Team Sweasey's Real Estate Blog

Oct. 18, 2021

San Luis Market Update: October 2021 Why San Luis Is Still a Great Place To Buy?

 

 

San Luis Market Update: October 2021

Why San Luis Is Still a Great Place To Buy

 

Today we’re going to talk about what’s going on in the market, and we also wanted to address an elephant in the room about real estate these days. Let’s start with the statistics:

 

  • Our inventory is down 43%. There are simply not enough homes.

  • Our sales are down 10% as well. This is the first of two or three months where we’ve seen these sales dropping a little bit. Demand isn’t quite where it was at, and prices have risen outside the affordable range of most buyers. We should start to see the market stabilize because of this. 

  • For the first nine months this year, our sales were up 25% from 2020. This makes sense when you remember that last year, there was a lockdown around that time, so it was an easy figure to top.

  • We had 111 new listings and 230 to 250 homes moved to escrow. This is really low. Again, we just don’t have enough homes.

 

Now to the elephant: Is this a good time to buy, or is it a bubble? There is never really a bad time to buy as long as it’s in the right location. How does San Luis compare to other locations? The weather is nice here, we have beautiful beaches and mountains, our traffic isn’t that bad, we’re one of the nicest places on earth, we have a top-notch university, our wineries are unbelievable, and we’ve even gotten a lot more jobs and industry (not to mention that remote working makes this less necessary). Is this a good time to buy? In this location, yes.

 

Let me give you an example: A tiny condo on Laurel Lane sold for $164,000 20 years ago. That same condo closed today for $426,000, more than two times what it was initially worth. Another house on McCollum which was $520,000 20 years ago sold for $1,248,000. These were both fantastic investments.

 

This isn’t a bubble, and over time, you will get value from your property. I feel blessed to be working in such an amazing area. I hope you get to participate in this market. If you have any questions, give us a call at 805.781.3750. We would love to be a resource for you.

 

PQ: There is never really a bad time to buy as long as it’s in the right location.

 

POD: Here’s an October update on our San Luis real estate market.

 

Subject Lines: It’s a good time to buy in the right location // Watch: San Luis housing market update

 

Teaser:

 

Today we’re going to talk about what’s going on in the market. Our inventory and sales are way down. There are just not enough homes, but because of rising prices, the demand from buyers has slowed down a bit. It’s still a good time to buy so long as you buy in a good location where you know the prices will rise in the long run. To learn more about the state of our market, watch our latest video.

 

 

 

 

 

Sept. 14, 2021

September Market Update: Inventory both locally and nationally is still at an all-time low

Looking at August in San Luis Obispo County, our inventory is still down from a year ago by about 42%, which is significant. Our pending sales have also decreased by about 28% from last year at this time, which is a much larger drop than in July. That’s why you may be hearing that the real estate market is slowing or normalizing. We had 124 new listings come on the market in August, which is around 16% less than last August, and closed sales were almost the same with roughly 1% fewer. 

 

As we look at those stats, we have a few things to consider. Currently, we have about twice as many pending sales as new homes coming onto the market. If we go back to March, we had about 307 homes go into escrow and only 96 homes come onto the market, so three times as many sales as new homes for sale. 

 

We keep receiving the same questions over and over: Is there a crash coming, is the market going to drop? I can’t tell you with 100% accuracy because I don’t have a crystal ball, but I do know that inventory both locally and nationally is still at an all-time low. Mortgage interest rates are at historic lows below 3%, and our demand is still exceeding supply. All that tells us that at least for the near future, it doesn’t seem like there will be much change in the marketplace. 

 

"Inventory both locally and nationally is still at an all-time low."

 

You can always wait to buy, but if you want to get an excellent rate and plan to hold onto your property for a while, it’s a good time. For example, if you ask almost anyone who bought a home 50 years ago in this county if they made a good decision, the answer will be yes. Sometimes there are anomalies like 2008 to 2010, which was a tough time for real estate, but all the things that caused that are not present today. 

 

I want to leave you thinking about this adage: “It’s not timing the market when investing or buying real estate, it’s time in the market.” Over time you’ll build wealth, your equity rises, and that’s how you win in the game of real estate.

 

If you have questions about our market or real estate in general, give us a call or visit our website. We would love to help you. Also, thank you for all your great referrals! 

Aug. 12, 2021

August Market Update: Is Demand Finally Starting to Cool Off?

Today I’ll be going over the latest market statistics and what they mean for you.

