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Pillar Real Estate - Helping You Achieve Your Real Estate Dreams in San Luis Obispo County

Amber and Zoe discuss real estate market conditions, interest rates, expectations for the market, recommendations for Buyer’s and more!

Reach out to Zoe directly with any questions or to start the loan approval process:

Zoe Raithel
Mortgage Advisor
M 805.400.8585
D 805.668.3929
F 805.635.8962
E [email protected]
CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC. 1101 Riverside Ave., Suite B Paso Robles, CA 93446
Personal NMLS894102
Branch NMLS 2023965
Company NMLS3029

SLO County Stats indicate the market remaining strong as inventory continues to rise. Even with inventory increasing, there is still a strong demand for homes on the central coast, which will perpetuate strong seller’s market conditions for the time being- particularly for homes $650K and under, and even moreso if the home is turnkey. For Sellers, as mentioned in past, pricing your home correctly at market value out of the gate is key to avoid price reductions, longer days on market and ultimately negatively impacting your bottom line. Interested in data for a specific city or area? Reach out and I will provide you with market information in your area of interest.


Although recently released data points to rising macroeconomic uncertainty that is beginning to spill over into the housing market, prospective homebuyers are beginning to enjoy some of the benefits of a shifting market. To be sure, rising rates have reduced buyer purchasing power, but rising inventories and reduced competitiveness means that buyers who remain in the market have a better shot at having their offer accepted than at any point since the pandemic began.

Inventory Now Exceeds Pre-Pandemic Levels: After more than two years of consistent year-over-year declines in the number of active listings available for sale, the inventory shortage has shown consistent signs of improving in recent weeks. Last week, there were more active listings on the market than at any time in the past two years. Nearly 48,000 were on the market last week, which edges out the week of May 23, 2020 as the highest level of active listings since we began reporting weekly MLS statistics at the beginning of 2020. It is important to note that listings still remain depressed by historical standards, but it is encouraging to see them trend upward on a more consistent basis this year.

Rising Inventory Helping Homebuyers: As the number of homes to choose from rises, homebuyers are finding the market less frenzied than at any point since the pandemic began. Last week, the percentage of homes that sold over list price dipped to 46% of closings. That is only the second week since September 2020 where fewer than half of homes sold above list price. In addition, more sellers are willing to reduce their price, with 37% of active listings down from original list price last week—also a 2+ year high. Taken together with a recent reduction in rates, buyers currently in the market should be encouraged by rising prospects of finding a home and having their offer accepted.

Mortgage Rates Begin to Rise Again: After two consecutive declines in the weekly rate posted by Freddie Mac, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose last week. At 5.51%, rates are still lower than they were last month, but that represents a 20 basis-point increase from the week prior. Given the expectation of a rate increase in the 75-100 basis-point range at the upcoming Federal Reserve meeting, it is likely that mortgage rates will continue their upward trend as inflationary pressures remain and demand for short-term bonds wane.

Declining Mortgage Applications Accelerate: The number of prospective homebuyers applying for residential purchase loans dropped 18% last week compared to the same week 1 year earlier. This marks the 60th consecutive week of year-to-year declines in mortgage applications that began after the peak homebuying season last summer. Through the first two weeks of July, mortgage applications are at their lowest level of any July going back to 2014. This suggests that recent reading on pending sales in California, which suggested further moderation in home sales in July and August, should be given credence.

Home Sales Dip to 12-Year Low: Existing, single-family detached home sales in California was down 8.4% on a monthly basis from 376,560 in May and down 20.9% from a year ago, when 436,020 homes were sold on an annualized basis. Outside of the initial lockdown in the Spring of 2020, this is the lowest level of home sales since 2008. California’s median home price declined 4.0% in June to $863,790 from the revised record-high of $900,170 recorded in May. The June price was 5.4% higher than the $819,630 recorded last June. The moderation in the median home price was due partly to a change in the mix of sales in June, as the high-end market started pulling back.

Rising Prices Begin to Weigh Consumers Down: The latest reading on inflation showed the issue getting worse rather than coming in for a soft landing. The consumer price index (CPI) rose 9.1% on a year-over-year basis in June, which was another 40-year high and suggests that recent hopes that the Fed may ease off their aggressive schedule of rate hikes may be misplaced. Outside of motivating the Fed, rising prices are also expected to begin eating into overall economic growth as, despite a nominal increase in retail sales, real spending has declines in 3 of the last 4 months.

