Chico Realtors have been lamenting about our lack of inventory for years, but 2020 took it to record lows. On average, there were only 150 single family homes listed in Chico, a 30% drop from 2019. I have stats going back as far 2008 when there were over 500 homes on the market. The number of available homes has dropped every year since 2008 bringing us to our new record low. In fact, as I am typing this today, there are only 71 single family homes for sale in Chico! It probably goes without saying that lack of available housing has continued to push home prices up. The average home price in Chico rose 7% to $462,052, while the median home price rose 8% to $420,000. Also not surprising was that the median number of days on market continued to drop, down to 9 days. For the most part, this is great news for homeowners. Most of us like to track the market value of our home and even if we have no plans to sell, it certainly feels good to see equity growing. BUT. . Yes, there is always a BUT….
2020 actually saw the number of home sales decline. . and not just a little. The total number of homes sold dropped from 1,666 sales in 2019 to 1,395 sales in 2020, a 16% reduction. Covid-19 certainly played a role as residents adhered to the on-again off-again stay at home orders, but I’m not sure that was the driving force in decreased sales. With interest rates also at an all time low, buyer demand has been incredibly strong. I believe a big part of the problem is that homeowners feel a bit stuck. They have plenty of equity, rates are great, they should be stepping up into larger homes AND listing their current homes. Many sellers fear that it simply isn’t possible in this market. There are so few homes coming available that they fear they won’t be able to find what they are looking for, and when they do, they can’t compete for that property with a contingent sale. I wish I had the data on where sellers are going, but I would bet that a record percentage of the listings we are getting are for sellers leaving the state.
As we get ready to enter Spring, a time when the number of listings and sales is at a peak, we are optimistic that more inventory is coming. If you are considering buying or selling, contact one of us. We would love to help you strategize the best way to achieve your real estate goals!