SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) – The Bay Area’s hot housing market is showing no signs of slowing down even in the middle of a global pandemic.
In fact, some believe that COVID-19 helped them when buying their home, including Alexander Cremin.
He bought his condo in Campbell last year, but was initially hesitant to make a large purchase at the beginning of the pandemic, especially when there were a lot of unknowns.
“I thought everything was going to fall apart once the pandemic hit and maybe it’d be cheaper,” Cremin said.
When he saw how low interest rates had dipped for home loans during the pandemic, he said he decided to pull the trigger.
“Yeah, actually I was able to get a little more home than I originally planned,” he told KPIX 5. “I’m very happy. Everything was kind of in my favor. So I just went ahead and found a great place.”
Fuxi Cai also took advantage of the low interest rates, and bought a townhouse in Sunnyvale this summer.
He said he was surprised to see so many people showing up to open houses even during the pandemic.
“Yeah, quite surprised, we thought we were just the first, you know, the brave people,” Cai said.
Sophie Lin, a realtor for Keller Williams Realty, Inc., said after a short pause during the first shelter-in-place, home sales not only picked up but stayed that way. Lin said her firm made a record high in transactions last July.
“In the third and fourth quarter of 2020, nothing slowed down and then we moved right into 2021, the first quarter was just blowing our minds away,” Lin said. “Real estate is still going really strong, we’re very fortunate in the Bay Area.”
When the pandemic began, people left the Bay Area in droves for cheaper homes, but Lin said those days are long gone.
Not only did the housing market bounce back, so did the rental market. Lin said prices for single-family homes that are for rent have crept up to pre-pandemic levels after landlords were forced to slash them last year.
“People still want to live in the Bay Area,” Lin said.
Cai said buying a home during the pandemic was the right move. He’s already seen his home value increase in just two months.