Loads of houses are up for sale — but middle-class buyers are still shut out – Washington Post

Despite an uptick in homes on the market and weakening home sales across the country, home ownership is out of reach for a growing number of middle-class buyers, according to a recent report from real estate brokerage Redfin.

An analysis of U.S. homes on the market in 2017 and 2018 found that the number of affordable homes for sale has decreased in 86 percent of metro areas (of 49 included in the study), even as the number of homes on the market grew. While buyers normally benefit from better availability in competitive housing markets, it doesn’t help if the majority of available homes are priced for the wealthy.

“For the past few years, home prices have gone up faster than wages,” said Daryl Fairweather, chief economist at Redfin. “That kind of growth really isn’t sustainable. At a certain point, there won’t be enough buyers left for the homes left on the market.”

Home ownership has long been at the heart of the American dream, a means of accumulating wealth and securing financial stability. But ownership rates have fallen dramatically since the financial crisis — coming in at 64. 4 percent in the third quarter of 2018, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau — a telling sign that the traditional markers of middle-class life are getting tougher and tougher to hang onto.

To estimate affordability, researchers used the median income in each metro area, applied standard interest rates and assumed a 20 percent down payment and a monthly mortgage payment of 30 percent or less of the buyer’s gross income. Even adjusting for 10 percent down payment, just over half of homes on the market were affordable, according to the study.

In Seattle, the share of affordable homes fell 14 percent from 2017 to 2018, leaving only 46 percent of homes within the reach of middle-class families. In San Jose, Calif., the share of affordable homes fell from 26 percent to 14 percent over the same time.

According to the National Association of Realtors, existing home sales in December were down 10.3 percent year over year, the biggest drop since the housing market bottomed in 2011. At the same time, the median home sale price was $223,900, according to Zillow’s home value index.

Current conditions mirror what happened after the housing market collapsed. Prices tumbled and property was abundant, but the only people who could afford to buy were those who hadn’t been crippled by the financial crisis. Years later, a booming economy has yet to restore buying power to middle-class families, as mortgage rates and home prices have climbed. Prices surpassed their pre-crash peak in October 2017. And according to a December report from ATTOM Data Solutions, last quarter was the nation’s worst for home affordability in over a decade.

In metro areas, part of the issue is a lack of public investment in affordable housing, Fairweather said. The problem is often exacerbated in cities that serve as hubs to major tech companies, where an influx of highly paid workers has ratcheted up prices and cost of living. It’s fueling a flight from the coasts, as increasing numbers of people move inland in search of affordability.

Some states and cities are taking steps to correct this. California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom has an ambitious plan to oversee construction of 3.5 million new housing units by 2025. In November, the Minneapolis City Council signed off on $12 million in affordable housing investments throughout the city. Private companies are even stepping up to the plate — and Microsoft announced it’s offering up $500 million to build and protect affordable housing in Seattle.

The housing market is a cornerstone of  U.S. economic output, accounting for over 12 percent of the country’s GDP in 2017.  With the economy deep into an expansion, there’s been a rise in first-time buyers, but if conditions persist, many may be priced out and forced to rent instead. 

“Now the economy is doing better and more people are looking to buy a home for the first time,” Fairweather said, “but they’ve missed the boat on affordable deals.”

I read this article at: Washington Post

Got Real Estate Questions?   The Caton Team is here to help.

We strive to be more than just Realtors – we are also your home resource. If you have any real estate questions, concerns, need a referral or some guidance – we are here for you. Contact us at your convenience – we are but a call, text or click away!

The Caton Team believes, in order to be successful in the San Fransisco | Peninsula | Bay Area | Silicon Valley Real Estate Market we have to think and act differently. We do this by positioning our clients in the strongest light, representing them with the utmost integrity, while strategically maneuvering through negotiations and contracts. Together we make dreams come true.

A mother and daughter-in-law team with over 35 years of combined, local Real Estate experience and knowledge – would’t you like The Caton Team to represent you? Let us know how we can be of service. Contact us any time.

Call | Text | Sabrina 650.799.4333 | Susan 650.796.0654

Email |   Info@TheCatonTeam.com

 

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina
A Family of Realtors
Effective. Efficient. Responsive.
What can we do for you?

The Caton Team Testimonials | The Caton Team Blog – The Real Estate Beat | TheCatonTeam.com | Facebook | Instagram | HomeSnap | Pintrest | LinkedIN Sabrina | LinkedIN Susan

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  Mobile Real Estate by The Caton Team

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

DRE # |Sabrina 01413526 | Susan 01238225 | Team 70000218 |Office 01499008

The Caton Team does not receive compensation for any posts.  Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Third party information not verified.

Bay Area housing market cools, but it’s still nuts – SF Chronicle

By: Kathleen Pender 

The Bay Area real estate market went into 2018 with a bang and out with a whimper.

