Lamorinda Real Estate – 2021 Market Begins

Our January report focused mostly on 2020’s annual statistics. This report will put most of its attention on quarterly and monthly indicators, which better illustrate changes occurring as 2020 progressed and 2021 began: pre-pandemic to initial pandemic crash through the subsequent market recovery.

In January, as is the norm, the number of new listings coming on market started to climb from the typical December, annual low point. Closed sales volume in January was way up – approximately 48% higher than in January 2020.

The table below reflects market statistics and values for Q4 2020 only, which will often be different than those for the full year 2020. Median sales values can fluctuate for a number of reasons, and are especially prone to do so in markets with low sales volumes, and wide ranges in home prices.

Note that it is not unusual for more expensive markets to have softer supply and demand statistics – such as higher average days on market figures, and lower percentages of listings accepting offers within the period – though this is not always the case.

Throughout the county, generally low inventory levels of listings on the market have played a large role in the heat of the market. Listing activity has simply not kept pace with buyer demand.

Month by month, year-over-year comparison of home sales volumes – illustrating the initial pandemic crash in activity followed by the market rebound that saw monthly sales volumes climb far above the levels of the previous year. January 2021 saw approximately 48% higher sales than January 2020.

The next chart compares the year-over-year change in sales for Contra Costa homes selling for over and under $2 million. Sales in the higher price segment saw a huge jump, while sales under $2 million saw a very small increase. Neither statistic does justice to the rapid acceleration in market activity occurring in the second half of the year.

The big surge in high-price home sales was a common dynamic around most of the Bay Area, but especially pronounced in Lamorinda.

The 3 classic market indicators following all tell the same story of a market heating up very dramatically in the second half of 2020.

Two of the factors behind the housing market recovery were the dramatic drop in interest rates, and the significant rebound in the stock market – especially in the stock prices of some of our local high-tech giants.

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