1408 Alcatraz Avenue, Berkeley CA

The summer market is still active.  This  beautiful Alcatraz remodel listing received 2 excellent offers and is now pending.  Attendance was slower during the open houses and brokers’ tour but a few buyers were still interested.  I am seeing a few price reductions throughout the Bay Area and I have experienced a great listing not selling at http://www.715Ashbury.com in El Cerrito.  August is usually slower than July so September should be an interesting month…

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Is there a shift in the market?

In the last few weeks the market seems to have shifted a little.  Some houses are selling fast and others are stagnating.  It varies on the neighborhood and the condition of the house but there is no clear pattern.  A house that needs some work will languish more than a move-in ready home… This has changed from before when buyers would snatch anything that came onto the market.  That said a house on MLK in Berkeley had 4 offers all way over its asking price of $699,000 and it needed a brand new foundation and a kitchen.  On the other hand my super cute listing at 1617 McGee is not selling…It is listed for less money at $649,000 with the same amount of bedrooms and less foundation work.

My other listing in Pinole at 2440 Ramona has been shown many times with no offers either… It is a spacious 4 bedroom/2 bath home surrounded by well maintained homes in the heart of Pinole Valley which is selling like hot cakes. The layout which worked great for my clients is holding buyers back now.

Let’s hope that my latest listing in El Cerrito at 715ashbury.com sells generously and revives the other 2 houses.

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New listing in the heart of Berkeley

1617 McGee, Berkeley CA 94703

Elegant 1907 Folk Victorian home full of Old World charm.  Details include 10-ft ceilings, hardwood floors, bathroom with clawfoot tub and secret stairs to a full basement.  Conveniently located within walking distance to the North Berkeley Bart, the Gourmet Ghetto, and Totland Playground.

Dining room with corner fireplace

Updated kitchen with walk-in pantry

Hardwood floors and dual-pane windows

Seismic retrofit done in 1996

Office area at the rear of the house overlooking backyard

Deck wrapped in wisteria vines and landscaped backyard with fire pit area and veggie beds.

Listed for $649,000

1front2 2entrance 2entrance1 3livingroom 3livingsofa 3window 4dining 4diningfireplace 4diningtable 4kit 4kitchen 4kitchenisland2 4kitchenisland3 5bedroombetter 5br2 5br4 6bathroomtoilette 8stairs 9yardbest 9yarddeck 9yardpanorama 9yardway

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Tired of competing in the East Bay Real Estate market?? Then come take a look at 2440 Ramona Street, Pinole CA

In the heart of Pinole Valley experience the old-world charm of this 1956 Ranch-style home. With 4 bedrooms including one enormous one (with access via sliding glass doors to both the covered patio and the backyard) that could be used as a family room and 2 bathrooms, this home offers all the comfort you can expect.  2 fireplaces, cozy kitchen with adjacent dining area. Large 2-car garage with interior access.  Refinished hardwood floors and newer laminate flooring.  Landscaped and private backyard with flowers, lawn, lemon tree and rosemary bush.

Listed for $449,000

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Poem for some Inspiration in life and in real estate

The other day my daughter had to write a poem in her poetry class and she was having some difficulty getting her juice going so to inspire her i wrote this poem… Nothing fancy as I wrote it in 10 mns.

Life is a challenge, but don’t look for revenge

Good days and bad days abound, all it takes is a little rebound

Gaze in the sun and feel the heat, and pretty soon you will find your beat

It is never too late, so do not feel desperate

Life is a challenge, be ready for the change

Open your arms to the world and watch your dreams unfurled

The past makes you sorry? then let it be just a bad memory

Happiness is surrounding you, embrace it with a thank you

Love, friendship and family, it is all you need to be jolly

Life is good, rejoice with food!!

(And in my case French food is my comfort food)

Catherine Krueger, 4/21/2015

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CAR Housing Market report for March 2015

April 15, 2015

Buoyed by stronger economy, California housing market accelerates in March as home sales and prices ratchet up

 

LOS ANGELES (April15) – California’s housing market continued to pick up steam as existing home sales and prices propelled higher, with both posting back-to-back increases in March, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today.

