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®
Like us on Facebook.

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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Berkeleyside Article regarding In-Law Units in Berkeley CA

Officials to relax rules for Berkeley ‘granny flats’
Posted By Emilie Raguso On March 25, 2015 (3:33 pm) In Government, Real estate

An accessory dwelling unit on Virginia Street. Photo: Frameworks

Berkeley officials voted unanimously Tuesday night to streamline the process for homeowners who want to add secondary units — sometimes called in-law units or granny flats — to their properties.

Supporters of the plan say it is a sustainable approach to increasing density and will allow more local residents to age in place by cutting down on the bureaucratic hurdles tied to the construction of additions, while also making those projects cheaper.

The proposal, from Mayor Tom Bates, would allow homeowners who follow certain standards to build the units “by right,” meaning they would not need to apply for an administrative use permit prior to construction. Those permits can be costly and take a long time to make their way through the approval process. Building plans would still require review by city staff, but public hearings before the zoning board would become the exception rather than the rule.

Explained UC Berkeley professor Karen Chapple, writing in 2011 for Frameworks, a publication of the university’s College of Environmental Design, “In-law units, or accessory dwelling units (ADUs), are self-contained, smaller living units on the lot of a single-family home. They can be either attached to the primary house, such as an above-the-garage unit or a basement unit, or, as is more typical in Berkeley, an independent cottage or carriage-house. They are an easy way to provide homeowners with flexible space for a home office or an on-site caregiver, additional rental income, or a space for elderly family members to remain in a family environment. In short, they offer the kind of flexibility that has become imperative in today’s world to accommodate fluctuating work schedules and alternative family arrangements.”

(Chapple, a professor of city and regional planning at UC Berkeley, received support from the UC Transportation Center to study how many of these units could be built around five East Bay BART stations, and how they might affect the local economy.)

Only residents who live in RPP zones, and within a quarter-mile of BART, would be eligible for parking waivers. (Click the map to see a larger version.) Image: City of Berkeley

The Berkeley proposal will need to come back to council before it becomes part of the city’s zoning code.

Bates had initially proposed a minimum lot size of 3,800 square feet for those who want to build the units, but council agreed unanimously Tuesday night to expand the program to lots of any size, as long as they meet other criteria, which are outlined at the bottom of this story.

The accessory units could either be attached to the main structure or detached. Council set a maximum height limit of 14 feet, and said the new units must be at least 75% smaller than the primary structure, and not larger than 750 square feet. The second unit and main residence together cannot cover more than 40% of the lot.

Properties within a quarter-mile of Berkeley BART stations will not be required to provide an additional parking space under the proposal. Homes outside that radius would be allowed to use their driveways for tandem parking, meaning one vehicle parks behind another. (Tandem parking is currently limited under the code due to front yard setback requirements.)

Applicants who don’t live in permit parking zones or near BART will still be able to request a parking waiver if they elect to pursue an administrative use permit. Residents of the new units will not be eligible for parking permits.

Read a draft of the proposal, which council updated Tuesday night. Scroll to the bottom of this story for details about what was approved. 

In a statement released Wednesday, Bates described the measure as “groundbreaking,” and said it “opens the door to a substantial supply of badly needed new housing.”

“The plan also will support the City’s efforts to combat global warming by increasing urban density, especially near mass transit,” said Bates in the statement.

Left, 1415 Allston Way; right, 1843 Berryman Street. Photo: Frameworks

Tuesday night’s vote has been in the works for years. According to the mayor’s office, a state law passed in 2002 mandated California cities to allow second units in single-family residential districts, subject to conditions outlined by local jurisdictions. In 2003, Berkeley officials voted to apply that law to all the city’s zoning districts. In April 2013, council asked the city’s Planning and Transportation commissions to a review the possible expansion of conditions for adding accessory dwelling units in Berkeley. The mayor’s proposal Tuesday night was the next step in the process.

Members of the public who spoke in favor of the proposal said Tuesday that the change would allow them to reduce their property taxes and get more value out of their land. Several people also expressed concerns about the plan, however, saying it is too broad and does not allow for enough feedback from neighbors.

“Neighbors ought to have the opportunity to come in and complain about the design,” said West Berkeley resident Ed Moore.

But council members overall said they want to make it easier and faster for residents to pursue their plans to add the units, and voted to support an ordinance to allow homeowners who follow the guidelines to move ahead without neighborhood input.

Left, Ventura Avenue at Marin Avenue; right, Edwards Street at Channing Way. Photos: Frameworks

Councilwoman Lori Droste lobbied to reduce the parking requirements by allowing parking waivers citywide for homes within a quarter-mile of major transit lines. She said the policy decision would be in line with the city’s Climate Action Plan goals, and would make for more sustainable outcomes. Droste also noted that data has shown that people who live in accessory units are twice as likely to be car-free.

