Glen’s SF East Bay Real Estate Market Update

August 31, 2016


I wanted to start out with a quote from the chief economist, Svenja Gudell, with Zillow on her recent outlook on housing followed by their July Spread Sheet covering the largest cities in the San Francisco Bay area:

“The consistent rise in home values that we’ve been seeing for the past four years nationally masks a number of region-specific trends and shifts that have taken place over the past few months. In most areas, the market is being driven mainly by a strong labor market and tight supply, especially among entry level homes that first time buyers are after. But some markets – especially the red-hot Pacific Northwest – are adding more jobs and attracting more residents, putting the pressure on home values and rents there. The Bay Area and Southern California are still growing at a faster pace than the nation as a whole, but growth rates have come back to earth a bit after several years of rapid growth. And markets in other regions, like the Northeast, just keep steadily chugging along.”

“All housing is local, and as the local economies in individual metros ebb and flow, housing will follow suit. More than at any time since the boom and bust, we’re seeing a housing market that is driven by local fundamentals, and not by national trends.”



Here are some highlights for the 38 East Bay Cities that I track:

  • Inventory decreased by 6.6% in the last 30 days but is still roughly 2.5 times more than what it was at the beginning of the year. Inventory is slightly greater than where we were last year at this time. Our monthly supply is now at 45 days. As a reminder of what we mean by “months supply;” If no more homes come onto the market, and homes continue to sell at the same pace as they have been over the last 12 months, then the “months supply,” (in this case 45 days), tells us that’s how many days it would take to sell the remaining number of homes we currently have available for sale in any given market.
  • The number of pendings, (homes that are in contract), has come down slightly as well, roughly by 4.5%. That’s slightly less than what we experienced during this time last year. The pending active ratio has decreased to 1.06. This supply and demand ratio signals whether we’re in a sellers or buyers market. Typically, a number well above 1, (more inventory with less pending) favors sellers. A number below 1 favors buyers. This is at a slightly lower level than we saw last year at this time, (1.14), and this may be an indication of moving towards a more “normal” or balanced market combined with the typical summer slowdown.
  • The percentage of homes “sitting” has slightly increased from last month. 45% of the homes listed now remain active for 30 days or longer, while 20% stayed on the market for 60 days or longer.
  • The “distressed” market, (foreclosures and short sales) are no longer much of a factor representing only 3% of the active listings and 2.8% of sales over the past 4 months.
  • Median Price recovery on a city by city is beginning to see a slight increase. This is typical as we approach Early Fall. 18 out of the 33 East Bay cities tracked are now at or above their median price “peak” levels with another 11 cities within 20%. That means that only 4 cities are still well below their peaks, falling into the 20% to 30% range.


  • The month’s supply for the combined 38 city area increased to 45 days, an increase from what we saw last August, in 2015 of 42 days. Historically, a 2 to 3 months supply is considered normal in the San Francisco East Bay Area.


  • Our inventory for the East Bay (the 38 cities tracked) decreased to 3,029 homes actively for sale. This is still well above the December 2012 low of 1,086 and slightly greater than last year at this time of 2,923. We’re used to seeing between 3,000 and 6,000 homes in a “normal” market in the San Francisco East Bay Area. Pending sales decreased slightly to 3,218, slightly lower than where we were last year at this time of 3,324.


  • Our Pending/Active Ratio decreased to 1.06. Last year at this time it was 1.14. This is moving towards a more balanced or “normal.” (a ratio of 1 with an equal number of listings and pending sales).



  • Sales are up 3.5% from what we saw in the last (4 month period) now at 9,541 for the 38 cities tracked. This is down 7.8% from what we saw last year at this time.
  • Sales over the last 4 months, on average, are 4% over the asking price for this area.






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