Here’s How Long It Takes to Buy a Home for Sale in the East Bay

Here’s How Long It Takes to Buy a Home for Sale in the East Bay


berkeley homes for sale

Wonder how long it will take you to buy a home for sale in the East Bay? Well, we hope you aren’t in a rush…

Two new real estate surveys paint a picture of a housing market that requires a lot of patience from homebuyers.

In the Bay Area’s hyper-competitive market, marked by record low inventory, a typical buyer spent 10 weeks searching for a home in 2018 – which was 25 percent longer than homebuyers everywhere else in California, according to the California Association of Realtors 2018 State of the Housing Market report.


Doing the open house shuffle


Statewide, buyers toured a median of nine homes before finding their magical match. Bay Area buyers reported wandering through more than 10 open houses.

The amount of time it took buyers to find a home partly depended on their price point.

People hunting for homes in the over-$1 million market, for example, spent a little less time searching – a median of seven weeks – probably because they faced less competition at the higher end.

Of course, all those weeks hunting for a home was nothing compared to the time California buyers spent scrimping and saving for a down payment, according to the CAR consumer survey. Buyers saved for a median of five years.


Delayed by high housing prices


Many consumers surveyed said they would have bought sooner if it wasn’t for the high cost of housing in California, where the median home sells for four times the national average (about $600,000 compared to $225,900).

And while we are making comparisons… The median price of homes sold in Alameda County is about $809,000.

At those prices, how many offers did buyers make before they landed their dream home?

According to CAR, typical California buyers made three offers, but nearly one-quarter of consumers made more than 10 offers. No surprise that the supply-constrained Bay Area had the highest incidence of multiple offers.


Still a sellers' market


You know who didn’t have to be patient in the real estate market?


California home sellers enjoyed super speedy real estate experiences in 2018, when homes were typically on the market for just three weeks.

If you think that’s fast, consider home sales in Berkeley, where properties whizzed on and off the market in just 10 days during the 3rd quarter of 2018, making Berkeley the second hottest market in the nation, according to the Market Hotness Index.

Nationally, the average home sits on the market for about 64 days.

Here’s how some other East Bay cities compared for the median number of days a home sat on the market, according to the Hotness Index:

Oakland: 26 days
Walnut Creek: 38 days
Lafayette: 43 days
Orinda: 45 days


How to speed up your home buying game


Abio Properties agent Nicole Platt points out that buyer motivation impacts timing and speed.

"A buyer who HAS to move by May because their house will be sold is more motivated than that buyer who is not in a hurry and would like to find something in the next year," she says.

Want to speed up your home buying game? The best bet for anyone hoping to buy an East Bay home for sale is to be ready to make an offer before traipsing through all those open houses.

To help buyers ramp up their preparedness and speed, we’ve written an essential guide that includes tips about how to organize financial documents, beef up savings, and get pre-approved.

Read it now: Need for Speed in Today’s Market & 7 Other Essential Homebuyer Tips

East Bay homes for sale

Want more tips about how to buy a home for sale in the East Bay? Our Abio Properties agents have the latest news about real estate market conditions. Contact us at 888-400-ABIO (2246) or