“I don’t think it’s a sound policy decision to require onerous parking requirements,” she said. “Do we want to make it easier for people to find housing and increase the housing supply, or make it easier for people to park?”

She continued: “If you create these parking spots, it actually increases traffic congestion and impacts quality of life.”

Replied Bates: “I love the enthusiasm, but I just think it’s way, way over the top.”

Droste, along with council members Darryl Moore, Laurie Capitelli and Kriss Worthington, voted in favor of fewer parking requirements, but the council majority voted to stick with the mayor’s broader requirements, which limit the number of people eligible for waivers.

Councilwoman Susan Wengraf said she was concerned about whether the additions would fit in with the existing neighborhood architecture. She suggested that Berkeley follow Oakland’s lead by requiring the new units to have similar features to the homes already on site. She said too that, just because the units will be located in backyards does not mean they won’t be visible from the street.

“We have to be aware of the fact that this is going to change neighborhood character,” she said. “The design of these second units should be compatible in some way with the primary unit.”

Some council members said they were concerned that adding those additional guidelines would make it more difficult for the units to be built. Council members Capitelli and Jesse Arreguín voted in favor of Wengraf’s proposed amendment, but it failed to get enough support to move forward.

Council asked the city manager to bring back an ordinance to implement the new standards, but did not set a deadline for that to take place. Ultimately the item was approved by an 8-0 vote. Councilman Max Anderson was absent due to health problems, according to the mayor.

What was approved under the new proposal

  • Lot size requirement: None
  • Maximum size: 750 square feet or 75% of the primary structure, whichever is less
  • Height: 14-foot maximum height at peak of roof, 10 foot maximum at eave of roof; not to exceed 10 feet at property line
  • Setback: 4-foot minimum side and rear setback from property line; no side or rear setback required if ADU will replace preexisting buildings on the property line
  • Parking: Tandem parking in driveway is allowed (including non-conforming driveways that don’t comply with the minimum 2-foot landscaping strip). Proposed ADUs that are within one quarter mile of a BART station and located in an RPP zone will have no additional parking requirement. No Residential Parking Permit will be issued to an ADU under all circumstances.
  • Other: Legal property owner shall live in main dwelling unit or ADU. If ADU is built on property line, doors and windows cannot face neighbors’ property. Should be excluded from use as short term rentals. ADUs are prohibited in the Environmental Safety Residential (ESR) zone. ADUs may be allowed with an AUP [administrative use permit] on lots on streets that do not meet minimum fire access requirements. ADU may be allowed only if the fire flow and water pressure meet minimum fire safety requirements.

Related:
Op-ed: Berkeley should ease parking rules for in-law units (03.23.15)
Berkeley council on accessory units, parks budget, limits on frats and mini-dorms, more (03.23.15)
A city looks for big solutions in little – very little – houses (01.07.11)
Studying the benefits of accessory dwelling units (UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design)

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Article taken from Berkeleyside – http://www.berkeleyside.com
URL to article: http://www.berkeleyside.com/2015/03/25/officials-to-relax-rules-for-berkeley-granny-flats/

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Very good read about the health of our real estate market in California

For release:
March 23, 2015

California pending home sales climb in February to post biggest annual increase in nearly six years, C.A.R. reports

Pending sales data for San Francisco Bay Area, Southern California, and Central Valley regions now included

LOS ANGELES (March 23) – Pending home sales in California soared in February to record the first double-digit annual gain in nearly three years and the third straight year-to-year increase, suggesting improved market conditions and more closed transactions in the coming months, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today.

Additionally, C.A.R. this month is now reporting pending home sales data for the San Francisco Bay Area, Southern California, and Central Valley regions.

Pending home sales data:

  • California pending home sales jumped in February, with the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)* increasing 24.8 percent from a revised 89.9 in January to 112.2, based on signed contracts.  The month-to-month increase easily topped the long-run average increase of 17.9 percent observed in the last seven years.
  • Statewide pending home sales were up 15.6 percent on an annual basis from the 97.1 index recorded in February 2014.  The yearly increase was the largest since April 2009 and was the first double-digit gain since April 2012.
  • San Francisco Bay Area’s PHSI stood at 124.8 in February, up 23.3 percent from 101.2 in January and 13.1 percent from 110.3 percent in February 2014.
  • Pending home sales in Southern California jumped 25 percent in February to reach an index of 98.9, up 15.2 percent from 85.8 in February 2014.
  • Central Valley pending sales soared 57.1 percent from January to reach an index of 83.7 in February, up 15 percent from 72.8 in February 2014.

