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San Francisco Shifts to Buyers Market During Coronavirus Shutdowns

The number of active listings in San Francisco plunged from roughly 1,000 at the start of March down to 550 three weeks later. At present, there are 741 active listings in San Francisco. Of those, 326 are single-family homes. Meanwhile, the East Bay (including Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda) showed just 374 homes listed in the past week, which is down 37% year over year.

Lenders Staying Busy

The biggest request of lenders currently is refinance requests. One finance site reported that refinances are up over 400% year over year in San Francisco, which is the highest rate nationally. Mortgages are no longer the bulk of a lender’s daily work, though low mortgage rates are available.

Home Buyers Aren’t Hiding

Even with a stock market downturn, less inventory on the market, and an uncertain future, the appeal of SF real estate is keeping home buyers interested in buying. Some sellers still need to sell, and there are buyers still willing to buy, so we don’t foresee that SF real estate will halt to a stop anytime soon.

While Torii’s West Coast team is following orders from local and national officials and restricting the number of in-person meetings, we are still able to gather information and additional photos and videos for interested buyers. Due to the perceived stigma around having a house look like it’s been on the market for too long, some sellers are pulling their listings and turning instead to off-market ways of selling. Those who are interested in investing in real estate should get in touch with us, as Torii has access to off-market listings in the Bay Area.

In sum…

Following San Francisco’s shelter-in-place order mid-March, the market shifted nearly overnight to a buyer’s market. With record-low mortgage rates, longer contingency periods the norm, and an extremely buyer-friendly Covid-19 addendum available as a fall back, and with rents increasing despite the pandemic, there is no better time than now to buy.

Torii Now Accepting Listings

And one final note: While Torii focuses on the home buyer, our team has the experience and knowledge to represent sellers as well. Torii’s agents in MA and CA have experience representing both buyers and sellers. If you’re interested in listing your house (or looking to sell off-market), please reach out.

We’ll be back to update on the state of the real estate market as the national coronavirus disaster continues to unfold. In the meantime, the Torii team is here to help, should you need us! We’re maintaining proper social distancing measures, putting safety first, and using our virtual tools to help our current buyers and future clients, too.