While we saw so much change in 2018 on so many levels, and while no one has a crystal ball (oh how I wish I did!), I do want to share the 510 East Bay residential real estate market trends I’m seeing. So here is my take, as we start off the new year. I’ve also checked out this assessment with some of my fabulous Red Oak Realty colleagues, and we all seem to more or less agree on the following. That said, please take this, as with any observations or predictions, with a healthy grain of salt:
- Every city in the East Bay is performing a little bit differently, but all within the same vein, which is to say that basically while appreciation seems to have slowed somewhat, it has NOT stopped, and we don’t really expect it to stop in 2019. 2020 may see some moderate dip in prices if something like a recession comes to pass, but overall, we regard the market as trending away from the white hot “seller’s market” of the last 4-5 years, towards a more balanced market, with buyers enjoying perhaps a little more negotiating power than before.
- We expect home pricing to move closer to real market value than before, but for now, we are seeing homes being priced all over the place – high, low, and everything in between!
- There are still some really lovely pockets of affordability, such as in West Contra Costa County, and with the arrival of the Richmond – San Francisco Ferry (which kicked off on January 10), there is an opportunity for buyers who work in San Francisco to purchase a home at a somewhat more affordable price, and experience the joy commuting to work by ferry (I had this commute over a decade ago, from Alameda to SF, and it was the best!).
- Inventory right now is low, but expected to begin to ramp up to more or less normal levels by February/March.
- Interest rates are still low, with a welcome recent drop to an average rate of 4.55%, but rates are expected to continue their slow trend upward, and so buyers should just be aware that with each percentage rise in interest rate their purchase power decreases by roughly $100K (based on a purchase price in the $600 – $700K range).
- Everyone is still trying to make sense of the new tax laws, so expect that April may be a somewhat slower month in terms of sales as all that gets sorted out…
That’s all the news I have at the moment. Interested to learn more? Contact me with questions, or for a no obligation meet and greet.