Current Market Defies Seasonal Norms | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 06 December 2012 14:25

By Carl Medford, CRS

Special to the Times

As winter rains descend, temperatures slide and thoughts turn to holiday activities, home sales typically cool as well. After all, no one really wants buyers tramping through their homes once they’ve been decorated for the holidays.

No one wants to deal with the mess as buyers come out of the rains and drip their way through every nook and cranny. And no one wants low-ball offers from buyers who assume that the only reason you’re on the market during the festive season is because you’re desperate.

In fact, we often have sellers pull their listings off the market at the beginning of December and return once the New Year emerges. Many buyers also pull back on home-buying plans in December. It’s not convenient to bundle up and head out into the rains to view properties. Parties, gift buying, Christmas concerts and activities of all kinds tend to divert buyers’ attentions until January.

Not so much this year.

In fact, because of the continuing shortage of homes, buyers are still out en masse hoping to score the ultimate gift for Christmas — a home to call their own.

I visited an open house over the weekend that was so full it was hard to move around. It reminded me a bit of ants streaming to get indoors once the rains begin. The only thing keeping it from becoming a party was the absence of food and drink. And they kept coming. As I left, cars were jockeying in the rains to drop off buyer wannabes and the line of vehicles extended down the block.

In reality, the only thing holding the market back right now is the extreme shortage of inventory. Prices are NOT seasonally adjusting downward as you’d expect; in reality, multiple offers are forcing prices upward. And those sellers whose homes ARE available are reaping the benefits of a market gone nuts.

In fact, contrary to normal years, this December IS a good time to sell your home. With uncertainties such as the fiscal cliff looming on the horizon, no one knows where the market will be come spring. It’s also possible that sellers, holding back until next year, will flood the market and actually slow it down. Bottom line: No one knows when the current boom will go bust. In reality, it might be a good idea to cash in now… while you still have the chance.

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



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