Pacific Union’s October Real Estate Report
Pacific Union International’s regional offices are reporting strong results for the month of October, as measured by the percentage of homes in contract. Typically, more than 35 percent of homes in contract indicates a sellers’ market; less than 25 percent reflects a buyers’ market; and between 25 and 35 percent is considered a balanced market. Other measurements, such as median sales price and months’ supply of inventory, also indicate an active real estate market as we move into November.
In Contra Costa County, the percentage of homes in contract overall was up sharply from September – jumping from 31 to 52 percent overall. The sub-$1 million market was very strong, with 61 percent of homes in that price range going into contract by the end of the month. Concord (68 percent), Pleasant Hill (67 percent), San Ramon (66 percent), and Blackhawk (64 percent) showed the strongest buyer demand for homes priced under $1 million. For homes priced over $1 million, San Ramon led the pack with 47 percent of homes going under contract, followed by Danville at 40 percent.
The bullish East Bay real estate market for sellers shows no signs of dwindling even as we head into fall, typically a time of slowing activity. In the East Bay, the percentage of homes in contract hit a two-year high in October, with 48 percent of homes on the market spoken for. The upper price points were especially competitive; of homes for sale priced $1.75 million to $2 million, a whopping 70 percent were in contract. In Piedmont, homes below $1 million didn’t last long; the two homes on the market at this price point were in contract by month’s end. Oakland’s Crocker Highlands area was similarly strong, but in the $1 million and up range; there, all available homes went under contract.
Marin County as a whole saw a normalization back toward a balanced market – one favoring neither buyers or sellers – with the percentage of homes in contract at 32 percent overall in October. However, there were still communities where sellers seemed to be in the driver’s seat: Corte Madera remained red-hot, with 50 percent of available homes in contract both above and below the $1 million price point. In addition, properties priced below $750,000 showed great demand; homes priced from $100,000 to $500,000 had 57 percent in contract, while homes priced $500,001 to $750,000 had 42 percent claimed.
Napa County saw slightly diminished activity compared with September; overall, the seven cities of the Napa Valley (Napa, Yountville, Oakville, Rutherford, St. Helena, Calistoga, and Angwin) saw 41 percent of available single-family homes go into contract in October.
Yountville was particularly strong, with 74 percent of its available properties being snapped up by month’s end. Single-family homes priced between $100,001 and $500,000 were a hot commodity across all cities; 113 percent of these homes went into contract in October.
San Francisco sellers enjoyed a big spike in homes, condos, and tenancies-in-common finding buyers in October. The percentage of those properties in contract rose to 42 percent overall, compared with 34 percent in September. Properties priced under $1 million showed the most demand: In the $750,000 to $1 million range as well as the $500,000 to $750,000 range, about 46 percent were in contract; for properties in the $100,000 to $500,000 range, 43 percent were taken. Looking at individual districts, District 3 (Lakeshore, Lakeside, Oceanview) and District 4 (St. Francis Wood, Forest Hill, West Portal, Twin Peaks) were epicenters of activity; both areas saw fully half of available homes and condominiums go under contract in October.
Sonoma County and Sonoma Valley continue to be inventory-constrained, with October showing a 36-percent dip in the number of available homes for sale compared with September; overall, the months’ supply of inventory dropped precipitously to just 1.5, its lowest level in the past 12 months. Meanwhile, the number of homes sold was up almost 30 percent, while the number of homes in contract was up about 24 percent. Rohnert Park saw aggressive buyer activity, as 85 percent of available homes for sale went into contract. Santa Rosa (66 percent in contract) and Petaluma (63 percent in contract) also saw plenty of buyer action.
The Tahoe/Truckee region showed a slight uptick in several measurements compared with September. Both the average and median sales prices were up, with the median nudging up toward the $400,000 high-water mark for 2012. The average number of days on the market for sold properties dropped, indicating a corresponding acceleration in buyer activity. The market absorption rate, also known as months’ supply of inventory, was sharply up by the end of October; that’s good news for potential buyers, who may now have a wider range of properties to browse.