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 391,680 units in March, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide.  Sales in March were up 6.3 percent from a revised 368,400 in February and up 7.3 percent from a revised 365,120 in March 2014.  The year-over-year sales increase was the first back-to-back sales gain since December 2012 and the largest observed since May 2012. The statewide sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2015 if sales maintained the March pace throughout the year.  It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

“The housing market is picking up momentum and continuing its upward trend as economic conditions improved throughout the state”, said C.A.R. President Chris Kutzkey. “A better economy, improved job creation, and an increase in inventory in Central Valley and Southern California, in particular, are pushing sales higher, which led to the strongest February-to-March increase we’ve seen since 2008.”

The median price of an existing, single-family detached California home jumped in March from both the previous month and year. The median home price was up 9.2 percent from $428,970 in February to $468,550 in March, the highest level in seven months. The increase was stronger than the long-run February-to-March average of 3.9 percent. March’s median price was 7.2 percent higher than the revised $437,100 recorded in March 2014. The median sales price is the point at which half of homes sold for more and half sold for less; it is influenced by the types of homes selling as well as a general change in values.

With home sales growing at a faster rate than active listings in March, the available supply of existing, single-family detached homes for sale statewide declined, with the Unsold Inventory Index falling from the 5 months reported in February to 3.8 months in March.  The index, which indicates the number of months needed to sell the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate, stood at 4 months in March 2014.  A six- to seven-month supply is considered typical in a normal market.

“While housing supply has been improving in real terms in recent months, the growth rate in housing demand continues to outpace that of inventory, pushing the Unsold Inventory Index lower,” said C.A.R Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “The shortage in housing units relative to demand, along with the attractive rate environment, pushed home prices higher.”

Other key facts from C.A.R.’s March 2015 resale housing report include:

·        The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home also fell in March, down from 47 days in February to 39 days in March but was up from 35.1 days in March 2014.

·        According to C.A.R.’s newest housing market indicator measuring sales-to-list price ratio*, properties are again generally selling below the list price, except in the San Francisco Bay Area, where a lack of homes for sale is pushing sales prices higher than original asking prices.  The statewide measure suggests that homes are selling at a median of 98.3 percent of the list price, essentially flat compared to a ratio of 98.6 percent at the same time last year. The Bay Area is the only region where homes are selling above original list prices due to constrained supply with a ratio of 105.9 percent.

·        The average California price per square foot** for an existing single-family home was $223 in March 2015, an increase of 6.1 percent from the previous month and a 5.6 percent increase from March 2014.  Price per square foot at the state level has been showing an upward trend since early 2012, and has been rising on a year-over-year basis for 38 consecutive months.  In recent months, however, the growth rate in price per square foot has slowed down as home prices level off.  San Francisco County had the highest price per square foot in March at $761/sq. ft., followed by San Mateo ($741/sq. ft.), and Santa Clara ($566/sq. ft.).  The three counties with the lowest price per square foot in March were Siskiyou ($112/sq. ft.), Tehama ($115/sq. ft.), and Madera ($115/sq. ft.).

·        Mortgage rates moved upward in March, with the 30-year, fixed-mortgage interest rate averaging 3.77 percent, up from 3.71 percent in February but down from 4.34 percent in March 2014, according to Freddie Mac.  Adjustable-mortgage interest rates also rose in March, averaging 2.46 percent, up from 2.43 percent in February but down from 2.48 percent in March 2014.

Graphics (click links to open):

·        March sales at-a-glance infographic.

·        Unsold Inventory by price range.

·        Change in sales by price range.

·        Share of sales by price range.

·        Sales to list ratio.

·        Price per square foot.

Note:  The County MLS median price and sales data in the tables are generated from a survey of more than 90 associations of REALTORS® throughout the state, and represent statistics of existing single-family detached homes only.  County sales data are not adjusted to account for seasonal factors that can influence home sales.  Movements in sales prices should not be interpreted as changes in the cost of a standard home.  The median price is where half sold for more and half sold for less; medians are more typical than average prices, which are skewed by a relatively small share of transactions at either the lower-end or the upper-end. Median prices can be influenced by changes in cost, as well as changes in the characteristics and the size of homes sold.  Due to the low sales volume in some areas, median price changes in March exhibit unusual fluctuation. The change in median prices should not be construed as actual price changes in specific homes.

