Red Oak Realty: Berkeley, California Quarterly Market Report

Learn the latest real estate news from Leverage Partner Red Oak Realty, who was recently featured in Berkleyside with Home Truths, a quarterly report on the state of the Berkeley, California real estate market.

Read the full article: Home Truths: The relative 'bargain' of Berkeley real estate

While Berkeley real-estate prices have risen along with the rest of the Bay Area, they are still a relative "bargain" compared to other parts of the region.

For example, a 3-bedroom home in Berkeley averages $949,000 compared to $1,115,000 in San Francisco, $1,225,000 in Mill Valley, and $2,040,000 in Palo Alto.

There is an increasing trend of San Francisco residents migrating to Berkeley in search of attractive neighborhoods and more affordable housing options. This year alone roughly five hundred single family homes have changed ownership. Berkeley hasn't seen this level of activity since 2006.

Many of Berkeley's neighborhoods are experiencing significant appreciation, but there is a trend favoring "walkable" neighborhoods. Where normally it was hill homes with sweeping views of the bay that demanded top dollar, there has been an increasing preference for areas that provide easy access to transit, shopping and amenities. This shift may be attributed to an increase in younger buyers: at Red Oak, over half of buyers are either Millennials or Generation X.

What does it take to score a property in such a competitive market these days? We've tracked that winning bids run an average of 13.3 percent over the asking price, with 80 percent of the properties on the market being sold over the list price.

Berkeley is the second most competitive city in the Bay Area; only Albany is higher at 17.6 percent over asking.

The market is expected to slow during the winter holidays, but if these trends continue, Berkeley should see prices increase further through 2015.

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