Low Inventory Preserves Sellers’ Market in Northern California
Northern California continues to experience a healthy sellers’ market with median and low priced properties and, in some areas, with reasonably priced luxury properties. Due to the limited inventory and high demand for median priced properties, most reasonably priced listings receive multiple offers above asking price.
According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), in March there was a 0.8 percent decline in the Pending Home Sales Index based on contract signings from February to March, but there was a 0.8 increase in the Pending Home Sales Index based on contract signings compared to March 2016.
“Sellers are in the driver’s seat this spring as the intense competition for the few homes for sale is forcing many buyers to be aggressive in their offers,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Buyers are showing resiliency given the challenging conditions. However, at some point—and the sooner the better—price growth must ease to a healthier rate. Otherwise sales could slow if affordability conditions worsen.”
Competition is high in most of Northern California because there is an abundance of buyers seeking affordable family homes, which are in low supply. Most open houses for new listings are seeing attendance as high as 50 people on weekends. The low inventory is also keeping some sellers from listing their property out of fear that it will sell before they are able to secure a new home.
According to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.), “Even with a strong performance in March closed escrow sales, a shortage of available homes and robust price growth that’s eating away at affordability stifled pending home sales for the third straight month.”
Unless inventory remains low, buyers may find some relief in the coming months as the Spring Market continues to bring new listings to the market in hopes of meeting the high demand.