In the first half of the year, the median price rose almost 17 percent to an all-time high of $875,000 in June. In the second half, it fell 10.3 percent from that peak, ending at $785,000 in December.

The December price was down 3.7 percent from November but up 4.6 percent from December 2017, according to a report Thursday from research firm CoreLogic. It includes all new and existing homes and condos in the nine Bay Area counties.

An earlier report from the California Association of Realtors — which includes only existing, single-family homes entered into a multiple listing service — said the Bay Area median price fell to $850,000 in December, down 6.1 percent from November and down 3.6 percent from December 2017. That was the first year-over-year drop since March 2012.

Any way you look at it, the market downshifted in the last three months of 2018. As the stock market plunged and mortgage rates rose a half percent to almost 5 percent, buyers backed off, inventory grew, price cuts surged, and price appreciation slowed from the double to single digits on a year-over-year basis.

The number of homes sold in December fell to 5,341 across all nine counties, down 13.2 percent from November and 21.6 percent from December 2017. That was the lowest sales count for a December in 11 years, CoreLogic said.

Many sellers, perhaps unaccustomed to a less-than-ridiculous market, took their homes off the market or let their listings expire. A total of 2,493 listings in the nine Bay Area counties were withdrawn or expired in December, compared with only 1,154 in December 2017 and 1,487 in December 2016, according to analyst Patrick Carlisle of the Compass real estate firm.

“December was rock bottom,” said Chad Eng, a Redfin agent in Silicon Valley. “Buyers are hesitating, on the sidelines. Sellers are still focusing on comps from six months ago.”

Instead of selling in days like they were earlier in the year, homes took weeks or even months to sell. Homes that closed in December had been on the market 29 days before getting into contract. That was up from 23 median days on market in November and 17 in December a year ago, the Realtors association reported.

Eng said things picked up around the middle of January, as the stock market recovered and mortgage rates fell back into the 4.5 percent range. “I wonder if it’s a sign of what we will see in the spring,” or just a normal seasonal rebound, he said.

Santa Clara County was the hottest market in the Bay Area — and most of the country — for the first part of the year as prices rose in the teens and 20s year over year. In February, its median price topped $1 million for the first time, rising to $1,080,000, up 27.8 percent.

That was the month a two-bedroom, one-bathroom, 848-square-foot home on Plymouth Street in Sunnyvale sold for $2 million cash — making headlines as the height of Silicon Valley insanity.

That was and still is a record price-per-square-foot for Sunnyvale, said Doug Larson, a Coldwell Banker agent, who represented the seller. “Now with the softening market, I doubt that anybody will beat it, at least for a while,” he said.

After hitting $1.15 million in June, Santa Clara’s median price has fallen to $1 million in December, exactly where it was a year ago.

January is always a slow month for the real estate market, as sellers recover from the holidays and get their homes spruced up for the busy spring season.

940x940

“Homes that sell in the winter are typically homes that have been sitting on the market awhile and have to take a price cut,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather.

Right now, “buyers are in a holding pattern,” she added. “They don’t know if this is as good as it’s going to get, if prices come down or more homes come on the market.”

She noted that a slower market is good for buyers because “they have more negotiating power” and for sellers who are moving up to a more expensive home because “overall they are going to be saving more money.”

Fairweather predicts that prices will end the year about where they are now. “I would be surprised if they go down,” she said.

Nancie Allen, president of Bay East Association of Realtors, said the government shutdown in January made it hard to tell where the market is headed. The next two weeks will be a better indicator. The market now “is all over the place,” she said. Some homes in Fremont have been sitting on the market for a while, while one had 15 offers.

Aaron Terrazas, a senior economist with Zillow, said his data show that home prices in the last quarter of 2018 rose at their slowest annual pace for any quarter since 2010.

He predicts that prices will appreciate 5 to 6 percent this year in the San Francisco metro area and 7 to 8 percent in the San Jose metro area, assuming interest rates stay low.

Kathleen Pender is a San Francisco Chronicle columnist. Email: kpender@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @kathpender

I read this article at: SF Chronicle

Got Real Estate Questions?   The Caton Team is here to help.

We strive to be more than just Realtors – we are also your home resource. If you have any real estate questions, concerns, need a referral or some guidance – we are here for you. Contact us at your convenience – we are but a call, text or click away!

The Caton Team believes, in order to be successful in the San Fransisco | Peninsula | Bay Area | Silicon Valley Real Estate Market we have to think and act differently. We do this by positioning our clients in the strongest light, representing them with the utmost integrity, while strategically maneuvering through negotiations and contracts. Together we make dreams come true.

A mother and daughter-in-law team with over 35 years of combined, local Real Estate experience and knowledge – would’t you like The Caton Team to represent you? Let us know how we can be of service. Contact us any time.

