When we bring you our monthly housing statistics, we also look at interesting facts and outliers to show trends that you may wish to use in your strategy of finding or selling a home. This month we found a trend about waiting and being patient.

The Facts

Since July 1, 2016, 166 houses sold in Berkeley. The majority (135 homes or 81%) sold in twenty days or less. Here is how patience is rewarded: if you wait to see which homes are on the market for 21 days or longer, the competition virtually disappears. The homes that were on the market for more than 21 days, sold for an average of 99% of the list price, but the homes that sold in less than 21 days sold for an average of 121% of the list price.

The homes may have took longer to sell because they started at too high of a list price.  Yet the numbers still reflect a relative savings:

<21 days = median price of $925,000, with homes averaging 1,981 square feet in size.

<21 days = $1,087,400, with 1400 square feet.

The difference in the homes that sell quickly is $705.27/square feet versus only $613.80/ square feet for the houses that sat a little longer. The savings is a hefty 13%.


Search Tip For Homebuyers

Buyers should revisit homes on the market for 21+ days, as there may be lower price opportunities there available at that time. Make a lower offer! Take a second look, even if you have already been to the first open house. If the available homes are not bid up that extra 21%, you may be able to afford to fix “the thing” you didn’t like when you first saw it hit the market.


Buyers can also look in a higher price point at the properties that have been on the market for 21+ days, as they don’t have to brace for competition.  If you are looking at quickly moving popular properties, we recommend you look 20% below what you can afford in order to be competitive.  If you pay attention to the properties that missed the initial offer date, you can bump the search bracket back up to reflect your affordability.

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Sellers-Heads Up Here

What the above facts also tell us for people selling their homes, is that when a home is priced correctly THE FIRST TIME by taking the listing agents advice on market conditions that the home would sell quicker for a better price in the current market.

Real Life Example:

Recently, a home on Summit Road was on the market for 36 days and sold for 103% of the list price (countered up due to seller expectations). The buyers got a deal at $499/ sq. ft.


“My clients who bought Summit needed more space than the 750 square foot place they had in the flats”, stated Romney O’Connell, Realtor with Berkeley Hills Realty. “They asked me months ago whether I thought they could get significantly more space in Berkeley and stay under a million.  In my endless optimism I said “yes” but explained to my clients that it would be a needle in a haystack and you’ll have to make two concessions:  you’ll have to look in the hills and you’ll have to know it will need work.  They were OK with cosmetic work.  As it turned out, my clients were patient and we found the needle. Together we stayed plugged into the new homes coming on and to things they had already seen during their search.  We waited for the deals and I helped them imagine the potential in the homes that seemed unappealing to others.”

Local Housing Market Update:

According to statistics provided by Trulia the housing market in the East Bay is still on the rise in terms of pricing.

Berkeley Home Prices October (Chart from Altos Research)

Berkeley Home Prices October (Chart from Altos Research)

For Berkeley the median price for single-family homes is $1,030,00, a 12.6% increase year over year from October 2015 to 2016.

Oakland Median Price October (Chart by Altos Research)

Oakland Median Price October (Chart by Altos Research)

For Oakland the median price for single-family homes is $607,500, which is an 8.9% increase year over year.

In contrast to the double-digit gains during the past year in Oakland and Berkeley, El Cerrito saw a -1.0% in its single family housing prices.

Interesting to note in both Berkeley and Oakland is that rental prices are starting to decrease and number of rentals available are increasing, possibly due to the continued record breaking low interest rates driving renters into the housing market.

To learn more about the market in the neighborhoods you may be searching or for further tips and information about listing your home, please call us today at Berkeley Hills Realty at (510) 524-9888.