This photo is from the California Online Archives. Oak trees at Mosswood Park in Oakland When you buy a home you buy a piece of the street and a part of the city.
Growing up and still living in Oakland, I often run into people I know. I can see the distress on folks faces as they ask me how business is. You can't avoid all of media coverage regarding the declining real estate market. One would think that the entire real estate market has collapsed. Oddly enough my pressure-free, no nonsense approach to real estate has paid off and 2008 was a great year for my clients and I. Last month Red Oak Realty awarded me a Managers Award for 2008. So let's just look at real estate in Oakland and Berkeley. Since January 1st 2009, 326 residential properties have sold! (The first 47 days of this year) Compare this to 345 properties sold between the same time period in 2004 390 properties sold between the same time period in 2005 361 properties sold between the same time period in 2006 332 properties sold between the same time period in 2007 Only 186 properties sold between the same time period in 2008 - the start of one of our worst real estate years. To make this short, buyers are back. In Berkeley the average home price for properties that sold since January 2009 are as followed: average list price was $624,990 and the average sold price was $612,637. Sellers are getting 98% of their asking price on average. In Oakland as a whole, the average home price for properties that have sold since January 2009 are as followed: the average list price was $ 79,464 and the average sold price was $84,599.When I searched for homes in select neighborhoods of Oakland, Rockridge, Redwood Heights, Montclair, Grand Lake, Glenview, Lincoln Heights and Upper Rockridge the numbers went up drastically. The average list price was $601,102 and the average sold price was $582,941, seller are getting 97 percent of their asking price. (these statistics include condos and homes of all sizes.) So what does this all mean? Well with 743 homes currently pending, (in contract to close escrow) in Oakland and 51 homes currently pending in Berkeley, buyers are feeling like now is a great time to buy a home in Oakland and Berkeley. There are experts that say the market will drop another 8-10% in the next year as unemployment increases and more mortgage interest rates adjust, but if you are trying to "time" the real estate market perfectly, you could miss the bottom and find yourself in a market that has increased in value. Berkeley median home price actually increase by 2% for the fourth quarter in 2008.
- It looks like Congress will increase the first time home buyers credit to $8,000 from $7,500. What more, this credit will not have to be paid back!
- As stocks seem more and more volatile and the health of major companies are uncertain, real estate historically proves to be a sound investment for long term wealth.
- With the Bay Areas ideal weather, are very close commute to San Francisco and UC Berkeley in our backyard, the Bay Area will always be highly desired.
- If you are now in a position to buy a home, buy the absolute best location you can afford. Work with a reputable local Realtor who is in touch with the Oakland and Berkeley neighborhoods and understands the subtle nuances that can make a difference in future resell value.