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Asante Realty - MLS listings in the Tri-Valley. Named the Top Realtor® In San Ramon.

No doubt about it, 2020 was a difficult time for everyone.

Yet in this unprecedented time, Asante Realty is grateful for the trust that you have given us in buying your dream homes and selling your old homes to move to your next chapter in life.

A lot of businesses, including ours were greatly affected, temporarily freezing all business transactions that require face-to-face meetings. The team had to adapt to the changing times, rolled with the punches and became stronger than ever before. Despite the Open Houses ceasing, we’ve continue to strive for the best of our clients.

 That is why after a long 18-month shutdown due to COVID-19, Rama and Sunil decided that we need to have a summer BBQ party for our team, family, friends and our vendors.

Rama Mehra team
the OG Rama Mehra Team

It was our way of appreciating all the hard work every team member puts into the business and taking a breather to enjoy good food!

Rama and Sunil welcomed the whole team, their trusted vendors and clients to their home. The whole team is fully vaccinated, safe and healthy, as well as guests, and proper protocols were practiced.

Nothing can really replace the personal human connection. It was a night like no other especially now that things are slowly going back to normal. There were smiles on everyone’s faces, as we finally get to laugh out loud with one another, share our survival stories, and hope for a better future not just for the business but for the whole world.

Truly, the best is just yet to come. Cheers to a hopeful 2021!

You might be one of the many who realized that your home is bigger than what you can sustain, than what you can keep on paying for a long period of time and than what your family really needs. If that’s the case, then you need to downsize.

That might be sound simple, but there’s a process that you need to follow in order to seamlessly transition from your old home to a smaller one. These are the things that you need to do when you’re downsizing.

Downsizing Tip 1: Choose your essentials.

Choose Your Essentials (Downsizing Tips to Make your Life Easier)

You have to realize that downsizing means decluttering. You cannot bring every piece of item in your current home and cram it in a smaller space. Identify the most important items that you need in order to maintain the dynamics in your new home and let go of the things that you can do without.

Consider buying the same item but in a smaller size. That can include furniture like your bed frames, cabinets and tables. Having a yard sale will be helpful in adding to those kind of expenses.

Downsizing Tip 2: Assess if you can afford to downsize

Assess if you can afford to downsize (Downsizing Tips to Make your Life Easier)

What do we mean? Doesn’t the cost of a house go down if it’s smaller? Not necessarily. You have to take into account the extra monthly expenses that might be added like the HOA fees, and other miscellaneous charges. If the location of your new home is in a much luxurious neighborhood, expect groceries, school fees, parking fees and others to be higher.

While this can be a possibility, there’s also a good chance that you will be spending less. Just take note that moving to a different neighborhood might include some unforeseen monthly expenses so be thorough with your research.

Downsizing Tip 3: Make sure everyone moving is onboard in downsizing

Make sure everyone moving is onboard (Downsizing Tips to Make your Life Easier)

Downsizing might be a practical move for your family, but getting every family member to understand the need to move is essential for you to be able to transition well. This might need a certain family conference or one-on-one conversation. Whatever works for your family to get ready, do it.

Summary

Every move will be stressful, whether it be an upsize or downsize. Just remember that your housing needs change as you and your family grow. Take note of these downsizing tips. A good preparation time is essential to make the move as flawless as it can be.

You will be needing the need of experts in the housing field so make sure to contact our team for advice that fits your current situation. (925) 415-0835


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Welcome to our December market update. This month, we take a look at the ways in which the U.S. housing market has behaved during the pandemic. We do so by examining the Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Index, which tracks property values across 20 different cities and indicates the health of the overall economy.

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As of December 7, many counties in California have once again implemented stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19, and the United States as a whole is seeing new peaks every day. Even amidst this uncertainty, demand for homes has never been higher. Mortgage rates continue at all-time lows, and buyers are devoting more of their total spending to housing costs. 

As we make our way through the holiday months, we continue to provide you with the most up-to-date market information so that you feel supported and informed in your buying and selling decisions. 

