Real estate agents tend to hear the same questions over and over. From buyers they hear “Is this a good market to buy?” From sellers they’ll often hear “What are you going to do to make sure my house sells quickly?”
If you are considering buying or selling in the San Diego real estate market you are likely asking yourself similar questions. Sellers want to feel confident every step is being taken to keep their property visible to get the maximum price possible. Buyers are looking for that “buyer’s market” where they can grab a terrific property at an amazing price.
So what is happening in San Diego today? Is it a buyer’s market or a seller’s market? For at least one agent, the market is reaching an interesting balance that both sides should take advantage of.
Lydia Bilic is an agent for Coldwell Banker who has had her brokerage license for about 12 years. She also spent about 4 years in the mortgage industry. It has not been an easy road for the attractive Croatian immigrant who speaks with a charming accent. It is clear it is her desire to assist her clients has been the biggest impetus to her success. She views the San Diego real estate market very pragmatically.
According to Bilic, you would want to see about 10,000 homes on the San Diego market to see it as “balanced”. About a year to 18 months ago there were only about 4,000 homes on the market. “That was obviously a seller’s market,” Bilic says, “because the homes available were far less than the market could handle.”
Today, the number of houses on the market is reaching closer to 9,000. “That has balanced out the market considerably,” says Bilic. “I would say it’s really balanced these days just because the numbers are showing a healthy inventory and the interest rates are low and affordability is high.”
What is affordability? Bilic explains is the percentage of homes available that families can afford. “In San Diego the affordability index is over 70%. That tells you that 70% of families can buy a home that is priced at the average sale price in San Diego.”
What all of this seems to mean is that about a year ago home inventory was very tight in San Diego and it was a seller’s market. With over 9,000 homes on the market today, it is a more balanced market. Low interest rates have kept buyers very interested, in spite of growing inventories. The seller’s market of 12 to 18 months ago may be gone, but low interest rates have kept prices increasing. For buyers, more homes are available to choose from. Buyers may not find the “steal” they may dream about, but there are values to be had, especially with the still low mortgage rates.
San Diego is an amazing place to live, and it is comforting in many ways to realize the market there has become more balanced. It provides both buyers and sellers an opportunity to maximize their real estate investment.