Diablo Valley Real Estate Market Continues to Rebound July 2020 Report

Despite the ongoing health and economic crisis precipitated by COVID-19, the Diablo Valley real estate market continued its dramatic recovery from the steep declines in March and April. The demand for high-end homes, in particular, has been extremely strong – this applies to virtually every market in the Bay Area. More affluent buyers – the demographic least affected by COVID-19, unemployment, and also having the greatest financial resources – have been jumping back into the market to a greater degree than other segments.

Depending on the statistic, these analyses will sometimes include the 3 cities of Lamorinda, or look at full-county trends.

The first chart below illustrates the substantial rebound in buyer demand in Diablo Valley, as the number of listings accepting offers in June 2020 rose well above the level of last year.

Contra Costa County ranks very high in this classic statistic of supply and demand.

Sales activity in the higher price ranges has soared.

These next 3 charts review house values from different angles: Shorter and longer-term trends in median house sales prices, and quarterly changes in average dollar per square foot value.

Average dollar per square foot value trends can be affected by a number of factors besides changes in fair market value: increases in luxury home sales, especially on larger lot sizes, differences in the average home size of sales occurring in a specific period, new home construction, and other factors as well.

Across the Bay Area, condo markets have generally been softer than house markets. It may be that prospective condo buyers – often younger and less affluent than house owners – have been more affected by the huge jump in unemployment.

Home Prices and Price Trends by City or Community
in Diablo Valley & Lamorinda

Average days on market were very low in Q2 2020.

And mortgage interest rates fell to another historic low, adding fuel to buyer demand.

Lamorinda Real Estate Market Continues Its Rebound July 2020 Report

Despite the ongoing health and economic crisis precipitated by COVID-19, the Lamorinda real estate market has staged a dramatic recovery from the steep decline in April. The median house sales price hit a new high in Q2, and high-end homes, in particular, have seen extremely strong demand – this applies to virtually every market in the Bay Area. More affluent buyers – the demographic least affected by COVID-19, unemployment, and also having the greatest financial resources – have been jumping back into the market to a greater degree than other segments.

Depending on the analysis, these charts will sometimes include Diablo Valley, or reflect the full county market.

The first chart below illustrates the big rebound in buyer demand in May and June, as the number of listings accepting offers rose above last year’s.

Contra Costa County ranks near the top of the scale in the Bay Area for the strength of buyer demand as compared to the supply of homes on the market.

The luxury home market of the greater Lamorinda-Diablo Valley region has seen an astonishing jump in sales activity.

The quantity of listings on the market has mostly recovered from the April plunge, but remains slightly lower than the level of last year.

Three angles on Lamorinda house values: Median sales price by quarter and by year (updated through 2020 YTD), and average dollar per square foot value by quarter.

Home prices by bedroom count and house-price trends in the communities of Lamorinda and Diablo Valley.

On average, sales prices in the last quarter were a tad below the asking price.

And mortgage interest rates hit yet another historic low.

Oakland-Berkeley Inner East Bay Real Estate July 2020 Report

Big rebound in market activity continues;  median house sales price hits new quarterly high. Despite the ongoing health and economic crisis precipitated by COVID-19, the real estate market made a dramatic recovery from the steep declines in March and April. The median house sales price hit a new high in Q2, and around the Bay Area, high-end homes, in particular, have seen very strong demand.

The first chart below illustrates the big rebound in buyer demand, as the number of listings accepting offers in June 2020 rose back up to normal on a year-over-year basis. Of course, closed-sales volume – a lagging indicator – was hammered in Q2 by shelter in place.

The large increase in sales activity in higher price segments is reflected in these next two charts.

2020 began with low levels of inventory, and, though increasing significantly since the April drop, remains a bit lower on a year-over-year basis.

Area house values, as measured by both median sales price and average dollar per square foot value, hit new highs in Q2.

Median house sales price trends by city: Remember that median sales price is not a perfect indicator of changes in fair market value, as it can be affected by a number of factors. Fluctuations are especially common in markets with relatively low sales volumes across a wide range of sales prices, such as in Piedmont and Kensington.

