2015 Q1 Area Real Estate Report

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CONTRA COSTA COUNTY

The first quarter of 2015 started slow in Pacific Union’s Contra Costa County region, but real estate activity picked up significantly during March, including a steady increase in the number of homes on the market. Nonetheless, buyers continued to outnumber available properties, meaning that many homes received multiple offers. In some neighborhoods, sales prices topped asking prices by 10 percent or more.

Homes sold more quickly than in recent quarters, so buyers needed to have their financing in order and act fast in order to close a deal. The average sales price continued to rise throughout the quarter, and sometimes appraisals became a problem, as lending institutions failed to keep pace with current market prices.

Looking Forward: We expect to see more inventory hit the market in the coming months, as sellers realize that 2015 may mark a high point for prices. The region’s attractive homes and excellent schools continue to draw buyers – aided in no small way by low interest rates and a booming Bay Area economy. The market remains difficult for first-time buyers, but otherwise all signs point to a healthy and busy spring and summer.

Defining Contra Costa County: Our real estate markets in Contra Costa County include the cities of Alamo, Blackhawk, Danville, Diablo, Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda, Pleasant Hill, San Ramon, and Walnut Creek. Sales data in the report charts includes single-family homes in these communities

EAST BAY

The first quarter of 2015 started slowly in Pacific Union’s East Bay region but picked up speed as the quarter progressed and an exceptionally tight supply of homes gradually eased. Meanwhile, there was no shortage of buyers in the region, and the market seemed more competitive than ever. Nearly 90 percent of homes garnered multiple offers by the end of March, and anxious buyers offered far above asking prices to secure a property. In some neighborhoods, sales prices were 40 percent above asking prices.

The inventory of available homes has been constrained in the East Bay for several years now, yet it dropped even further in the first quarter from one year ago, with the number of new listings unable to keep pace with buyer demand. The most popular neighborhoods for buyers were those that score high on walkability ratings and are close to BART stations.

Looking Forward: We expect to see a strong supply of homes coming on the market in the second quarter, and reports that home stagers have been busy in the final weeks of March seem to confirm that optimism. There should be no shortage of buyers in the East Bay in the coming months.