A Highlight of Some of 2022’s Top Sales from the Most Popular East Bay Real Estate Markets
Real estate in the East Bay in 2022 was a tale of two markets.
As reported recently in the SFGate, the year began as a continuation of 2021’s real estate trends – sellers with all the power, desperate buyers, major over-asking prices and multiple offers. However, everything started to change in the middle of the year, and now the power has mostly shifted to the buyers.
2022 was the Year of the Shifting Market
With Berkeley and Oakland both hitting all-time high median sales prices of $1.6 million and $1.1 million, respectively, which was a jump of over 13% from 2020, 2021 was a record-breaking year for East Bay real estate. In the first half of 2022, things looked just as good for East Bay sellers.
At the conclusion of April, “Red Oak properties received an average of six offers each, the highest we’ve seen in over a year,” real estate agent Simone Koga told Berkeleyside earlier this year. “Offers came in at an average of 27% over list price, the highest we’ve ever recorded. And 21% of homes received offers of at least $500,000 over asking, 15 percentage points higher than the same time last year.”
However, by May, the market shifted. Popular neighborhoods like Piedmont and Berkeley even felt the shift as overbidding cooled a lot.
East Bay Buyers are Still Around But More Particular
The fact that people were not as willing or able to overbid on a home does not mean there were not buyers out there desiring to purchase.
“The perfect 10 houses still sold very well with multiple offers and often in double digits percentages over the list price,” real estate agent Caitlin Crawford of the Grubb Company told SFGATE. “Houses with inherent flaws — located on busy streets, funky layouts, no off-street parking and/or in need of repairs — are taking longer to sell, need price reductions. And some are simply not selling. Buyers became much more discerning in their home search and how they are structuring offers after years of being beaten up by local market trends.”
The East Bay’s high demand could partially reflect San Francisco’s newsworthy emigration trend in 2022: An American Housing Survey released in October found more San Franciscans planned to leave their city than any other city in the U.S.
However, Crawford, who often works with buyers moving from San Francisco to the East Bay, said that “Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda and Piedmont were the cities my clients most moved to.”
Herman Chan, of Golden Gate Sotheby’s International, said Oakland and Berkeley have always been very popular with SF transplants, but that “since the pandemic, cities like Piedmont and Alameda, with their wonderful schools and better safety statistics, have exploded.”
The top home sales in four of 2022’s most in-demand East Bay markets give us more insight into the area’s real estate year.
Piedmont: 456 Wildwood Ave.
Built in 1918, this Tudor mansion is palatial at nearly 10,000 square feet, with old world herringbone floors, a spiral staircase, glass French doors and a wine cellar. There is also an oversized main suite on the 0.66-acre property, along with a three-car garage, guest rooms on the second level, a greenhouse, multiple lawns, patios and a pool.
Even with all its grandeur, this luxurious home did not sell for its asking price of $13 million, mirroring the general downturn in demand for high-end homes experienced in San Francisco. This home sold for $12 million forty-four days after being listed.
The luxury market can act differently from the more affordable market, and Crawford said that these homes do not represent the overall picture in the East Bay in 2022, when there were some homes that did fetch over-asking prices.
“The instances where we were seeing things sell 40, 50, even 60% over asking price were generally in the high $900,000 to low $2 million range,” Crawford said.
Berkeley: 22 Roble Road
A classic Spanish-style home, this home is on almost a full acre in the highly desirable Claremont neighborhood of Berkeley. In its 8,615-square-foot interior are four bedrooms and seven and a half bathrooms. The tile, arched windows and iron work from the Spanish design are all well-preserved, and the exterior has a courtyard with a level lawn, gardens and patio.
According to its sale records, it listed for $12 million early in 2021, dropping its price twice that year (the last recorded price being $10 million) before being pulled from the market. This year, it was listed briefly on the MLS at $8.9 million before selling off the market for $8.5 million.
What’s Ahead in 2023?
“We will continue to transition into a more balanced market that we experienced in the second half of 2022, in which buyers have a seat at the negotiation table,” Crawford said.
“That said, sellers still have plenty to celebrate. “The majority of sellers who have owned for at least three years will still have made money on their investment if they choose to sell in 2023,” she said.
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