Friday, July 15, 2011

2Q11 Piedmont Real Estate Update

Recall that in early April, I reported that the market got off to a slow start this year (one sale at $699,000 in all of January) but finished with a bang (10 sales in March, averaging $1.502 million).

Our historically active second quarter continued that trend:

42 homes sold during the 2Q11 (compared to just 25 in 2Q10). They sold in an average 20 days, and for $1.539 million, or $482/sf. The final sales price was just a tad over the average asking price (though the range went from 80% of original asking price to 124% of asking price).

A year ago, the average home in Piedmont sold for $1.395 million, and in a still-short 18 days. During both quarters, homes sold all along the price spectrum--this quarter we saw seven homes sell for more than $2 million. One home was a short sale, one high-end sale was bank-owned, and two sold for all-cash.

Contact me for more details (adjusted for credits) on this quarter's sales.

Berkeley's market bounced back compared to last quarter's drop: A total of 170 homes sold for an average $672,600, a bit above the average asking price of $666,400. they sold in an average 30 days. Five homes sold for more than $1.5 million, and 14% of sales were bank-owned (triple the Piedmont rate). Recall that while the average sale price in 1Q10 (fifteen months ago) was $660,000, last quarter the average dropped to $570,000, with distressed properties comprising roughly a quarter of all sales in Berkeley earlier this year..

Turning to Oakland, 853 homes changed hands during 2Q11. Nearly a third sold for all-cash, and for an average $347,600 (compared to $299,000 last quarter). The average home took 54 days to sell.

Looking only at the 72 sales in Oakland-94611 (roughly Montclair, and including condos), the average sales price was $581,200 (compared to $539,000 last quarter). Homes sold in an average 49 days, and about 1% below the asking price on average. About a quarter of single-family home sales in Montclair were distressed (I informally excluded condos, most of which are closer to Piedmont Avenue, and of course have been hard hit in this market).

The market urgency seemed to slow as June wound down--for example, a buyer for one of my listings decided against an offer at the last minute--he was concerned about the economy. But if you check the Bureau of Labor Statistics stats for the San Francisco-Oakland market, you'll see that trends locally are much stronger than they are nationally or across the state.

We have one new development likely to affect the market this fall: At the end of September, the ''conforming'' loan limit will go down from nearly $730,000 to $625,000. Conforming loans, guaranteed by the federal government, offer lower interest rates than non-conforming loans (though the margin has gotten very narrow these last several months, suggesting that this weaning process may go off without a hitch). Nevertheless, now's a great time to re-fi or buy if you'll need a loan between those two figures. Loans must close by the end of September, so you'll want to be in contract or on your loan officer's radar by the end of August. Contact me if you'd like my list of five great local loan officers.

Here's the usual NYT link to the Case-Shiller graphic (most recent info, through April).


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