Some light at the end of the 2022 tunnel!
2022 made for a very challenging real estate ride- with the interest rates rising, and serious low inventory, and Bay Area tech firms laying off thousands of people- it has been hard to navigate through these peaks and valleys. Many people re-financed at the very lowest rates, so they are loath to make downsizes when the house they can buy in today's dollars will cost more, not be as nice, and the loan rate will be much higher.
So all this has marked an end to the "just because I can" Seller. The Seller who tested the market to get a crazy great sale price, but not because they had to move, or in some cases even wanted to. Zillow used to call this "Make me Move"- a sale price so absurdly high that anyone would be an idiot not to sell. Zillow ended that program a while ago, and the financial world has changed. No more, and good riddance!
I think this is incredibly healthy for the industry- it will make for real Sellers, and real Buyers who really understand they have to pay a high price to own a beautiful home in a great school district with all the amenities they want. It is normalizing the real estate market, slowing it down, and at the same time getting rid of any of the agents out there who do not have the drive, passion, capability and training to do a good job. It is in these markets that people really figure out whether they are cut out for real estate, and the actual hard job it really is- whether they have "the right stuff".
2023 has all the makings of a good year in real estate- The Bay Area does not rely solely on Meta, Intel and other tech businesses for its financial life. People are still getting married, having babies, moving away, getting new jobs, getting wealthy, wanting a nicer place- and all the other reasons real estate is constantly churning away. Do not be frightened to list your home- you will still do phenomenally well. As clarity comes to the financial markets, buyers will still be out there in droves- the recent downtick in interest rates brought them out at all the open houses.
Interest rates are currently stabilizing, inflation is receding. The supply chain is recovering. Although people are having ptsd at the thought of a tripledemic, the fact is that 94% of us in the Bay Area are fully vaccinated, and where we live, a lot of masking goes on. FEAR is going away, and resolution is setting in that we can do what we need to do to better our lives despite the doom and gloom most of the media perpetuates. I have a paperweight on my desk that says "What would you do, if you knew you could not fail". These are words I try to live by. I am hoping 2023 allows us all to take necessary risks, let go of fear and enjoy the ride. Happy New Year everyone!