(SOURCE: CA Association of REALTORS®)

The markets in general are volatile, but what are we seeing locally on the Central Coast?

A shift. The shift we have been discussing for the last few months has come to fruition in the last month or so.

How so? The short version is that a significant increase of new listings have entered the market and rates have continued to climb (although they have gone up and down in the few couple of weeks, an upward trend is still expected).

In the month of April 2022 there were 93 active listings in SLO County. In May 2022, this increased to 188 active. As far as interest rates, we have seen an approximate 2% increase since the start of the year.

What does all of this translate to? We may start to see some homes sitting longer on the market, more price reductions and offers being made with standard terms and contingencies. The data thus far does not suggest a real estate market crash, but rather a possible correction. As far as prices go, experts still predict an increase in prices this year, but a much more modest rate than we have seen the past two years. (Think more along the lines of 8-10% versus 25%). Yes, it is still possible to see price appreciation with a market correction. We should be looking at this as more of a shift than anything – it is still a Sellers Market, and still a strong and competitive market. The changes discussed are more in line with a balanced, healthy market, not the drastic market we have seen over the last two years. At the present and near future, price reductions will likely happen with homes that are at a higher price point (1 million +). There is such a pent up demand for homes in the $400,000-$600,000 range that a change in the direction of the market will likely take longer to impact those price points.

Tips for Buyers:

  1. Get Preapproved Stat- This step should always be first, but more so now. Not just to be ready to pull the trigger when the right home hits the market, but it is important to have a reputable lender in your corner educating you through rate changes and possibly looking into creative options if necessary. (If you need a recommendation, I am blessed to work with the best lenders in the business!)
  2. Work with a real estate professional that is active & knowledgeable in this market. Working with an agent that knows what’s happening locally and beyond is imperative to your success. The market is changing constantly and you need someone guiding you that has their finger on the pulse of the market.
  3. Do not wait for the “market to crash” or a huge drop in prices, otherwise you may be waiting a very long time. If you are able to secure something now, seriously consider it, especially since rates and prices are still expected to rise. (Refinancing can be an option to, when rates are more optimal)
  4. Save, save, save! Put as much down as you can, keep money in the bank for reserves and even save to buy down to a lower interest rate.

Tips for Sellers:

  1. Price your home correctly out of the gate. Particularly as inventory begins to increase, pricing your home too high is detrimental to your bottom line. Over-priced homes typically sit longer on the market and sell for less than they would if priced correctly. Plus, Buyers and Buyers Agents know what your home is worth, and listing too high may deter them from writing an offer or even looking at your home. Stick to the numbers and let your real estate professional market the heck out of it!
  2. Same as #2 above!
  3. Be prepared to see offers with contingencies, requesting concessions (such as seller paying a certain amount of buyer closing costs) and offer prices more in line with fair market value versus drastically over. Buyers can no longer afford what they could 3, 6, 12 months ago.

Key Takeaway: None of us have a crystal ball and there are a lot of external factors that determine the overall status of the market. Thus far, however, the state of the market is in line with recent predictions. I am keeping an eye on all of it, and am happy to discuss your concerns or any questions you may have. Education is key, so even if you decide to not buy or sell, it’s better to make that decision because of data and discussion based on your personal goals and situation with a trusted professional.

All the Best,


What’s New With Homes For Heroes®

Greetings! If you are new here, I am a Homes For Heroes® Real Estate Specialist serving the central coast area. I am wildly passionate about this amazing program and it has become a huge part of my business. I love being able to give back to our local Heroes when they Buy or Sell a home. Below are FAQ’s – I will add that the average Hero Reward® for my clients is between $4,000-$5,000. For more information or to sign up, click here

Hero Appreciation

May is a very busy month for Hero Appreciation! We have National Nurses Week, National Police Week and we are celebrating our Military ALL month long! If you see or know one of these Heroes, don’t forget to thank them!

Golden Apple Teacher of the Month

Pillar Real Estate is the proud sponsor for KJug’s Golden Apple Teacher of the Month! Each month, KJug selects a teacher to honor on the radio and via social media, as well as give them some awesome prizes supplied by various local businesses. To nominate your favorite local teacher in SLO County, visit KJug’s website here

Thinking about selling your home?

