What do you get when you ask 12 Realtors one question? I know it sounds like I’m setting you up for a lame joke, but I’m actually going to share some insider perspective on the local housing market. I asked a handful of Sacramento area Realtors to describe the market in just a few sentences. This is first-hand insight straight from the trenches, and I hope it helps paint a picture of how the market unfolded in 2013 and what is happening right now. Enjoy.
Any thoughts? How would you describe the housing market right now?
Steve Ostrom – Roseville Realtor: The 2013 housing market was a roller coaster ride, with crazy turns the whole way, powered by years of government interference.
Barb Lebrecht – Realtor: It appears for now that the cash dragon is in hibernation. The decrease in competition and increase in inventory makes it a great opportunity for buyers that feel a little tattered from recent market conditions.
Jeff Grenz – Realtor: While we are looking at a little slow down, some of which is due to normal, but forgotten seasonal trend, I am encouraged when I look at the suburbs, where the dollar volume is pretty significant, average prices are almost double and are hitting 2004 levels (vs 2003 for Sacramento)…. I’m thinking it is due to a return of confidence and ability to get loans in the higher price ranges, not necessarily income growth but I’m speculating.
Angela Jones – Realtor: I felt like 2013 was headed for the same disaster of a situation we experienced in the mid-2000s. Huge price increases, investors beating out owner-occupants, double digit multiple offers creating a feeding frenzy! Glad to see the values for the most part stabilize.
Keith Klassen – Realtor: The market in 2013 began with a hopefulness and turned into an upward, turbo-propelled rocket. People who were upside down in their mortgage and investors who were hanging on for dear life, now could sell – and that’s what many did! During the later part of the year the mood changed as investors hit the brakes and many have pulled out of the market. It’s no secret, but at this moment at the end of the year, the savvy investors that have stuck around and are not too busy with holiday shopping may get some good deals. Busy-with-life home buyers will most likely get back on track come the end of January 2014. We are primed for more balanced, but slowly increasing market in 2014.
Doug Reynolds – Realtor: The market was in full sprint mode from January through July with prices skyrocketing, multiple offer competition, no inventory to speak of and cash buyers everywhere. As 2013 comes to an end, the market is taking a holiday breather where many cash investors have pulled back, inventory is trickling up and buyers are taking a bit more time to make a decision, as balance of power is being restored.
Erin Stumpf – Realtor: In 2013 the Sacramento real estate market started off with a high fever, and the only cure was higher interest rates and rising prices and waning investor demand. As 2013 ends, we have higher interest rates, higher prices, and lower investor demand — and a low fever but still solid demand. It’s nice to see your average joe have a legitimate chance to actually purchase a house!
Craig Dunnigan – Realtor: Investors dominated the residential market the first half of 2013….The last half of 2013 has seen the market returning to normalcy, with more “move up” and first time homebuyers.
Bruce Slaton – Realtor: Market had overcorrected, Hedge Funds saw increasing need for rentals, lower gains in stock market, housing undervalued.. Hedge buys until their internal data shows they may have priced themselves out, left to better markets…we captured equity, was best time to sell…2014 will be the year of no smoke and mirrors, the market will have to face reality and novel things such as Appraised Value, Condition, Pricing At Something Called Comparables…The difference between Listing Agents and Marketing REALTORS will be defined in 2014…looking forward to a medicated market in 2014…
Eric Peterson – Realtor: The market accelerated through the spring with higher than expected price appreciation across all segments. Unfortunately, on the 1st of July the market began to cool and once the numbers are in for the final months of 2013, I believe roughly half of the appreciation gained in the first six months of 2013 will have been given back in the second half of the year.
Gena Riede – Realtor: The real estate market in 2013 saw most homes in multiple offers with buyers willing and able to pay the difference in appraisal amount & buyer’s offer. By the end of 2013 with low inventory & freezing temperatures, buyer rush somewhat cooled with fewer multiple offers & some reduction in listing prices where sellers continued thinking prices were on an upward trend. Typically, this time of year more buyers are dealing with the holidays so I believe we will see multiple offers again in 2014 even though lending will be tighter and home sellers are preparing their homes for sale.
Lori Mode – Realtor: Although the real estate market in Sacramento has been challenging at times this year because of many changes and shifts in the market, I have great expectations for an incredible 2014. I see many more homeowners being able to move up or downsize due to added equity in their homes, which makes 2014 a very promising year.
As an FYI, here is a quick video I put together to talk through the image above. It’s amazing to see that the median price in Sacramento County increased by 53% over the past two years. That’s NOT a typo.
Closing Comments: Thank you everyone for your thoughts. I sincerely appreciate the array of insight and experience represented here. As an appraiser it’s my job to pay close attention to market trends in the Sacramento area, and a big part of that involves digesting what I hear from trusted Realtors who are riding the waves of the market with buyers and sellers. Thank you again friends.
Question: Any thoughts, insight or stories to share? I’d love to hear your take.