Adding Value to Your East Bay Home And Helping The Housing Crunch

As you know, the East Bay is dealing with a lack of available housing and plans for high rise developments in the downtown areas of Oakland and other East Bay cities will only slightly be able to alleviate the need. Opportunities for individual homeowners to build ADU (accessory dwelling units) on their properties is gaining popularity as a way to increase the “infill” housing stock AND as an avenue for homeowners to create a passive income stream, add to the value of their homes right in their own backyards and create lifestyle flexibility. Read More

Media Reports Oakland As A Cold Market – Berkeley Hills Says No

According to a recent San Jose Mercury News article and the source article in RealtyHop, Oakland was on the bottom ten of a “market health report” showing that nationally, homes are selling for 4.98% less than asking price, making Oakland one of the four Bay Area cities ranked as “the coldest” in the US. Berkeley Hills pulled the housing statistics for Oakland from January 1 to December 31, 2019, and according to the MLS, Berkeley Hills sees that the median price for a home in Oakland averaged $804,762 with homes selling for 111.83% above asking price. That would hardly make it a “cold market”. If you look at the data the media is reporting, Berkeley is bucking a national trend of homes in major metropolitan areas getting anywhere from 8 to 2% LESS than asking price. According to the Multiple Listing Service in Berkeley, the average LIST price for a single-family home for December 2019 is $1,296,348, while the average SALES price is $1,296,346, which is 114.89% of the list price. Further proving that Berkeley and Oakland are far from cold markets, the average days on the market also beat most other national housing markets with homes sitting on the market for only 22 days in Berkeley and 25 in Oakland. 2020 Market Trends  Tracy Sichterman, Broker Owner, Berkeley Hills Realty states, “The market has seemed brisk with more inventory than we usually have in November and December which is good for buyers.  Don’t take too much time off from your search for the holidays as we are expecting a boon of listings in January.” An analysis from real estate site Zillow predicts home values will rise by about 2.2% in 2020. One reason for the tightening market: “underbuilding” of new housing stock because of higher labor and land costs, according to a statement from the National Association of Home Builders. Buyers use caution and an experienced agent when assessing “fixer properties” in this market as contractor costs have also skyrocketed. A steady drop in the 30-year mortgage rate to about 3.8% last month from 4.9% just a year ago is stoking demand, helped by a cut in lending rates throughout 2019 by the Federal Reserve to sidestep the threats of a potential recession stemming from a slumping global economy and the uncertainties about a trade war with China. Lower lending rates mean it’s less expensive to finance a 30-year mortgage. Lower financing costs can make it easier for buyers to handle higher home prices. Asked about where she sees the trend of the market heading into 2020, Sichterman points to some of the recent mergers and acquisitions in the real estate market. “Berkeley Hills Realty is still your local small independent and you can count on our long-standing history in the East Bay market to provide the information you need to make smart buying and selling decisions.” Read More

4 Reasons Why You Should Buy A Home In The East Bay Now

So you have had your eye on buying a home in the East Bay and living the eclectic, good life. But you may be wondering if NOW is the time to make the leap. Waiting until now may actually have been a good thing as the spring market in the Bay Area is always the busiest and when you have more people looking, sellers can call the shots. Read More

East Bay Housing Market Softens – Should You Sell Now?

After the longest economic expansion on record, there are signs that the economy is shifting and the housing market in the East Bay is softening. Data from Altos Research, who tracks the real estate market in real time, showed homes over $1.3 million are sitting on the market longer and more inventory in the upper price range is appearing on the market. The Federal Reserve lowered the interest rates last week for the first time in ten years making home financing more affordable.  Trade wars are impacting the availability and pricing of construction building materials for homes across the country. Is this the time to sell or hang on until the spring 2020 market? Read More

How Does A Design Renovation Affect Your Listing Price?

You walk into your parents East Bay home and have decided with them that now is the time to sell. You may be thinking the parquet floors, oak bannister, olive colored bathroom fixtures and worn carpets won’t show well when it comes time to list. You may be thinking, ‘What should I do to renovate the rooms to get the most value when I list the home?’ Read More

Rightsize Your Lifestyle By Downsizing Your East Bay Home

Is now the time to consider downsizing (or rightsizing) from a large home to a smaller home? Do you have rooms in your home that you have not seen in months because it’s just the two of you left since the kids moved out? Is now the time to get that beach home or move closer to a walkable lifestyle?  Are you considering a simpler life? Minimalism is a goal for many who wish for a more meaningful existence with less stress. Is now the time to say goodbye to a large garden, extra square footage and looming house repairs? Read More

Will IPO Boom Affect East Bay Real Estate Market?

You may have recently read the New York Times or watched the local news, proclaiming “The IPOs are coming, the IPOs are coming!” with dire predictions that home prices in San Francisco and then the East Bay could jump by 50% with thousands of newly minted millionaires ready to pay cash for San Francisco condos and luxury homes in suburban neighborhoods. Read More

Berkeley Hills Hits Wire Fraud Threat Head On

Wire fraud in real estate is one of the fastest growing cybercrimes in the country. The FBI reportedly received 301,580 complaints in 2017 and losses exceeded $1.4 billion, and in the real estate/rental sector alone, more than 9,600 victims lost over $56 million in the same year. Read More

Berkeley-Oakland Real Estate Market Update

The California Association of Realtors just released their 2018 mid-year housing report and the good news is that they don’t see any surprises coming for the time being and state “Steady as she goes” for the state of California’s real estate market. They point to the fact that we seem to be in an “economic sweet spot” with 2.2% GDP and 1.0% consumption for for first quarter 2018. For May 2018, national unemployment is at 3.8% and job growth is at 1.6%. Interesting to note, that the East Bay has the lowest unemployment rate in 19 years with San Francisco at 2.4%, the second lowest in California, with San Mateo figures hitting 2.2%. Read More
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