Normal end-of-year slow down in housing market gives buyers a brief window of
opportunity for deals, but they must move quickly.
San Jose, CA (November 20, 2013) —The Bay Area housing market is definitely moving into recovery with October’s median home sale price of $539,750 up 29.7 percent from a year earlier, according to real estate data and information service DataQuick. As we move into winter, though, normal seasonal slowing indicates that price gains will likely slow a bit for the next few months. This bodes well for consumers who are willing to shop “out of season” in order to take advantage of the brief lull in the market, but they must be able to move quickly as sellers are receiving more cash-only offers from competitive buyers and investors than in years past.
“We’ve heard several stories in the last year about buyers who were beat out of a house bid by cash-only investors, including overseas investors,” said Steve Donahue, VP of mortgage originations for Tech CU. “It’s become apparent that we have to help our clients move fast so they can be competitive in this market.”
To help simplify and speed up the process of being approved for a mortgage, Tech CU mortgage consultants work with buyers one-on-one, ensuring they secure the appropriate documentation for submitting their loan application. Unlike many large banks, Tech CU’s mortgage applications are processed locally, giving its mortgage consultants the flexibility they need to approve qualified buyers as quickly as possible. In fact, Tech CU offers both pre-approvals on home loans and a Quick-Close Guarantee for those who qualify: If the credit union does not close a buyer’s purchase loan within 10 business days, the buyer will receive a $500 gift card.*
According to Data Quick, Bay Area home buyers who appear to have paid all cash for their transactions accounted for 22.8 percent of all sales in October (down from 24 percent in September). The monthly average for cash deals going as far back as 1988 is 13.3 percent, with a peak of 32.3 percent in February of 2013.
“You can imagine the pressure this is putting on the average Bay Area buyer who needs a mortgage to purchase,” continued Donahue. “The trend for cash-only does seem to be slowing as we move into winter, but it’s still important to work with a mortgage partner who can be flexible and move quickly. This is a highly competitive market.”
DataQuick President John Walsh has stated that Bay Area home price appreciation for the first three quarters of the year was due in large part to very low mortgage rates, a slim inventory of homes for sale and high levels of investor purchases. In recent months, however, these forces have reversed a bit because, “interest rates are higher, the inventory has risen and investors now account for a lower share of all sales.”
The brief lull is expected to continue for a short period, but will likely end in the spring when home buying and selling typically picks up.
For those who are in the market for a new home, Tech CU offers a variety of personal home loan options with affordable rates, including: adjustable- and fixed-rate mortgages, out-of-state loans, FHA loans, first-time homebuyer loans, and more. Tech CU also offers super jumbo loans up to $8 million on adjustable¬-rate mortgages and $3 million on fixed-rate mortgages.
For real estate investors in the Bay Area, Tech CU offers investment property loans for one- to four-unit, non-owner occupied properties, for apartment properties of five units and more, and for mixed-use properties.
About Technology Credit Union
Founded in 1960 by the employees of Fairchild Camera and Instrument Semiconductor Division, Tech CU has served the high tech workforce in Silicon Valley for more than 50 years. Today, Tech CU is one of largest credit unions in the country with 70,000 individual, non-profit and business members and more than $1.7 billion in assets. The financial institution is recognized as one of the best managed and strongest in the country. Tech CU’s members have access to 65,000+ surcharge-free ATMs nationwide, online and mobile banking, 10 full-service branches throughout the Bay Area, and comprehensive mortgage, wealth management and commercial banking services.