Call | Text | Sabrina 650.799.4333 | Susan 650.796.0654

Email |   Info@TheCatonTeam.com

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina
A Family of Realtors
Effective. Efficient. Responsive.
What can we do for you?

The Caton Team Testimonials | The Caton Team Blog – The Real Estate Beat | TheCatonTeam.com | Facebook | Instagram | HomeSnap | Pintrest | LinkedIN Sabrina | LinkedIN Susan

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  Mobile Real Estate by The Caton Team

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

DRE # |Sabrina 01413526 | Susan 01238225 | Team 70000218 |Office 01499008

The Caton Team does not receive compensation for any posts.  Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Third party information not verified.

A Reflection of “What Lies Ahead for Our Real Estate Market”

The Caton Team wanted to take a moment and comment on the article we shared : What Lies Ahead for Our Real Estate Market

As full-time, professional Realtors – The Caton Team felt the market turn late in the 3rd Quarter of 2018.

Now – let’s just be honest here – anyone trying to buy in San Mateo County was reaching their wits ends.  Every seller and Realtor knew that the top was coming because it always does.  Real Estate is cyclical.  Year in and year out it goes up and down all year-long.  It often follows the weather and holidays.  However, Real Estate wealth is acquired through holding real estate long-term – and to be frank – not necessarily selling each home but leveraging each home.  Curious how that works – come in for a sit down.

What we wanted to address here was this – though the Market is cooling here in the Bay Area – and we may have hit our peek for this cycle in Spring 2018 – it doesn’t mean we’re crashing. It’s the one thing we can graph year over year, decade over decade.  Real Estate may fluctuate in price from week to week but over time it holds its value and appreciates.

So – what I hear when the “market is down” – IT’S TIME TO BUY!  My friends, a down markt is opportunity.  No offer dates, no mutiple offers – and if you and your Relator do your homework right – maybe under list price!

I just wanted to add this reflection becuase we need to see this in perspective.  A market adjustment is a chance to get in.

Curuious if buying or selling now is right for you – contact The Caton Team for a private and personal consultation.

Need some proof – The Caton Team hopped on the #10yearchallenge for Real Estate and in just the past 10 years you can see our local growth!  That’s why the old addage applies – Don’t Wait to Buy Real Estate – Buy Real Estate and WAIT!

Let The Caton Team help you – contact us any time – Call | Text 650.799.4333 | Email | Info@TheCatonTeam.com

img_7090

Got Real Estate Questions?   The Caton Team is here to help.

We strive to be more than just Realtors – we are also your home resource. If you have any real estate questions, concerns, need a referral or some guidance – we are here for you. Contact us at your convenience – we are but a call, text or click away!

The Caton Team believes, in order to be successful in the San Fransisco | Peninsula | Bay Area | Silicon Valley Real Estate Market we have to think and act differently. We do this by positioning our clients in the strongest light, representing them with the utmost integrity, while strategically maneuvering through negotiations and contracts. Together we make dreams come true.

A mother and daughter-in-law team with over 35 years of combined, local Real Estate experience and knowledge – would’t you like The Caton Team to represent you? Let us know how we can be of service. Contact us any time.

Call | Text | Sabrina 650.799.4333 | Susan 650.796.0654

Email |   Info@TheCatonTeam.com

 

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina
A Family of Realtors
Effective. Efficient. Responsive.
What can we do for you?

The Caton Team Testimonials | The Caton Team Blog – The Real Estate Beat | TheCatonTeam.com | Facebook | Instagram | HomeSnap | Pintrest | LinkedIN Sabrina | LinkedIN Susan

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  Mobile Real Estate by The Caton Team

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

DRE # |Sabrina 01413526 | Susan 01238225 | Team 70000218 |Office 01499008

The Caton Team does not receive compensation for any posts.  Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Third party information not verified.

What Lies Ahead for our Real Estate Market?

Americans stopped buying homes in 2018, mortgage lenders are getting crushed, and an economic storm could be brewing

Alex Morrell
Jan 25, 2019 | 8:30 AM ET

  • The US housing market took a dark turn in 2018 as homebuying fell off a cliff and mortgage lenders saw a steep decline in applications, originations, and profits.
  • Interest rates are partly to blame for the slide in housing, but that’s only half of the equation, according to analysts.
  • It’s too soon to panic, but a deeper drought in housing is bad news for just about everybody, not just the banks.
  • Significant housing declines have foreshadowed nine of the 11 post-World War II recessions in the US, according to UBS.

As 2018 headed toward its close, Americans’ appetite for buying homes fell off a cliff.

In December, US existing-home sales cratered to 4.99 million, 10.3% below the mark from the year-ago period, according to data released earlier this week by the National Association of Realtors.

That’s the steepest decline in more than seven years, and it followed year-over-year declines of 7.8% in November and 5.1% in October.

