Tuesday, August 25, 2009

We're Seeing Movement toward the National Trends (3Q07)

Quarter after quarter this last year, Piedmont's sales figures have been quite consistent with past years, in contrast to the story told across the country and state. In fact, this spring, we saw 46 home sales, compared to 33 in the second quarter of 2006--usually the year's busiest quarter. Finally, we're seeing some changes.

Only 20 homes sold this past quarter, in contrast to 34 in 3Q06 and 44 in 3Q05. Prices also softened a bit (remember, this analysis is based on only 20 sales) from an average $1.54 million last quarter to $1.42 million this quarter.

Sales prices were, on average, just about at the asking price (though they ranged from 88% of asking to 113% of asking). The average price per square foot was $625 (ranging from $441/sf to $851/sf). The typical home sold in 19 days.

Only two $2+ million homes sold in town this last quarter; last year at the same time we saw 7 of these high-end homes sell. As a result, the average sales price declines, but the price per square foot tends to rise--buyers are likely to pay more, proportionately, for a smaller-but-functional 3 bedroom/2 bath home than they will for a spacious 3/2 with all the bells and whistles. We've seen this same effect at other points in the last few years.

Our high-end homes also saw multiple offers, in contrast to last quarter, when $2+ million homes typically took longer than average to sell, received only one offer, and sold for prices below the asking price.

More recent activity--the homes that are currently pending--suggest continuing strength. Nine homes are pending, with five pending in fewer than 14 days on market (including one property on the market for nearly $8 million), and all but one pending in three weeks or less. These figures are all based on Multiple Listing Service data, so don't reflect private sales.

We are seeing more informal deal-making around town, however, where sellers float a sales possibility privately rather than go to the market with a full court press. All the more reason to rely on a locally well connected agent!

Around the East Bay, Berkeley performed particularly well: The total number of sales stayed very strong this quarter compared to 3Q06 (180 sales last 3Q; 174 sales this 3Q). Homes sold at a lower price, on average, but for nearly 4% over asking, in about four weeks.

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