The fourth quarter in Oakland and Berkeley and neighboring cities continued with a serious shortage of inventory.

There was a slight increase in listings after labor day, and a momentary slow down. In part attributed to the sheer exhaustion of the buyers (and their agents)! How many way over asking clean and often contingency free offers can you write and still not get the house??!

Of note in the 4th quarter, the Oakland neighborhoods of Redwood Heights and Lincoln Heights saw a big jump in average sale price.
For some time they have been significantly below the Glenview prices and the difference is now closer to a recent historical norm.

For perspective on inventory in the Berkeley/Oakland areas we cover ……

On 12/31/2013 there were 222 active listings
On 12/31/2014 there were 131 active listings
On 12/31/2015 there were 64 active listings

Sellers… if you are ready… do not wait! This is our Spring market and the last Jan-Feb sellers have done very well.

In March and April you will have competition!!!

There are lots of older added onto remodeled and rambling floor plans in the Oakland Hills, and this house is a really nice exception!

This is the perfect ” grown ups” house for folks who have enjoyed spending time in their San Francisco loft but now need more room and more bucolic surroundings.

Not to mention the highly rated local elementary school run by one of my favorite principles!
( space subject to availability)


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And so many wonderful walks in the nearby Regional Parks!
Enjoy one of the nearby regional parks

July and August are historically slower months as agents and clients take vacations.
However, in the East Bay inventory has been on the lower side but committed buyers are still looking and writing often in multiple offer situations.

03 without cans

Click to see Website

My recent listing in Maxwell Park had good interest after the first open house and the sellers opted for just the one Sunday Open. They received 6 very nice offers. Why wait for more competition to come on!

I’m often asked what is the percentage to overbid…. there is no magic number!
Some homes are coming on priced too high or pretty much at market value.

Most buyers expect to bid over and may be scared away from writing on properties which come on at what is perceived as too high!
One characteristic of this market is sellers sometimes not letting their agent know what they really expect. It’s easy to get carried away with the value of your home when there have been several high price sales which may or may not be good comparables to yours.
If the seller comes on low and does not get the higher price they hope for, then we sometimes see a big jump up in list price to what they really want.
Conversely, sometimes a small price reduction will often encourage a couple of buyers to compete and bid the price up.

Have been spending lots of time at my latest Temescal listing at 4510 Webster street. On an early visit I noticed the front porch light was dangling from the ceiling and tangled up with cobwebs and twigs.
4510 Webster EXT
I heard little squawks when I climbed the front steps and realized an enterprising bird had made a convenient home in a great location!
6231 Webster Oakland (49)The house inspection revealed 5 lovely eggs, new residents ready to move in!
6231 Webster Oakland (48)Contractors were warned not to disturb the birds and to avoid power washing the front step area!
6231 Webster Oakland (20)Now as we come on the market there are at least 3 nestlings keeping up their incessant demands to be fed.The busy Black Phoebe parents sit on the nearby bushes catching insects and flying back and forth to the nest . Quite a job!
phoebe imageSo if you visit this house, mind out for bird poop if you stand on the porch outside the front door, the nest, …err, house will be delivered vacant at close of escrow!

Please Click this link if you wish to visit the website: 4510webster.com

Thrilla on Manila!

It’s always a treat to help prepare a well loved home for market and the next generation!

Owned by the same family for over 40 years, it was a true family affair getting this 99 year old Temescal lady ready for sale!

Mum and daughters and sons in law  spent many months clearing out the basement, weeded and planted the garden and worked around my usual crew of painters and contractors prepping the inside of the house.


Replaced the older countertop and sink and the vinyl floor, painted and refinished the bath


Removed wallpaper and tile on walls, redid vinyl floor, painted and replaced cabinet hardware

And here is the finished project in all its glory!

click here


Located on a super street and perfectly positioned between Rockridge and MacArthur BART, Temescal hub on Telegraph, Piedmont Ave district and Rockridge!

For some uncanny reason the last 2 Oakland homes I lived in are on the market at the same time!

When we sold our home in 2006 we caught the market as it was starting to drop, not catching the highest price but happy we timed it when we did.

Below are charts showing the rise and fall of several east bay neighborhoods from 2005-2015!

If you’ve been waiting to sell the sellers market does not usually last for a very extended period of time!


Berkeley home prices have soared to new heights in the last couple of years. Always tight on inventory, prices never dropped as significantly as in some areas.

berkeley historic sales


Piedmont prices have risen astronomically, with quality homes, easy commutes and schools ranked top 10 in the nation.

Piedmont historic sales


Rockridge homes have increased significantly in value due to proximity to urban amenities and the desire for convenience.  Their fall was less precipitous than in many areas.
Rockrdige historic sales


Glenview homes are being sought by buyers priced out of Crocker Highlands.
glenview historic sales


Montclair homes rose a little more slowly with many buyers liking the good schools but preferring walkable locations with a more urban vibe.
Montclair historical prices


94602 includes The Oakmore, The Laurel and Dimond areas. Many of these homes are selling at record highs with the less pricey areas within 94602 still moving up in value.
Areas below MacArthur took a big hit when prices fell and had more ground to recover.

94602 historic prices

Redwood Heights has been slower to rise in value, despite the well regarded elementary school there is no central destination which drives other neighborhood prices.
redwood heights historic prices


Many homes in the 94605 zip code have not overtaken the height of the market but many have fully recovered values.
94605 historic sales

Expect to see the lower end of the market and condos continue to climb in 2015 as buyers are priced out of neighborhoods and compete for the more moderate end of the market.



Once upon a time you paid more money to live in the Oakland Hills than in most parts of the flatlands. Schools had the better reputation, you were away from the urban bustle and grittier parts of city living and maybe you even got a lovely view of the Bay!

OK, so Rockridge hasn’t been cheap for a long time, but the boundary lines between which areas sell for more and which sell for less are shifting.
The bike riding 20 something and the down sizing 60 something continue to gravitate to the urban hub.

A few clips from recent sales showing the list price above and sale price….SP is the sale price. Multiple offers and strong competition for these  homes in hot Oakland neighborhoods!


Rose Garden

Rose Garden

The Rose garden near Grand Ave and Lakeshore



Lakeshore  near Grand Ave and Lake Merritt



North Oakland not far from Ashby and MacArthur BART

Piedmont Ave

Piedmont Ave near shopping district and restaurants




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