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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like …

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like …

“As seen in the Real Estate Reality Column in the San Leandro Times & Castro Valley Forum, written by Carl Medford”

Written in 1951 by Meredith Willson, “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” has been a holiday favorite for years. You know Christmas is around the corner when you can hear Bing Crosby crooning the lyrics from almost every location you visit.

We are not certain WHAT it is looking like this Holiday Season … certainly not like anything any of us have seen before. With a shelter-in-place back in force, those who were planning large family events are being asked to stay home. There will be no live holiday concerts, no carolers going door-to-door, no one sitting on Santa’s knee … the list goes on and on. It has been a most bizarre year indeed.

Things are strange on the real estate front as well. Everyone assumed that COVID-19 would cripple the housing market and force prices down. In reality, the exact opposite has happened as a lack of inventory and super-low interest rates have fueled a red-hot housing market in most corners of the region. Normally December is the slowest month of the year, as changes in weather and holiday preparations tend to cool the market.

Not so this year. Many neighborhoods, especially those with entry-level single-family homes, are seeing continuing jumps in prices as buyers are trying to get a home into contract for the holidays. Fueled by remarkably low interest rates, multiple offers are everywhere, propelling values unseasonably high. If this continues into 2021, it could mean a windfall for local sellers hoping to relocate. 

While the housing market is sizzling, the continued mandatory lockdowns are putting a definite chill into the holidays. Two groups have been hit the hardest. The first group are seniors – many of who have had to cancel holiday plans to be with their families. The second group are the homeless. Their numbers are increasing as the region continues to deepen its way into the housing crisis. The encampments seem to be growing in size and appearing everywhere.

Like many, we have pledged support to local non-profit organizations that provide support to the homeless communities. To assist those who wish to be part of the solution, the SF Chronicle has published its yearly directory of services at https://projects.sfchronicle.com/sf-homeless/how-to-help/.

We would encourage you to consider others this year and to provide whatever support you can to make this, the strangest holiday season of all time … the one we remember the fondest.

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.

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