CAMPBELL — In the rough-and-tumble Bay Area real estate market, buying or selling a home is already difficult. A woman is trying both at the same time.
Real estate agent Christine Burrows is selling her home in Campbell, and is looking for a new home in the most unusual of times. The Home Buying Sentiment Index, which tracks how people feel about buying a home, is now at a 10-year low. Buyers haven’t been this desperate in a decade.
“Everything stopped when the media said the sky was falling,” Burroughs said. “No…not even close.”
“So what we’re seeing on the streets is a return to the normal market,” said Brad Gill, founder of NextHome Lifestyles, a real estate agency.
Gill said Santa Clara County was booming during the outbreak. Home prices are up 30% from spring 2021 to 2022, as people who work from home upgrade and want more room. He adds that the NASDAQ is down for the year as inflation and interest rates climb into the mid-5s, slowing buyers.
“We don’t want buyers to spend more than $200,000 on properties that are constantly being sold above auction,” Gill said.
Gill said the market favors first-time home buyers, with asking prices under $1 million for something like a 3-bed, 1-bath in Santa Clara.
“So, you know, it’s only going to take 50% or less of the previous payment than it was in the previous market,” Gill said. “Because the past market is 20% down, and if there’s any foreclosure that you have to do, the house needs more and more than it’s appraised for.”
If you’re thinking about buying a home now, Burroughs says, don’t compare today’s mortgage rates to the historic lows we saw in the dark days of the pandemic.
“Don’t be fooled. Don’t overthink interest rates because it’s all relative,” Burroughs said. “When you compare it to the history of interest rates, the interest rate is low. And I remember the first mortgage interest was 16 or 17%.
“It’s okay,” she said. “This is still almost free money.”