We continue to read in the national news about the "glut of inventory" that exists in many parts of the country. In my area, in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, specifically in in Berkeley, CA, we have struggled with too little inventory all year. Last month we had 41 single family residential sales, while 42 residential properties appeared on the market. We could use more than a net of just one property! We currently have under two months' inventory on the market.
If we take a more detailed look at our market and compare to what we experienced last November, we see that the Berkeley, CA market inventory is down substantially from this time last year, but up from only 1.5 month's inventory last month. Those are fairly subtle changes. What I can tell you as someone out on tour every week: we need more homes to sell in our area!
Take a look at the second chart and we see that list prices in Berkeley are unchanged from a year ago, quite a different situation than in many parts of the state. More importantly, our Sold prices are down only 5% from November last year. I'm guessing that an even more unusual market statistic is that in Berkeley CA the median SOLD price was higher than the median list price. This quantifies what we experience every week: with the low inventory, our buyers must compete against multiple offers on the vast majority of listings that are well-located, well-priced and well-presented. On average my clients are competing against four offers. The range seems to be from just two to about ten. Clearly this is not the buyers' market that we see elsewhere. But since prices are down from last year, even by only a bit, many of our sellers are still unhappy. I am doing a great deal of counseling about how relatively fortunate are our sellers!
Finally let's take a look at the supply vs. demand in the Berkeley, CA real estate market: we had 28 fewer homes to sell this November than last, and we sold 17 more this November than last. That doesn't sound so remarkable, does it? But given how small is our total inventory, the percentages are impressive: While our Berkeley CA supply is down from this time last year by 18%, the demand is up by 68%. Our solds per month has stayed in a fairly constant range this year: since the spring market picked up we've seen between a high of 48 and a low of 35 sales each month.
So if any potential sellers are reading this you can see that at least in Berkeley CA we have very little inventory to sell, properties sell on average in about one month or less, and median prices, while down a bit from last year, have been on an upward trend the past several months. It's a great time to be getting your house ready to sell. And buyers: it's a great time to take advantage of remarkably low interest rates and those tax credits, before our prices go up any further! I'm always delighted to talk further about Real Estate in Berkeley, CA and the surrounding communities of Alameda, Albany, El Cerrito, Kensington, Oakland and Piedmont!