Market Report: October Home Prices Surge, Plus “OMG!” Sales Stories
Remember last October, when we were going gaga over the supercharged pandemic real estate market in the East Bay? Well, fast-forward to this October, when we saw median home sale prices were STILL surging.
Where it stops, nobody knows.
Even in cities where the number of homes sold had slipped, prices still rose. Castro Valley, for example, experienced one of the biggest year-over-year price hikes, with the median sales price for detached single-family homes jumping 32% from $970,000 to nearly $1.3 million. Oakland’s median rose 26%, from $950,000 to $1.2 million.
Why? Because conditions haven’t changed much in the last year:
- Demand for homes remains high.
- Inventory is low.
- Mortgage interest rates are still awesomely attractive with a national average of 3.09% at the time of this writing, according to our friends at JVM Lending.
Simply put, hundreds of hopeful buyers are competing for a limited supply of homes for sale and driving up prices. It’s the perfect recipe for home-selling success – and home-buying stress. (Hey, hopeful buyers, we won’t sugarcoat it for you, but we will guide you through it!)
“OMG!” Sales Stories
Just for fun, let’s peek inside last month’s most notable home sales and imagine where we’d live if we had an extra $1 million (or $5 million) burning a hole in our pocket…
Cost $10,000 to build in 1910. Sold for $5M in 2021
2729 Elmwood Ave., Berkeley
6 bed | 5.5 bath | 5432 sq. ft.
Days on market before offer accepted: 10
From the MLS: “Recently featured in Architectural Digest (September 2021) as a sophisticated example of modern sustainability, 2729 Elmwood is an architectural masterpiece in the heart of the coveted Elmwood. Originally known as the Cairns House, and designed by renowned architect Walter J. Ratliff, the 5432 square foot, 6BD/5.5BA Beaux Arts and Crafts home is the essence of 1920s elegance blended with modern convenience. The personal residence of distinguished NYC architects, the home has undergone an MN Builders +/- $1.5M modern renovation that thoughtfully honors Ratcliff’s original work, retaining the arts and crafts detailing that blends sumptuously with stylish modern updates including a sleek chef’s kitchen with breakfast room and butler’s pantry, opulent modern baths, smart technologies, and a robust state-of-the-art solar and Tesla Powerwall battery system.” Read more in this SF Gate article.
$1.45 million over asking price in Oakland Hills
5869 Estates Dr., Oakland
5 bed | 4.5 bath | 4,976 sq. ft.
Days on the market when offer accepted: 8
From the MLS: “Nestled on a ridge on the eastern edge of the Piedmont border sits 5869 Estates, a modern showpiece with unobstructed views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges. The abundance of natural light is magnified by dramatic ceilings, oversized doors, gallery hallways, and Fleetwood pocket sliding doors. White oak floors and an open floor plan maintain a sense of warmth and equilibrium. Enjoy the library, wine cellar, professional kitchen, sauna, and sensuous bathrooms. The downslope lot has been lovingly landscaped with rose & citrus trees, bamboo and native plantings complementing the ancient oak and redwood trees. Large decks surround the home complemented by a two-way fireplace, soaking tub, terraced gardens & custom designed putting green.”
Historic Berkeley Craftsman sells for 54% over list price
5 The Uplands, Berkeley
4 bed | 4.5 bath | 3,076 sq. ft.
Days on market when offer accepted: 22
From the MLS: “WOW! What a transformation! Historic 1911 Craftsman now Designer Showcase. Artistic upgrades, bold materials. Just steps to Elmwood, Rockridge. Slice-of-life setting across from Claremont Ave Star Market. Chef’s Kitchen: 13’ marble island, Subzero, Wolf range, striking brass hood. Wine cellar/storage accessed thru recessed hatch door in kitchen floor. Bells and whistles throughout! LR retractable screen/projector, Surround Sound, 2-car garage, electric car charging port. Primary Suite boasts luxurious marble BA, sunroom office, walk-in closet. Third floor offers 4th BR/office, 4th full BA, family rm. Large lot landscaped w/ fun outdoor spaces: fountain, patios, deck, fully fenced.”
Architectural award-winner in Orinda gets $1.2M over asking
64 Camino Encinas, Orinda
4 bed | 3 bath | 2,450 sq. ft.
Days on market when offer accepted: 9
From the MLS: “This single-level, award-winning home is located approximately a half-mile from Orinda’s Theater Square. Custom built with 2,450± Sq. Ft. of living space, this modern home showcases hardwood floors, soaring ceilings, walls of glass with inspiring views of towering oaks, redwoods and the natural woodland terrain, and a seamless indoor/outdoor flow from most every room. The great room includes a Chef’s kitchen with Bluestar, Thermador and Bosch appliances and dual islands. The dining and living room areas enjoy a beautiful dual-sided fireplace and floor to ceiling window walls immersing the home in nature. The 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms include a primary retreat with a spa-inspired ensuite bathroom detailed with marble accents, dual shower heads, a large soaking tub, and a dual-sink vanity. The .40± Acre lot includes a level backyard with multiple patio areas, a lush lawn and raised flower beds. Ideally located near to BART, HWY 24 & top-rated Orinda schools.”
