Hot South Bay Real Estate Market Gives Sellers Cold Feet

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    NEWSLETTERS

    There are more bidding wars than ever before with the South Bay housing market that continues to heat up. Stephanie Chuang reports.

    There are more bidding wars than ever before with the South Bay housing market that continues to heat up.

    Real estate agents tell NBC Bay Area they are starting to see a trend blossom – one they’ve never seen before: sellers pulling their listings because they’re worried about homelessness.

    “I’ve actually run into this situation several times just since the first of the year,” said Loren Haley, a real estate agent who focuses on the South Bay.

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    Most recently, Haley said she represented a buyer who submitted a bid for a townhouse on Stevens Canyon Road in Cupertino this week. The listing for the three-bedroom property would get 11 offers, up to 20 percent above asking price. Still, there would be no sale.

    “In the eleventh hour, the sellers decided they didn’t want to sell after all,” Haley said.

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    The seller’s agent, Tina Hurng, told NBC Bay Area that the client had been nervous, asking her questions about whether he and his family would be able to secure their own place next. After the offers were submitted, he got cold feet.

    Hurng said he’s not the only one. Another client who is set to place her Sunnyvale property on the market at the end of the month has also been expressing nervousness over the state of the market, and whether she’ll be able to buy a place of her own.

    “It’s a vicious cycle where people see how hard it is to buy the next home and decide not to list their current home,” said Glenn Kelman, CEO of Redfin, the real estate brokerage company.

    According to Redfin, San Jose median home values are the highest in all of the markets.

    In fact, its data shows 88 percent of the area’s for-sale homes are or have been in bidding wars.

    Some of the hottest places include San Jose, the Rivermark area of Santa Clara, Mountain View, Los Altos, the Cherry Chase area of Sunnyvale and Cupertino.

    “The South Bay is on fire. Prices are up 15-percent year over year,” said Kelman, who then pointed to inventory as the problem. “Inventory is down 11 percent year over year. We didn’t think ti would get any worse but there are fewer and fewer homes to buy.”

    It’s not just the South Bay that’s hot. According to Zillow, there are 38 cities in the nine-county Bay Area that have surpassed the highest home sale price peaks that were established before the crash, meaning the prices are higher than ever before.

    Some of those cities that have experienced the greatest increase in the median home sale price year over year include Inverness in Marin County which went up 20 percent, Fremont at a 19 percent increase, and on the peninsula, Millbrae and Foster City prices both went up around 18 percent.