San Mateo County Real Estate Market Update – November 2020


Single family homes showed strong gains again in October, continuing the acceleration that started in July. Inventory is continuing to decline, with the lowest levels we’ve seen in 2020. Overbids (sales that close higher than list price) are slowly inching up – now at 3% over asking county-wide. The number of houses being put on the market is up significantly, while the number of houses sold is only up slightly. So far, this discrepancy has not been reflected in increasing inventory levels – in fact, inventory is down again this month. This may change in the coming months as the unsold inventory sits on the market.

However, with inventory as tight as it is, rising prices are no surprise, and neither is how fast homes are selling. To succeed in this market, buyers need to be well informed and ready to move quickly and aggressively. Given how much time we are all spending in our homes, people are trying to optimize their home environment and moving as needed to make these ongoing restrictions less intrusive.

When we look at the performance of condos and townhomes, this is a tale of two markets. Prices are continuing to modestly decline. Inventory is still favoring sellers, though it continues to slowly rise. Overbids seem to have gone away for now, with properties selling very close to asking price. But a look at the market activity is telling. New listings were up by 32% compared with the same period last year, while the number of sales is down 1%. As this trend continues, it seems likely that inventory of these properties will increase, moving towards a more balanced market equally favorable to buyers and sellers.

Consistently low-interest rates have likely helped support our markets. The Fed has signaled that they intend to hold interest rates close to zero until 2023 to support the economic recovery. This will keep purchasing power strong for buyers and also help existing homeowners who may want to refinance their current mortgages.


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This post was written by Rumana Jabeen

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