Midway Through May 2020: Bay Area Housing Update

We are half-way through May, and it is time once more to check the pulse of the housing market. Are the home prices in the Bay Area rising or falling? Is it possible that Silicon Valley property values here will endure through this economic downturn?

The future direction of the real estate market and the economy overall is on everyone’s mind. At the time when the only point of agreement is uncertainty, I am not trying to predict the future. I want to share with you the latest numbers based on our Multiple Listings Services, the repository for real estate transactions, and will leave you to make your own conclusions.

The most surprising for me was the median homes sale price in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties which set a new all-time record in the first half of May. During this period, the median home sale price reached $1,360,000. The previous high was reached exactly 2 years ago in May of 2018 when the median home sale price was $1,315,000.

Another data point is the number of sales – 403 homes changed hands in the first two weeks of May this year. Assuming that this pace of sale will continue through the end of the month, we are looking at 60% drop in the number of sold homes compared with May of 2019 or 2018.

1086 homes were put on the market so far this month. Prorating this number to a full month, we can expect that 25% fewer listings will be coming the market this May than in May of last year. With the number of new listings outpacing the sales, the number of homes on market started to grow and reached 2187 units, 100 homes more than at the end of April.

While it is roughly a 30% drop from the number of home available for sale last year, it is almost exactly the number of active listings in May of 2018 or 2017. The level of sale activity is picking up as people get adjusted to the new ways of doing business. 711 contracts were accepted in May so far. Note that 883 contracts were negotiated and ratified in the whole month of April.

One of the indicators of the increased activity is the number of scheduled home showings. According to ShowingTime.com, after a steep decline in mid-March, the number of showings in California was steadily increasing starting mid-April and now it is only 10.6% below the pre-pandemic level and 17.4% below the same time of last year. Now let me turn it back to you – are you thinking about buying or selling a home before the end of this year? Just put a yes or no answer in the comment section below.

We are focusing on keeping our clients safe – let’s talk on the phone or have a video conference where we can share a screen. We are looking forward to safely connecting with you!

-Elena & Michael

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