Oakland-Berkeley Inner East Bay Real Estate June 2020 Spring Market Report

Depending on the statistic, these charts will reflect trends in the Inner East Bay or for Alameda County. The Inner East Bay is comprised of the cities of Oakland, Piedmont, city of Alameda, Berkeley, Albany, Kensington, El Cerrito and Richmond.

Generally speaking, market activity – as measured by the number of listings going into contract – continued to pick up rapidly in May, bouncing back from the steep plunge following the first shelter in place orders. However, activity in May, which is typically among the busiest selling months of the year, remains well below May 2019. Still, with the easing of shelter in place, as well as the market learning to adjust to new circumstances, it is expected the recovery will continue to surge closer to normal. In fact, based on the strength of buyer demand, some analysts believe the coming months may be busier than in 2019, as sales activity that would have occurred in spring gets pushed into the summer instead.

Interest rates hit another historic low at the end of May.

Some of the more rural and suburban counties have been rebounding more quickly than counties with large urban areas (Oakland, SF, San Jose), which were most impacted by COVID-19. There may be a number of factors at work, which are discussed in a chart within this report. But it is still too soon to reach definitive conclusions about any major demographic shifts: County trends may well merge together again as the recovery continues.

Note: Any statistics derived from closed sales – such as median sales prices, sales volume and days on market – reflect the state of the market 3-6 weeks ago when the offers were negotiated and accepted. They are lagging indicators, and May closed-sales data to a large degree reflects the much softer market in April.

Diablo Valley Real Estate March 2020 Report

There is a lot going on in the world right now and we won’t pretend to know how things will turn out or affect the local real estate market over the next few months. In the meantime, this report will look at the most recent data available, though the impact of the wild volatility in the financial markets and the unfolding situation with the coronavirus has yet to show up in reliable statistics. Typically, the spring selling season is the most active of the year.

One positive for real estate is that mortgage interest rates hit a historic low in early March, as illustrated below, and rates play a huge role in housing affordability.

Home Sales Breakdown

Listings Accepting Offers by Month

Mortgage Interest Rates Hit Historic Low 

In some of the following charts, other cities outside Diablo Valley are included for either greater context, or to increase the statistical reliability of the data – generally speaking, higher numbers of sales make trend lines more reliable and less subject to meaningless fluctuations.

Short-Term & Long-Term Trends
in Median Home Sales Prices

Home Values & Statistics by City

Selected East Bay Market Indicators since 2009

Oakland-Berkeley-Richmond Real Estate March 2020 Report

There is a lot going on in the world right now and we won’t pretend to know how things will turn out or affect the local real estate market over the next few months. In the meantime, this report will look at the most recent data available, though the impact of the wild volatility in the financial markets and the unfolding situation with the coronavirus has yet to show up in reliable statistics. Typically, the spring selling season is the most active of the year.

One positive for real estate is that mortgage interest rates hit a historic low in early March, as illustrated below, and rates play a huge role in housing affordability.

Long-Term Median Home Price Trends

Generally speaking, very similar appreciation trends in the communities of this region, going back to 1996. It is true that less affluent markets experienced larger bubbles and larger crashes in 2002-2011 due to their greater exposure to subprime lending practices. However, all these cities have seen very dramatic recoveries since 2012.

We broke out Piedmont on this separate chart below because otherwise its much higher median sales price would flatten out the lines in the chart above.

Mortgage Interest Rates Hit Historic Low

Home Sales Breakdown

Home Values & Statistics by City
& Selected Neighborhoods

Selected Market Indicators

The first 2 of the next 4 charts illustrate both general market trends in demand, and the large role of seasonality on market activity.

Regarding the next 2 graphs: Since mid-2018, the Inner East Bay has generally outperformed the overall performance of the counties in which they are located, Alameda and Contra Costa. However, these are still good illustrations of general market trends over the last 10 years.