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January 2020
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Welcome 2020!!


2019 - Real Estate Year in Review

It’s hard to imagine that we are at the start of a new decade - welcome 2020!  I hope you had a fabulous holiday season & Happy New Year!

The Real Estate market in 2019 was relatively uneventful with movement on prices for single family homes on a month-over-month and year-over-year basis staying in the single digits across our main Bay Area Counties.  

The chart below shows the median price of Single Family Homes rose in Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Francisco counties while falling a few percentage points in Marin, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties.  The price per square foot ($/SF) rose in Contra Costa and San Francisco counties, remained neutral in Alameda County, and fell in the remaining counties.  The ebb and flow of sales activity scattered across the greater Bay Area made patterns indiscernible.

Notably, in California, the top 20% of homes saw a -2.3% price decline while the middle 40% tier saw an average increase of 5.6%.  These same influences were found in the Bay Area which helped account for median price movement downward without necessarily meaning that prices decreased.


The 30-year fixed rate mortgage in 2019 dropped over a full percentage point from 2018 and reached levels we saw in 2015. The year ended with a 30-year fixed product averaging 3.69%.  These extraordinary rates kept homebuyers highly engaged in the market.  Moreover, average mortgage payments dropped 8 months in a row in 2019, keeping homeownership sentiments high.

Inventory remained incredibly tight at a statewide 3 month average and a Bay Area average of 1.5 months.  With stagnant inventory, sales volume dropped and gave the impression that the housing market was turning.  However, lack of inventory to sell does not equate to a lesser desire to buy.  Nor does it equate to lower prices.  If you felt the market “slowing”, it was as to pace not necessarily price.  

At all price points up to $3M, inventory was down significantly.  At $3m+, inventory increased.

However, “[a] wave of available homes is expected to douse the inventory-starved market in the coming years, driven mostly by aging baby boomers seeking to downsize. One in eight owner-occupied homes—about 9 million residences—are expected to come to the market through 2027”, according to an analysis by Issi Romem, founder and economist at MetroSight, a housing research institute.  With increased inventory, the tightness that’s gripped the real estate market will hopefully ease and allow greater fluidity in the market for Buyers and Sellers. 

I hope 2019 was good to you and yours!  I will continue to keep you updated throughout 2020 with real estate market information, news, and statistics, and I look forward to seeing you in 2020.  Happy New Year!

*Unless otherwise noted, all resources for this article was obtained from the California Association of Realtors, Data and Statistics


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Marla Moresi-Valdes

Marla Moresi-Valdes

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