East Bay Real Estate Market Report: Sellers and Buyers are Back

East Bay Real Estate Market Report: Sellers and Buyers are Back


JUNE 8, 2020 – Well, that didn’t take long.

The California Association of Realtors reports that the housing market is already on the mend, especially for home sellers who have been hamstrung by COVID-19 fears and shelter-in-place restrictions since March.

  • More homes are in escrow and closing across the state during the last two weeks.
  • Median prices are holding steady.
  • Mortgage interest rates are at an all-time low (3.15% for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage).

Here in the East Bay, it’s back to being a seller’s market. (Not great news for first-time homebuyers, but we see you and can help you!)

The number of buyers continues to outpace the number of homes for sale. Years of low inventory and pent-up demand didn’t disappear as soon as the coronavirus appeared.

That means we are seeing multiple offers and fast sales in some areas. A few of our agents recently represented homes that found buyers in less than a week, in spite of strict shelter-in-place protocols and virtual marketing necessities.

We compared housing stats from May 2019 versus May 2020 and found that median sales prices were slightly higher this May in Alameda, Berkeley, Lafayette, and Moraga. Meanwhile, the number of homes listed for sale dropped significantly in every city.

Anecdotally, our agents report that listings are rebounding in June. Sellers who delayed putting their homes on the market are back in action now that shelter-in-place restrictions are easing up (we can send in workers to prep and stage a home for sale, and we can show occupied homes).

Another reason we're seeing more listings is because sellers and agents have grown more comfortable with virtual marketing – videos, 3-D tours, live open houses on Facebook and Instagram.


East Bay Real Estate Market Report

Alameda real estate market report

Berkeley real estate market report

Oakland real estate market report

Lafayette real estate market report

Moraga real estate market report

Orinda real estate market report

walnut creek real estate market report

 *Source: Bay East Association of Realtors and MLS


Reports from the field

Mixed bag: Some homes are “flying off the shelves” and others are selling slower and at a slight discount. The lowball offers we saw at the beginning of the pandemic all but disappeared.

Growing interest in ADUs – Today’s homebuyers are interested in properties that include an accessory dwelling unit or room to build one. They want a dedicated space to work from home, care for elderly parents, or house young adult children who can’t find work during these uncertain times.

Learn more about ADUs in our blog post “Do You ADU? Learn How to Make Your Property Work for You.”

Teaser pricing – Abio associate broker Elisabeth Watson, who has been conducting surveys during weekly brokers tours, sees that “teaser” pricing is back. That’s where a property is listed at a lower-than-expected-for price in the hopes of attracting multiple buyers.


Uncertainty remains

Of course, we can’t say whether these trends will continue because we’ve never tracked real estate during a pandemic before.

Another unknown factor is the effect of rising social unrest across the nation following the death of George Floyd, a Black American who died in Minneapolis after a white officer pinned him to the ground by kneeling on his neck.

Our hearts are breaking for the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the thousands who have come before. We stand together with our community to denounce the injustices that have been historically visited on people of color.

What we do know for certain is that no one should live in fear.

Stay safe. Stay in touch. We're always here to answer questions, alleviate worries, and tell it straight. Contact us at 888-400-ABIO (2246) or [email protected].