Buying & Selling In Spite of SIP
Santa Clara County’s shelter in place order began in mid-March. At first, all home showings were suspended. Then SIP guidelines eased, allowing vacant homes to be shown to limited-sized tours. By the end of April, all available homes for sale were available to tours. As a result, the MLSListings suspended Days on Market (DOM) calculations. This is important to note as DOM data is not fully reliable for year-over-year comparison purposes. Now Santa Clara County is easing some of the SIP restrictions and slowly allowing more retail, outdoor dining, and other activities.
Median Prices Holding
Despite the impact on sales volume — off by as much as 50% from 2019 levels — most SF Bay Area Counties held relatively steady.
- On average, buyers paid premiums (paying over list price) for single-family homes located in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties (103% and 104% respectively).
- The median price for Santa Clara County single-family homes inched up from $1.32M to $1.39M (up 5.3%) when comparing April 2020 to April 2019.
- Inventory is in flux due to the pandemic. The number of homes available in April was up 20% from March, but down 315 from March 2019. Note: I analyzed March’s active listings plus the number of homes removed from the MLS, and inventory levels weren’t that far off.
Lending & Mortgage Rate In Flux
According to Housing Wire, interest rates are lower than ever. Yet, millions of borrowers can’t get a loan. With growing unemployment and the rising number of homeowners in forbearance programs, lenders are raising their lending standards. Additional hurdles for would-be borrowers could include:
- An extra verification of employment check on the day of closing
- Age of asset documentation, dated within 60 days
- Higher FICO score
- Changing debt-to-income ratios
Before you give up hope, I have a local resource that can guide you through the changing and challenging home-lending process. Tracie Southerland of Opes Advisors has been one of my trusted advisors for years. She’s an excellent source for any and all things home-loan related. Don’t let lack of information or misinformation keep you from homeownership or refinancing to take advantage of these historic low rates. Please let me know if you’d like an introduction.
Reach Out & Connect
In general, I’m optimistic about the Bay Area real estate market. Santa Clara County has begun to reopen businesses in accordance with California’s Phase 2 guidelines. I anticipate the market to pick up as we enter the summer home-buying season.
I remain committed to serving my clients and providing you with the most accurate information available. We can connect virtually via phone and video conferencing, or by appointment — masks and social distancing included 😉