Fire Season Is Underway – Resources to Protect Your Home and Loved Ones in the East Bay

East Bay residents are still reeling from a horrific wildfire season where since the beginning of the year, there have been over 8,100 wildfires which have burned well over 3.8 million acres in California. Everyone is now very familiar with the term AQI and most likely have personal photos of orange skies and red sunsets. 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

Continued Strong Market In East Bay Has Pros and Cons

As Berkeley Hills Realty has noted before, the solid economy, mixed with strong job growth combined with desirability of the East Bay combine forces for a continued strong market. Read More

Fire Insurance Threatened In Berkeley Hills

As we head into October, thoughts turn to another anniversary of the Berkeley Hills firestorm of 1991. Did you know that another conflagration consumed over 584 homes in the Berkeley Hills during a blaze that started on September 17, 1923 and originated in Wildcat Canyon? 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

Point Richmond Offers New Quick Commute to SF and Skyline Views

San Francisco Bay view? Check. 35 minute commute to San Francisco. Check.  307 acre park with running and biking trails? Check. Real estate under a mil? Check. 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

2019 East Bay Market Update – Cooling Trend Approaches

Here we are on the brink of the spring sales market in the East Bay and many would be homebuyers and potential sellers are thinking, “Is now the time to make the move?” To help you with that decision, we wrote the following post using the recently released California Association of Realtors 2019 Housing Report and provided the highlights and local information from the report below. Read More

East Bay Affordable Housing Resources

You won’t see the words “affordable housing” and “East Bay real estate” together very often. As you are aware, this reality is due to the immense desire for homes in the entire Bay Area. However,  many regional cities and the state of California have programs and grants to try and help first time home buyers, teachers, vets, people with disabilities, and other members of society who make a city work for everyone, able to purchase a home. Read More
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