All aboard the real estate train! It should come as no surprise that the housing market in Santa Cruz County was a bit slow in January - but it is expected to pick up considerable steam in the year ahead.
We started the new year coming out of a market defined by rising interest rates and uncertainty about where they would go as well as concerns about inflation and talk of a looming recession. These factors combined with relentless storms at the end of December and early January to put a noticeable damper on sales activity in January.
Homes available for sale were down a staggering 91% year-over-year with only 72 single family homes listed. This was balanced, however, by a decrease in buyer demand. At the end of January we saw three months of inventory available - the highest since the end of April 2020 at 3.3 months.
Even though interest rates are seeing more ups-and-downs than the Big Dipper rollercoaster, they have come down since their peak of last year and are expected to be in the fives in the second half of this year according to Rick Sharga, EVP of Market Intelligence at ATTOM.
Right now may be one of the best times to be a homebuyer we have seen in a long time and here are a few reasons why:
The median sales price dropped 6.8% year-over-year
It is taking homes longer to sell (meaning you don't have to rush)
The sale-to-list price ratio has continued to decline. Homes sold for 9% below asking on average compared to 3% above in January 2022
Price reductions are more prevalent with 48%% of homes that sold reducing their price, compared to 18% in January 2022
Sellers, fear not, it is still undoubtedly a sellers market - just not the HYPER sellers market we saw 2020 through early 2022). As rates continue to balance and the Fed gets a handle on inflation the market is expected to pick up momentum again. We are already seeing busier open houses and multiple offers coming in.
Bottom Line - Wherever you are in your real estate journey there are great opportunities to take advantage of in today's market. The trick will be getting ahead of the competition this year regardless of if you are buying or selling.
WONDERING IF NOW IS THE RIGHT TIME TO JUMP INTO THE MARKET?
DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE GUIDE TODAY: