The housing story in the East Bay for March continues to be one of low inventory, high demand and houses selling for more than asking price.


Berkeley: A bright spot in the Berkeley housing market for buyers? According to Altos Research, the Market Action Index for Berkeley is showing that demand is tapering down to show a sizzling seller’s market and not a RED HOT seller’s market as it appeared on their charts in July 2016. However, reports of homes getting forty offers, with sales vs list price hitting 20-25% over asking is still occurring in the Berkeley market. Good news? A few more properties ARE coming on the market, pushing inventory levels up to around 30.

Berkeley Housing Stats
Total Listings Price Range Avg. Price Size Range Avg. Size Avg. Price / Sq. Ft.
175 Low: $499,000
High: $7,500,000
$1,325,215 Low: 773 sq. ft.
High: 19,354 sq. ft.
2,664 sq. ft. $498 per sq. ft.

Oakland: Just as is the case in Berkeley, Oakland hit a high for market activity last July. We are bouncing out of the low in December to steadily increasing inventory, which provides more options for buyers in the market as we head into spring. However, average days on the market are plummeting, starting at 83 in December and falling to 50 as of March 5th, according to the real time data by Altos Research. This means buyers are definitely out making offers and scooping up homes.

Oakland Housing Stats
Total Listings Price Range Avg. Price Size Range Avg. Size Avg. Price / Sq. Ft.
426 Low: $399,000
High: $4,500,000
$822,842 Low: 750 sq. ft.
High: 9,724 sq. ft.
1,856 sq. ft. $443 per sq. ft.

According to the Trulia Trend Report for Berkeley, median sales price is holding relatively steady at $1 million for the median price (although recent reports of listings going for over asking price have not appeared yet on the charts) and sales are down, which is due to lack of inventory, not buyer demand. Oakland is following a similar trend line with the median price at $600k (a 10% increase year over year) and sales falling as inventory falls.

The inclement weather the Bay Area has been experiencing for the past few months may have hampered potential sellers from placing their homes on the market. With Spring approaching in a few weeks and warmer weather ahead, there may be a jump in more homes on the market. Patience is key and revisiting homes that have sat on the market the longest could be a strategic play for buyers, as those homes have not gotten the multiple offers other homes have experienced driving up the purchase price by thousands of dollars.


For homeowners considering selling soon, we have found that thoughtful staging and creating a great story around the home for marketing, draws the best offers, even in a hot market where many sellers think just putting a sign in the yard is enough.
Berkeley Hills Realty is available to provide buyers in depth information about the surrounding towns and cities of the East Bay and can offer complimentary comparative market analysis reports for your home.