Strong Market…Right Now

Experts differ on price stability—but agree Eichlers are a hot commodity to begin 2020
Fridays on the Homefront
What’s in store for the mid-century modern home market in the Bay Area for 2020? The MCM real estate specialists on the Peninsula and in the South Bay we consulted said they can identify with the condition of limited inventory. In addition, despite uncertainty stemming from the upcoming November election and possibility of war with Iran, most—but not all—doubt we’ll see a cutback in Bay Area home prices in the coming months. Photo: Sabrina Huang

Staring into their real estate crystal balls, experts local and national are predicting a fairly steady market this election year for mid-century modern homes in the Bay Area, with stable prices and slightly increased inventory.

Somewhat surprisingly, though, at least one credible source has San Francisco being among two dozen metropolitan markets in the nation in which home prices will—hope you’re sitting down for this one—actually fall in 2020.

Real estate correspondent Diana Olick, reporting at CNBC, concedes, “It is a seemingly contrary assessment, given the current strength of the economy and of homebuyer demand, but the dynamics of this housing market are unlike any other—the result of a housing crash unlike any other.”

Fridays on the Homefront
Eichlers continue to be a good fit for families. Photo: Sabrina Huang

This and other industry forecasts refer to the projection of several factors contributing to a record-low supply nationally of available homes, analysis that reflects large-database research by the National Association of Realtors.

“Accordingly, 2020 will prove to be the most challenging year for buyers,” Olick quotes George Raitu, Realtor.com senior economist, “not because of what they can afford but rather what they can’t find.”

Several mid-century modern home specialists on the Peninsula and in the South Bay said they certainly can identify with the condition of limited inventory, but even citing evidence of that situation loosening up a bit, most doubt it will cut Bay Area home prices in the coming months.

  Fridays on the Homefront
“It’s like gangbusters out there,” says Lana Morin Pierce (above) of Intero Real Estate in Burlingame.
 

“It’s like gangbusters out there,” says Lana Morin Pierce of Intero Real Estate, who specializes in her hometown of San Mateo. Like two other South Bay realtors consulted here, Pierce expects a very active December to be a springboard for a great start to 2020.

As opposed to a slow, rainy winter in 2019, she said of local expectations, “The feeling is, it seems like the buyers are showing up right now.” Pierce said she fielded 30 cash offers for a dilapidated Eichler in the San Mateo Highlands before it sold last month for about 30 percent above its $1,198,000 list price.

“There are a lot of people running around with cash in their pockets,” the realtor marveled happily.