Real estate experts and Bay Area residents alike saw a whirlwind of activity in the housing market during 2013. Intense bidding wars and rapid-fire cash investments all correlated to the largest price increases that the Bay Area real estate market has seen in a long time. However, we are looking ahead to calmer markets in 2014 - a boon to potential homebuyers. San Jose Mercury News says, "there will be more homes to choose from, fewer bidding wars and less worries about spiraling prices."Potential sellers, don't worry - this is good news for you too! Although you may not have buyers snapping up your homes as fast as before, the buyers who DO come are more likely to have more equity for down payments. Be aware though; interest rates are on the rise and appreciation will eventually level off, so don't wait too long to put your house on the market.Trulia economist Jed Kolko is predicting that this will be the year of the "repeat buyer" - people who already own a home, but who can take advantage of the appreciation to sell their current home and buy a new one. Unfortunately, first-time buyers will face the biggest challenges in this new housing market as interest rates shoot up towards 5% and prices in the Bay Area remain high. Don't give up hope though! Stan Humphries, chief economist for Zillow, predicts that we will see more construction and more homes for sale. Some of the more affordable areas like East Bay will likely see additional sales growth this year, and buyers all over the Bay Area will experience less competition from investors.Another trend that experts see for 2014 is the "globalization" of the housing market in San Francisco and the surrounding areas. International buyers are approaching the Silicon Valley area to find private residences that can give them a greater value and increased security than opportunities in their home countries.No matter what your plans for home ownership are, you can take advantage of the calmer climate of the housing market this year. With a more level playing field, there is something for everyone! Please contact me if you are interested in buying or selling a home in the Silicon Valley area, or if you just want to learn more about the current market.