There has been a lot going on in the real estate market since my last newsletter, when I wrote that competition between buyers was looking especially intense.  The prospect of increasing interest rates always motivates buyers to find something before rates go up, so they bid extra hard for available properties.  As a result, we saw more incredible sale prices during the spring, and the market reached a new peak.



There were 39 properties on the market in North Berkeley over the spring season (March through the end of May), and 27 properties sold.  Of these, all but two sold for more than list price, on average by 35% above list. Nine of the 27 sales (so 1/3 of them) were at prices more than 50% above list. Only one property (a condo on Oxford Street) reduced its price before it sold.

The median sold price for Spring 2022 in North Berkeley was $1,761,348, which is up 14% from the winter, and 11% from Spring 2021. More of the sold properties during the spring were larger homes than we typically see, so that pushed up the median price, and that also pushed down the average for sold price per square foot. At $1040, sold price per square foot was a bit lower than over the winter, but it was still 8% higher than last spring.



There were 95 properties on the market in the Berkeley hills in the spring, and 70 properties sold.  Of these, all but four sold for more than list price, on average by 40% above list. Just like in the North Berkeley area, about a third of the sales were more than 50% above list price (23 of the 70 sales)! There were no price reductions in the hills, but four properties increased their list price before they sold. This typically means that the property was originally listed below market value, but didn’t get the offers they were hoping for, so they raised the list price to a price the seller would actually accept.

The median sold price in the hills was $2,005,000 over the spring — this is the first time it’s been over $2M.  This median price is up 4% from the winter, and 20% from Spring 2021.  Sold price per square foot was also quite high, at $1077 per square foot.  This figure is up 20% from both last quarter and from spring 2021.


Interest rates on home loans are up dramatically, in response to higher inflation and current and expected future rate increases by the Fed.  Most recently, on June 16th, the Fed announced a big 0.75% increase in the Federal funds rate, and home loan rates shot up even more.  Rates on home loans are now at the highest level in the last 10 years (more on this in “Real Estate Answers”).

Because of the higher rates, we’ve seen a definite shift in the market as we head into summer.  Buyers are still out there, but they are more cautious and more picky.  We’re still seeing multiple offers, but not as many offers for each property. In this sort of environment, strategic pricing and well-conceived preparation are absolutely crucial, but when it’s done right, sale prices are as high as ever. My recent listing on Buena Vista Way ( got 4 offers, fewer than we would have seen earlier in the year, but it still sold for a price the seller was thrilled with!