A MESSAGE FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS
Demand for homes in the East Bay remains high with inventory shortages relative to demand persisting in 2017 putting upward pressure on sales prices. Sellers continue to report receiving multiple offers on their properties, indicating a strong “Sellers” market. Mortgage interest rates have been fluctuating up and down even though the Federal Reserve has raised rates twice in the last six months. Rates as of this writing are at 4% for a 30 year fixed mortgage. All indications are that we will see at least one or two additional rate increases this year, but economists are predicting a repeat of last year when it comes to the number of properties being bought and sold. The Bay Area real estate market is still outpacing the rest of the country in transactions and prices. We expect inventory levels to rise as we move into spring bringing some relief to waiting buyers.
OAKLAND | ALAMEDA COUNTY
Oakland remains a prime destination for those looking to find a more affordable option in the Bay Area real estate market. The total number of single-family homes sold in the first quarter of 2017 was up 16.1% year-over-year with the main factor keeping the market from even greater growth being the continued constraint on available inventory. Homes are moving quickly and with an average sales price of $991,134 for the quarter, the lure of a Bay Area home priced under $1M in close proximity to a thriving urban center keeps demand for this region high.
BERKELEY | ALAMEDA COUNTY
The first quarter of 2017 started off slow with only 25 single-family homes available for sale in January and only 17 sales. February brought increased activity and by the end of March there were 50 homes for sale and 44 sales. The average days on the market (DOM) declined as the quarter progressed ending Q1 with an average 22 DOM. The average sales price rose 17.5% year-over-year to $1.26M with homes in the $1M to $1.5M price range accounting for almost 50% of all sales. Interest rates remain low, new loan programs are emerging making it easy for buyers to buy but there is still not enough inventory to satisfy buyer demand so the upward pressure on price continues.
DANVILLE | CONTRA COSTA COUNTY
The Danville real estate market started the year off on a roller coaster with inventory levels going up and down throughout the first quarter. Average days on market were down 14.3% from Q1 2016 to an average of 30 days on market for the first quarter with the short 19 days on market in March a reflection of just how quickly buyers react to any availability. This is a great sign for those who are thinking of selling or need to sell. Homes posted an average sales price of $1.3M for the first quarter.
LAFAYETTE | CONTRA COSTA COUNTY
The number of homes available for sale is still at historic lows creating a great opportunity for sellers to obtain the most money for their properties. Rumblings are that we will see an uptick in inventory in the coming months with industry stagers, contractors and escrow and title companies busily gearing up for a spring inventory increase. Single-family homes in Lafayette commanded an average sales price of $1.6M in the first quarter. Average days on the market before a sale fell from 37 to 20 days compared to the same time last year. For those contemplating listing their home, this is a perfect time to take advantage of favorable market conditions.
View the full San Francisco East Bay Market Summary First Quarter 2017.