Having a Crystal Ball

04/25/23  |  Anthony Marinelli

Predicting the Market

As busy local Fremont real estate experts we have a unique ability to see into the future. Albeit we can only see 30 to 60 days out with clarity. At any given time we have knowledge of real estate inventory and how long it takes for the inventory to be consumed by the market. This is a great bell-weather. It not only helps us advise our sellers as to best asking price and predict sales price but also to advise our buyers as to best offer price on a property. Being aware of the price pending properties have achieved, 'the comparables of the future' is where our amazing several month glimpse into the great beyond comes from.
We have had the pleasure of representing three statisticians purchase their primary residences. These folks, in particular, can easily become befuddled by analysis paralysis. With too much information, about too broad a topic and so much education, it takes quite a while for them to take advantage of what we consider the salient information for a value judgment. After all, our market is a microcosm and does not always act in lock step with other area markets near or far. Besides, by the time they hear the news about the market it is usually a few months out of date.
We are often asked if rates go up do prices come down? Rates and prices go in the same direction as often as the go in opposite directions. There are so many moving parts. In many examples of current sales, rates have doubled in the last year and prices have slowed, but with inventory at historical lows there is still competition in the market driving prices up. Further, the insidious inflation that is upon us is putting a damper on housing starts by making the cost of everything go up for builders. This further exacerbates inventory because builders can't keep raising prices while rates are rising, especially when they have no idea where prices or rates will land, or for how long.
Our deceivingly simple theory to counter the noise of too much information is the following adage... "Home value is in the comparables". If by this point we haven't scared the professional or novice statisticians off, we start the process of viewing property. By comparing past sales in a given area and making offers on available ones our theory starts to make sense and value becomes clear. Mind you, this works in any neighborhood you like - Glenmoor, Ardenwood, Niles, etc.
Real estate values are an ever moving target. You can't buy in any market but the one your in. Even comparables are only a loose guide and market velocity has to be understood on a day by day basis. Great agents not only have to possess that crystal ball but be experienced about what it is telling them to offer the best possible advice to their buyers.