Home sales dropped in every month in 2018 except February, but the trend grew more aggressive in the final quarter of the year.

The decline has been broad, affecting every US region. Even home sales in the posh Hamptons got battered in 2018.

Banks with large mortgage-lending businesses felt the homebuying malaise take a bite out of their bottom lines last week during fourth-quarter earnings results.

At two of the largest bank mortgage originators and servicers in the US, the numbers were especially pronounced.

At Wells Fargo, mortgage-banking income fell by 50%, to $467 million, in the fourth quarter, while originations declined by 28%, to $38 billion.

JPMorgan, meanwhile, saw mortgage income fall to $203 million, a 46% drop from the same period last year. Originations fell by 30%, to $17.2 billion.

These ugly housing numbers have raised red flags for Wall Street investors and analysts. UBS economists said in a note this week that “the deterioration in housing and its intensification since midyear raise the possibility of underlying weakness in the household sector.”

It’s too soon to head to the panic room, as this trend could prove a small bump that smooths over in 2019 — but a deeper drought in housing is dark news for just about everybody, not just the banks.

Significant housing declines have foreshadowed nine of the 11 post-World War II recessions in the US, according to another note by UBS from December examining the housing slowdown.

“The housing market usually does not slow down in a vacuum, and a falling housing market may well be the first indication of broader economic weakness,” the bank’s analysts wrote.

What’s to blame?

The US economy has been exceptionally strong in the past year — we’ve had wage growth, low unemployment, and low delinquency rates, among other positive drivers that should augur well for real-estate investing, UBS said.

So what happened to the housing market? The most glaring explanation is that mortgage rates increased, convincing prospective homebuyers that the market had become unfavorably expensive.

The Federal Reserve hiked its benchmark interest rate four times in 2018; the rate on a 30-year mortgage hit 4.94% in November — the highest mark since 2011 — before falling to 4.45% by year’s end.

That November figure may not seem a gigantic increase from the average rate of 3.65% just two years ago, but for a $250,000 home, the difference in the monthly payment is $190 and the lifetime cost is nearly $70,000 greater.

But interest rates don’t tell the full story — UBS analysts estimated that rates accounted for roughly half of the slowdown.

Home prices have also been ascending for years. The median existing-home price in December was $253,600, a 2.9% increase from 2017 and the 82nd straight month of year-over-year gains, according to the NAR.  (Local stats pictured below by The Caton Team)

2018 dec

“We saw a cooldown because buyers couldn’t afford these homes anymore,” Daryl Fairweather, the chief economist at the real-estate brokerage Redfin, told Business Insider.

Cash-strapped and saddled with student loans and other debt, millennials — a generation of more than 70 million now in their 20s and mid-30s — have delayed buying a home later than their parents did, but their participation is crucial in buoying home sales.

They may be balking at the higher monthly payments commanded for increasingly pricier homes and deciding they’re better off renting.

“They need to be in the housing market to keep things going, but they face real affordability challenges,” said Jody Shenn, a vice president in structured finance at Moody’s. “Just being able to get a house they can afford on a monthly basis with a mortgage is on the challenging side at this point.”

But the debt-burdened millennial didn’t materialize in 2018. That long-standing trend is most likely contributing to the overall slowdown, though it doesn’t necessarily explain the precipitous drop in fourth-quarter home sales.

Other factors that may have had an impact but are harder to pin down are rising construction costs, a reduction in the mortgage deduction in the new tax law, tightening credit standards by some lenders, and less flexibility in underwriting.

If profits are down, why are lenders rejecting more mortgage applications?

Curiously, despite less homebuying demand and falling revenue, the rate of rejections of mortgage and refinancing applications also shot up in the second half of 2018, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

In its “Credit Access Survey,” a quarterly report on US borrowers, the Fed found in October that even as mortgage applications among those surveyed fell to 6.7% from 9.2% over the previous year, the portion of respondents who experienced a mortgage application rejection increased to 19% — the highest mark in the survey since February 2015 — from 15.6%.

Why would lenders, already facing headwinds in their mortgage businesses, start denying more applications?

Two Moody’s analysts told Business Insider they hadn’t noticed tightening lending standards for residential mortgages. Home-lending standards have actually been loosening of late, they said.

Charge-offs have been on the downswing, though, suggesting lenders have been doling out credit responsibly in recent years.

“The squeeze on mortgage originators is encouraging them to move down the credit spectrum, but it’s a slow, measured shift,” Warren Kornfeld, a senior vice president covering financial institutions at Moody’s, told Business Insider.

But it could still be the case that lenders experienced an influx of applications from borrowers they deemed too risky to lend to. The Fed has telegraphed its rate hikes, so savvier and more creditworthy borrowers may have acted earlier to get a cheaper mortgage rate.

Borrowers applying at the peak were “probably more desperate,” Fairweather said, and banks don’t typically like to lend to people in desperate situations who have a higher chance of defaulting on their loan.

