seeing more activity from Buyer prospects since the beginning of the year, but a lot of them have gone back to a “wait and see” attitude following news of the potential increase in the conforming loan limit. That will have a significant effect for first-time buyers in areas like Mountain View and Sunnyvale, where $729,000 gets you a decent townhouse, or a house in Sunnyvale.
Jeff Klein at Absolute thinks it will take about 6 months from the conforming limit change for the resulting loans to be available to buyers, and for the impact on the market to be felt.
Colleen Foraker, of Alain Pinel Realtors in Palo Alto, says:
“We in the industry need to do a better job of educating sellers that this is actually a great time to sell. Inventory is at a 10-year low, and we’d love more listings. Problem is, sellers are reading the media, hearing that the market is up to no good, and deciding to wait it out.”
This past week was brutal! Last Saturday & Sunday we had the most traffic ever to come through our open houses. However, on Monday (MLK Day) foreign stock markets crashed. On Tuesday the Fed dropped the Prime Rate by ¾ of a point. And by Wednesday, according to several agents, local buyers were retracting their offers to purchase homes. Then, at the end of the week, Congress came up with a plan to restore confidence and stability in the market.
We continue to get calls from prospective home buyers who believe that it has become a “buyer’s market” in our area … The bottom line: demand for homes exceeds supply in this market place. It was reported this week in the SF Chronicle that in 2007 the Bay Area added 54, 000 jobs. It’s expected, they said, that at least 15,000 jobs will be added in 2008. While the housing market nationally and in the wider region of the Bay Area may be the slowest since the Great Depression, the housing market from Menlo Park through Los Altos is very strong; homes sell quickly, often with multiple offers.
Tags: Altos Research, Buyers, Consumer, Industry, Palo Alto, Sellers
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