Best Year to Buy in Decades?

I just posted an article from aol real estate entitled “Could 2012 be the Best Year to Buy a Home in Decades” to my Facebook page, but wanted to dive into it here.  Here is the short of it: Y E S!!!

The answer is yes.  According to the article “home prices have plummeted 34%,” “mortgage rates continue to hover around record lows,” and “homes are more affordable than they have been in 40 years.”  All of this is true.  HOWEVER.  Yes there is a but.  One thing we are experiencing that other markets are not is multiple offers which are artificially increasing home prices.

Our inventory levels, unlike many areas, are really low, as low as I have seen in 9 years of real estate.  Inventory is down about 50% from what we might normally be seeing this time of year.  Because rates are down, and prices are down, and affordability is high, there are a lot of buyers.  Buyers need housing inventory and when the demand is higher than the supply, prices go up.

What’s happening:

  • NOBE (North Oakland/Berkeley/Emeryville) is especially hot right now.
  • A recent Albany sale had 7 offers and went $80k over asking.
  • A house in the Berkeley hills currently has 64 requests for disclosures.
  • A dump of a fixer in Berkeley had 4 offers and closed with conventional financing!
  • A sweet 2 bed house in Rockridge just had 8 offers.
While this is in fact the best year to buy in decades, be prepared to lose out a lot on offers, and be prepared to work for that house.  It takes a lot of searching, looking, and getting creative.
Thinking of selling?  DO IT NOW!!!