Year over year statistical data for Solano County ending January , 2021

This report is generated around the 20th of each month once the previous months numbers have been posted. What we see here is a report generated for the Solano County Housing Market through January 2021. So we are always looking a month behind. Our statistics are derived from the Bay Area Real Estate Information Services (BAREIS)  This is the Multiple Listing Service provider for all real estate brokerage in Solano County. If you have questions or wish to know a more specific account of your properties value and the timing of either selling or buying we are always happy to jump on a Zoom or meet with you at your property to evaluate and discuss a strategy. We can be reached via cell/text 707.580.3499 or email us at concierge@elitepartnersrealestate.com

We welcome the new year with some startling Pending information. When we look at this chart the big red flag is the continued downward progress of our pending inventory. Pending inventory represents future sold statistics and are the best indicator of the future of our housing market.  Our pending numbers for January are 304 which is down -11.6% from December’s number of 344. Our sold numbers are down substantially as well with 360 properties sold in January 2021 -20.5% from the 453 properties sold in December 2020. Another vital number we look at is the For Sale inventory. We listed 198 properties for sale in January 2021 which is a increase of +0.5% compared to 197 new listings in December 2020. The trend continues to be lack of inventory. 

Seasonal lulls are real we see them every year. January each year is the slowest period in real estate. We see this Back in January 2020 were we sold 300 properties. We in the real estate industry were excited about the beginning of the year and felt that 2020 was going to be a great market. Interest rates were low inventory was strong and buyers were plentiful. Then COVID hit and the industry froze for about a minute. Seriously we all were scared of what was coming. Many of us felt the doom in housing was coming and coming fast. Unemployment was a real threat, the entire world was shutting down. How could anyone buy in a pandemic crises? Well that lasted like I said about a minute until the buyers came buying by the droves. Bailing out of their sky high rental units closer the the bay and from the City urban dwellers came hunting for their piece of paradise. So do our numbers today compare to those in January 2020. A year ago we listed 444 properties which is a 125% increase from were we are in January 2021. The amount of pending properties a year ago was 357 a 17.5% increase and we sold 300 homes in January 2021. This number is just the opposite of the others in that we are up 20% in sold properties from one year ago. Do you see the problem developing? Keep reading…

The average price per square foot has been increasing over the last 12 months as well but has slipped a bit in January 2021 to $304 per square foot. I will note that one should never use the price per square foot to  calculate the value of their property. This price is an average of all properties in Solano County and cannot be used to derive a homes value because there are many variables that go into a specific homes value. Typically a smaller home will sell for more square foot price than a bigger home unless there is a lot more land. For instance a 5 acre estate home will sell for more than an estate home in Eastridge on a 1/4 acre lot. 

In the last 12 months, our price per square foot of $304 has increased by 13% since January 2021 and our month over month increase was 3.1%

This brings us to our Days on Market (DOM). Nothing to surprising here with the one exception that I personally find it hard to believe the average home is on market for 31 days.  Heading one of the largest and most success-full real estate teams in Northern California allows me to see a lot of transactions and our team is listing and selling homes about 95% of our inventory 30-40 homes a month in less than 10 days on average. 

Here we can see a realtime snapshot of what January looked like with regard to DOM. 214 of the homes sold in less than 30 days while the remainder sold in more than 30 days. The general rule is if it is priced right the home should get offer(s) in the first 10 days and be in contract well before 30. If not, something is not right. I am speaking to our median homes and not estates, country property and or unique properties that require a little more patience and attention to marketing to find the right buyer. 

Prices continue on the rise. One might even think NOW IS THE BEST TIME EVER TO SELL and yet we keep saying that month after month as our prices continue to go up. January 2021 listed price was $677,000 with an average sold price of $554,000 This is nearly a $150k difference and the gap continues to widen as inventory remains extremely low. 

This puts our average price 4.6% above last month and a whopping 18.1% increase year over year. 