Equity and distressed housing market data:

  • The share of equity sales – or non-distressed property sales – grew slightly as a share of the market after declining for three straight months.  Equity sales made up more than 89 percent of all home sales in February, up from 88.1 percent in January and 85 percent in February 2014. Equity sales have been more than 80 percent of total sales since July 2013 and have risen to or near 90 percent since mid-2014.
  • Meanwhile, the combined share of all distressed property sales fell in February, down from 11.9 percent in January to 10.9 percent in February.  Distressed sales made up 15 percent of total sales a year ago.  Seventeen of the 43 counties that C.A.R. reported show month-to-month decreases in their distressed sales shares, with Amador and Mariposa having the smallest share of distressed sales at 0 percent, followed by San Mateo (2 percent) and Marin (3 percent).  Glenn County had the highest share of distressed sales at 36 percent, followed by Yuba (25 percent) and Siskiyou (24 percent).

February REALTOR® Market Pulse Survey**:

In a separate report, California REALTORS® responding to C.A.R.’s February Market Pulse Survey saw fewer multiple offers but an increase in open house traffic, compared to a year ago.  The Market Pulse Survey is a new monthly online survey of more than 300 California REALTORS® to measure data about their last closed transaction and sentiment about business activity in their market area for the previous month and the last year.

  • In a sign of a less competitive housing market, about one in five homes (21 percent) sold above asking price, down from its peak of 40 percent in March 2014 and from 34 percent a year ago.  The share rose slightly from the lowest point of 16 percent in January.  Nearly half of homes (49 percent) closed below asking price, down from 55 percent in January.
  • In February, homes that sold above asking price sold for 10 percent above asking price, down from 12 percent in January, but up from 6.8 percent in February 2014.
  • Homes that sold below asking price sold for 11 percent below asking price, unchanged from January. The number of homes that had listing price reductions has remained steady at 31 percent since December 2014.
  • Sixty-one percent of properties received multiple offers in February, up from 58 percent in January but down from 71 percent a year ago.
  • The average number of offers per property in February was 2.6, essentially unchanged from 2.5 in January but down from 2.9 a year ago.
  • Floor calls, listing appointments, and open house traffic were down from January, but responding REALTORS® indicated open house traffic and off-MLS listings were up from February a year ago.

Graphics (click links to open):


Share of Distressed Sales to Total Sales
(Single-family)

Type of Sale Feb. 2015 Jan. 2015 Feb. 2014
Equity Sales 89.1% 88.1% 85.0%
Total Distressed Sales 10.9% 11.9% 15.0%
     REOs 6.0% 5.8% 6.4%
     Short Sales 4.5% 5.5% 8.1%
     Other Distressed Sales (Not Specified) 0.5% 0.6% 0.6%
All Sales 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%

 

Single-family Distressed Home Sales by Select Counties
(Percent of total sales)

County Feb. 2015 Jan. 2015 Feb.

2014

Alameda 6% 5% 9%
Amador 0% 9% 19%
Butte 15% 13% 17%
Calaveras 13% 22% NA
Contra Costa 7% 9% 10%
El Dorado 13% 12% 17%
Fresno 16% 19% 29%
Glenn 36% 33% 25%
Humboldt 14% 9% 15%
Kern 13% 14% 18%
Kings 22% 25% 36%
Lake 18% 21% 36%
Los Angeles 10% 10% 14%
Madera 14% 12% 22%
Marin 3% 6% 7%
Mariposa 0% 0% 17%
Mendocino 17% 19% 24%
Merced 17% 11% 16%
Monterey 9% 2% 14%
Napa 8% 15% 15%
Orange 6% 8% 8%
Placer 8% 12% 16%
Plumas 16% 30% 27%
Riverside 13% 15% 18%
Sacramento 15% 18% 19%
San Benito 7% 6% 5%
San Bernardino 15% 17% 23%
San Diego 7% 8% 5%
San Francisco 4% 1% 4%
San Joaquin 13% 13% 25%
San Luis Obispo 8% 6% 10%
San Mateo 2% 2% 7%
Santa Clara 4% 3% 8%
Santa Cruz 9% 2% 12%
Shasta 19% 20% 19%
Siskiyou 24% 26% 34%
Solano 15% 11% 22%
Sonoma 8% 6% 11%
Stanislaus 15% 12% 25%
Sutter 15% 20% 17%
Tulare 22% 16% 20%
Yolo 14% 10% 13%
Yuba 25% 22% 24%
California 11% 12% 15%

NA = not available

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*Note:  C.A.R.’s pending sales information is generated from a survey of more than 70 associations of REALTORS® and MLSs throughout the state.  Pending home sales are forward-looking indicators of future home sales activity, offering solid information on future changes in the direction of the market.  A sale is listed as pending after a seller has accepted a sales contract on a property.  The majority of pending home sales usually becomes closed sales transactions one to two months later.  The year 2008 was used as the benchmark for the Pending Homes Sales Index.  An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2008.

**C.A.R.’s Market Pulse Survey is a monthly online survey of more than 300 California REALTORS® to measure data about their last closed transaction and sentiment about business activity in their market area for the previous month and the last year.

Leading the way…® in California real estate for 110 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.

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