Monday, August 30, 2010

No Dip in Home Sales in Berkeley

It was all over the news that nationally home sales took a major dive in July when compared to the prior month.  I see two main reasons for that dive.  The first is that seasonally, at least in the East Bay, sales take a dip.  It happens every year.  We have basically two home buying/selling seasons, Spring and Fall.  July is typically slow and August even slower, much like December and January.  The second and larger reason for this years' dip is that the government sponsored incentive ended June 30th.  All buyers who wanted to receive this stimulus money or who were motivated to buy because of this had to close their transaction by June 30th.  Well this meant that many buyers were motivated to take the plunge sooner than they would have if their were no stimulus.  The second is that escrows that normally would have closed in July were pressured to close early.  This should have been anticipated by the experts.  It surprises me that so many economists were surprised at this data. 
Now that I've said these things, the reality for Berkeley, California, indeed most of the East Bay, is quite different from other parts of our nation.  I decided to take a look at the stats myself and compared June 2010 and July 2010 and this is what I found. In June 66 listings sold.  In July the number was 65, hardly a significant drop.  These numbers indicate that at least for the time being Berkeley continues to be a strong market for those who want to buy or sell a home.

In Albany the scene is pretty much the same.  The numbers are smaller, 12 sold in June, 10 sold in July, so statistically there is not a lot of significance. 

Oakland continues the theme: 390 homes sold in June vs 387 homes sold in July. Less than a 1% change. 

We can look at other data such as median home price, days on market and new listings to get a better understanding of the market dynamics in the East Bay.  If you are interested in seeing this material I'll post on my website: within the first week of September. In the meantime, if you are planning on buying or selling a home in Berkeley, Albany, Emeryville, Oakland or other parts of the East Bay, or if you need a home valuation or other real estate related need, please feel free to email me at

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