(April 01, 2014
I made a trip to check out the San Francisco Bay Area Real Estate market recently. It was spring break and we wanted to enjoy a bit of sunny weather. We also lived in the Bay Area for 5 years many years ago and I have fond memories of the place.
Bay Area Real Estate is red hot now, fueled by the job market and other factors even though its already experienced a significant price increase since last year. Traffic is worse than before and the frentic pace is not one that Vancouverites are used to. A 1200 sqft house was going for $1.2M in a relatively nice neighbourhood, bid up to $1.3M within a week.
I toured close to 50 houses and was surprised that not once did I see a listing agent in sight. Too hot a market? At agent's opens, they had a host stand in. For showings, it was a lockbox system. Once, at an open house, I saw the agent's assistant. Many offers were going for 5-20 offers and it was not uncommon to have bidding wars bid up prices to 10% above the asking price.
Will the real estate market in Vancouver ever be like that? Yes, we have had our fair share of bidding wars for sure and we have seen a few multiple offers this year. I wonder, though, if listing agents will do what they do in California here in Vancouver.....