Spring Check-in from Eric Castongia

I hope you have been doing well!  I wanted to check in and catch you up on a few happenings and the constantly changing real estate news.

First, I am not retired! 😉

COVID did change things, but not the fun I have helping you with real estate.  Please let me know if you or your friends have any RE questions, need any resources, or just want to chat.  I’m always happy to have a cup of something.

You can’t turn on the news without hearing all about interest rates going up and how it’s challenged the real estate market. 

Here’s how I interpret what’s going on:

Interest rates have fluctuated, but mostly, have gone up from their artificially low level.    Five to seven percent is normal and it’s certainly been lots higher. Many buyers have never seen interest rates this high, so they don’t have the history that many of us do.  I wouldn’t wait for rates to go down to where they were.

The rise in interest rates caused buying power to go down by 30% or more, and buyers were already pushed.  In most cases, buyer hesitation really is about the ability to pay increased mortgage payments. Sale prices have not gone down as much as payments have gone up.  Since buyers have to pay more, they are more picky.

There has been/is a correction in the market, more for some properties than others.  I feel like there are two markets: generally 1) single family homes and condos in smaller buildings (mostly entry level), and 2) everything else, with an emphasis on condos in larger buildings.  For the first, prices are holding steadier and you might find an overbid in there somewhere, for the second, we need to be prepared to be on the market longer and negotiate.

Sellers have not been getting what they had come to expect from the white-hot sellers’ market of the past few years.  For those owners who bought multiple years ago, there are opportunities.  For those owners that bought in the past several years, only those who have to act, are.

There is less inventory overall than we normally see this time of year.  Supply and demand will continue to be an issue.  My prediction is that lower inventory will stabilize the market, and start going up again, particularly for single family homes and the most desirable properties.  Just this week, the Fed is talking about raising interest rates some more, so we’ll see how that plays out.

Underpricing is risky right now, as are offer dates, although I am seeing a few.  List prices are tending to be more ‘transparent’.

Sellers should go onto the market prepared to negotiate – expectations are dangerous.  Properties that sold in the first half of 2022 are not good comparable sales.

This is a terrific opportunity for buyers; less competition and more opportunity to get a home you wouldn’t have been able to buy before – buy when others are afraid.  ‘Marry the house, date the rate.’ It’s rare that anyone keeps a mortgage for life, so refinancing may be part of the financial strategy.

If you are considering a sale or purchase, please  reach out; I’m happy to talk to you about the market as it relates to your situation and what your options might be.

I have a great resource list…

…and don’t hesitate to ask if you need some referrals for contractors or other professionals!  I have a great list and know how to use it. 

I have a new website!

After seven months in the making, I’m very excited and proud of my new website.

Please check out the new SFHotBuy.com !  Thank you for a great job Intersect Marketing! 

We have a new brand!

If you thought, ‘gee, I thought your company was a different name’, you are right.  We changed our brand at the beginning of the year.  With it, we went back to our roots as a Northern California Company, and I couldn’t be more excited.

As always, thank you for your business and introductions!  I truly appreciate your trust. 

All the best



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