Happy April, everyone, it’s the start of the 4th month of a very unique and unexpected year!
This past month saw our lives hard shifting and adjusting in ways most of us have never imagined. Most of us have had to make unanticipated changes to the way we live. This has, of course, caused a lot of anxiety.
In spite of all these adjustments and changes in March, people who have had to move, buy or sell property have been doing so, because of a myriad of personal reasons. So the real estate activity has not dwindled to zero, and in fact has had significant activity. Here locally in Long Beach, and throughout all of Southern California, and across the nation, we are seeing:
- Very low inventory levels – inventory levels of homes for sale not increasing
- Moderate buyer activity – buyers still looking but staying home to do so
- Very low interest rates – rates remaining at historic lows
- Escrows – transactions – taking a long time to close due to lender delays – this was already happening the previous month (in February) and now, they are taking even longer.
Right now – the answer to the question I get the most: “How is the market?” is It depends.
If you are a buyer:
While previously it was a very challenging market for buyers, because most buyers were getting beat out and beat up in multiple offer situations, now buyers who are proceeding to buy have much more of an opportunity to buy a property with much less competition.
You’ll need a very experienced and skilled agent to help you navigate this market and negotiate for you and keep you safe throughout the buying process through working virtually as much as possible, and using safe procedures while in the property.
If you are a seller:
While prior to March, sellers were getting multiple offers frequently, now, while there are still instances of multiple offers, there are fewer offers to choose from, and it is crucially important to choose a buyer who is very well qualified and will have staying power to close on the transaction.
Let’s look at the numbers from March in Long Beach:
Let’s look at the numbers in the city of Long Beach from the last 31 days, in March 2020:
Number of residential properties on the market (active listings): 381 today on April 1, compared to 387 a month ago – stable, but well below typical levels between 500 and 600
Number of residential properties that went under contract in March: 196 vs 251 in February – fewer went under contract in March vs February (22% reduction)
Number of residential properties that closed in March: 229 vs 228 in February – that number is stable.
Average price of property sold in Long Beach in March 2020: $682,194 vs $624,551 in February 2020. Of the closings, the properties sold for significantly higher than one month ago (9% price increase)
Overall, the real estate market in March was resilient in spite of heavy headwinds, with number new pending sales declining 22%, but still almost 200 new pending sales opened escrow in the month, an average of 6 per day.
If you have been considering making a move this year, is now is the time to start this process?
If you are a buyer, it’s the time to get prequalified for a mortgage with low interest rates in place. Getting prequalified with a lender can be done over the phone and over email, and is a good use of your time right now to find out all the numbers. Once you know the numbers, we can gradually help you find you the right property in this low inventory and shifting market.
If you are a seller, is it time to get on the market in this low inventory, low competition market? It depends on your specific property and situation. I’m here to discuss with you.
Call me – I am available! Or email me. Reach out anytime.