Open house visitor numbers have surged, new listings coming on market have risen, the pipeline of coming listings is filling up faster than last year, and the number of homes going into contract is climbing rapidly as the market wakes up.
A Sudden, Positive Shift in Economic Indicators. “For the third sixth straight week, mortgage rates trended down, as new data indicates that inflationary pressures are receding. The combination of continued economic strength, lower inflation and lower mortgage rates should likely bring more potential homebuyers into the market.” Freddie Mac (FHLMC).
Economic indicators have been challenging since the fall selling season began: Interest rates continued to rise through early October and stock markets generally continued to fall from mid- summer, YTD highs.
“The surprisingly quick recovery [of the housing market] suggests that the residential real-estate downturn is turning out to be shorter and shallower than many housing economists expected after mortgage rates soared last year…There still aren’t enough homes for sale to meet demand.” The Wall Street Journal, “The Fall in Home Prices May Already Be Over,” 9/8/23
Generally speaking, the market slowed in July, a common seasonal trend, and August is usually one of the quietest months of the year though last year, a sudden, but short-lived drop in interest rates kindled buyer demand in August. Underlying economic dynamics – interest rates, inflation, financial markets, employment – remain on the same general tracks as in recent months. The Consumer Confidence Index jumped in July, hitting its best reading since October 2021: The Index is now about halfway between its historic low in June 2022 and the pre-pandemic reading in February 2020.*
Across Bay Area counties, the year-over-year (y-o-y), 3-month-rolling, median home sales price declines that commonly began in the second half of 2022 and peaked in spring have begun to drop. Based on current trends, they will probably continue to dwindle, and perhaps disappear, in the second half of the year.
The number of homes coming on market in the 7 counties of the San Francisco & San Jose Metro Areas during the past 12 months dropped 32% from the previous 12-month period: 22,000 fewer properties were put up for sale.** Along with the recovery in buyer demand and improvements in the general economy, this has been a defining factor in 2023’s market conditions.
It is not unusual to see a substantial autumn spike up in SF listing and sales activity after Labor Day, lasting through late October or early November, before the market subsides for the big, mid- winter holiday slowdown, which typically lasts until early in the new year. Included are charts reviewing both annual home prices for a broad review of appreciation trends, and then 3-month-rolling prices for insight into shorter-term changes. This report also includes a review of home prices and market dynamics of districts within the city.