Hopefully this first blog post finds you and your family healthy and ready to leave 2020 behind. It is time to move forward into 2021.
Home buying demand has been fierce in North SLO County since June of 2020. Our county and our community are experiencing a generational shift in real estate demand and activity. A seemingly perfect storm of low interest rates, remove workplace options, deteriorating urban environments and the high cost of city living have created an exodus of urban refugees seeking a higher quality of life and lower cost of housing. North County is in the right place at the right time to service this raging buyer demand.
Our 2020 year started out strong but hit a speed bump with COVID in early spring. Once our markets opened backup we have seen strong demand and supply limitations due to seller reluctance to list property with the COVID cloud overhead. The median price will finish the year at $575,000 versus $505,000 in 2019. That 15% increase, year to year, is similar to what many communities experienced nationwide.
There were 340 available homes for purchase a year ago versus 194 available today. It's the strongest seller's market in decades. The actual numbers of sold homes rose 7% year to year. More homes would sell if more homes were available.
Ranch properties and vineyards have enjoyed an increase in demand but supply still is ample in these categories. Grape prices rebounded a bit as smoke taint from the North Coast caused the bulk market overhang to be depleted. There is good value in these larger offerings for buyers.
In the commercial property arena, multi-family and renal homes are still in strong demand. Downtown retail and hospitality properties are dormant for health reasons. The vacation rental market is still strong even with the serial shutdowns from Sacramento.
We want to give credit to our city leaders here in Paso Robles. These people have managed outside elements of chaos and COVID challenges with calm and clarity. We have something good in North County and there will always be those looking to tear down our city. Our police are awesome. Safety is the number one quality of life issue and we have safety.
Later into December, our clients are busy so we are busy. Our market will soften when values in the urban markets start to drop. We are an inbound market and out values lag a bit behind San Francisco and Los Angeles. The urban values have not started to decline but rents have started to decline in these areas of urban decay.
North County is a citizen governed community that will face many challenges in the coming years. Our wine industry and the hospitality industry is world class. Politically and financially our community has stood tall as many have failed. We have natural resources that are rich and accessible. We will see strong buyer demand in the first quarter. Call us today if you want to get your property sold, this is an optimum market moment for sellers.