Sound Off: How does the current Bay Area real estate market compare with this time of year during previous years?

Q: How does the current Bay Area real estate market compare with this time of year during previous years?

A: The current Bay Area real estate market has shifted quite dramatically from years past when we normally have a lull in July and August.

Typically, at this time of year, sellers must weigh the benefit of being the only game in town with the risk of a reduced buyer pool, while buyers hope for better prices but can worry that the nicer homes will only come to market after Labor Day.

This year is especially favorable for higher-end sellers, as few if any of the over $4 million buyers are further than one county away, and as such are near enough to view a compelling house.

In years past, condo buyers were seeking the many amenities offered in high rise buildings. Now, the new desire for ongoing safety has driven condo buyers to low-rise options where the serendipitous design of our unique housing stock is such that almost none of the two- and four-unit buildings have shared interior common space.

This years’ lull came in with March/April shut-downs…so the summer is now shaping up to be our spring market.

Daria Saraf, Sotheby’s International Realty, 415-317-2970,

A: All bets are off with respect to this year’s real estate market compared to last year’s—at least here in the Bay Area. In spite of COVID-19, a wildly-fluctuating stock market, and an uneasy presidential race, market demand is exceptionally high.

So while overall volume is down, prices are actually up. Perhaps it’s because interest rates are historically low, while supply has dwindled; perhaps it’s because many of us are working from home or educating shelter-in-place-style; perhaps city living just got a whole lot tougher with kids in tow. Whatever the reason, the market is not only hotter, it’s much swifter too as a desire for space outweighs the fear of moving in a crisis.

Without public open houses, there’s no set marketing period; consequently, houses are selling in a few days, not a few weeks…because in a world where none of us know what tomorrow may bring, why wait?

Julie Gardner, Compass, 510-326-0840,

A: This year has been a roller coaster of ups and downs for the real estate market and compared to years past, at this time, we are on another upward climb.

People are coming out, from sheltering in place, to buy whatever they can get their hands on and taking advantage of such low interest rates. My business takes me from San Mateo County to Stockton and Modesto right now where mid range homes are in the $300,000’s and sell quickly with multiple offers.

As we get closer to the Bay Area, the prices double and triple but still face a lot of buyer competition.

In San Mateo County, with their soaring price tags, the most attractive list prices are the ones that generate the most activity. Super low interest rates and the opening of shelter-in-place restrictions have sent the Bay Area real estate market into a whirlwind.

Karin Cunningham, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, 650-438-3504,

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