A MESSAGE FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS
The pace of the real estate market slowed in the Fourth Quarter of 2016 but the market remained healthy. The normal seasonal slowdown that occurs around the holidays paired with the uncertainty that accompanied November’s presidential election helped keep would-be buyers on the fence as 2016 came to a close. With low inventory levels holding steady and demand for homes in the East Bay remaining strong, upward pressure on home prices continues. Interest rates and mortgage rates began to climb in December and may hold back a faster uptick in buying activity as we move into 2017. However, with economic conditions looking good and buyer demand remaining high, we expect sales to remain steady with moderate price increases through the year ahead.
OAKLAND | ALAMEDA COUNTY
Demand for homes in Alameda County remained high in the fourth quarter of 2016 with buyers attracted to the area’s relative affordability compared to other Bay Area regions. Home inventory available for sale held pretty steady overall helping to fuel the continued rise in Average Sales Price (ASP) even as buyers remained patient. Single-family homes in Oakland commanded an ASP of $970,422 in Q4 2016—a 5.15% increase over the same time last year. The area’s thriving business environment, booming cultural scene and attractive location for commuters will help the market remain strong as we move into the new year.
BERKELEY | ALAMEDA COUNTY
The low inventory situation in Berkeley remained unchanged for both single-family homes and condos year-over- year. Prices continued to rise in the fourth quarter, with single-family homes ending the quarter with an average sales price of $1,235,314. Homes sold for 116% of the list price year over-year. Buyer interest remains high and has not seemed to ebb since the small increase in interest rates. The over-all health of the Berkeley real estate market is rated at 7.6 out of a possible 10 which is considered very healthy. This factor is based on 10 different indices including speed of sales, overall market values, the number of foreclosures and delinquencies and homes with negative equity.
DANVILLE | CONTRA COSTA COUNTY
Fourth Quarter 2016 brought some uncertainty about the election along with the natural, seasonal real estate market slowdown to end the year on a slow note. We did not see the flurry of activity we were expecting once the election passed. Interest rates also began to climb in December with the Fed announcing a rate hike. The stock market was on fire—usually resulting in declining Bond prices and higher mortgage rates. All of this contributed to a slowdown in the market. The average sales price for a single-family home dropped slightly from $1,259,669 in 2015 to $1,225,238 in 2016.
LAFAYETTE | CONTRA COSTA COUNTY
The theme at the beginning of the year was one of low inventory. That continued throughout the 4th quarter as well. The number of new listings for sale, pending sales and closed sales were all down from 2015, all a direct reflection on limited inventory. The average sales price dropped from $1,399,521 to $1,329,909 down 4.97.7%. The number of days a home remained on the market before a sale increased from 23 days to 33 days. Lafayette continues to be a desired destination for Buyers from all over the Bay Area and beyond so we are extremely optimistic about the market in 2017.
View the full East Bay Market Review Fourth Quarter 2016.