Alameda County homes are still selling like hotcakes despite slowdown

Home sales are slowing and sale prices are dropping, but single-family homes in Alameda County are still more expensive and selling faster than homes in most other counties.

In December, the median sale price for an existing single-family home in Alameda County was $1,065,500, 9.3% less than November when the median price was $1,175,00 and 11.2% less than a year earlier when it was $1.2 million, according to the latest data from the California Association of Realtors. The median sale price across the state was $774,580 and across the Bay Area was $1,084,500.

Home sales in the county have seen a 15.1% month-over-month drop and 37% year-over-year drop. The median time a home is on the market increased to 19 days from 16 days a month prior and 12 days a year prior.

That’s still less than the median number of days it took to sell a single-family home in other counties and the state as a whole. Only Humboldt County on the North Coast (17 days) and neighboring Santa Clara County (17.5 days) had homes that were selling faster. The median time on the market in the state was 28 days in December.

There are more homes available in Alameda County than there were a year ago, but there was a month-over-month drop in inventory in December, which reflected a statewide trend. At the December rate of sales, it would take 1.4 months to sell the unsold inventory in the county, up from 1.8 months a month prior and less than a month a year prior.

“Home prices are holding up relatively well, despite rising interest rates and falling housing demand in recent months. Tight housing inventory was a primary factor preventing prices from free falling as new active listings continued to dip to reach the lowest level in at least the past five years,” the association’s Vice President and Chief Economist Jordan Levine said in a statement. “While depressed inventory will preclude major price declines beyond the 8.8 percent we forecast for this year, it will also slow sales growth and prevent the housing market from having a rapid recovery.”

Mortgage rates are the lowest they’ve been since the start of fall, averaging 6.15% for the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage as of Jan. 19, according to Freddie Mac.

“As inflation continues to moderate, mortgage rates declined again this week,” Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said in a statement. “Rates are at their lowest level since September of last year, boosting both homebuyer demand and homebuilder sentiment. Declining rates are providing a much-needed boost to the housing market, but the supply of homes remains a persistent concern.”

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