Monday, May 4, 2009

Still a few dreamers

Yesterday had two great open houses; one in San Carlos and one in Los Altos Hills. The one in San Carlos (Priced at $928,000) had 15 groups through and two interested parties who talked about downloading disclosure packages and making an offer. The one in Los Altos Hills had 7 groups through, a couple who liked the home and at least two who said they felt the market would drop more in the Fall. So, why the contrast?

It all comes down to price range. The collapse of local real estate prices started at the low end and slowly impacted the high end. Now, the recovery is starting in the low end and will finish in the high end. Make sense?

Inventory in the "Under $1 million" range is selling like crazy. Why? Because the financing is available, prices are reasonable, there are plenty of buyers. Investors are buying the fixers and multi-unit properties, regular buyers are snapping up the rest. There are lots of multiple offer scenarios all around the Bay Area (some homes with up to 40 offers!). I believe we'll have a balanced market (no negotiating advantage for buyers or sellers) by the Fall.

In the high end, the perception is still about "getting a deal". It's still possible but the inventory is starting to move there too. However, buyers need to be realistic. While prices for high-end homes have dropped close to 20% in Saratoga, they have only dropped a bit over 10% in Los Altos Hills. So, comparing what kind of deal you can get from one town to the next requires some analysis.

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