A substantial portion of Q1 statistics reflect new listings and accepted offers occurring during the mid-winter market doldrums (Thanksgiving to mid-January). In November and December 2018, the stock market plunged drastically from its all-time high in September, and interest rates hit their highest point in years: these factors negatively affected buyer demand. Then both turned in dramatically positive directions in early 2019. So, Q1 statistics reflect economic conditions in both Q4 2018 (very negative) and Q1 2019 (very positive). It is also the quarter with the lowest sales volume.
The spring selling season – whose data starts to show up in March, but is mostly reflected in Q2 – is the most active of the year, and has often seen high rates of appreciation. As always, there are many economic factors at play impacting Bay Area markets, some of which are discussed below.