“My interpretation of this is that there was a decrease in the quality of applicants at this time,” Fairweather said.

Overall lending standards may not be any stricter, Shenn added, but “it could be the mix of who’s coming in the door has changed.”

Riskier borrowers may have grown more interested in buying a home, but in general the number of consumers who say they think it’s a good time to buy has been declining since 2014, surveys from the University of Michigan and Fannie Mae have found.

The number of consumers who say they think it’s a favorable time to buy a home has fallen below the number who say they think it’s a good time to sell one — a foreboding signal.

Fannie Mae; University of Michigan; UBS

As UBS pointed out, that’s happened only twice in the 26 years those survey questions have been asked — and those instances preceded our two most recent recessions.

A housing collapse isn’t imminent, but there’s no quick fix either

There’s no quick fix for consumers feeling stretched too thin to buy a home, according to Kornfeld and Shenn. Costs and rates have to fall, or wages need to increase, or some combination thereof.

Mortgage lenders face a bleak horizon this year. Their profit outlook fell for the ninth straight quarter and reached an all-time low to close out 2018, according to Fannie Mae’s “Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey.”

But a housing collapse is by no means imminent, especially in light of the strong economic fundamentals at play right now.

Consumer spending hasn’t flatlined elsewhere, and, as previously mentioned, unemployment and wage growth are trending in the right direction.

Fairweather said that she anticipates another strong year for the economy in 2019 and that she’s optimistic buyers will have an easier time and more leverage in negotiations this year.

Still, amid a steady housing decline and following the especially ugly numbers from the fourth quarter, analysts are on alert, and UBS said it would be tracking the trend closely this year.

“The incongruity of the spending on housing with the rest of the economy is a red flag,” the bank’s analysts wrote. “Unwillingness to spend on large, long-lasting items like housing may signal susceptibility of consumer confidence and spending to adverse shocks.”

 

I read this article at: Business Insider.com

Got Real Estate Questions?   The Caton Team is here to help.

We strive to be more than just Realtors – we are also your home resource. If you have any real estate questions, concerns, need a referral or some guidance – we are here for you. Contact us at your convenience – we are but a call, text or click away!

The Caton Team believes, in order to be successful in the San Fransisco | Peninsula | Bay Area | Silicon Valley Real Estate Market we have to think and act differently. We do this by positioning our clients in the strongest light, representing them with the utmost integrity, while strategically maneuvering through negotiations and contracts. Together we make dreams come true.

A mother and daughter-in-law team with over 35 years of combined, local Real Estate experience and knowledge – would’t you like The Caton Team to represent you? Let us know how we can be of service. Contact us any time.

Call | Text | Sabrina 650.799.4333 | Susan 650.796.0654

Email |   Info@TheCatonTeam.com

 

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina
A Family of Realtors
Effective. Efficient. Responsive.
What can we do for you?

The Caton Team Testimonials | The Caton Team Blog – The Real Estate Beat | TheCatonTeam.com | Facebook | Instagram | HomeSnap | Pintrest | LinkedIN Sabrina | LinkedIN Susan

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  Mobile Real Estate by The Caton Team

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

DRE # |Sabrina 01413526 | Susan 01238225 | Team 70000218 |Office 01499008

The Caton Team does not receive compensation for any posts.  Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Third party information not verified.

Market Update – Janurary 14, 2019

Hello Caton Team friends! 

Each Monday I post a quick video on Facebook and Instagram with a market update.  Today I am happy to report that this past weekend – open house turn out was the best since before the holidays.  Real, qualified, pre-approved buyers came out regardless of the rain.  This is live, from the trenches updates from myself and Susan in Newark and my fellow agents here on the San Francisco Peninsula.  By no means is this the start of Selling Season – but it is a start.

If you are thinking about buying this year, get approved TODAY!  Getting fully pre-approved can take some time due to the large volume of paperwork each bank is going to require.  It is best to be totally approved and underwritten by your lender of choice BEFORE you look at homes.  Once you are pre-approved the Caton Team starts the house hunt and focuses on homes since they themselves require time and consideration.  Buying Real Estate is a journey – not a race.  The more time you prepare – the better you can make solid decisions and once the market heats up – you can act as fast as needed.  In my experience, Buyers who take the time to understand their loan and their budget get the home they want often on the first try because they are prepared to do what it takes and already understand the impact of their actions.  It is nearly impossible to be a competitive and knowledgeable buyer if you haven’t taken the time to prepare. 

If you’re on the market to sell – hold tight!  Right now the market is in the buyers seat with a bit more inventory sitting due to the holidays.  However, interest rates are low now and that in itself is motivation to get in while rates are low.  So stay inline with the current market, adjust strategy as needed and make sure your home shows well. 

