Issue of Inventory

The current lack of inventory is the hot topic in Lafayette Real Estate this January. The beginning of the year is traditionally a very slow time because sellers wait until the rainy season is over, gardens are in bloom and buyers are out planning for the upcoming school enrollment period.  While historically January has been slow month for real estate, this January there is a surplus of buyers desperately wanting to purchase a home.

In early January, a 1,481 sq. ft. Burton Valley fixer on Burnt Oak Circle that was listed for $880,000 received 11 offers, six of which were all cash. As of January 16th, there was one active listing in Lafayette under a million dollars and it does not feed into the Lafayette school district. There are four detached family homes available under $1.5M, one of which is in the Martinez school district and only one property is newly listed on the MLS. There are four active listings over $2.6M. These numbers speak for themselves in describing the current lack of inventory.

If you have been thinking about selling there is a real benefit to coming on the market before there is more competition.  Waiting until the spring to get the highest price is no longer a hard-and-fast rule.  Basic economics of supply and demand tells us that things sell for more money when there is an abundance of buyers when supply is scarce, which certainly also applies to housing. Unfortunately, most sellers assume real estate does not sell in the winter and this is just not true in today’s market.

During the holidays I received many calls from new buyers who were on vacation and had time to think about house hunting.  With the new-year comes a new home mentality where buyers are planning the purchase of their new home.  Many people have received their year-end bonus and are ready to put their money towards a down payment.

If you do decide to beat the competition to market this winter make sure that you or your agent keep the house heated for showings and open houses and leave lights on so your home feels bright despite shorter days and El Nino weather. Buyers are aware that the drought has taken a toll on lawns and gardens. Making sure your yard is tidy and clear of debris as well as adding some black bark can go a long way this winter.

While there is some concern of the stock market and how raising interest rates will affect home prices there is no real sign that this is impacting Lafayette. In addition, since many market pundits feel economic uncertainty will increase in the second half of the year getting a jump on any plans to sell your home in 2016 will likely only benefit you.

 

Please feel free to call or email me your real estate questions or for a free home evaluation.  I can be reached at (925) 951-3817 or by email at erin@erinmartinhomes.com.