Is it a good time to Buy or Sell?

What’s going on in the East Bay market? Is it a good time to buy, or sell? 

I hear these questions all the time. People of course want to make a move when it will be of the best benefit. Many have been sitting on the sidelines waiting, thinking they are going to be able to “time the market”. There is no one, and I do mean no one who is able to intentionally “time the market”. Some of us get lucky, and some just sit and wait. The best move is to do what is best for you, outside of what the market is doing, because none of us have a crystal ball, and no one can tell the future - even though many will claim they can (like the media). Media outlets just want to sell papers (or clicks), and bad press always gets more attention than good. Just a word to the wise, take your “news” with a grain of salt, and consider that what's happening in other parts of the country doesn't necessarily have an impact in our market.

One good note just came out of the mortgage industry. Rates have dropped over the last few days to 4%, which has caused an increase in the number of mortgage applications. Some think it is a response to the Fed saying they will note raise rates for the rest of the year. It sounds like more buyers are trying to take advantage of the lower rates to lock in a good deal while it lasts. Lower rates locked in by a fixed 30 year mortgage equals housing stability, and owning real estate is truly the only way to build generational wealth.

That said, I’ve just looked at the year over year market data for single family homes (all data provided by Bridge/MLS statistics), since I know that historical data is the best (although still not foolproof) indicator of future market behavior. What I see is this - overall market values are continuing to increase, as are inventory volumes. With prices continuing to rise and rates having just dropped - yes, it's a good time to buy. It's also a good time to sell as there are still plenty of buyers that can qualify for a mortgage and will compete to buy a quality home. 


Quantity sold increased from 562 to 584, a 4% increase, and the volume of active listings is up by about 10%. The average sale price is up about 5% at $1,373,654. 


Quantity of single family homes sold increased from 85 to 90, a 6% increase, and active listings decreased by about 6%. The average sale price also decreased by about 4% at $1,099,050.


Quantity of single family homes sold decreased by 22%, from 80 to 62. Active listings have also decreased by about 15%. The average sale price increased however by about 3%, to reach $1,225,640. 

El Cerrito: 

Quantity of single family homes sold decreased from 230 to 217, a 6% change. The volume of active listings has increased by about 2%, and average sold price increased by about 4% to reach $992,949.


Quantity of single family homes decreased from 866 to 852, about a 2% difference. The average sold price climbed 13% to $571,873, and the active listings increased by 5%.


Quantity of single family homes sold increased from 402 to 405, a slight 1%. The average sold price climbed by 6% to $1,145,826. The number of active listings has increased by a slight 1% as well. 


Quantity of single family homes sold decreased by 14% from 133 to 114. The average sold price increased by 12% to $2,470,473, and the listing volume has decreased by 9%.


The Emeryville market is considerably different as single family homes only made up 5% of sales, so I have included condos and townhomes in their data, as it is reflective of the type of market Emeryville is. The quantity of homes sold decreased about 1% from 168 to 170, with the average price increasing by 11% to $614,855, and the volume of available properties increasing by 15%.


Oakland is the largest of the cities in the East Bay and their numbers reflect same. The quantity of home sold decreased about 2% from 2679 to 2636, but the average price increased about 10% to reach $917,162, and the volume of active listings increased by just 1%.

Every neighborhood will have very specific and differing data points, as will a particular home. So, you can assume the current market will continue in this same basic trajectory unless something very drastic happens. But, even if that is the case, the Bay Area is one of the safest areas to invest in real estate; because, even if the cost to get into the market is high here, properties retain their value better and bounce back from recession faster. Be cognizant also that in some of the smaller communities represented here, percentages can be deceiving as a smaller data sample will be skewed by the particular properties - one may be a spectacular mansion and another a run-down fixer.

If you'd like a no-obligation, realistic evaluation of your property based on all the available data, including condition and amenities; or if you'd like expert advise on how to get the best return on your investment when you sell, please call, text or email me: Terri White (415) 238-7293; 

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