We are about ¾ the way through 2020 and through all the insanity, the most defining characteristic is COVID-19, the pandemic that’s brought the entire world to a near halt. You wouldn’t know it, though, if you were judging by the Bay Area’s real estate market.

Bay Area home prices

So far, in all but San Francisco, the Bay Area’s real estate prices are continuing their climbs. In August, more than half of buyers say they were in bidding wars when purchasing their homes. What is changing is the type of real estate that’s drawing people. Since the start of the COVID pandemic, people are moving away from close confines like condos and into single family homes.

Where people are moving

Since companies are changing their employee models to allow telecommuting for non-essential and non-frontline workers, location doesn’t have the priority it once did. At Ace Moving, we are moving many customers to cities like Sacramento. Phoenix is another popular moving destination for Ace Moving customers.

San Francisco’s neighboring counties are seeing a surge, but there are some problems there too. Nearly every other Bay Area county, with the possible exceptions of Contra Costa and Alameda, have seen devastating wildfires. The real estate market doesn’t seem to know it, though. Even fire stricken areas are doing very well, but there’s a darker side to that. Two million California homes are under threat of wildfire. This could create a major housing shortage, causing prices to rise even further.

How logistics of home buying are changing

Practically, things are changing. While Realtors still do in-person appraisals and most recommend staging your home, most home tours and open houses are now virtual. Once buyers are ready to make an offer, they might schedule a live viewing along with an inspection. Home buyers can now avoid visiting the title company at closing time. Even that has gone virtual.