In this month’s newsletter, we cover the following:

Key Topics and Trends in December

As we enter the final month of 2020, demand remains significantly high. Typically, the majority (55% to 70%) of American homebuyers are also home sellers, swapping their previous homes for something better suited to their changing needs. The current increase in price and decrease in supply, however, imply that more first-time homebuyers are entering the markets (a record-setting 2+ million first-time buyers), and more existing homeowners are buying second homes. For years, the amount of available housing has not kept up with demand, but the new wave of buyers has highlighted just how considerable the housing shortage is in the United States. 

The Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index measures, in aggregate, the cost of a home across 20 major U.S. cities. It also serves as a barometer for the overall health of the economy. As we can see in the chart below, home prices have moved significantly higher over a short period of time, reaching record highs. 

Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index

Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index East Bay December 2020 Market Update

We can couple the price information with the Months of Supply Inventory (MSI), which quantifies the relationship between supply and demand. More specifically, MSI refers to the number of months it would take for the current inventory of homes on the market to sell given the current sales pace. Historically, six months of supply is associated with moderate price appreciation, and a lower MSI tends to push prices up more rapidly, according to the National Association of Realtors. At a national level, the supply of homes relative to demand is the lowest it has ever been since the data were first tracked in 1963. Because of technological advances, virtual tours, and faster document processing, homes can be sold quickly, thereby reducing the supply of homes for sale at a much faster rate.

The current situation creates a feedback loop that drives prices higher. The most desirable benefit, especially when there are three to four offers on a property, is that the property will be sold for the highest possible price. That home then becomes a comparable property for other homes nearby, driving up prices in the neighborhood when they, in turn, go on the market. 

Months of Supply Inventory

Months of Supply Inventory East Bay December 2020 Market Update

President-elect Joe Biden released a $640 billion housing plan, part of which aims to make homeownership more accessible to mid- and low-income Americans. Some ideas in the plan include giving a tax credit up to $15,000 at the time of purchase and offering down payment assistance to teachers, first responders, and other essential service workers. Although this will certainly help some people, the most desirable properties will likely remain within reach only for upper-income earners. Additionally, if new affordable housing is not built, prices could rise for the currently more affordable homes. We will keep an eye on the implementation of these policies to gauge their efficacy. 

Demand shows no sign of decline in the near term. Today, housing is one of the best investments one can make, as it has been historically.

December Housing Market Updates for the East Bay

Median single-family home prices continued to increase substantially year-over-year with median home prices of $1.05 million in Alameda and $787,250 in Contra Costa.

East Bay Median Home Prices

East Bay Median Home Prices East Bay December 2020 Market Update

Year-over-year, median single-family home and condo prices were up substantially in both counties.

East Bay Median Price Changes

East Bay Median Price Changes East Bay December 2020 Market Update

As you can see in the graph below, median condo prices were substantially higher in both counties. 

Condo Prices by County

Condo Prices by County East Bay December 2020 Market Update

Total inventory remained far lower than last year, down 9%. Like the rest of the country, demand is outpacing new supply, which buoys East Bay home prices. 

Single-Family Homes Inventory

Single-family home sales have climbed since the initial months of the pandemic (March through May). Generally, buyers and sellers left the market in April, causing pent-up demand. Since May, sales have increased and are still near their highest levels this year for single-family homes. Usually, we expect sales to decline in the autumn and winter months, but this year’s summer selling season was delayed and seems to be spilling well into autumn. Single-family home inventory is noticeably lower, and is likely to decline as we make our way into the winter months. 

Single-Family Homes Inventory  East Bay December 2020 Market Update

Condos Inventory

The number of condos on the market has climbed at a steady pace since May. New condos coming to market have outpaced sales in every month this year, causing inventory to increase. Sales have remained high and steady but have not fully offset new condos coming to market. In October, condo inventory was 16% higher than it was last year.

Condos Inventory East Bay December 2020 Market Update

Days on Market

As mentioned earlier, we continue to see the Days on Market (DOM) fall due to rising demand and speedier processing through technological advances. The pace of sales affects MSI and has contributed to the low MSI over the past several months.

