Real Estate

Real estate quarter in review

Posted on April 27, 2022
Real estate quarter in review

The first quarter of 2022 started with a rapid and continuous pace of activity on the residential side of La Morinda properties. The shutdowns that occurred came, for the most part, from properties that were contracted out in late November to late February.

Average sales price has gone up so far this year in Lafayette, Moraga and Orinda. The days on the market are short and the homes with many offers are plentiful.

Per Contra Costa Realtors reported that from January 1 to March 31, 66 single-family homes closed in Lafayette—down from 76 in the first quarter of 2021. Sales prices ranged from $975,000 to $12 million. And the average number of days on the market was 19. The average selling price was $2,954,570! In the first quarter of last year, it was $2,062,932. In 2018, it was $1,469,744 in the first quarter. This change could be due to the larger sample size and more homes sold at the higher end of the range. However, this indicates a 100% increase in value in four years!

The average sales price was $2.45 million. A year ago it was nearly $1.85 million. 2020 far exceeds $1.65 million.

In Moraga, the number of single-family closures was 26, down from 39 in the first quarter of last year. Prices so far this year have ranged from $1.36 million to $3.625 million. The average selling price was $2,350,269 – the first quarter ever where the average was above $2 million at Moraga. In the first quarter of 2021, the amount was $1,800,433. In the first quarter of 2020, it was $1,578,476 and it was $1,436,733 in 2019. It was $1,534,007 in 2018. And in 2017 it was $1,381,452 , and in the first quarter of 2016 it was $1,278,575. The average time to market was six days, compared to 15 days a year ago.

In Orinda, the number of single-family closures was $32. In 2021, the number was 54. Sales prices ranged from $1.305 million to $6.75 million with an average price of $226,8258. A year ago, it was $2,021,192. It was $1,783,674 in 2020. It took an average of 16 days to sell a home in Orinda where a year ago it was 28 days on the market.

This will be the first time that the average sale price of a home in Moraga in a separate quarter has exceeded the average sale price of a home in Orinda.

In the first quarter of 2022, Lafayette homes sold an average of $989.08 per square foot—a huge increase from $737.02 per square foot in 2021. Moraga came in at $901.87 per square foot. This is a significant increase from $703.47 in 2021 and $594.32 in 2020. The price of Orinda was $858.59. One year ago it was $703.56 – up from $635.02 in the first quarter of 2020.

In the condominium/city category, Lafayette had two closings reported to the MLS. They were $1.25 million and $1,988,795. Moraga again had 15 sums ranging from $340,000 to $1.825 million. This is also the first time a Miramonte Gardens cottage has closed more than $1 million. Orinda had three – two at Brookwood Road at $460,000 and $515,000 and one at The Glade which traded for $2.25 million.

As of April 12, there were 94 homes under contract for each of the MLS in the three communities combined (a year ago it was 132) with asking prices from $565,000 to $4.5 million.

Stock is at 60, compared to 62 a year ago.

There are 22 Lafayette properties currently on the market compared to 27 properties on the market in April 2021. Asking prices at Lafayette currently range from $624,753 for an below-market list price to $11.95 million. In Moraga, buyers can choose 14 homes, down from 18 homes at this time in 2021. The price range is $550k to $2.995 million.

Orinda has 23 homes on the market. A year ago there were 17. List prices range from $450,000 for condominiums in Brookfield to $7.2 million.

There are no non-performing sales (bank owned or shorted) available in La Morinda.

As in nearly every quarter, the most active price range is in the “affordable” price ranges. Ultimately, 21 homes sold for more than $3 million in the three communities combined. The affordability factor is subject to a lot of interpretation. There are 25 currently available over this amount in La Morinda.

Interest rates have risen so much in the past few weeks that some buyers are either out of the market, into lower priced homes or out of La Morinda. Company-side relocation has continued to slow as many companies continue to have their employees work remotely, and as such, many of these buyers are on the sidelines at departure sites before housing decisions are made.

La Morinda continues to be attractive with the arrival of BART and highly rated schools. The real estate markets in Auckland, Berkeley and Piedmont have continued to be active, so there have been some spillovers as buyers want to travel longer distances in order to find more “affordable housing”. We continue to see a lot of buyers in La Morinda being represented by agents based in San Francisco and the Peninsula. Prices there were higher many years ago, so many sold there and bought more homes for less money in La Morinda.

Finally, it is important to look at what homes are selling for at list prices. Sometimes homes are put on the market at unrealistic prices and don’t sell. We’re also seeing more homes listed well below true values, so this may encourage bidding wars that sellers hope will drive up the total sale price. In the first quarter of this year, many homes had multiple offerings and were sold at or above list price.

Of the 66 single family home sales that closed in Lafayette in the first quarter of 2022, 62 were sold at or above list price. In Moraga, all but one of the 26 sales were at or above the asking price, and in Orinda, 26 of the 32 sales were at or above the final listing price.

This will usually happen when the house goes on hold within the first two weeks of being put on the market. Of the 94 sales currently held in the three Lamorinda communities combined, 75 were held within 14 days or less. Actual average days on the market will be significantly lower but many agents make marketing plans where they market the home to the public and brokers and follow up with an offer date in a week or so after the property has been put on the market – indicating a high probability of a continuing trend in selling homes higher than the asking price.

In the detached home category in the first quarter of 2021, the median sale price in Lafayette was 103% of the asking price. In 2022, it increased to 111%. In Moraga it was 105.6% last winter and 119% this last quarter and in Orinda it changed from 104% to 109.4% of the final asking price.