If you're watching the real estate market you know that the inventory of homes for sale is really low.  There are a ton of buyers that want to buy, making competition thick amongst buyers and driving prices up.  The San Francisco Bay Area, more specifically San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara County, are seeing low inventory across the board.  Entry level housing in each area is hit the hardest making it challenging for first time buyers and investors to buy without breaking the bank.

Right now through January will probably be one of the most competitive times to buy real estate in our area.  With the holiday season and a new year approaching, most sellers will continue to wait until at least February-March until they list their home for sale, forcing inventory down.  You would think more people would be selling real estate right now with prices up and all of the multiple offers we're seeing.

Move up buyers, retirees, and banks are all on the fence.  Once the move up buyers start seeing more homes available they will list their condos, townhouses, and smaller/less expensive single family homes for sale.  As we approach a new year and reach a 5-year mark from the market crash in 2008, more retirees will sell their family homes.  As for the banks... well, who knows.  The amount of foreclosures being listed for sale, on the open market anyways, have steadily tapered down since 2008.  It's unclear as to if and when banks will start releasing more of their foreclosures to the open market.