East Bay Days on Market December 2020 Market Update
Days on Market by County East Bay December 2020 Market Update

Months of Supply Inventory

We can use MSI as a metric to judge whether the market favors buyers or sellers. The average MSI is three months in California (far lower than the national average of six months of supply), which indicates a balanced market. An MSI lower than three means that buyers dominate the market and there are relatively few sellers (i.e., it is a sellers’ market), while a higher MSI means there are more sellers than buyers (i.e., it is a buyers’ market). The MSI remains below two for both single-family homes and condos, which means that both markets favor sellers.

East Bay Months of Supply Inventory December 2020 Market Update
Months of Supply Inventory by County

Summary

In summary, the high demand in the East Bay has sustained home prices. Inventory for single-family homes will likely decline further as we enter the winter months, and fewer sellers will likely come to market, potentially lifting prices higher. At both the national and local levels, home builders simply cannot build quickly enough to bring sufficient supply to the market to satiate demand. Overall, the housing market has shown its resilience through the pandemic and remains one of the safest asset classes. The data show that housing has remained consistently strong through this period. 

We anticipate new listings to slow through the holiday months. Condo prices will likely remain stable with no outsized gains or losses through the winter months. The autumn/winter season tends to see a slowdown in activity, although we may see a new trend this year with higher-than-normal sales.

As always, we remain committed to helping our clients achieve their current and future real estate goals. Our team of experienced professionals are happy to discuss the information we have shared in this newsletter. We welcome you to contact us with any questions about the current market or to request an evaluation of your home or condo.

Read the January 2021 market update here.

Welcome to our January Market Update. This month, we cover the state of employment in the United States and the likelihood of meaningful stimulus. We also dive into how the Democratic Party’s majority control over both chambers of Congress and the White House could affect asset prices and interest rates.


Most of California (around 98% by population) is under a stay-at-home order due to COVID-19, and the United States as a whole is seeing new peaks every day. With the approval of several vaccines, we finally have a glimmer of hope to move out of the pandemic. However, we know that transmission mitigation measures will still be necessary through 2021 at least. The pandemic has substantially raised demand for housing, and we suspect that demand will continue through this year. Mortgage rates remain at all-time lows, and buyers are devoting more of their total spending to housing costs. 

As we enter the new year, we continue to provide you with the most up-to-date market information so that you feel supported and informed in your buying and selling decisions. 

In this month’s update, we cover the following:

Key Topics and Trends in January

According to the ADP private payrolls, the U.S. lost 123,000 jobs in December 2020, marking the first contraction since April. Economists predicted an increase of around 60,000 jobs in December. However, they did not anticipate larger companies, especially in leisure and hospitality, laying off employees due to reimplementation of stricter COVID-19 restrictions.

ADP Nonfarm Employment East Bay January 2021 Market Update

US Employment Recovery Path

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics differs in the exact numbers but shows the obvious deceleration in employment growth. As time passes, more and more jobs will be permanently lost, likely with real long-term economic impact: fewer people interacting in the economy usually indicates less buying, which trickles into less production, which trickles into fewer workers needed, leading to more unemployed workers. 

US Employment Recovery Path East Bay January 2021 Market Update

Job growth is one of the clearest indicators of economic health, so the December jobs contraction underscores a slowing of the recovery and the need for government stimulus. Under the incoming presidential administration, government stimulus is far more likely but will take some time to implement. With aid, businesses will be able to continue operating and will likely be able to hire significant numbers of employees back, setting the recovery back on course.

To help struggling businesses and people, the government will have to spend significant amounts of money. Heavy fiscal spending is often associated with higher inflation. Currently, inflation is around 1.2% (the Federal Reserve targets 2%), and with the expected increase in government spending, the expected inflation will rise as well. Ultimately, money today is worth more than money in the future. Not only can you buy more today, but real interest rates (inflation-adjusted interest rates) will be lower as well, making a home bought today cost less than its future price. 

Mortgage Rate

For example, the average 30-year mortgage rate is 2.67%, and if the inflation rate were 2%, the real interest rate on the mortgage would be 0.67%.