East End Alameda charmer goes for $1M+ over
3246 Liberty Ave., Alameda
4 bed | 3 bath | 2,497 sq. ft.
Days on market when offer accepted: 14
From the MLS: “Custom remodeled with an eye to its historic pedigree, 3246 Liberty is a 4BD/3BA classic Brown Shingle Craftsman featuring the gracious rooms, high ceilings, finishes, and hardwood floors typical of the period. The home includes a formal dining room, modern chef’s kitchen with walk-in prep/pantry, family room, light-filled primary suite, ground floor en suite guest bedroom, and sun porch/playroom shared by the two secondary second floor bedrooms. Panoramic, z-fold glass doors open from the family room onto a wide deck and lushly landscaped back garden, and a detached garage has been remodeled to house a finished home office. Located in the East End neighborhood of Alameda, the home is moments from Edison and Lincoln schools, Lincoln Park and Pool, Park Street shops and restaurants, beaches, cafes, and parks.”
Just 4 days on the market
1100 Paru St., Alameda
4+ bed | 2.5 bath | 3,094 sq. ft.
Days on market when offer accepted: 4
From the MLS: “1100 Paru is a wonderful 4++BD/2.5BA American Foursquare home resting on a large corner lot in the heart of Alameda’s coveted Gold Coast. A light-filled treasure, the home features stylish modern updates, yet retains its historic character evidenced by spacious rooms, hardwood floors, and plentiful wide windows. The home includes a formal dining room, newly remodeled kitchen and informal dining area, professionally designed modern baths, 4 BDs on one level. Much of the attic has been finished, creating 2 add’l bonus rms of flex space/storage. In addition to the lush front yard, the rear yard includes award-winning landscaping, an expansive patio shaded by mature trees, and a sun-washed deck off the kitchen for summer barbecues or relaxing in the sun. A sport/basketball court provides an opportunity for a variety of outdoor games and a detached 1+ garage with long driveway makes one wonder about ADU possibilities.”
HOA record broken
8180 Surrey Ln., Oakland
3 bed | 2 bath | 1,941 sq. ft.
Sold: $1,675,000 (a new HOA record!)
Days on market when offer accepted: 17
From the MLS: “Welcome home to paradise. This is an opportunity you might catch once in a lifetime. Seated on over half an acre, this urban oasis is a dream home for entertaining. From the solar-heated swimming pool and full outdoor kitchen to the organic tiered gardens with mosaic steps, this sprawling 24,140 square-foot property feels a world away from the busy city. Situated on a wide, tree-lined street, this three bedroom, two bath, single-level mid-century ranch house exudes privacy and serenity. Surround yourself with beauty. Spoil yourself with modern conveniences. Cook in the chef’s kitchen or soak in the tub, warm yourself by the wood-burning stove or throw a party for eighty… With updates throughout, this gem on Surrey Lane sits less than two miles from shops, restaurants, parks, trails and Sequoyah Hills Golf Course. You can be on the road in minutes — but you’ll never want to leave!”
Highest-ever sale price in Moraga
We’re sneaking in a late September sale: 8 Julianna Court in Moraga, which set the record for the highest sales price in town.
8 Julianna Ct., Moraga
5 bed | 5.5 bath | 6,697 sq. ft.
From the MLS: “Remarkable custom home on 4.3 acre totally private lot (3 separate parcels) in a premium gated community. The home was built with highest end finishes & incredible designer touches. Open floorplan with high ceilings, wide plank hardwood floors, wainscot wall panels, smart lighting system & more. The gourmet kitchen features custom cabinetry, island, two Miele dishwashers, Wolf 48 6 burner gas range, Subzero refrigerator and a gorgeous breakfast room with a nice view of the gardens. The generous family room w/ box beam coffered ceiling & a fireplace is a wonderful place to relax and entertain. There are two offices in the house. The primary suite features a luxurious bathroom with Walker Zanger tile & marble counters. There is a fabulous 1B, 1Ba guest house with full kitchen and family room. The lovely grounds boast a loggia with fireplace, lawns, spa, fruit trees & gardens. Enjoy the peaceful tranquility, beautiful views and technicolor sunsets from this truly one-of-a-kind home.”
Who wants more October real estate stats? You do!
The following sales data is for detached single-family homes. Sources: Bay East Assoc. of Realtors and Contra Costa Assoc. of Realtors.
Alameda County Home Sales
Contra Costa Home Sales
Want real estate market data for a city not listed here? Get in touch, and we’ll dig up those numbers for you. 888-400-ABIO (2246) or email@example.com.