The national real estate market is cooling down (unlike San Francisco)


Recent Wall Street Journal article argues that the national housing market is “losing some of its ‘madness’ as more homes are being put up for sale and overpriced homes are on the market rather than being” sold out right away. “

I inquired if the same applies to the market in the San Francisco Bay Area, which is often the exception in terms of real estate, and reached out to three experts for their opinion.

As with most things related to housing in the Bay Area, the answer is tricky.

At the national level, the market is indeed slowing down, according to Daryl Fairweather, chief economist at Redfin housing estate.

“We’re going from 100 to 80 mph,” Fairweather said. “What is happening now is that many buyers seem to be leaving the market due to high house prices. We are seeing a decline in sales and a slight increase in prices. ”

Nationwide, she noted, the ads have “narrowed the market,” but that is not the case in San Francisco, where there has been little exodus of people leaving the city to other parts of the Bay or California. Logically, the more people leave, the more housing we have.

However, San Francisco remains the most expensive market in the country.

“That’s why everyone leaves, because it’s so expensive,” Fairweather said. “But if you have the money (and many in the Bay Area), the market is not a problem for you.”

Statistically, the number of listings in the largest markets in the Bay Area – Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa and San Francisco – has declined slightly from peaks reached earlier in the spring. The exception is Alameda County, which is up slightly from the spring, according to Compass.

However, it is not uncommon for these markets to start slowing after spring peaks as the summer season is usually slower.

Likewise, according to data from, new listing data in the four aforementioned counties rose significantly in June compared to May. Alameda rose 5%, Contra Costa rose 16% and Santa Clara rose 5%. San Francisco alone is down 3%. The number of active listings on any day of the month increased in June compared to May in all four counties. This number depends on the number of new ads entering the market and how quickly buyers buy them.

Alan Tuma, a longtime realtor at Vanguard Properties, says he has seen stable stocks but also a “steady takeover.” In other words, while there may be many active ads, these items sell out – and often quickly. Part of the reason for the increase in inventory may be that many people are traveling this summer as COVID restrictions ease.

“But things are still going well this summer,” he said, adding that there are open houses every weekend this season.

Thuma believes that we are “confidently heading towards a market decline.” He expects there will be plenty of inventory in the fall, but he also expects buyers to possibly foresee this and start looking now.

“Naturally, if you buy for the first time, you are taught that the market starts to rise after the Super Bowl,” he said, meaning that many buyers will refrain from their search until then.

Typically, he believes that any lull in the market is due to the season in “foggy San Francisco”, when the market usually slows down.

So the Bay Area housing market is cooling down? Probably not. While stocks may increase in the fall, you can expect a lot of competition as usual.

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