Hot Bay Area housing market may be cooling off amid rising interest rates, more inventory

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY – For anyone used to the Bay Area housing market being white hot, the idea of a buyer’s market is unfathomable. But with interest rates rising and more homes coming online, a cool-off might be underway.

Ian and Lauren Finn are ready to sell their 1,500 square foot, three bedroom, three bath home on Falling Star Drive in Martinez and move somewhere bigger – with more room for their kids Jack and Evelyn to run.

There’s a slight problem. So far, no buyers.

“We were told by everyone that there would be tons of bidders, that it’d be very competitive and we would immediately sell,” Ian Finn told KPIX 5.

There has not been a single offer since the listing hit the MLS. “We launch on May 9th….and nothing. Chirping. Crickets,” said Lauren Finn.

“We priced it lower than one of the neighbors who had just sold their house and we didn’t get any bids and then we lowered the price by $20,000 and again no one has put in any offers and we had to lower the price for a second time. So, we’re now $40,000 less than we started,” said Ian.

According to Wednesday’s East Bay housing report, there are 1,900 homes for sale in the East Bay, up from less than 500 in December.

Combine that with rising interest rates, spiking gas prices, inflation and a stock market drop.

“Buyers are just more hesitant. How do you pull money out if you just lost it all? How do you get a loan if the rates go up – you qualify for less,” said Jennifer He of Keller Williams.

After a year and a half of real estate insanity, He who is in Ian and Lauren’s agent says there are still some hot real estate microclimates.

Take for example, Marin County where the median price just hit $2 million. But things appear to be changing.

“It’s a resetting to what normal used to be, but it feels so slow and different to what we’ve been experiencing in the last year and a half,” He said…

For Ian and Lauren, the concerns is real.

“Our whole goal was to get our house sold, get a new house and move in before school starts,” Lauren said, “Every week that goes by that possibility is looking less and less likely.”

Lauren hopes they can sell and this isn’t foreshadowing something worse.

“I do remember the 2007-2008 housing crisis and its…I’m a little watching things and hoping history doesn’t repeat itself,” she said.

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