Last year, real estate prices in most Berkeley/Oakland neighborhoods dipped again by about 5%. This is very likely the result of continued high unemployment in the East Bay, an increasing number of short sales and overall cautiousness on the part of Buyers. This year, however, there are signs of an Early Spring in real estate in the East Bay (as in better times ahead.)
More Buyers seem to be coming out of hibernation – perhaps with the fear that the deflated prices won’t last forever and extra low interest rates are now hovering around 4%. Stagers, painters and inspectors are getting booked weeks in advance – a sign more people are buying and getting ready to list.
According to a recent article in the SF Chronicle, this is backed up by economists of Bay Area California who expect “moderate growth” in the local economy. Not that we’re going to come roaring back – except in high tech – which is booming. Many expect the technology boom to spread to other areas of the economy. And, in fact, UCLA Anderson forecasts call for East Bay job growth of 2.2% this year (even higher than San Francisco’s 1.4%).
As for real estate prices, experts expect them to remain relatively flat – not down – as foreclosures and short sales decrease. My own view is that real estate prices in the East Bay will start to increase since all economic signs are pointing to increased demand. Not that things will all of a sudden boom, but that we will witness a gradual and early opening of “spring growth.”
If you’d like to take advantage of the early spring in East Bay real estate, just give me a call on my cell phone: 510-847-2409.