Saturday, March 10, 2007

Spring is Here! Well...Almost

Something strange is happening in the local Real Estate market. On Mondays and Thursdays when I tour, all the other agents I have talked to have been involved in multiple offer situations. I know of 2 homes in the Berkeley Hills that took offers last week, and both of them had more than a dozen buyers competing to buy them.
In a year when we were preparing for, at best, a level market, and more likely, a market retreating in values in the 3% to 5% range, this sudden activity is a bit of a surprise.
Now this could be a few things. Firstly it is Spring, and we almost always experience an up surge in activity in Spring. Though I don't remember this happening last year.
Secondly there is a very low inventory of homes on the market right now, so if you want to buy now, there are fewer choices, so there is more competition for what is on the market.
Thirdly, after a year of being pounded on by the press and the market, sellers are realizing that they are in a different market, so they are taking much more care in pricing their properties. It takes much more careful consideration to price a property to attract the most qualified buyers than it ever has.
So, is this just a Spring anomoly, or is the market shifting again? It's just too early to tell. We should all know in a month or so.