I mentioned in the last newsletter that the market seemed to be cooling off a bit from the spring frenzy, and that was true through most of the fall season. That has changed recently (the market has been crazy hot again in December!), but we won’t have data on that until next year, when the currently pending sales have closed escrow. Over the fall, inventory was relatively high, and it was the competition between properties that made the market a little cooler than earlier in the year.
Prices are still sky-high though. Sales over $2 million are now not uncommon in Berkeley (there were 9 over the fall season in North Berkeley and 15 in the hills), and for the first time ever, we’re regularly seeing sales over $3M (there were two in North Berkeley and 6 in the hills in the fall).
There were 49 active listings in North Berkeley over the fall, and 37 properties sold. These figures are higher than both this past summer, and last fall. The average number of days on the market for the sold properties was 13, which means that almost everything sold as soon as the sellers started accepting offers.
The median sold price from September through November was $1,715,000 in North Berkeley. This is up 8% from the summer, and up 23.5% from last fall. The average size of the sold properties was a bit larger than is typical, which corresponds with a more modest increase in sold price per square foot. On average, properties in North Berkeley sold for $988 per square foot, which is 5% higher than over the summer, and up 7% from last fall. Most of the sales — 89% — were for more than list price, on average 31% above list price for those that went over. Eleven of the sales were for 40% or more above list price, up to a high of 67% over list.
There were 90 active properties in the hills over the fall, and 73 properties sold. The average number of days on the market for the sold properties was 14.
The median sold price from September through November was $1,730,000. This is up 8% from the summer, and up 13% from last fall. Average sold price per square foot over the fall was $812, which is lower than over the summer, but up 3% from last year.
Most of the sales —79% — were for more than list price, on average 23% over, but results were mixed. 15 of the sold properties went for list price or under. At the opposite extreme, 11 of the sold properties went over list price by more than 40% (up to a high of 81% over). Eleven of the sold properties needed price changes — 3 reduced their list price, and 8 increased it — before finding a buyer.
For the winter season (starting December 1st), the weather has cooled off, but the market has heated way up, in a way I’ve never seen before in my 19 years in real estate. The combination of a lot of motivated buyers and a lack of inventory (because winter is usually — at least in the past — not the best time to sell) has led to some epic bidding wars. We’ll see those results in the next issue. Until then, I send you my best wishes for the holiday season, and for all of the new year!