Market Update September 2020

My real estate team is committed to serving all your real estate needs while incorporating safety protocols to protect all of our loved ones.

In addition, as your go-to local real estate expert, it is my honor to give you all the information you need to better understand our local real estate market. Whether you’re buying or selling, I want to make sure you have the best, most pertinent information, so I’ve put together this monthly analysis breaking down specifics about the market.

As we all navigate this together, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or concerns. We’re here to support you.

– Noah ManningDRE #01931395

Welcome to our September newsletter. This month, we discuss the effects of decreased inventory coupled with increased sales in East Bay, which includes median prices soaring back to all-time highs. We also dive into the larger trend of working remotely and how it might affect the region. As the market ebbs and flows, we continue to provide you with the most up-to-date information, so you feel supported and informed in your buying and selling decisions. 

In this month’s newsletter, we cover the following:

Key Topics and Trends in September: Pinterest Inc.’s lease break, which ends the company’s plans to expand its office space, underscores the larger trend toward more permanent remote work. The increase in remote workers has dropped rental rates, but it has not affected home prices.
September Housing Market Updates: Inventory remains lower than normal, which has increased median prices. The Months of Supply Inventory and Days on Market have dropped and are once again favoring sellers.

Year-over-year, single-family home prices are up 8% in Alameda and 19% in Contra Costa. The East Bay as a whole has fared well throughout the pandemic with year-over-year prices dipping briefly in May and rebounding in the summer months. 

Median condo prices posted gains across both counties. Contra Costa county saw significant price increases for both single-family homes and condos.

The inventory of homes for sale remains near its high for the year but are far lower than last summer, which we can see reflected in the increased median home prices. Lack of supply compared to demand typically buoys the East Bay’s prices, which still remains true. Demand has remained high in the summer months, and the area may see an increase in new listings with sellers looking to capitalize on the favorable seller’s market.

To fully appreciate the year-over-year decline in inventory, we must look at the ways in which sales behaved in 2020. During the initial months of the pandemic (March, April, and May), buyers and sellers hesitated to enter the market or entirely withdrew from it. Sellers began to reenter the market in May, thereby increasing inventory, but not to last year’s levels. Without the usual inventory, buyers have had fewer options from which to choose, and yet, sales have rebounded, surpassing last year’s numbers. We’ve seen a large year-over-year sales increase, which is an amazing recovery from the lows in May. The increase in sales shows that there is still high demand in the area, despite the lower-than-usual inventory.

We can look to Months of Supply Inventory (MSI)—the measure of how many months it would take for all current homes for sale on the market to sell at the current rate of sales—as a metric to judge whether the market favors buyers or sellers. MSI has an average of three months in California, which indicates a balanced market. An MSI lower than three means that buyers are dominating the market and there are relatively few sellers, while a higher MSI means there are more sellers than buyers. The MSI for single-family homes fell well under the three-month mark indicating that the market is favoring sellers again. 

The Days on Market (DOM) decreased, corresponding to the increased sales, and is more in line with what we typically see in the summer season. We suspect that the DOM will remain low during this time of undersupply. Condos, generally, take longer to sell, which makes working with an agent that can differentiate the property and create a winning selling strategy even more important.

In summary, the lower levels of inventory have made the market more favorable to sellers. We believe sales will continue to trend upward, which could bring more homes to the market to satisfy the demand for housing in the East Bay. The housing market has shown its resilience through the pandemic, remaining one of the safest asset classes.

As always, we remain committed to helping you achieve your current and future real estate goals. I am happy to discuss the information I’ve have shared in this newsletter. I welcome you to contact me with any questions about the current market or to request an evaluation of your home or condo.



510.910.7124 | DRE #01931395

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