Housing crisis: East Bay sales and price trends mirror the Bay Area as a whole
The supply of single-family homes is flat or shrinking in dozens of East Bay cities. But buyer demand keeps driving sales and prices up, a new report shows.
The numbers for October, compiled by the Bay East Association of Realtors, show how the region is mirroring trends that are playing out across the Bay Area. In Fremont, for example, the home supply shrank 17 percent year-over-year in October, while sales rose 30 percent and the median sales price for a single-family house climbed 17 percent to $1,083,000.
Fremont is one of a dozen East Bay cities where the median tops $1 million. Others include Pleasanton (where the median is $1,077,375, up 6 percent year-over-year), Moraga ($1,504,000, up 25 percent) and Walnut Creek ($1,100,000, up 10 percent).
“It’s pretty tight. Properties aren’t going up and just sitting there,” said Kevin Kieffer, a Keller Williams agent in Walnut Creek. “If they go up in prime condition, they’re going pending. The homes with work needed are the only ones we see sitting a bit longer.”
At the same time, the East Bay still has significant pockets of affordability, where the median price is $500,000 or less. Pittsburg, in eastern Contra Costa County, has the region’s lowest median price for a single-family home: $430,000. But even that was up 5 percent from a year earlier.
All of this reinforces other analyses showing a steady shrinkage of affordable homes across the nine-county Bay Area. Last week, the CoreLogic real estate information service reported that only 25.5 percent of single-family homes in the nine-county region sold for $500,000 or less during the first nine months of 2017. In Santa Clara County, the share was just 9 percent. Even in “affordable” Contra Costa County, only 39 percent of single-family homes sold for $500,000 or less.
Here are a few other highlights of the new report from the Bay East Association of Realtors.
Along the 880 Corridor, October sales were up more than 20 percent from one year earlier. In Berkeley, the supply rose 12 percent, sales jumped 14 percent and the median reached $1,211,000, up 4 percent. Keep in mind that some of these monthly fluctuations can sound more dramatic than they are; for instance, that 12 percent supply increase means only that the number of homes listed in Berkeley rose from 52 in October 2016 to 58 in October 2017.
Sales were pretty much flat in West Contra Costa County, but prices rose 6 percent to a median of $557,000. In Richmond, the supply of single family homes was down 16 percent year-over-year, while sales rose 10 percent and the median price was up 5 percent to $480,000.
In Central Contra Costa County, sales climbed more than 20 percent and prices rose 14 percent. City by city, the same patterns generally played out. In Concord, the supply shrank 31 percent, sales rose 25 percent and the median price was up 8 percent to $580,000.
Lamorinda defied the pattern somewhat: The supply was up 8 percent in Orinda, where sales actually fell 23 percent while prices rose 7 percent to $1,425,000. In Lafayette, the supply shrank 22 percent, sales rose 68 percent and the median price rose 3 percent to $1,365,000.
For Lamorinda as a whole, the median price was $1,400,000 and homes took longer to sell than a year earlier: The number of days on market increased from 20 in October 2016 to 43 in 2017. David Stark, a spokesperson for the realtors’ association, suggested that the high prices “may have been a factor” in the slowing pace of sales there.
Across the Tri-Valley area, the median sales price rose 9 percent year-over-year to $1.1 million. In Danville, the inventory was down 38 percent, while sales rose 43 percent and the median price reached $1,275,000, up 6 percent.
Finally, the Delta region of eastern Contra Costa County remained a relative bargain, though prices rose year-over-year in its three most populous cities. The median price rose 12 percent year-over-year to $549,450 in Brentwood; 10 percent to $431,000 in Antioch; and, as mentioned, 5 percent to $430,000 in Pittsburg.