Statistical Tables | Virus Fears Drive Rates Down

Trends at a Glance
(Single-family Homes)
  Jan 20 Dec 19 Jan 19
Median Price: $875,000 $880,000 $825,000
Average Price: $965,842 $999,361 $897,472
Home Sales: 431 736 504
SP/LP Ratio: 102.3% 103.5% 100.9%
Days on Market: 38 33 37
(Condos/Townhomes)
  Jan 20 Dec 19 Jan 19
Median Price: $644,000 $605,000 $600,000
Average Price: $660,352 $638,136 $627,605
Condo Sales: 162 247 165
SP/LP Ratio: 100.3% 100.7% 101.4%
Days on Market: 41 39 38

Sales Begin the Year Lower

Sales of single-family, re-sale homes were down 14.5%, year-over-year. Sales were off 41.4% from December. That is typical for December/January. There were 431 homes sold last month.
The median sales price for single-family, re-sale homes was up, year-over-year, for the fifth month in a row. It rose 6.1%. It was down 0.6% from December.
The average sales price was up 7.6%, year-over-year. It was down 3.4% from December.
The sales price to list price ratio dropped from 103.5% to 102.3%.
Homes sold in thirty-eight days, up five days from December. This is the time from being listed to going under contract.
The average sales prices for condos was up 3.5% from December. It was up 5.2% year-over-year. The median sales price was up 6.4% from December, and, it was up 7.3% year-over-year.
The sales price to list price ratio for condos dropped from 100.7% to 100.3%.
Condo sales were down 1.8% from last year, and, they were down 34.4% from November.
Condos sold in forty-one days.

Momentum Statistics

Sales momentum…

for single-family homes fell 0.8 of a point to –2.9.

Pricing momentum…

for single-family homes was up 0.5 of a point to –0.8.

Our momentum statistics are based on 12-month moving averages to eliminate monthly and seasonal variations.

This is an extraordinarily tough market for buyers. It's important to be calm and realistic. If you don't know what to do or where to begin, give me a call and let's discuss your situation and your options.

If you’re looking to sell, call me for a comprehensive Comparative Market Analysis.

In the chart below…

the blue area shows momentum for home sales while the red line shows momentum for pending sales of single-family, re-sale homes. The purple line shows momentum for the median price.

This is an extraordinarily tough market for buyers. It's important to be calm and realistic. If you don't know what to do or where to begin, give me a call and let's discuss your situation and your options.

 

Alameda County Days on Market

Alameda County Days on Market

The real estate market is very hard to generalize. It is a market made up of many micro markets. For complete information on a particular neighborhood or property, call me.

If I can help you devise a strategy, call or click the buying or selling link in the menu to the left.

Monthly Statistics

Complete monthly sales statistics for the Alameda County are below. Monthly graphs are available for each city in the county.

January Sales Statistics
(Single-family Homes)
  Prices Unit     Change from last year Change from last month
Area Median Average Sales DOM SP/LP Median Average Sales Median Average Sales
County $875,000 $965,842 431 38 102.3% 6.1% 7.6% -14.5% -0.6% -3.4% -41.4%
Alameda $1,237,500 $1,196,875 8 26 113.7% 24.8% 11.0% 33.3% 37.5% 10.5% 166.7%
Albany $1,497,500 $1,497,500 2 60 113.7% 51.0% 38.9% -66.7% 66.4% 38.2% -33.3%
Berkeley $1,250,000 $1,285,481 27 41 111.2% 6.4% 6.2% -3.6% -1.4% -11.2% -35.7%
Castro Valley $900,000 $922,037 27 34 99.1% 11.8% 12.5% 8.0% 1.0% 1.1% -3.6%
Dublin $990,000 $1,060,769 13 37 99.3% 12.5% 2.9% -43.5% 5.4% 5.4% -59.4%
Fremont $1,115,000 $1,243,572 49 38 99.6% 8.3% 12.1% -10.9% 5.8% 11.1% -47.9%
Hayward $717,500 $750,945 50 41 100.5% 4.0% 3.5% -2.0% 1.3% -6.7% -43.8%
Livermore $838,250 $919,712 50 41 98.6% 9.6% 1.7% 6.4% 4.1% 3.8% -24.2%
Newark $910,000 $906,631 13 49 98.0% 7.1% 3.1% -31.6% 6.4% 5.2% -45.8%
Oakland $710,000 $829,784 115 42 110.2% 16.4% 17.1% 0.0% -15.5% -9.4% -45.5%
Piedmont $3,250,000 $3,250,000 1 14 103.4% 51.2% 3.5% -66.7% 40.5% 21.1% -83.3%
Pleasanton $1,215,000 $1,464,228 24 36 99.7% 7.7% 22.9% -27.3% -5.8% -2.7% -41.5%
San Leandro $688,500 $739,515 26 19 103.0% 3.8% 9.7% -29.7% -3.0% 2.6% -13.3%
San Lorenzo $670,000 $682,231 13 12 103.8% 7.5% 10.1% -13.3% -5.2% -4.1% -35.0%
Union City $890,000 $934,462 13 49 98.4% -1.1% -1.8% -60.6% 4.3% 4.7% -55.2%

 