Perhaps the most interesting stat is that pending home sales have been down for both June and July of this year. For about 12 months, these numbers have been shooting up, so even the small decrease we’ve seen is a big indicator.

The number of homes entering the market has remained relatively low, so what’s causing the lower pending sales numbers? In general, we’re seeing less buyer demand, fewer multiple-offer situations, and fewer homes selling above list price.

What does this mean for you? At the end of the day, it’s still a seller’s market and multiple-offer situations are still more common than in a typical market. We’re just seeing things cool off a little bit.

One of the biggest drivers of this market is low interest rates. To explain how they are affecting the market, I’ll use condos as an example. In 2018, there were condo units in our area selling for $520,000. Now, one sold for $575,000. That’s a $55,000 increase in price. However, because of our low interest rates, the monthly payment on the condo from 2021 will be less than the condo from 2018. This is the main reason why demand remains high despite rising prices.

If you have any questions about today’s market update or any other topic, give me a call at (805)-781-3750. I look forward to hearing from you.

July 13, 2021

Our July San Luis Obispo Market Update

Believe it or not, half of the year is already behind us, and we’ve had the best six months we’ve ever had in my 30-year career. Thank you so much for all your support. Today we’re discussing our July real estate market statistics and what’s making this year so special.

I’m going to sound like a broken record, but again, in the last month, we’ve had 50% fewer homes on the market than we had a year ago. Sales have increased about 50% from what we saw last June. That’s a massive swing between the number of properties sold and those on the market.

Interest rates are still historically low, at a little below 3% for a 30-year mortgage, which is incredible. Also, it’s not just about what you pay but the money you’re earning. By leaving your money in the bank, you’re earning almost no interest. If you buy real estate, whether it’s your home or an investment property, your money sees a much better return, plus there are tax benefits. It’s an excellent time for buyers to lock in a low rate and also a fantastic time for sellers because of the high demand and solid prices.

The effects of the pandemic have changed what people want from their houses. We’re seeing many people both upsizing and downsizing. We’re also noticing a slew of people leaving certain areas, and there’s been a shift to people wanting to live in more rural areas.

For example, if you live in Los Angeles or San Francisco, San Luis Obispo is an appealing rural area outside of the densely populated areas. People selling here may be moving to Idaho, Oregon, or other less dense areas. Plenty of people are relocating to be closer to family, too.

As we look at all these factors, people see that the market has been going up for a while and are wondering if a drop is coming. We’re selling homes at such a quicker rate than new homes are coming onto the market that there would need to be an enormous spike in inventory and a major decline in demand for this market to change much. It simply doesn’t seem to be in the cards for the foreseeable future. This is the market we’ll have for a while, and a bunch of wise people are taking advantage of it. Perhaps you should too.

If you have questions about how you might be affected by the market or how we can help you, give us a call. We’re always here to be your real estate resource.

June 15, 2021

Summer Market Update and a Shoutout to Our Team

In case you haven’t heard already, Team Sweasey just moved into our brand-new office. It’s bigger, modern, and will provide even more value to our clients. Come visit us at 860 Walnut in San Luis Obispo anytime. We would love to see you.

In the meantime, let’s talk about what’s going on in the real estate market from both a national and local perspective. Let’s start with the local market stats. I could probably tell you to watch any video from the last six months and the story would be the same. Inventory is down, sales and pendings are up, and new listings are pretty flat. There are plenty of homes for sale, they’re just selling quickly because demand is so high.

One recent home we listed at $1,250,000 is going to go $400,000 over asking price. Another was listed for just under $1 million, and we will sell it for over $200,000 over asking price. Time will tell, but with interest rates staying where they are, I don’t see any change in the marketplace.

Now let’s talk about outside the area. I get a lot of calls from people who are in trouble after hiring an agent in a different market based on a quick online search. The inexperienced agents they end up hiring are causing challenges.

I have an easy fix for this if you’re in a situation where you're looking for a Realtor. I have a network that I’ve cultivated over the past 30 years, and I know great agents all over the country. We vet them, we get to know them and their businesses, and we trust them to give you the same great service we do. Give us a call if you or someone you know is moving anywhere in the U.S. I have appraiser and lender connections in every market, too.

Finally, I can’t say enough how great our team is. I wanted to give a few of them a quick shout-out today. One of our newer additions, Sara Humes, is my executive assistant and has been fantastic with our customer service and helping me reach out to our clients. Sharon Benedik is our listing manager who helps me get listings on the market and consistently get top dollar for our clients.