If you’re thinking of selling this year, contact your Realtor now to get a true market picture.  Each neighborhood is different.  Homes may be selling quicker in the mid peninsula but sitting across the bay or on the coast.  Be realistic with yourself and your Realtor with your expectations.  What fuels over bidding is high demand and low supply.  Right now we have low demand and normal supply.  California Economists believe the market is going to appreciate this year, even if the market is soft today.  The Caton Team knows come Spring – more buyers will be in the game and we expect a healthy market.

With all the talk that our market is in flux, people can get overwhelmed with the mixed messages and feel uncertain.  We believe that each client is unique and requires a high level of care and consideration.   Contact The Caton Team at anytime for a free, no strings attached consultation.  We love what we do and love helping people achieve their dreams and goals. 

How can The Caton Team help you?

Got Real Estate Questions?   The Caton Team is here to help.

We strive to be more than just Realtors – we are also your home resource. If you have any real estate questions, concerns, need a referral or some guidance – we are here for you. Contact us at your convenience – we are but a call, text or click away!

The Caton Team believes, in order to be successful in the San Fransisco | Peninsula | Bay Area | Silicon Valley Real Estate Market we have to think and act differently. We do this by positioning our clients in the strongest light, representing them with the utmost integrity, while strategically maneuvering through negotiations and contracts. Together we make dreams come true.

A mother and daughter-in-law team with over 35 years of combined, local Real Estate experience and knowledge – would’t you like The Caton Team to represent you? Let us know how we can be of service. Contact us any time.

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call | Text at: 650-799-4333 

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina
A Family of Realtors
Effective. Efficient. Responsive.
What can we do for you?

The Caton Team Testimonials

The Caton Team Blog – The Real Estate Beat

The Caton Team Website

The Caton Team Advantage

How to Buy While Selling Real Estate

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  Mobile Real Estate by The Caton Team

Visit us at:  Our Blog * TheCatonTeam.com * Facebook * Instagram * HomeSnap* Pintrest * LinkedIN Sabrina * LinkedIN Susan

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina DRE# 01413526 / Susan DRE #01238225 / Team DRE# 70000218/ Office DRE #01499008

The Caton Team does not receive compensation for any posts.  Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Third party information not verified.

Talk of the Town – The Bay Area Real Estate Market

A reflection by Sabrina Caton | Janurary 8, 2018

 

With all the talk about the Bay Area Housing Market – it’s hard to decipher the message.  Are we crashing?  Is the boom over?  Do I buy now?  Or wait?  What if I need to sell?  What should I do? 

There are great questions and as The Caton Team firmly believes, each client has a unique situation and set of needs – so what “they” should do is all relative.  That’s why we offer a free, no strings attached consultation to help determine what is best for you.  So please do not hesitate to reach out to us should you have any Real Estate questions.  Email: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

 

The Real Estate market, much like the stock market, is made up of people.  In Real Estate those people are Buyers and Sellers, Investors and Renters and the market is very much a mirror to what those people are thinking and doing.

Because the Real Estate market is made up of people, it changes as our habits do – often reflected as seasonal change.  I’ve been a full time Realtor for the past 15 years, Susan over 20, and if there is one thing we Realtors get used to — is the cyclical change of our market.  It is so steadfast, many check out during the slow months because they know, come Spring and Summer – that’s when the action happens.  But is this realistic?  To just buy and sell for two seasons?  NO – it’s not – because life happens everyday! 

People buy and sell homes for various reason – aside from the investment standpoint.  People buy a larger home when they find out their pregnant, or a couple gets married and combines their space and their assets.  People sell homes when they get a new job out of state, or the house they have is too big or too small for their current lifestyle.  My point is, people buy and sell homes for more reasons that I can state – and those events happen every day.  It’s part of life – so why do we over analysis and stress ourselves out with the cycle?  Why do we try to time the market when no one has a crystal ball?

Real Estate has always and will always be a long term investment.  Quick and high gains are unrealistic and truthfully – unstable.  Couple that with the rise in interest rates over 2018 that directly impacted each Buyers purchase power.  Throw in changes to the stock market and everyone is going to err on the side of  caution.  Which is wise.   So is investing in Real Estate – as a long term venture.  It is a solid investment – especially because we all need a place to live.  Making NOW a great time to buy, while prices are soft and demand is low.  Get in today – at today’s rates (under 5% last I checked) then hold onto your investment.  You’ll be happy you did – because over time – Real Estate value will always rise simply becuase they’re just not making land anymore. 

 

So what dictates price?  Buyers dictate price – even during the frenzy.  It is a Buyer who decides – ‘this is the house I want and this is how much I am willing to pay for it’.  Come Spring, said Buyer may have lost out on a few houses and slowly that Buyer becomes more aggressive in order to be the winning bid.  The frenzy is created by the same source who can tame it – the Buyer.  So come Summer, those Spring Buyers who lost out on home after home, start sweetening the pot and overbidding.  Whether a Buyer wants to overbid or not – write a few offers that get rejected and a Buyer will find out what it takes to become an Owner.  Each market is different and requires a different strategy.  Right now that Sellers market is in the past.  For the first time in ages – we’re in a Buyers Market.

