Housing market continues to cool in southern Alameda County

A sign lets passersby know a single-family home in Union City is for sale on Feb. 22. (Sonia Waraich — East Bay Echo)

Only 17% of households in Alameda County were able to afford the median price for a single-family home in the county during the second half of the last year, but homes are expected to become more affordable this year.

In January, the median home prices across southern Alameda County saw double-digit annual declines, with Fremont seeing the biggest drop (21%), while the median home price ranged from $745,000 on the low end in San Lorenzo to $1.3 million on the high end in Union City, according to data from the according to data from the Bay East Association of Realtors. During the same time, the number of homes on the market in southern Alameda County increased 44.4% from 126 to 182, with the largest growth in inventory in Castro Valley (82%) and Newark (83%).

“Trends that began during the last half of 2022 continued into 2023,” David Stark, president of the Bay East Association of Realtors, said during his February East Bay Real Estate Weather Report. “Buyers started the year with a lot more choices than the last three Januaries. Following a trend that started last spring, prices continued to drop throughout the East Bay.”

The downward trend of home sales also continued into the new year. Home sales across most of southern Alameda County declined, with the largest drops in Union City (61%) and Hayward (40%). Only Castro Valley saw an increase (17%).

The median price for a single-family home in Alameda County as a whole saw an annual decline of 14.8% in January, though the price has remained at $1,065,500 since December, according to the latest data from the California Association of Realtors. Countywide, home sales saw month-over-month and year-over-year declines of 35.5% and 32.8%, respectively.

“Job layoffs in recent months, primarily in the tech sector, have contributed to a decline in both sales and prices in higher-priced housing markets, particularly in the San Francisco Bay Area,” the association’s Vice President and Chief Economist Jordan Levine said in a statement. “With home prices expected to remain soft and the mix of sales continuing to shift toward less expensive housing units throughout the rest of 2023, the market will see more downward price adjustments in the next few months.”

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