2020 North San Luis Obispo County Real Estate Review and 2021 Forecast

Home buying demand has been fierce in North County since June 2020. San Luis Obispo County is experiencing a generational shift in Real Estate demand and activity. A seemingly perfect storm of low-interest rates, remote 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 a lower cost of housing. North County is in the right place at the right time to service this increased buyer demand.

Our 2020 year started out strong but dipped sharply with COVID in early Spring. Once our markets opened back, and real estate was categorized as an “essential business” we have seen very strong demand and supply limitations. Sellers are reluctant to list a property with the COVID virus still working its way through our County, and unless a seller is leaving the State, there very few reasons to leave this County. The median price will finish the year at $575,000 versus $505,000 in 2019. That’s a 15% increase, year to year, and is similar to what many communities experienced statewide.

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 number 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 inventory to be depleted. There is good value in these larger offerings for buyers.

In Commercial properties, multi-family and rental homes are still in strong demand. Downtown retail and hospitality properties are dormant for health reasons but the vacation rental market is still strong even with the many shutdowns from Sacramento.

Our City leaders in Paso Robles have managed outside elements of chaos and COVID challenges with calm, clarity, and gracious leadership. We have something good in North County. Our police and fire personnel are awesome. Safety is a number one quality of life issue, and we have safety.

January is beginning strong in 2021 and we are expecting this year to continue the uphill pace fueled by record low-interest rates, low housing supply, and new work from home policies. Fully 1/3 of homebuyers surveyed said that they would move if their remote working situation continued once the pandemic is brought under control. And if COVID does recede from controlling our daily lives, our national economy is expected to expand 3% in 2021.

North County is a citizen governed community that will continue to face many challenges in the future. However, we have a wine industry and hospitality industry that 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 this first half of 2021. This is an optimum time for sellers.

Call me today if I can assist you, your family or friends with your real estate needs.

Happy Trails in 2021!

P.S. Call me anytime for advice if you are remodeling, adding solar, or thinking of making major changes to your home. I am happy to give advice to ensure that you will receive the biggest Bang for your Buck! Kitchens are a big attention grabber i.e. extra storage and newer cabinetry is hugely popular. Also, garage space has become increasingly important for storage and as possible personal gym areas. And cleanliness has increased in importance for most buyers. This industry changes often so make sure you have the latest info from me and all of my partners at RE/MAX Parkside Real Estate

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