San Bruno's real estate market produced mixed results in a number of key indicators for the month of November.
The market saw growth in indicators such as median home price and pending sales. While this is encouraging news and shows a continuing trend of a slowly improving housing market, other indicators, such as average days on the market, jumped dramatically.
According to data from the MLSListings, the median price for a single-family residence in San Bruno rose in November, jumping to $578,000. This is up 11 percent from October, when the median price was $520,000, and nearly even with the median price from this month last year, which was $575,000. Pending home sales also rose significantly over the last month, rising from 15 to 22, or 32 percent. There were 18 pending sales at this time last year.
Homes for sale clocked in at 63, down slightly from 69 in October. However, this number is a dramatic increase from this time last year, when only 28 homes comprised the entire single-family housing market. Homes are currently selling at 97 percent of their asking price, which is down slightly from this time last year.
The average days a home was on the market in November jumped a whopping 58 percent to 91 days, up from the previous month's total of 53 days. This number was adversely affected by the sale of properties that have been languishing on the market. These once-stagnant properties have been snatched up by eager buyers, who have been motivated by rising rates and a thin inventory. This number should stabilize in the coming months.
Distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales) have been a significant part of the San Bruno real estate market for the past few years and continue to share a large percentage of the overall housing market. Of the single-family homes for sale, distressed properties represent 42 percent of the overall market. The good news is that this number continues to trend downward from earlier this year when distressed properties represented 60 percent of the market.
Overall, the San Bruno real estate market continues to show positive increases in most key indicators month over month. The recent uptick in mortgage interest rates have spurred able buyers to get off the fence and into purchase agreements. Buyers that have missed out this year still have an opportunity to strike next year as new inventory hits the market and rates stabilize.
Interest rates stabilize after nudging up in December.
The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporationn (Freddie Mac) reported a drop in long term interest rates this week. The mortgage giant reported that interest on 30-year, fixed loans averaged 4.81 percent—down from 4.83 percent the week before and 5.05 percent a year earlier.
Despite the argument that rising rates lower the housing affordability index, home sales have been stable if not on the rise. Another factor to consider is that rising rates spur people to action. A survey of 3,000 real estate agents nationwide by Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance found that homebuyer activity has jumped in first-time purchases from October to November. The principal reason for the jump was nervousness over rates going higher.
It's important to remember that higher interest rates can reflect greater economic activity. So even though the interest-expense component of the housing affordability index may rise, it can be offset by more employment and rising incomes. It should go without saying that this will only help the real estate market, providing able and motivated buyers with an opportunity for first-time as well as trade-up purchase transactions.
Joseph Capote is a local Realtor who runs the blog San Bruno Views. His real estate column will appear monthly on Wednesdays.