School’s out, and we’re now finishing our first “official” full week of summer. That means that vacations are starting, kids are in camp, or they’re simply home 24/7 driving you crazy. Whatever the distraction may be, we are heading into a period of the year where the real estate market normally begins to lose some steam from the annual Spring push. The focus tends to steer away from home buying and selling and consequenty, July and August are two of the slower months for new listings and pending sales in all of the local communities in the Bay Area.
Once Labor Day weekend rolls around, the vacations are over, the kids are back in school, and buyers once again get focused on finding a home in the few short months before the holidays set in. This results in an uptick in the market between Labor Day and Thanksgiving.
Here’s a chart of the San Carlos real estate market from just last year which demonstrates exactly what I’m talking about:
Regardless of the historical year that you pick, the basic shape of this chart looks about the same. The peaks and valleys may be a bit more dramatic, but one trend holds true just about every year: The real estate market in San Carlos generally takes a snooze in July and August.
Here’s why it’s probably not going to happen this year:
Not This Year.
The very same elements that have made 2013 a watershed year in real estate will keep the market humming through the summer months, but with a slight twist. Here they are again:
- High Demand. Even as late as last week, homes were still fetching multiple offers and selling in the first week — regardless of the price range. Whether it’s a fixer-upper like 131 Alberta Avenue at $879,000 or a $2,098,000 beautifully renovated home at 108 Wildwood Avenue, most homes in San Carlos are still being hotly contested, which signifies that we have yet to quench the buyer’s demand for housing in San Carlos.
- Low Inventory. Despite the recent surges in new listings in San Carlos, today we’re sitting on 19 active listings in the entire city. We’re normally carrying 2.5 times that amount as we enter the summer months. The inventory has only breached the 30-mark once this year, and that was only for a couple of days. By far the biggest factor that could keep the market in the doldrums this summer is if sellers opt to wait for the fall to list their homes.
- Interest Rates. Low interest rates were the fuel of the upswing in the market over the past 12 months. Despite the boom in employment and wealth in the Bay Area, rates have remained at astonishingly low levels throughout this entire year. But here’s the twist — buyers and sellers who have been warily watching the mortgage market over the past few weeks have seen a succession of increases in home mortgage rates, signifying that the end of nearly-free money may be coming. And that has ratcheted up the urgency with buyers looking to lock in and close their deal at the lowest possible rates before things head north.
Time to List?
In a normal year, a home seller would normally follow the sage advice of their agent and hold off on listing their home in July or August, and wait to catch the upswing in the market that always ensues after Labor Day weekend. But this year the real estate market in San Carlos is completely oblivious to the calendar, and sellers who put their sign in the ground over the summer months should still be handsomely rewarded.
If all three elements outlined above remain in place, the real estate market in San Carlos will literally plow right through the summer months.
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