It was a long quiet year for my blog, but not for lack of trying and (even) writing.  I had some crazy technical difficulties that prevented me from logging into my blog.  Several times during the course of our fascinating 2014, I wrote an article about the market only to find I could not get logged in.  And, since 2014 was a very busy day for real estate, I would get busy and move on.

But I finally had the time to sit on hold for 45 minutes with technical support and get to the bottom of the problem.  Success!

In the spirit of “better late than never,” here are the articles from 2014 that never made it here during my technical issues — and please stay tuned for news of 2015 next:

(From 9/9/14)  –  2014 Real Estate Roller coaster

As the third quarter comes to a close, and we look forward with apprehension and hope to Q4, it’s interesting to look back on the ups and downs of the year so far.

The year started much as 2013 did, with low inventory and excited buyers.  In March and April, the buyers went from excited to frantic, even manic.  As agents we became smug: “we’re looking at offers on Tuesday,” we would announce with confidence, knowing that there would be plenty to choose from.

And then something changed.  May or June or July—depending on who you ask—but we all agree that it slowed.  Certainly there are those properties that are special and priced right, and they are still going out the door with multiples and over-asking.  But in general, we have properties sitting a bit on the market, or feeling grateful to get a single offer.

I’m seeing this across all price points.   I recently showed one-bedroom condos in San Ramon to an investor client, and of the nine properties, all but one had been on the market for more than 30 days.

In Alamo today, there are 50 homes listed and all but 15 have been on the market for more than 30 days.

What we have now is probably, in fairness, a “normal” market.  Sellers and listing agents were spoiled and now we are whining about the “sluggish” market, but the reality is that buyers are still out there, they are still active, and interest rates are still fabulous.

Buyers who are feeling discouraged (and who can blame them; they have spent the better part of the year competing with cash buyers and writing offers hundreds of thousands over-asking) should consider revisiting the marketplace.  I’ve actually closed three contingent sales this summer, 2 of my listings and one buyer.  Writing a contingent offer is the polar opposite from writing a cash offer—it says volumes about our market today.

So the good news about today’s market is there is something for everyone: buyers can shop with a little more breathing room, and sellers can still expect a nice price (up about 20% since 2010).  Us realtors can wipe the smug “offers on Tuesday” expressions off our faces and feel grateful for the offers we receive on our listings and for those that are accepted for our buyers.

And from June 22nd:

I started this blog in 2007 and was a steady writer for many years—with new entries every week and often twice weekly.  But I’ve been unreliable, despite my new year’s resolution, this year and last.

I just met someone at my open house (www.715AndersonRanch.com) who said “oh, I used to read your blog all the time,” and I felt guilty all over again.

So here I sit, still at my open house, but with a break in traffic, determined to make good on my new year’s resolution.

I’ve actually written whole entries that never got posted, and started many that never got completed—and dozens of great information has been formulated in paragraphs in my mind, if only I had a Dictaphone handy while I’m racing to Home Depot to pick out that perfect chandelier for a client, or previewing homes, or changing my dog’s diaper (that’s another story).

I’ve continued to track the inventory, even if it never gets posted, so here are some stats:

Today in Alamo there are 58 active homes—the high for the year so far is 62, that was in early May.  Inventory as of June 22:

  • Alamo – 62
  • Danville – 107
  • Blackhawk – 34
  • San Ramon – 118
  • Dublin –  99
  • Pleasanton –   100
  • Lafayette –   53
  • Orinda –  73
  • Pleasant Hill –  53
  • Walnut Creek –  119
  • Rossmoor –  49
  • Antioch –  180

Inventory from February:

Feb 17

  • Alamo  39
  • Danville  63
  • Blackhawk  20
  • San Ramon  47
  • Dublin  82
  • Pleasanton  56
  • Walnut Creek  58
  • Pleasant Hill  37
  • Lafayette  29
  • Orinda   37
  • Rossmoor   42
  • Clayton  26
  • Antioch  139