In yesterday’s Sound Off column in the San Francisco Chronicle (2/7/2021), several Realtors were asked to predict the impact of COVID-19 vaccinations on SF real estate. All opined that a warming of the market would take place and that former renters who abandoned San Francisco in droves would return to take advantage of declining rents.
Sounds like an improving situation for renters but what about buyers and sellers of homes? To me, a strong real estate market means a high level of transactional activity supported by an equilibrium of buyers and sellers. Rental activity doesn’t impel selling and buying unless a renter becomes a former renter and purchases a home.
Indeed, the availability of vaccines and the broadening vaccination of the population should foster confidence that the virus will be–if not defeated–at least managed, and that confidence (along with the implementation of Proposition 19) should go far to encourage more homeowners to give up their expensive, equity-heavy homes for greener pastures outside the Bay Area and even California. With less fear of infection from prospective buyers to their homes, prospective home sellers should become more willing to put their property on the market.
But this won’t happen overnight. Home seekers might want to be patient and watch the market for signs of a growing inventory of homes for sale and a market that isn’t so constrained and tilted toward the interests of home sellers.