As always in the March/April newsletter, I’m going to review both the data for the past year, and also look at the winter quarter results (for December through February).
2020 was a surprisingly solid year in local real estate, despite a big lull in activity with the first shelter-in-place. After just a few weeks, though, real estate was deemed an essential service, and activity gradually picked back up.
150 properties sold in the Berkeley hills in 2020, which is a bit fewer than in 2019, but there were also fewer homes on the market. Properties sold in an average of 22 days (excluding the Spring Mansion at 1960 San Antonio, which was on the market for 1340 days). The median sold price in the hills was $1,500,000 for 2020, which is up 5.3% from the previous year. 70% of the sales were for more than list price, and those averaged 14% over list. The average sold price per square foot was $770, which is up 3% from 2019.
A total of 88 properties sold in North Berkeley in 2020, in an average of 18 days on the market. This is more sales, with less time on the market, compared to the previous year. The median sold price in North Berkeley was $1,350,000, which is unchanged from 2019. More than 3/4 of the sales in 2020 were for more than list price, and those averaged 22% over list. The average sold price per square foot was $890, which is up 1.8% from 2019.
Winter Results (December 1, 2020 – February 28, 2021):
The median sold price in the hills over the winter quarter was $1,547,500, which is up slightly (0.8%) from the fall and more significantly (by 9.8%) from last winter.
There were very few sales in North Berkeley over the winter (only 8), so the data is heavily influenced by the characteristics of the properties that sold. 3 of the 8 sales over the winter were small (relatively inexpensive) condos. One of those condos was also a below-market-rate unit (BMR), which means that it must be sold for a restricted, pre-set price ($201,815 in this case). Because these small properties made up a big proportion of the sales, the median sold price over the winter was lower, at $1,195,000, which is lower than in either the fall of 2020, or the previous winter. Despite this data point, single family homes have been selling incredibly well so far in 2021, with loads of offers (we got 26 offers on my listing at 1726 Grant) at very high prices.
Interest rates have started creeping up a bit recently (to a little over 3% in many cases), but buyer interest remains intense right now, and the results for the spring season should reflect that!