*Sales-to-list price ratio is an indicator that reflects the negotiation power of home buyers and home sellers under current market conditions.  The ratio is calculated by dividing the final sales price of a property by its last list price and is expressed as a percentage.  A sales-to-list ratio with 100 percent or above suggests that the property sold for more than the list price, and a ratio below 100 percent indicates that the price sold below the asking price.

**Price per square foot is a measure commonly used by real estate agents and brokers to determine how much a square foot of space a buyer will pay for a property.  It is calculated as the sale price of the home divided by the number of finished square feet.  C.A.R. currently tracks price-per-square foot statistics for 33 counties.

Follow us on Twitter @CAR Media and @CAREALTORS®
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Leading the way…® in California real estate for more than 100 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with 175,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

# # #

 

March 2015 County Sales and Price Activity
(Regional and condo sales data not seasonally adjusted)

March 2015

Median Sold Price of Existing Single-Family Homes

Sales

State/Region/County

March 2015

Feb.

2015

 

March 2014

 

MTM% Chg

YTY% Chg

MTM% Chg

YTY% Chg

Calif. Single-family (SAAR)

$468,550

$428,970

$437,100

r

9.2%

7.2%

6.3%

7.3%

Calif. Condo/Townhome

$382,050

$367,180

$360,490

r

4.0%

6.0%

46.0%

7.6%

Los Angeles Metro Area

$431,660

$409,810

$401,810

r

5.3%

7.4%

38.7%

10.1%

Inland Empire

$290,240

$282,400

$270,940

r

2.8%

7.1%

40.2%

9.1%

San Francisco Bay Area

$809,200

$740,270

$726,240

r

9.3%

11.4%

56.0%

9.9%

San Francisco Bay Area

Alameda

$756,250

$697,160

$660,610

r

8.5%

14.5%

90.6%

15.2%

Contra-Costa (Ctl Cty)

$784,950

$738,090

$703,490

6.3%

11.6%

55.5%

7.6%

Marin

$1,085,230

$1,023,440

$1,039,770

6.0%

4.4%

71.0%

-1.1%

Napa

$562,500

$544,120

$585,530

3.4%

-3.9%

50.0%

43.8%

San Francisco

$1,275,000

$1,154,760

$974,490

r

10.4%

30.8%

49.2%

3.4%

San Mateo

$1,300,000

$1,200,000

$1,170,500

r

8.3%

11.1%

64.6%

5.1%

Santa Clara

$932,100

$915,130

$865,000

r

1.9%

7.8%

54.9%

12.4%

Solano

$345,100

$337,500

$312,350

2.3%

10.5%

28.9%

27.1%

Sonoma

$519,500

$489,330

$494,190

r

6.2%

5.1%

39.2%

-6.6%

Southern California

Los Angeles

$425,860

$419,260

$395,660

1.6%

7.6%

33.8%

7.6%

Orange County

$696,060

$680,290

$675,540

2.3%

3.0%

45.7%

13.8%

Riverside County

$331,710

$323,220

$310,670

2.6%

6.8%

44.1%

5.5%

San Bernardino

$215,640

$213,930

$188,550

r

0.8%

14.4%

33.5%

16.5%

San Diego

$530,650

$499,000

$490,280

6.3%

8.2%

32.3%

5.7%

Ventura

$596,890

$568,840

$559,320

4.9%

6.7%

42.0%

23.6%

Central Coast

Monterey

$510,000

$500,000

$521,250

r

2.0%

-2.2%

45.2%

38.0%

San Luis Obispo

$507,440

$491,670

$491,350

r

3.2%

3.3%

37.9%

20.1%

Santa Barbara

$770,830

$556,820

$605,470

38.4%

27.3%

65.4%

38.7%

Santa Cruz

$747,250

$675,000

$635,000

10.7%

17.7%

29.1%

23.5%

Central Valley

Fresno

$213,960

$210,320

$202,100

1.7%

5.9%

32.4%

20.2%

Glenn

$190,000

$220,000

$140,000

-13.6%

35.7%

0.0%

75.0%

Kern (Bakersfield)

