It took a pandemic to slow down the Bay Area’s housing market

Sales are down 35% year-over-year, according to Zillow

Oakland, California (Credit: iStock)
Oakland, California (Credit: iStock)

It seemed that San Francisco Bay Area’s incredibly tight housing market was bulletproof. That turned out not to be true, but it took a literal pandemic to put a dent in it.

Zillow economist Jeff Tucker told NBC that home sales across the Bay Area are down 35 percent year-over. It seems people put their house hunts on the backburner when it became clear that coronavirus posed a real threat.

“Starting around March 16th we saw traffic on Zillow listings, on our website and on our apps, plummeted 30 percent pretty much over night starting at that point,” he said.

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Just like every other market under lockdown, open houses are impossible in the Bay Area. And just like in other markets, agents are holding online home tours and using 3-D programs to give prospective buyers the chance to see properties, but they can only do so much.

Nova Real Estate agent Kymberly Simmons-Greene said that buyers and sellers are still interested, but are “trying to figure out how they can go about connecting and dealing with the properties and the transactions.”

Others aren’t though. They’re taking breathers to see what happens to interest rates, the economy, and home prices before they pull the trigger on a deal.

A wider economic slowdown could lead banks to tighten up their lending standards like they did during the financial crisis last decade. [NBC] – Dennis Lynch