Once they go into escrow, Dakota Bailey, our escrow manager, takes the transaction and ensures it closes from there. He’s already helped over 100 families this year. One of our newest additions, James Bueno, is our director of marketing and is helping us take our online presence to the next level. Finally, Patti Hughes has been with me for years and makes sure the office is a well-oiled machine. The reason the Sweasey Team gets so many great reviews online is because of these excellent people.

If you have questions about the marketplace, want to come see our new office, or have any other real estate-related questions, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

June 3, 2021

Virtual Tour: 850-858 Buchon St, San Luis Obispo 93401

 Virtual Tour: 850 -858 Buchon St, San Luis Obispo 93401


A stunning new luxury listing in San Luis Obispo. Historic Greystone Manor located just steps to downtown, on two lots, underwent an extensive $2.2 million renovation in 2011, creating a modern, elegant and incredibly well equipped family home.

Also referred to as The Clark Norton House, it was the largest home in San Luis Obispo when built in 1906 at 4,500 square feet, and was the home of two San Luis Obispo Mayors; Elmer Clark and Thomas Norton in the early 1900s.

The main home features 3 bedrooms and 3.5 baths, a traditional living and dining room, a family/TV room, a dedicated office or 4th bedroom, a library, a sun room, a modern kitchen, and a full work out & game room on the third level.

Every detail of this home was meticulously planned and executed by Holland and Knapp construction including the unique lighting fixtures created in the style of the early 1900's with an authentic kerosene light in the family room circa 1910. The tiles in the kitchen circa 1910-1930's were hand picked and came from all over the world.

So many details in this home including a hidden cellar under the window seat in the kitchen, a hidden bathroom in the garage/bonus room behind the wet bar, and the original wiring "artwork" piece in the hallway from the kitchen to the library.

The home was designed for entertaining with sliding glass doors opening from the main house and the garage/dedicated playroom, creating an expansive open air environment with an easy flow from both the main house and garage with ample parking for up to 8 cars in the driveway.

The guest unit above the garage features 2 bedrooms, a loft, living room with fireplace, kitchen, 2 full baths and 2 decks with gorgeous views of Cerro San Luis and Bishop's Peak.

The property offers incredible privacy, sitting well above the street, providing a sense of seclusion while also being in the heart of San Luis Obispo's Historic District.

Click here for full property details and more images.

May 12, 2021

The Latest From Our Booming Market

Welcome to our May 2021 real estate market update.

We’re in a booming market, but I always like to put things into perspective. Think back to 12 months ago: We were in lockdown, didn’t know what would happen, the stock market was lurching up and down, we couldn’t find toilet paper, and more. A year later, many people have been vaccinated, the economy is on the mend, and real estate is thriving. A year ago, people were afraid to sell their houses or go looking for homes. Today you can buy all the toilet paper you want, but you can’t find a house.

Active listings have decreased 63% year over year, and we had three times as much inventory two years ago; that was a low inventory market, and now we have much less. Pending sales have risen 133%, closed escrows have climbed 72%, and new homes coming onto the market have declined by 20%. Right now we have 297 pendings and 117 new listings, which is not even close to enough to replace the homes coming off the market. So if you’re considering selling, this is an excellent time to do so.

"Today you can buy all the toilet paper you want, but you can’t find a house."

Amid all this, why are people even trying to buy? First, we have historically low interest rates; people like having a fixed payment when everything else is getting more expensive. Second, if they have money saved, they aren’t making much interest with it sitting in the bank. Third, with the pandemic, many people want to move closer to family. Our market is working for both buyers and sellers these days in a way I’ve never seen.

The little caveat is that we’re seeing more homes not closing and going back on the market. That means that sometimes buyers and sellers aren’t compromising or the buyers are getting cold feet. That hasn’t made a difference in the market yet, but we’re keeping an eye on it. Our associate John Turner just said this to me, and I thought it was a perfect quote: “Most escrows don’t close on the exact terms on which they opened.” So if you go into an escrow thinking everything will be the same at the end of 30 or 90 days, you’ll likely struggle and the deal may not work out; the key word in this market is 'compromise'.

Whether you’re thinking about buying or selling, now is a fantastic time. If you have any questions about the market or real estate in general, call or email us. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

April 14, 2021

Your April 2021 Market Update


Here are three reasons our real estate market is outstanding these days.