Th moment I see Halloween candy on display, I know the slowdown is coming – change is near.

What gets me is – why are Buyers doing this to themselves when they don’t have to?  My personal business philosophy is – to be successful in Real Estate we have to think and act differently.  That means doing whatever it takes to have my clients home or offer stand out from the crowd.  To change it up and be the first to do so. 

Which brings me to today – January 2019.  The media is spewing a Real Estate crash when in reality – our hyper-paced market is simply – returning to normal – not crashing.  Normal. 

It wasn’t normal for homes to sell in less than one week.  It wasn’t normal for a Buyer to have one chance to see a home before an offer date pushed them to move faster.  It wasn’t normal for offers to line up after one open house.  It wasn’t normal and it wasn’t practical.

Today, for the first time in what feels like ages, we have inventory.  Meaning, there are several homes on the market, at several price points.  With lower demand, offer dates are no longer pressing the urgency to make a decision and Buyers have a bit more of that much needed time.  Remember, Real Estate is one of the largest investments in our lives – so it is important to take time and make the right decision.  This type of market allows for that.  Making the Winter Market a great time to buy!

 

The flip side – it may feel like the market is crashing if you’re selling your home this season.  What drives up prices is the volume of qualified Buyers wanting to buy versus the volume of homes for sale.  For the past several years we’ve had high demand and low volume – thus further escalating prices.  Each Fall people turn from houses to holidays and demand wanes. 

What is hard to consider – the $100,000 gains seen during the Spring Market isn’t going to happen if only one Buyer is on the house hunt during Winter.  So Sellers are seeing $100,000+ price reductions and feeling like the market is crashing from under them – when in reality it is just returning to normal.  In other words, demand has changed, and it doesn’t take an additional $100,000 to be the winning bid.  (Which always makes me wonder why Buyers don’t take the bull by the horns and change things up!  I’ve had the best success with my Buying clients over the Fall and Winter because they were the only people putting in the time!  Anyway – I digress.) 

For Sellers it is a hard transition.  When Realtors look at the market we cannot determine the future but we can map out the past.  Fall/Winter Sellers may have higher expectations because they are looking at Spring/Summer sales data that was indicative of that market – on that particular day and that day has passed.  Today is a whole new reality.  The Real Estate Market is a living, breathing entity.  Like the people in it – the market can turn on a dime without any notice.  So how does one navigate these uncharted waters?

Easy… be realistic, timely and see the big picture.  Each Seller is in a unique situation so the answer isn’t cut and dry.  I do believe in being in the “here and now”, being aware of the market change and adjusting the strategy.  Often times waiting out the market is not the best solution.  Sometimes it is.  Sometimes renting a home out is a bad idea when you consider wear and tear.  Though a great tenant is better than a vacant home that seems to age while alone. It’s a lot to weigh so it’s best to be open and flexible.  The Caton Team strives for the best result regardless of market conditions and happy to sit down and work through the challenges with you.

 

Bay Area Real Estate started to slowed down in September on ’18.  Buyers had grown tired with the insane pace of the Spring/Summer market and it showed.  Add the fire and smoke in the Fall, deterring many people from even venturing outside.  Each market is different.  Last year in 2017 – our 4th Quarter was one of the most robust ever!  2018 an entirely different story.  So how does one survive a changing market in 2019?  Move with it.

If you’re Buying you’ve seen homes sitting on the market, some have had price reductions some have not.  Don’t just sit there.  If you like a home contact your Realtor and have them contact the Sellers Realtor.  Communication is key in this business.  If you’re a serious Home Buyer – you need to get offline and in front of a Realtor.  We’re here to work with you and help you figure out these challenges.  Remember, Real Estate is not a twisting of the arm but a meeting of the minds.  Yes, Buyers determine price – but we can’t walk in with 1996 prices.  Offers need to be realistic and doable.  A Seller isn’t going to take an outlandish low offer just because – nor is a buyer going to overbid.  Real Estate is finding that middle ground where all parties can obtain their goals and walk away – happy.

If you’re selling – and don’t have the luxury of waiting till Spring to sell – get on the market now.  Move accordingly.  Make sure you are priced right – knowing there won’t be multiple offers driving up the value.  In Realtor lingo we say – don’t chase the market down.  Meaning, if the market is in flux, you don’t want to sit online forever, you’ve got to adjust with the times.  Markets move up and down from day to day, month to month, year over year.  The key to being successful is moving with that market and keeping in line with your goals and budget.  Don’t hold out for a price that doesn’t exist in the current market climate.  Review your goals and timeline, be open and honest with your Realtor about your needs and wants and work together to achieve the goal.  Flexibility is key. 

