Public health orders related to real estate activities started with real estate being deemed not an essential business in March to an essential business with significant restrictions in April. These orders and the overall shelter-in-place orders have resulted in a 40% decline in the supply of new listings during April.

These restrictions have been further relaxed starting in May. We are now allowed to show a listing by appointment if no one else (i.e. occupants) are on the premises. Open houses are still prohibited.

Effective May 4th, San Mateo and Santa Clara county public health orders allow service providers that enable necessary real estate transactions (including rentals, leases, and home sales) including, but not limited to, real estate agents, escrow agents, notaries, and title companies, provided that appointments and other real estate viewings must only occur virtually or, if a virtual viewing is not feasible, by appointment with no more than two visitors at a time residing within the same household or living unit and one individual showing the unit (except that in-person visits are not allowed when an occupant is present in a residence). SCC 4/29/20 para 16.f.x

On a related note, our multiple listing service is reinstating the Days on Market counter. It had been put on hold starting March 17 resulting in the days on market not increasing for Active listings. The counter will once again begin accumulating days as of May 16th.

These are good steps towards reopening our local real estate market. I suspect some buyers will remain on the sidelines until the Bay Area counties remove shelter-in-place orders, hopefully in June. Buyers looking to make the move sooner-than-later, for example to get into the right schools, are able to take advantage of more buyer-friendly market conditions.


Shelter-in-Place rules for Real Estate