What we need is more properties to list. A lot more homes. Our current inventory sits at just 2.8 weeks. This means if nothing else came up for sale in the coming weeks we would run entirely our of homes to sell in 2.8 weeks. We started the year off with 1.5 months  inventory supply and we have seen this reduced to just 2.8 weeks a -60.8%. Our month over month inventory has gone up a full weeks worth +46%. This could be encouraging if we continue down this path in the coming months and see our inventory level rise. 

Rent Vs. Buy Scenario

Interest rates remain in the high 2.6+ range and word came today that there are plans to increase these rates. In Solano much of the demand comes from two factors. One is affordability not just from low interest rates but higher housing costs across all our surrounding neighbors. We have personally sold dozens of homes in the last month to east bay couples who are ditching their condo/home rental unit for homeownership because in their words “We are paying $4,800 a month to rent in the East Bay and we can buy here for less.

East Bay Duplex

Rent one half of this duplex for $4,600 a month. 3 bedrooms, 1.5 bath and 1,300 sq ft. 

Home For Sale in Fairfield, CA

Buy this 5 bedroom, 4 bath home with 2,850 sq. ft. for about the same rent you are paying. 

Which home do you prefer? With commute not being a factor for most would be homebuyers now the idea of owning a home, with a yard, maybe raise a family is a welcoming realty. This scenario is contributing to the values going up. If you are a buyer in this situation you are not concerned about the price as much as you are affording the monthly payment. If you are renting for $4,600 a month that is like pouring money down the drain. If you are buying for $4,600 a month you are earning equity, you are saving on taxes. Nearly 2/3rds of the payment is a tax write off. The benefits of homeownership outweigh the benefits of renting. 

 

Just released today is the next New COVID-19 Relief Package Unveiled: What the ‘American Rescue Plan’ Proposes

If we look into the future the biggest concern I have today is what the market will look like in 3 to 5 years when interest rates could be back up to the mid 4% or 5% range. It will be extremely difficult for a homeowner to sell and buy when they will be facing a payment twice the amount because interest rates have doubled. There is no crystal ball to look at and I am only guessing here but I don’t see how we can continue down this path with continued success. Something is going to give. If the government keeps rates low indefinitely then we will get through this but they start to climb significantly then I would worry. It’s simple math. Interest rates go up home values go down, interest rates go down and home values go up. Let’s hope the rates stay low… 

Another option I see coming back is “Assumable Loans” remember those? I purchased my first home with an assumable loan. 12.8%. One way to overcome higher interest rates when lenders offering the loan to be assumable so a buyer can actually qualify and purchase the home at a lower interest rate. 

The opinions expressed in this report are those of Don McDonald, Founding partner, and REALTOR with RE/MAX Elite Partners brokered through RE/MAX Gold. They are not in any way intended to express what RE/MAX, RE/MAX Gold or any other agent or brokerage may think. It is my honest analysis backed but some market data. Check back each month around the 25th or so for an update as we continue down this path. 

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Each month we look at our most recent past months’ activity and compare it to a year ago and devise an overview of how the housing market is moving. During what all of us will remember as the COVID-19 Pandemic year has actually produced some extraordinary housing statistics. You probably know a REALTOR or two who are crazy busy. This is true for most agents who have been in business for 7+ years. The flip side is there are many REALTORS not having such a great year. The reason behind the 7+ year assessment is those agents who have been in business for longer than 7 years have a tremendous amount of past clients to pull from. We live in a world of distrust. It seems everyone is skeptical about everything. Our elections are questioned, the pandemic we are in is questioned and it seems as though trust has become a very big issue. Newer agents rely heavily on open houses, lead generation, and gaining trust from new prospects. Today that is challenging because consumers have such distrust they are tuning to referrals and recommendations more than ever. As one of the largest and most successful real estate teams in the county, we see our fair share of the market. RE/MAX Gold in Solano County has a near 15% market share which is about twice as much as our closest competitor.