Each market is different, each neighborhood is different and each client is different.  I could go on and on but the bottom line is this – Buying and Selling Real Estate happens in real time.  Today.  The future is untold and the past is just a graph.  If you want to own a home, get out there and look – open your eyes to the possibilities.  If you need to sell your home, get the home show ready, price it right and work with your Realtor because together we can do anything. 

 

The Caton Team loves helping people obtain their Real Estate goals – contact us anytime with any questions – we’re here for you.

Thanks for reading!

-Sabrina

 

Got Real Estate Questions?   The Caton Team is here to help.

We strive to be more than just Realtors – we are also your home resource. If you have any real estate questions, concerns, need a referral or some guidance – we are here for you. Contact us at your convenience – we are but a call, text or click away!

The Caton Team believes, in order to be successful in the San Fransisco | Peninsula | Bay Area | Silicon Valley Real Estate Market we have to think and act differently. We do this by positioning our clients in the strongest light, representing them with the utmost integrity, while strategically maneuvering through negotiations and contracts. Together we make dreams come true.

A mother and daughter-in-law team with over 35 years of combined, local Real Estate experience and knowledge – would’t you like The Caton Team to represent you? Let us know how we can be of service. Contact us any time.

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office: 650-365-9200

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina
A Family of Realtors
Effective. Efficient. Responsive.
What can we do for you?

The Caton Team Testimonials

The Caton Team Blog – The Real Estate Beat

The Caton Team Website

The Caton Team Advantage

How to Buy While Selling Real Estate

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  Mobile Real Estate by The Caton Team

Visit us at:  Our Blog * TheCatonTeam.com * Facebook * Instagram * HomeSnap* Pintrest * LinkedIN Sabrina * LinkedIN Susan

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina DRE# 01413526 / Susan DRE #01238225 / Team DRE# 70000218/ Office DRE #01499008

The Caton Team does not receive compensation for any posts.  Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Third party information not verified.

Large, Small Markets See Diverging Pricing Trends

A tale of two housing markets is unfolding nationwide, with homes in large cities seeing deep price cuts while those in smaller markets experience growth, according to realtor.com®’s November housing report. “The housing market is a ‘Tale of Two Cities’ as the divergence widens between high-cost, large urban areas and smaller, more affordable markets,” says realtor.com® Chief Economist Danielle Hale. “Buyers in large metros are seeing more homes on the market and listing prices decline, while those in smaller markets continued to see price increases.”

Twenty-two percent of listings nationwide saw price reductions last month, up from 19 percent a year ago, according to realtor.com©. Forty of the 45 largest markets in the country saw more price reductions in November, with the most in:

  • San Jose, Calif. (up 16 percent)
  • Indianapolis (up 15 percent)
  • Seattle (up 12 percent)
  • San Francisco (up 9 percent)
  • San Diego (up 9 percent).

On the other hand, several smaller markets saw home prices still rising last month. For example, prices were on the rise in markets like Chattanooga, Tenn. (up 17 percent); Spokane, Wash. (up 15 percent); and Greensboro-High Point, N.C. (up 14 percent).

https://magazine.realtor/sites/default/files/styles/asset_image_full_content/public/assets/images/1812_realtor.com-housing_Nov2018.png?itok=k8NjHtfG

 

I read this article at:  Reatlor Magazine

Got Questions – The Caton Team is here to help.

We strive to be more than just Realtors – we are also your home resource. If you have any real estate questions, concerns, need a referral or some guidance – we are here for you. Contact us at your convenience – we are but a call, text or click away!

The Caton Team believes, in order to be successful in the San Fransisco | Peninsula | Bay Area | Silicon Valley Real Estate Market we have to think and act differently. We do this by positioning our clients in the strongest light, representing them with the utmost integrity, while strategically maneuvering through negotiations and contracts. Together we make dreams come true.

A mother and daughter-in-law team with over 35 years of combined, local Real Estate experience and knowledge – would’t you like The Caton Team to represent you? Let us know how we can be of service. Contact us any time.

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office: 650-365-9200

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina
A Family of Realtors
Effective. Efficient. Responsive.
What can we do for you?

The Caton Team Testimonials

The Caton Team Blog – The Real Estate Beat

The Caton Team Website

The Caton Team Advantage

How to Buy While Selling Real Estate

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  Mobile Real Estate by The Caton Team

Visit us at:  Our Blog * TheCatonTeam.com * Facebook * Instagram * HomeSnap* Pintrest * LinkedIN Sabrina * LinkedIN Susan

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina DRE# 01413526 / Susan DRE #01238225 / Team DRE# 70000218/ Office DRE #01499008

The Caton Team does not receive compensation for any posts.  Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Third party information not verified.