Friday, January 21, 2011

East Bay Real Estate Market in a Minute

“…there will be some tremendous opportunities in the housing market for first-time buyers, investors, long-time owners and international buyers. These opportunities will pave the way to recovery in 2012 and beyond.”
--Carmen Hirciag, California Association of Realtors, December 2010

The East Bay continues to be one of the most stable real estate markets in the state. But, performance varies greatly neighborhood by neighborhood and sometimes block by block. In Alameda County, median home prices are up slightly from last year with the city of Berkeley pulling up the curve. On the other hand, Contra Costa County’s median price is down 10.3%, with the city of El Cerrito down over 18%. Prices are down in many areas and time on the market has increased.

Sales volume is down throughout much of the East Bay. Some Homeowners are waiting for a market recovery before selling their home. True market recovery will take time. Waiting for the return of 2005 values can sideline a Seller’s plans. “Nostalgic pricing” can hurt the final price and further increase time on the market. Life involves change, and if those changes include the sale of your home, sales are still strong in much of Berkeley, Oakland, Albany, Kensington and El Cerrito. Proper pricing and presentation can elicit greater buyer interest.

As for Bay Area Buyers: Our area continues to be a desirable landing spot. With a projected market recovery, historically low interest rates, ample inventory and low prices, now may be the time to invest in California real estate. Because lender financing is more challenging than in the past, it is wise to plan on spending at least seven years in your first home (up from an average 3-5 years).

Berkeley Hills Realty has long been recognized as one of the market leaders in East Bay real estate. Founded as Berkeley Realty, the firm has more than fifty years of experience with residential properties in Oakland, Berkeley, Albany, Kensington, Piedmont, El Cerrito, and Emeryville. For more information, call 510-524-9888 or visit the firm’s web site at

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