Average 30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rate East Bay January 2021 Market Update

The financial circumstances on the individual level are highly variable, now more than ever. Those who have been unaffected (or even positively affected) financially are likely saving more money than ever. Strict COVID-19 restrictions have largely cut travel, dining, and entertainment expenses, allowing potential home owners to devote more of their income toward buying a home that they love. With historically low mortgage rates and an expected increase in inflation, it’s never been cheaper to finance a home.

Demand shows no sign of decline in the near term. Today, housing is one of the best investments one can make, as it has been historically.

January Housing Market Updates for the East Bay

The median single-family home rose to an all-time high in Contra Costa. Alameda was flat month-over-month but still near peak median price. Year-over-year, single-family home prices increased considerably, up 15% in Alameda and a massive 27% in Contra Costa. Inventory has continued to decline, as fewer homes have come to market and sales have remained high, contributing to the price increases.

East Bay Median Home Prices

East Bay Median Home Prices January 2021 Market Update

East Bay Median Price Changes

East Bay Median Price Changes January 2021 Market Update

Condo Prices by County

As you can see in the graph below, median condo prices were up across counties. Contra Costa had an exceptionally large year-over-year median price increase. 

Condo Prices by County East Bay January 2021 Market Update

Single-Family Homes Inventory

Single-family home inventory was lower through 2020 relative to 2019. Home sales climbed after the initial months of the pandemic (March through May). Generally, buyers and sellers left the market in April and May, causing pent-up demand. Since June, sales have increased and showed unseasonably high levels in November 2020 for both single-family homes and condos. Usually, we expect sales to decline in the autumn and winter months, but homes were selling at extremely high rates. We can attribute this to fewer holiday obligations in 2020, allowing more focus on homebuying. Single-family home inventory dropped in November due to unusually high sales numbers, and it is likely to decline further as we make our way through the winter months. 

East Bay Inventory - Single-Family Homes January 2021 Market Update

Condos Inventory

The number of condos on the market declined significantly in November. New condos coming to market outpaced sales every month in 2020 except for November, when sales inched higher than new supply. 

East Bay Inventory - Condos January 2021 Market Update

Days on Market

Days on Market (DOM) declined further for single-family homes over the last 12 months, but both single-family homes and condos spent far less time on the market in November 2020 than November 2019. As we will see, the pace of sales affects Months of Supply Inventory (MSI) and has contributed to the low MSI over the past several months.

East Bay Days on Market January 2021 Market Update
East Bay Days on Market by County January 2021 Market Update

Months of Supply Inventory

We can use MSI as a metric to judge whether the market favors buyers or sellers. The average MSI is three months in California (far lower than the national average of six months of supply), which indicates a balanced market. An MSI lower than three means that buyers dominate the market and there are relatively few sellers (i.e., it is a sellers’ market), while a higher MSI means there are more sellers than buyers (i.e., it is a buyers’ market). The MSI dropped below one for single-family homes, which firmly favors sellers. The MSI for condos fell 0.2 months to 1.6 months of supply, indicating a sellers’ market as well.

East Bay Months of Supply Inventory January 2021 Market Update
East Bay Months of Supply Inventory by County January 2021 Market Update

Summary

In summary, the high demand in the East Bay has sustained home prices. Inventory for single-family homes and condos will likely decline further into the new year, and fewer sellers will likely come to market, potentially lifting prices higher. Overall, the housing market has shown its resilience through the pandemic and remains one of the safest asset classes. The data show that housing has remained consistently strong through this period. 

We anticipate new listings to slow through the holiday months. The autumn/winter season tends to see a slowdown in activity, although we did see a new trend toward the end of 2020 with higher-than-normal sales.

As always, we remain committed to helping our clients achieve their current and future real estate goals. Our team of experienced professionals are happy to discuss the information we’ve shared in this newsletter. We welcome you to contact us with any questions about the current market or to request an evaluation of your home or condo.

Looking for a realtor in the Bay Area? Call us today at 925-415-0835!

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