Changes Ahead for the San Carlos Real Estate Market: Part 2.

December 11, 2013


3 Changes to the San Carlos Market in 2014.

As we head toward the end of what has been one of the most remarkable years in local real estate in recent memory, those who are still in the market — either buyers still looking to buy, or sellers thinking about listing — are looking at the calendar and asking the same question:

What's going to happen the San Carlos real estate market in 2014?

Yesterday on the blog I predicted that that there will likely be more single-family homes listed in San Carlos in 2014 than there were in 2013.  I also discussed the mindset behind the typical homeowner in San Carlos that is contemplating selling their home in this hot market in the next few years, and noted that many will deduce that 2014 is the right year for them to sell — even if it doesn't align perfectly with their schedule.

Today, in the second of this three-part series, we will dive into the second key factor that will impact the real estate market in 2014:  A very fast start.

#2:  The Market Will Start Earlier.

Almost like the phenomenon we saw this year with Black Friday creeping into Thanksgiving Day, look for the house shopping season in San Carlos to come rocketing out of the chute much earlier in 2014.   In a typical year,  the market wouldn't crank up until sometime in February.  Conventional wisdom used to be that a seller should wait until after Super Bowl Sunday to list their home to maximize the exposure, almost as if we weren't capable of watching a football game and shopping for a house during the same weekend.

Not any more.   Faster than you can say “Happy New Year!”,  you should expect to see more new listings making their debut in January.  Early January… as in, open houses on the weekend of January 4-5.  And just like Black Friday sales, the buyers will be there waiting.  That's something that would have been unheard of only a few years ago.

Why will it be different in 2014?

As I predicted in yesterday's post, there will be likely be more listings to hit the market in 2014.   Smart sellers who watched the ebb and flow of the housing inventory in San Carlos this past year should have come to two simple conclusions:  First, this real estate market is simply oblivious to the calendar — meaning that conventional wisdom about what is normally the “best” week to list a home has become irrelevant.   Second, and more important, is that some of the most eye-popping sales that occurred in 2013 were during periods when there was the least amount of inventory.  In other words, the best time to sell was when there was the least amount of competition.

These two factors are exactly why you saw homes listed just a few weeks ago during Thanksgiving week, and it's also why you're seeing new listings hitting the market in December.   Both of these would be marketing-suicide in a normal year.  But this year?  It's a brilliant strategy.  And it's exactly why I believe you'll see more listings earlier in January of 2014.

I'm not alone in this thinking.  Stagers and home inspectors are great bellwethers of future market performance.   If they're busy now, then you know the market will be busy shortly thereafter.   I talked with a number of prominent stagers that I know and work with, and many have been surprised by the sheer number of requests to stage homes throughout the Peninsula in January, some of which will be in early January.    And a number of Realtors are counseling their sellers to get their home on the market as soon as possible in the new year to beat the competition to the punch.

So, if all of this logic becomes reality, look for the real estate market to crank up a lot sooner in the new year.   In 2013, there were 19 listings that made their debut in January, which was up significantly from only 12 in 2012.   But 40% of those listings launched during the last week of January, which means the market really didn't get cranked up until February.

I don't think that's going to happen in 2014.

Tomorrow:  Part 3 — Home Prices in 2014.

Tomorrow on the White Oaks Blog, we will conclude this 3-part series with a discussion about what home prices will (or will not) do in the New Year.  Be sure to check it out.

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