Those invested in the five-county metropolitan area can attest to the ebbs and flows of the Bay Area housing industry. Anyone that’s owned a home in the area for more than a decade will attest to fluctuations in market conditions. According to a recent Zillow study, the fall and winter will see cooler temperatures and a colder real estate market, but we don’t agree that we’ll see much change in homes for sale in Lafayette.
Analysts See Market Cooling
Housing analysts seem to agree that the five-county San Francisco metropolitan area is preparing for a cool down. Home values in the San Francisco metro reached an average price of $756,1000 which was 0.6% more than the previous month and 11% more than the same period last year. Rental rates grew by 14.1 percent in San Francisco taking the average rent to $3285 per month. It is therefore no wonder why so many young people are finally deciding to flee The City and look for places like Lafayette where they can find an ideal blend of city and suburban life at much more affordable price points than in San Francisco. In fact, we couldn’t help but notice the transformation in the character of downtown Walnut Creek, where the multitude of restaurants and wine bars were filled with singles and couples in their twenties and early thirties.
No one has been able to forecast with accuracy whether the Fed will increase interest rates, but it’s likely that the extraordinarily low rates that we’ve enjoyed will soon come to an end, which is what the Fed is currently signaling. If the Fed raises interest rates even by .5%, it impacts affordability.
Seasonality Can Work to Your Advantage
Buying a home in the late fall or winter can be ideal because of the limited competition and greater supply. In the real estate industry, fall is a short season and winter may be a long one if the predictions of a wet winter are correct. Capitalizing on low interest rates while still available is the most prudent course of action for anyone seriously considering purchasing a home in the Bay Area. Although the inventory of homes for sale in Lafayette will drop in the slow season, so will the number of buyers that you otherwise might be competing against. It is also a time of year where we often see a dip in home prices.
Be Prepared When Purchasing
Lining up your financing is critically important. Before you seriously enter the market, meet with your preferred lender and find out how much house you can afford. We can recommend several lenders who are highly credible in the Lafayette real estate market, and who have a reputation for delivering on their commitments. Having your financing well-secured prior to making an offer will also give you a stronger position during negotiations, if the lender has a credible reputation and they have thoroughly qualified you as a buyer.
And, of course, working with a highly competent Lafayette CA Realtor is very important, particularly given the widely varying values within our town based upon a multitude of factors that are often not readily apparent. These factors include distance to town and commute options, but also may include the reputation of certain areas for soil instability. The latter can be extremely important to desirability and valuation, but not well known by real estate agents and buyers unfamiliar with the area.