$208,800

$216,950

r

$201,000

r

-3.8%

3.9%

43.1%

8.1%

Kings County

$190,000

$196,000

$179,230

-3.1%

6.0%

37.0%

-20.3%

Madera

$198,750

$217,500

$206,670

r

-8.6%

-3.8%

89.7%

10.0%

Merced

$190,000

$168,750

$154,000

12.6%

23.4%

13.3%

4.4%

Placer County

$383,330

$375,380

$367,190

2.1%

4.4%

54.0%

23.9%

Sacramento

$282,080

$283,960

$263,810

-0.7%

6.9%

25.9%

11.4%

San Benito

$474,900

$450,000

$418,000

5.5%

13.6%

18.6%

18.6%

San Joaquin

$272,500

$270,750

$245,890

r

0.6%

10.8%

44.4%

18.5%

Stanislaus

$242,170

$237,680

$214,760

1.9%

12.8%

38.4%

10.9%

Tulare

$182,630

$172,140

$165,380

6.1%

10.4%

20.5%

7.0%

Other Calif. Counties

Amador

$250,000

$271,430

$214,290

r

-7.9%

16.7%

6.7%

6.7%

Butte County

$233,930

$247,320

$221,550

r

-5.4%

5.6%

20.3%

16.5%

Calaveras

$258,500

$232,500

$257,500

11.2%

0.4%

26.8%

16.4%

Del Norte

$139,250

$189,000

$161,450

-26.3%

-13.8%

50.0%

50.0%

El Dorado County

$393,400

$384,880

$385,710

2.2%

2.0%

32.1%

0.4%

Humboldt

$253,120

$250,000

$230,680

1.2%

9.7%

22.6%

37.3%

Lake County

$225,000

$184,290

$158,460

22.1%

42.0%

17.8%

1.9%

Mariposa

$275,000

$250,000

$245,830

10.0%

11.9%

-50.0%

-63.6%

Mendocino

$297,500

$309,090

$264,290

r

-3.7%

12.6%

44.1%

16.7%

Nevada

$337,000

$334,000

$340,000

0.9%

-0.9%

44.4%

12.3%

Plumas

$245,000

$192,500

$207,500

27.3%

18.1%

-25.0%

-25.0%

Shasta

$223,750

$225,860

$213,410

-0.9%

4.8%

63.6%

25.6%

Siskiyou County

$176,670

$148,330

$173,330

19.1%

1.9%

76.2%

15.6%

Sutter

$250,000

$213,330

$207,690

r

17.2%

20.4%

13.8%

65.0%

Tehama

$163,330

$150,000

$180,000

8.9%

-9.3%

115.8%

57.7%

Tuolumne

$232,140

$195,000

$220,830

19.0%

5.1%

43.5%

13.8%

Yolo

$334,720

$372,860

$326,560

-10.2%

2.5%

24.2%

5.1%

Yuba

$198,890

$215,220

$202,940

r

-7.6%

-2.0%

19.6%

11.7%

r = revised

March 2015 County Unsold Inventory and Time on Market
(Regional and condo sales data not seasonally adjusted)

March 2015

Unsold Inventory Index

Median Time on Market

State/Region/County

March 2015

Feb. 2015

 

March 2014

 

March 2015

Feb. 2015

 

March 2014

 

Calif. Single-family (SAAR)

3.8

5.0

4.0

39.0

47.0

35.1

r

Calif. Condo/Townhome

3.2

4.3

3.3

36.6

43.2

34.5

r

Los Angeles Metro Area

4.3

5.8

4.3

r

51.2

58.7

44.6

Inland Empire

4.9

6.7

4.6

59.1

67.6

46.5

r

San Francisco Bay Area

2.4

3.2

2.8

31.7

37.7

33.1

r

San Francisco Bay Area

Alameda

2.0

2.8

2.4

45.4

48.8

45.5

Contra-Costa (Ctl Cty)

