Fall Market Still Going Strong
“As seen in the Real Estate Reality Column in the San Leandro Times & Castro Valley Forum, written by Carl Medford”
As evenings cool and leaves change color, real estate sales typically slow as everyone settles into fall. While we frequently see a resurgence in September as those back from vacations pick up end-of-summer bargains, normally Halloween signals a reduction in both listings and sales. By the time Thanksgiving rolls around, we begin telling sellers to pull out their pumpkin pie and put a fork in it – the peak selling season is done.
It looks, however, like this year may be different.
There is no doubt we saw a slowing in Alameda County sales as a result of COVID-19. Limited by an extreme shortage of inventory, sales outpaced supply at the beginning of the year, peaking in March. Sales dipped in April and May, but then soared again in June. Once we entered the summer, buyers were racing to find homes, resulting in multiple offers reappearing and prices heading upwards again.
In July, 2019, we saw 1,125 homes come on the market, 867 go pending and 910 close. August, 2019 saw 1047 new listings, 794 pendings and 882 closed sales. September listings jumped to 1,152, pendings declined to 692 and 746 homes closed escrow.
In 2020, however, same month numbers were dramatically different. Instead of the market falling apart as many had assumed would happen due to the coronavirus, the exact opposite happened. The difference was in the abundance of inventory in 2019 versus the dramatic lack of homes for sale in 2020. New listings in July, 2020 were 709, a decline of 37% from 2019. Continuing the trend , August and September 2020 were down 34.9% and 39.3% respectively.
While inventory was down, pending sales actually shot up. 7/2019 – 867 vs 7/2020 – 1038, up 19.7%. 8/2019 – 794 vs 8/2020 – 957, an increase of 20.5%. 9/2019 – 746 vs 9/2020 – 1019 – a whopping 36.6% increase year over year.
Closed sales were also up in 2020. 7/2019 – 910 vs 7/2020 – 955, up 4.9%. 8/2019 – 882 vs 8/2020 – 928, a rise of 5.2%. The big story is in September, however: 9/2019 – 692 vs 9/2020 – 1019 – a massive jump of 36.6%.
Will this continue until the end of the year? At the current rate, we do not foresee any immediate change. There are still thousands of buyers out there hoping to score while interest rates are low, and as long as they keep writing offers, winter may not be able to chill this current market.
Carl Medford is a licensed Realtor with Keller Williams Realty and a licensed general contractor. This article is sponsored by the Central County Marketing Association.