Goodbye and good riddance, 2023, and welcome 2024! What a whirlwind of activity 2023 put us through. Here is a brief recap of the 2023 Tri Valley real estate market.
Mortgage Rates Soared
2023 mortgage rates were at their highest level since 2000, reaching highs of 8.45% (source) for a 30-year fixed loan in October 2023.
Other loans also trended upwards, with the FHA 30-year, 15-year, and jumbo 30-year showing a spread of more than 2 percentage points between their highest and lowest readings. Even adjustable rate mortgages (arm) recorded a change of 1.5 percentage points from the highest to the lowest reading.
The high interest rates resulted in more people staying in their homes. Those who previously refinanced when rates were at their lowest a few years ago could not rationalize paying a higher mortgage for a new home.
Less Real Estate Inventory in 2023
With more people opting not to move due to low interest rates, less inventory was available. Less inventory meant less sales. According to the Bay East Association of REALTORS®, buyers had approximately 500 fewer homes each month to choose from (source).
Buyer Behavior in 2023
Buyers facing high interest rates and less inventory had to make smart buying decisions. They tended to choose homes that were fairly priced, up-to-date, move in ready, and had appealing landscape, yards, and outdoor living space.
While some agents reported multiple offers for the very best homes, many buyers in 2023 shied away from aggressive offers over asking price.
With a market in flux, low inventory, and a chance of missing out on a great home, more buyers counted on a real estate agent in 2023. “Buyers wanted an expert to help them find the right home and conduct negotiations,” explains Jessica Lautz, NAR deputy chief economist and vice president of research.
2023 East Bay Home Sale Prices
2023 East Bay median home sale prices dipped just a bit compared to 2022, from $1,180,000 to $1,125,000. Whether this pricing is in part due to buyers still wanting to purchase, inflated rates from a few years ago coming down to a more realistic price, or sellers having to readjust their expectations toward their purchase price, the fact is, the East Bay is still a remarkable place to live.
Combine this information with the knowledge from the NAR that homes sat on the market an average of only 23 days, up only two days from 2022, it’s clear that both buyers and sellers had a vested interest in making quick deals (source).
Welcoming 2024 with The Gamache Team
Now that 2023 is squarely in the books, it’s time to welcome 2024. What will this new year bring? Without our working crystal ball, The Gamache Team can make fair predictions.
After all, we have been in the real estate business for over 50 years and have seen the ebb and flow in the market.
We can predict that sellers who put the time, effort, and dedication into hiring a professional Realtor to prepare, market, price, and advertise the home properly will get the most gains in income and satisfaction.
Buyers who hire an experienced agent to do their due diligence and negotiate on their behalf will find out about homes coming on the market first and put in an attractive and strong offer that can’t be refused.
When you are ready to make your move, contact The Gamache Team.