Major projects are often not necessary to maximize your value and return on investment. In fact, the most important items on the pre-sale to-do list are quite simple and not costly! Check out the quick video below for some great tips and ways to boost curb appeal (and your bottom line!).More information on the selling process here. Want to see my marketing plan and full service listing package? Call or email and I will send it over!

The median price point in the county is up to $903,000 from $831,000, compared to data shared last month.The unsold inventory figure is 2.1 months, which means that under the current market conditions, it would take approximately 2 months for the current available inventory to be depleted. Historically, 6 months of supply is indicative of moderate price appreciation. (Source: National Association of REALTORS®)
 Median days on market dropped from 9 to 6 days from the proceeding month.Home sales continue to decline, likely resulting from very little inventory available coupled with rising interest rates.
Spring & Summer Inventory Increase
According to a survey conducted at the national level by®, 64% of the 3,000 Sellers surveyed planning to list their homes in 2022 intend to do so this Spring and Summer. Whether these sellers follow-through with their plans will be key to the forecasted 2022 inventory recovery and critical for buyers hoping to find a home before mortgage rates climb even further.The majority of 2022 prospective sellers plan to list within the next six months, with 9% already listed and the remaining getting ready to list within the next 30 days (11%), 1-3 months (24%) or 4-6 months (20%).When asked why they’re planning to list in 2022, surveyed sellers’ top reason was wanting to profit off the current market, tied with their home no longer meeting their families needs (each at 31%).Homeowners’ motivating factors behind moving also reflect the impact of pandemic trends, such as wanting different features after spending so much time at home (15%) and no longer needing to live near their office (14%)
Millennials are moving on up, signaling more starter homes for first-time buyers
With the oldest millennials already 40-years-old, these homeowners are playing an important role in adding to the supply of starter homes. Millennials represent nearly half (49%) of sellers who plan to list within the next six months and many anticipate selling at relatively affordable prices. This is welcome news for first-time buyers, who face fierce competition for limited available starter homes. Combined with rising affordability issues as home prices and mortgage rates climb, survey data offers some hope for first-time buyers, based on:
More millennials plan to list within the next six months than in March 2021 (75% vs. 66%), and account for a higher share of all 2022 prospective sellers (42.0% vs. 26.0%).In a further sign that older millennials are moving on up from their starter homes, the share of surveyed millennials who have sold a home before was nearly as high as the overall rate (61% vs. 64%).Millennials have plenty of financial motivation to stick to their plans, with top reasons for selling reflecting the pressures of rising inflation and economic uncertainties. Compared to all survey respondents, higher shares of Gen Y sellers want a more affordable home (34% vs. 21%) and need the sale money ASAP (14% vs. 11%).In a potential sign of more starter homes coming onto the market, the majority of 2022 prospective sellers expect to list in relatively affordable price ranges: $350,000 or less (43%) and $351,000-$500,000 (22%).(Source:
Featured Listing ~
9198 Ash St. Atascadero ~ This updated manufactured home features 1,488 square feet of functional living space consisting of 2 bedrooms plus a bonus room, which is perfectly suited as a third bedroom. There are two living areas, ideal for families and entertaining, one of which opens up to the dining area and kitchen. The dining area has a built in bar top with extra storage and a gorgeous modern light fixture. Granite counter tops, a breakfast bar, pantry, stainless appliances and an abundance of storage and counter space can be found through out the kitchen. Through the sliding barn door is the indoor laundry room with a sink & even more cabinet and counter space to utilize (Washer & Dryer are included too!). The master ensuite has a double vanity, large soaking tub & granite counter tops. Outside you will enjoy a fully fenced yard with newer and mature landscaping ~ large established shade trees, fig trees, raised planter beds & lovely flowers and greenery. There is also an outdoor storage space, part of which has been finished and is currently used as an office. Additional noteworthy updates include ~ new double pane windows (2021), newer paint and water heater & wifi controlled irrigation. This home sits atop a permanent foundation on owned land and NO park/space rent or HOA to contend with. Close to shopping, schools, restaurants and beautiful downtown Atascadero.
Offered at $440,000
Find out more about this listing or start your property search here

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