The local real estate market looked like it was slowing towards the end of last year, but it sure has bounced back this spring!  I talked in the last newsletter about the common perception that big IPOs were going to create wealth and boost the market, and that perception may have had some effect.  The other significant factor has been interest rates. Rates on home loans have lately been among the lowest we’ve seen since around election time in 2016, after peaking at close to 5% in November of last year.  (If you’ve been thinking about re-financing your home loan, now could be a good time!)  Low rates give buyers more incentive to find something now, and more purchasing power.

In North Berkeley, there were 36 active listings in the spring (down from 47 last spring, which was higher than normal). Between March and the end of May, 25 properties sold, on average after 19 days on the market.  The median sale price was $1,430,000, which is up 24% (wow!) from the slow winter season, and up 10% from last spring.

Four of the sold properties had price reductions, but 80% of the sales were for more than list price.  Among the properties that went over, the sold price was on average 28% above list price.

Where reported in the MLS, the average number of offers was 6. One home, a fixer on Posen, got 15 offers, which was the highest number reported.

The average sold price per square foot in the spring was $908, which is up 15% from the winter, and up 7% from last spring.  There was a big range in outcomes for price per square foot though.  Of the 25 sold properties, 3 sold for less than $700 per square foot. These were all larger homes, which is the usual pattern (larger homes typically sell for less per square foot, and vice versa).  The greatest concentration of sales was between $800 and $899 per square foot.  On the high side, two properties sold for more than $1300 per square foot.  One was my 4 bedroom listing on Lincoln Street (contrary to the usual rule about larger homes), and the other was a 2 bedroom on Delaware.

There continue to be signs that the real estate market is slowing elsewhere, but here in North Berkeley, it’s still super hot!