2.3

3.3

3.0

45.3

53.3

47.8

Marin

2.6

3.9

3.0

27.0

39.4

31.3

Napa

4.1

5.6

6.4

49.9

87.9

59.1

San Francisco

1.6

2.5

2.8

20.7

20.7

21.7

r

San Mateo

1.6

2.8

2.3

17.9

19.1

18.8

Santa Clara

1.9

2.6

2.2

17.7

21.3

18.4

Solano

3.7

4.2

3.5

46.4

47.8

36.8

Sonoma

3.7

4.1

3.2

43.6

52.1

43.4

Southern California

Los Angeles

3.9

5.2

3.9

44.7

51.1

39.0

Orange County

3.7

5.1

4.2

51.3

65.1

51.1

Riverside County

5.0

7.0

4.5

64.5

72.3

48.1

San Bernardino

4.8

6.2

4.9

r

52.3

58.1

43.0

r

San Diego

3.7

4.6

3.9

24.7

28.6

25.7

Ventura

4.5

5.8

4.7

55.1

66.5

53.2

Central Coast

Monterey

3.6

5.3

5.5

36.7

34.2

29.0

San Luis Obispo

4.6

5.6

5.3

28.4

39.9

29.1

Santa Barbara

3.8

5.8

5.1

46.9

46.6

28.4

Santa Cruz

3.3

3.5

4.4

22.6

28.5

27.1

Central Valley

Fresno

4.6

5.7

5.2

33.1

34.5

27.0

Glenn

5.5

4.0

8.9

105.5

70.7

105.5

Kern (Bakersfield)

3.6

4.7

r

3.2

28.0

35.0

25.0

r

Kings County

5.4

6.8

3.3

48.6

51.3

54.0

Madera

7.2

12.9

4.3

88.2

94.6

73.4

r

Merced

4.6

4.9

4.6

46.1

58.7

32.7

Placer County

3.1

4.5

3.6

25.2

39.5

24.9

Sacramento

2.9

3.4

3.2

23.7

27.8

24.3

San Benito

2.3

2.9

3.3

28.4

41.0

25.4

San Joaquin

3.2

4.4

3.4

29.4

35.5

22.6

Stanislaus

3.6

4.5

3.3

25.2

29.8

24.8

Tulare

4.8

5.4

4.7

41.5

49.5

40.4

Other Calif. Counties

Amador

6.7

6.4

6.2

105.5

110.3

52.8

Butte County

4.2

4.4

5.0

r

44.7

55.2

41.6

r

Calaveras

7.9

8.6

8.1

150.0

93.0

90.0

Del Norte

8.4

12.2

12.8

130.0

127.0

121.0

El Dorado County

4.9

5.5

4.6

37.4

62.7

46.4

Humboldt

4.7

5.9

7.1

61.9

77.1

49.5

Lake County

8.1

8.2

7.7

117.9

109.6

84.7

Mariposa

33.0

13.5

5.6

45.5

135.5

82.8

Mendocino

7.1

8.9

8.1

98.3

100.7

84.2

Nevada

5.8

7.3

6.0

48.0

52.0

28.0

Plumas

22.5

14.0

16.0

175.0

192.5

234.0

Shasta

5.4

7.9

6.3

42.7

64.2

39.8

Siskiyou County

9.7

15.2

10.5

75.5

56.4

91.0

Sutter

3.5

4.3

5.8

43.1

49.5

22.5

r

Tehama

5.7

10.0

8.1

53.6

45.5

31.0

Tuolumne

5.4

6.7

6.8

77.6

57.1

82.8

Yolo

3.3

3.4

3.4

25.4

29.1

25.2

Yuba

3.6

3.7

3.6

27.3

29.0

25.2

r

r = revised

NA = not available

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Berkeley California Real Estate Market March 2015

2015 is not proving to be better for buyers than the end of 2014 was.  Still low inventory is the norm and a high demand from starving buyers who will throw all of their money just to get the house no matter how much work it needs or if it is even reasonable.  At the same time rents are at an all time high.  A little 640 sqft condo in North Berkeley is renting for $3850/month whereas in San Francisco it reaches $5500 in Noe Valley apparently. (both figures have been reported by my clients).

Below I am including the latest market analysis for Berkeley CA.  Surrounding communities are hot too and I am happy to send you a similar analysis for your city in the Bay Area. Just email me with your request.

Berkeley Real estate market

Best regards,

Catherine

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