Just ask any Central Coast Realtor and they'll tell you: Spring is the "hot season" for real estate. The weather thaws, all that tryptophan wears off, and those buyers and sellers lace up and enter the market.
Well, Spring hit. And so did COVID-19. You might expect those buyers and sellers to flee the market while the world was in panic. Instead, they hit the pause button and our Spring-market flurry was pushed back to Summer.
And it's been a hot summer in more ways than one. Data below... (While I often use "Median" data to indicate market changes, bear in mind that the market as a whole is much more nuanced. Certain price brackets might experience more activity and growth, depending on market conditions and buyers in each category.)
- San Luis Obispo City market data shows a median home price of $830,000 for a single family home in September (almost on par with last year, at 0.2% growth). Median Days on Market was 12 days, and closed sales were up 14.8% from this time last year.
- Atascadero's real estate market saw sharp increases, with median home prices at $589,250 for single family homes in September (up 2.5% from last year). Median Days on Market down to 9 days (a dramatic drop of almost 60% from this time last year), and closed sales were 33.3% higher than this time last year.
- Arroyo Grande's median home price came in at $776,000 for a single family home (1.8% growth year over year). Median Days on Market was 15 days (compared with 28 days last year), and closed sales dropped 7.8% from last year.
- Paso Robles takes the cake for September with a posted median sales price of $542,000 for a single family home—an increase of 8.5% from last year. Median Days on Market was 11 days (compare with 27 days last year), and closed sales rose 11.8% from the year prior.
As of this writing, interest rates are at a record low 2.625% for a 30 year fixed mortgage, keeping home-buying interest strong, but active listings are at historic lows too—749 units in the month of September for San Luis Obispo County, which is 40% below last years figure, which is pretty remarkable when you realize that closed sales for the County is over 18% higher than this time last year.
While real estate agents all over the map are reporting frenetic buying activity this Summer, the question we're all pondering is whether the delayed activity is going to carry into the Fall. September typically is the high-water mark for the buying season, but with the COVID-wrench in the machine of normal life—kids going to school online, working from home becoming a norm, and holiday plans potentially being altered—it's fully a possibility that the Fall buying season could be a hot one. After all, if there's one thing 2020 has taught us so far, it's that anything's possible.