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Home Truths: The East Bay real estate market is firing on all cylinders

This home in Berkeley sold for $1,050,000 in July 2018. $1M is now the median price of a home in the East Bay. Photo: Courtesy Red Oak Realty

Home Truths, a quarterly report on the state of the Berkeley real estate market, is brought to you by Red Oak Realty.

For the first time ever, the median price of a home in the East Bay reached $1,000,000.

It’s an impressive milestone. Real estate prices in the inner East Bay have been rising consistently for the past seven years, and in the second quarter of 2018 they climbed another 9% compared to the previous year.

Homes in the inner East Bay — which consists of Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, Kensington, Oakland and Piedmont — are selling at a record average of 17.4% above list price. What’s more, homes are on the market for an average of just 21 days, nearly flat with last year’s record-breaking 20-day average.

Median sale price of single family homes by quarter. Source: Red Oak Realty — Click on chart to enlarge

Despite the rising prices and competitive market, buyers are buying homes in increasing numbers: 26% more homes were listed for sale over the first half of 2018 than in the same time period last year, which does not reflect the decreasing inventory levels that many other regions of the the country are facing. As a result, the number of sales in the East Bay increased 16% compared to last year.

Only 9% of homes sold were under the $500,000 price mark in Q2 2018 compared to 56% in Q2 2012, just six years ago. Conversely, 90% of homes sold above $1 million. And, while buyers may be exhausted from the pace of the market, they are still willing to compete for the right property.

Single family homes sold by price range. Source: Red Oak Realty — Click on chart to enlarge

Despite the intense competition for  real estate in the East Bay, it remains one of the more affordable regions in the Bay Area. For example, the median price for a three-bedroom home in Palo Alto was nearly $3 million; in San Francisco $1.6 million; in Mill Valley $1.5 million; and in Berkeley, $1.3 million.

Looking forward to the fall, expect to see a new wave of listings hit the market around Labor Day. However, the market will likely remain tight as buyers come back from vacation, ready to compete for homes that show — and are priced — right. If you are looking for a property that precisely meets your needs, the Fall may very well be the time.

Home Truths is written and sponsored by Red Oak Realty, one of the largest independent real estate brokers in the East Bay, serving the community since 1976. Read more in this series. If you are interested in learning more about the local real estate market or are considering buying or selling a home, contact Red Oak at hello@redoakrealty.com, tel: 510-250 8780.