January Sales Statistics
(Condos/Town Homes)
  Prices Unit     Change from last year Change from last month
  Median Average Sales DOM SP/LP Median Average Sales Median Average Sales
County $644,000 $660,352 162 41 100.3% 7.3% 5.2% -1.8% 3.5% 6.4% -34.4%
Alameda $725,000 $719,400 5 23 103.7% 3.1% 4.0% -50.0% 3.4% 2.8% -64.3%
Albany $796,000 $796,000 2 19 97.7% 53.1% 57.3% -33.3% 34.0% 50.2% -60.0%
Berkeley $725,000 $848,571 7 36 101.0% -2.0% 14.7% 250.0% 1.0% -22.0% -12.5%
Castro Valley $600,000 $596,616 4 33 103.5% 6.7% -6.4% -33.3% -25.0% -31.6% -50.0%
Dublin $690,000 $680,442 14 34 99.6% -6.8% -4.5% -6.7% 7.3% 9.6% -12.5%
Emeryville $527,000 $565,463 8 29 101.8% 17.2% -2.1% 0.0% -12.8% -23.1% -11.1%
Fremont $830,000 $759,285 25 48 98.7% 11.4% 1.2% 38.9% 11.6% 25.8% -30.6%
Hayward $565,000 $579,304 23 57 99.8% 8.7% 8.3% 9.5% 0.9% 3.2% -17.9%
Livermore $545,000 $579,350 10 14 100.1% -10.7% 4.2% 11.1% -8.8% -14.8% -37.5%
Newark $555,000 $584,167 6 66 99.2% -5.3% -7.8% 0.0% 7.7% 6.7% -60.0%
Oakland $625,000 $655,711 35 38 102.2% -2.3% -5.6% 0.0% 1.1% 1.5% -16.7%
Pleasanton $812,500 $808,900 5 63 97.7% 24.0% 22.5% -37.5% 15.4% 13.3% -61.5%
San Leandro $499,750 $553,975 10 50 100.3% 15.5% 30.8% -28.6% 4.4% -4.4% -44.4%
Union City $649,000 $659,125 8 26 99.2% 21.3% 17.2% -11.1% 15.5% 12.9% -52.9%

Virus Fears Drive Rates Down

Jan. 31, 2020 -- Although the spreading coronavirus probably doesn't meet the classic definition of a pandemic just yet, that's less the case for investor psyches, where concerns about the impacts of the spreading disease have caused widespread selloffs of riskier assets such as equities this week. In turn, those funds have been flowing strongly into safe-haven investments such as Treasury and other sovereign bonds (and to a lesser degree, Mortgage-Backed Securities), driving yields and mortgage rates down in kind.

It's still too early to know the full impact, but it seems likely that there will be at least some economic slowing in some economies around the globe, but where and how much have yet to play out. While unfortunate in many ways on a broad scale -- not the least of which for those who have been or will be directly impacted -- it is fortunate for American mortgage shoppers, who are seeing rates again approaching multi-year lows. This week's average rate for a conforming 30-year FRM is only 20 basis points above (what were then) 60+ year lows achieved back in 2012, and although rates may not fall that far, the economic conditions in which they are occurring (a record-long expansion, near-full employment, rising incomes) means that there is a chance that more folks will be in a position to take advantage of them.

Or at least they would, if interest rates hadn't been for the most part within about a percentage point of these rate for the past few years. Incrementally lower rates should mean incremental increases in refinance activity, and may, but there have been an awful lot of refinances at rates near enough to today's levels over that time as to have tempered any pent-up demand. Still, we should see a boost in activity, even above the 7.5% increase in applications for refinance mortgages reported by the Mortgage Bankers Association of America in the week ending January 24... and rates have moved lower this week again.

Can lower rates help create more home sales? Yes... but since there is a dearth of homes available to buy on the market (inventory levels of existing homes were at about a 20-year low in December, according to the National Association of Realtors) so a ramp up in sales seems unlikely. In fact, the Realtors reported that their Pending Home Sales Index dropped by 4.9% in December, with the decline attributed to a lack of homes for sale and a spike in home prices toward the end of 2019 that has again crimped affordability.

Some potential borrowers may look to new construction instead, where supply is less of an issue, but prices tend to be higher to start with and homes may be being built in places that are less optimal, such as away from transportation options or a long distance to a center-city job. Sales of new homes eased a little in December, falling by 0.4% to 694,000 (annualized) units sold. Unlike existing homes, there is a 5.7 month supply of newly-constructed units available (a five-month high, and close to optimal), and median prices of new homes sold have waxed and waned from month to month but are just 0.5% higher this December than they were last December. As such, the relative improvement in affordability produced by lower mortgage rates is largely preserved and may make the stretch to a new home possible for somewhat more potential homebuyers. As with refinances, applications for purchase-money mortgages rose last week, gaining 5.3%.

A large selloff in major stock indices here on Friday will no doubt see overseas market start the next trading week on a sour note, and the downward pressure on rates will continue. Despite a largely positive economic climate, the effects of the spreading pandemic has already blown out the bottom of out most recent Two-Month Forecast, and that seems like a trend that will continue next week. We think by the time Freddie Mac reports next Thursday morning that another handful of basis points will be shaved off the average offered rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, putting us closer to historic lows again. A couple of basis point fall would put us on full par with last September; a 4 to 9 basis point decline drops us back October 2016 levels... 11 sees us at July 16... but a dozen or more and we're back at 7-year lows.