Inventory Drastically Drops 69 Percent | Print |  E-mail
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Wednesday, 16 May 2012 14:02


Real Estate Reality


By Carl Medford, CRS
Special to the Forum

It’s no secret that the Central County housing market has radically switched in the past few months so that we are now firmly ensconced… in a seller’s market.



While it’s true that there are still some listings out there moldering away, they typically represent either seriously distressed homes or those owned by normal folks with what I call, “misplaced optimism.” In fact, if your home has been on the market a number of months, it’s more than likely priced too high, even for the current market.



In contrast, nice, well-priced homes are flying off the market faster than flapjacks off the griddle at a logging convention. So much so that current inventory is a staggering 69 percent* lower than this time last year. In many Bay Area neighborhoods, sales are outpacing replacement inventory causing a serious housing shortage — there simply aren’t enough listings to meet the demand. And, as everyone knows, when demand outpaces supply, prices have nowhere to go but up. And therein lays the quandary.



While many sellers know that it’s a great time to sell, they’ve also been listening to news sources suggesting that Bay Area homeowners may actually see price increases of up to 10 percent over the next year. “Why sell now,” they reason, “if we can hold out until the end of the year and score an extra 10 percent?” It’s a valid thought; and, while completely speculative, it’s a sentiment that’s actually gaining some grassroots momentum. After all, if your home is currently worth $400,000, and postponing a sale for 9 to 12 months could reap an extra $40,000, it might be worth the wait. Or not. No one knows.



Although gaining ground, the economy still isn’t out of the woods. France’s recent elections could be signaling the demise of the Euro Zone. We’re in an election year and there is tremendous uncertainty as to how the outcome will affect local housing markets. And then there is the Facebook factor: With its impending IPO, some hopeful local owners are waiting for the resulting cash to hit the housing market — confident they’ll score big.


Whatever the future holds, the current reality is certain. We need your house and we need it now! Buyers are standing by and, if you prepare it carefully and price it right… multiple offers are almost certain to ensue. You can wait and speculate, or go for a sure thing… now.



*Data provided by Terradatum.


Carl Medford is a licensed Realtor with Prudential California Realty in Castro Valley and a licensed general contractor. This article is sponsored by the Central County Marketing Association at



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