Thank God We Declined to Make a Forecast


Here is a 4 word simple definition of what real estate has been like in 2020- “ A complete roller coaster “ Here’s the recap of the last 4 months.

The year 2020 started off remarkably strong with interest rates just above 3 %, exceptionally strong employment stats and heading into an election year. With very little inventory, great interest rates, nice weather and a positive outlook to the future, we were off and running with the Dow at above 29,000.

As we know, next, we were hit off guard or maybe not so off guard with reports and numbers of rising cases of Coronavirus, which unfortunately were not taken entirely seriously until the grim Wednesday in early March when the Dow crashed down around 10,000 points, suggesting that investors had lost in a week, 30% of their worth. Needless to say, Real Estate came to a screeching halt with escrows dropping like flies and rumors that the market would over a short period of time drop 20%, with some negativity extremists suggesting even more.

As most local property owners quickly removed their properties from the market and most buyers jumped back to sidelines, others proceeded to make low ball offers, most of which were turned down. There were however a few good deals resulting from either a property owner talked into the drama or a property owner that just didn’t care. That said, there were very few bargains.

Then suddenly after a month of very few new listings and very few sales, 3D virtual tours caught on and zoom listing appointments become popular with buyers reappearing and oddly making generous offers on the properties that were taken off the market and were sitting in a status of “withdrawn”.

Roll the clock ahead to June. Interest rates at 2.7% fixed were heavily promoted publicly with lenders funding quickly, inventory remained the lowest ever in 20 years, off market properties were back in escrow, closing at prices same as before, and people having “cabin fever “ were becoming desperate for homes with virtually no new homes coming to the market. The news reports of homes selling briskly, and the daily improvement of the Dow to almost 80% recovered, has been enough to overcome the unfortunate daily reports of “no end in sight” to Coronavirus.

Here at the beginning of July, our simple definition of “where is the market currently?” Is:

Currently the real estate market on the WESTSIDE and particularly in Santa Monica is exceptionally strong with average days on the market “less than 30” and sale price to list price ratio at “92%”.

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