Today I’m sharing our April 2021 real estate market update. The market has been fantastic lately, and there are three main reasons why:

First, in our market update last month, I said that was the best market in our area’s history. Well, I was wrong. This past month has now been our best market ever. That’s because, in the last month, we’ve had about 64% fewer homes available for sale than we had a year ago, and we had low inventory last year, too. We also had 30% more houses sell but only 96 new listings come onto the market versus around 230 last year at this time. All this is placing quite a bit of pressure on the properties available.

Right now our market has appealing rates, massive demand, and tons of buyers.

Second, home values are rising, and here are two examples to illustrate that: In December 2019, a new custom home sold, and it was just resold in February. In 2019 it sold for $2,595,000; in just 14 months it sold again for $3.3 million, which is a 27% increase. Another house originally sold for $990,000 and just sold again for more than $1.2 million in just over a year. So we’ve seen more than a 20% rise in a little more than a year. I’ve never seen this much pressure on prices.

Third, I’ve been receiving many calls from people who at first wanted to wait to sell but decided to take advantage of the current market, and they’re pleasantly surprised by the results. If you’re considering selling, even if it’s a year from now, you may want to think about moving sooner because we don’t know how long this strong seller’s market will last. Right now our market has appealing rates, massive demand, and tons of buyers; it’s a perfect storm for sellers.

If you have any questions about our market or how it will affect your plans, call or email us. We would love to help you.

March 17, 2021

This Market’s Impact on Buyers and Sellers


Here’s how both buyers and sellers win in our current real estate market.

I’ve had a mentor and coach throughout my 30 years in real estate, and he’s been in the business for about 50 years. I truly respect his opinion, and I was recently asking him what he thinks of our current real estate market. He said that this is the best market ever, and I agree.

In February, active inventory decreased by 60% compared to a year ago. Despite that, our sales are still higher than last year by 7% to 15%. Since fewer homes are coming onto the market, prices are continuing to rise.

If you’re a seller in this market, you’re likely to get the best price in the history of real estate. However, that doesn’t apply to every home; just like the stock market, the market could be up, but you may own some stocks that went down instead. Overall, we couldn’t ask for a better market.

 "In our market these days, sellers will get an excellent price and buyers will get a fantastic rate."

If you’re a buyer, you may be wondering how this can be good for you. Well, the market has bottomed out—not with prices, but with interest rates. Interest rates have such a massive impact on the affordability of real estate.

Here’s an example: Two years ago, rates were hovering around 5%, and right now they’re at about 3%. That means that if you were to borrow $683,000 today, your payment would be the same as a $500,000 mortgage two years ago. You have $183,000 more buying power now than two years ago. That’s another reason home prices are trending upward.

So, in our market these days, sellers will get an excellent price and buyers will get a fantastic rate. That’s why our market is so active; it’s stellar for both buyers and sellers.

If you have any questions about our market or real estate in general, give us a call or send an email. We would love to be your real estate resource.

Feb. 5, 2021

San Luis Obispo Real Estate Market Update for February 2021

Here’s a quick snapshot of our real estate market from this past month.

I feel like a broken record when I say our real estate market has remained strong again this month, but that is the case here in February 2021. Before I get to my update, I first want to give a shout out to all of our physicians and front-line workers. We’ve now got people administering vaccines, which is great news.

Now back to real estate. As we look at this January’s numbers compared to January 2020, our pending sales are about the same. This makes sense after a very strong start in 2020. Closed sales are up 40% to 50%, which is a reflection of how strong December was. Interest rates have dropped from 3.4% to 2.75%, and inventory is about half of what it was at this time last year.

What is the challenge I’m hearing about the most? Sellers who would love to move up or down, but are worried about their subsequent purchase because of the limited inventory. They can’t imagine putting a house up for sale and having nowhere to go. If you’re in a similar situation, we have seven different solutions. One is an extended closing. Buyers are so eager to buy homes in this market, they are willing to wait. They just want to know they have somewhere to go.

The biggest challenge for sellers is finding where to go next.

Here’s another option homebuyers are taking advantage of with these low rates. You can buy an investment property, move into it, buy it with an owner-occupied rate, then sell the primary residence, take all that equity, and be sitting in that house in a position to buy the next home. When that home comes along, you have plenty of time to move in, then find a tenant for your rental property.

Those are just a couple of avenues. If you’d like to learn more or if you have any other real estate questions, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.