Stock market slide could impact Bay Area real estate market

The stock markets have a way of spilling over to the housing markets. Real estate experts say in uncertain times, investors turn to the housing market.

"So when there's turmoil in international markets," said UC Berkeley professor of real estate finance, Christopher Palmer. "People flee to safe havens and Bay Area real estate has long been one of those safe havens."

Palmer says the buyers are cash buyer from places like China, India, and Russia "that have a lot of turmoil in their home markets and are coming here and looking for safe assets."

According to Zillow's July Real Estate Market Report, home value appreciation is leveling off, but the Bay Area remains one of the hottest markets in the country.

"So homes are still selling pretty quickly," explained real estate broker Sam Benson of Executive Brokers in Walnut Creek. Homes in the so-called "sweet spot" in Walnut Creek, selling between $750,000 and $1 million are still selling in under 30 days, some with multiple offers.

Benson says the first-time home buyer's confidence could be more impacted by stock market fluctuations.

"A buyer that's pre-approved and ready to go may not move as quickly," Benson explained. "It may slow down their decision."

Because real estate is still about location, location, location; the Bay Area continues to fair well. Palmer says the housing outlook as a lot to do with how tech stocks ultimately shake out.

"As long as that hiring continues," Palmer said, "we're going to continue to see low inventory and multiple bids for those properties."