by Karina Ballantyne, DRE # 02102603
No, I’m not talking about the weather! The housing market has continued on its fierce upward trajectory, fueled by uncertainty and changing work from home requirements. This June and July, homes on average sold for 10% over the asking price from Pacifica to Pescadero. In June 2019, the average sales price for a home landed at $1,207,692. June 2021? $1,545,420. Not only are homes selling for significantly higher than just a couple of years ago, they are selling for far over asking price and twice as fast than during the summer of 2019. It has been a sellers market for years, but the question buyers are asking now is why has the Coastside market got hotter than we expected during the pandemic, and will prices go down once it’s all over? (When will it all be over?!)
Uncertainty paralyzes some, and motivates others. During Covid, the new property wishlist for some has taken on a bit of doomsday prep flavor. It’s hard not to notice what’s trending. Many pushed their house hunting farther westward to our neck of the woods, retreating from silicon valley and inland areas. Searching for large second homes to escape heat, smoke, and gain the square footage necessary to accommodate the work and school from home circus. Prospective buyers are reaching out with very flexible wishlists, and snapping up anything and everything in sight with open spaces and a cool ocean nearby. The urgency is palpable, homes felt stale after a long SIP, and we all took a good hard look around. As wild as it sounds, in conversations with buyers the thought crossed my mind more than once: is a second home the new (toned down) version of our generation’s fallout shelter?
We don’t know how far we’ll need to be from the office, or for how long. We don’t know when we’ll be able to attend a rock concert and sing together at the top of our lungs (sans masks). We do know that home is our hub, our safe haven, and needs to hold our entire lives from time to time. We know that it’s deeply satisfying to beautify our sanctuary, and help our neighbors. Whatever happens with the coastside housing market, the sense of wellbeing and safety we cultivate in our community is paramount for all.
As Realtors we are frequently asked to predict the future. While I do wish I had a crystal ball, what the pandemic has proven is our ability to know what’s coming is equivalent to a Magic 8 Ball! Let’s see if the summer heat continues through the fall, and past this pandemic.