National and even international economic issues will influence real estate in Pleasanton during 2020 -- to a point.
Nancie Allen, 2019 president of the Bay East Association of Realtors, explained that while economic forecasters seem to be split on whether the U.S. economy is entering a recession, even if the economy turns, it may not significantly impact Pleasanton.
"While hearing from some economists that 'the recession is coming,' may give buyers some pause, others may jump in knowing they are planning on staying for quite a few years," Allen said. "That helps make home ownership somewhat recession-proof. "
Compared with the last recession and housing crisis, which resulted in short-sales and foreclosures, Allen said, "We're not going to see in the housing market what we saw the last time because a lot of that was driven by the types of loans people had which were easy to get into and easy to get out of. We're not seeing those loans anymore."
"The stock market has been very unpredictable, and we don't know what's going on with the trade wars," Allen said. "Buyers are still waiting to see what's going to happen. Interest rates are fantastic for buyers and that gives them more purchase power."
Home sale prices stabilized and the number of days a home was on the market increased throughout 2019. Both are signs of buyers flexing their buying power.
Homeowners considering selling in 2020 may need to adjust their expectations: particularly when it comes to sales prices.
"Sellers are realizing that if they had sold a couple of years ago, they could have made more money. Even though prices have remained stable during 2019, they are still at historically high levels so it still makes sense to sell," Allen said.
Limited buying opportunities for sellers will drive their decision-making process during 2020. "Sellers still need to figure out that if they sell, where will they go to buy," Allen said.
For homeowners staying in Pleasanton, Allen recommended thinking strategically before starting any home improvement projects. She questioned the value of a major kitchen or bathroom remodel in the current real estate market, specifically to prepare a home for sale.
"If you're planning to sell within a year, I typically wouldn't suggest putting big money into a remodel. If homeowners are planning to stay put for four to six years, it does make sense to do some remodeling and be able to enjoy those improvements," Allen added.
While sales prices in Pleasanton flattened during 2019 and are predicted to remain stable during 2020, Allen observed that home ownership is still attractive, saying:
"Pleasanton continues to be a really desirable area because of the schools and the amenities. Pleasanton is a great place to live and work."