At our Pacific Union Real Estate office meeting this morning in the Oakland Montclair Office we went over some interesting sales statistics. Our office has a large market share in Oakland, Piedmont and Berkeley CA. Our meetings give us a chance to collaborate and interject with one another to get the pulse of the local real estate market.
Interest rates have ticked up over the last 2 weeks. A general consensus among the those in the mortgage industry is that rates will be increasing as the FED program pulls back on the purchasing of mortgages. Right now the FED allows lenders to recoup funds by purchasing mortgages from the banks that then turn around and make more loans. If a lender cannot recoup funds, they will be forced to cut back on lending. Less available money translates into higher interest rates.
Several new laws have taken affect as of Jan 1. One of which is a Buyer disclosure obligation requiring a lenders Good Faith Estimate (which is provided to a Buyer at the start of a transaction) to match the HUD-1 Statement (that is provided to the Buyer at the end of a transaction.) If there is a change in the figures there will be a 3 day delay for reconciliation before the loan can close. Any delay at the end of an escrow could cause a Buyer to miss the contracted closing date. The length of escrows is gradually increasing to build in a margin for error. 40 day closings are becoming the standard.
Inventory of homes for sale in Oakland, Piedmont and Berkeley are at extremely low levels. There are lots of Buyers and very few homes for sale. Sellers seem to be sheltering in place. Supply and demand would indicate that now could be a great time for a good home to come on the market.
Brian Santilena has been representing home buyers and home sellers in the Oakland Hills, Berkeley Hills and Piedmont California marketplace since 1998. He is a Realtor, CRS Certified Residential Specialist and Sr. Sales Associate with Pacific Union Real Estate.