Livermore Real Estate is Looking Good for Both Buyers AND Sellers!

Good news for buyers and sellers of Livermore Real Estate! Amidst high housing prices and low inventories, an oft-repeated word of advice last summer was: “Look east.” Specifically, buyers who felt squeezed out of the hottest real estate markets—San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, etc.—found something of a compromise in places like the East Bay, where prices climbed slower and supply was more reasonable. A year later, it appears things haven’t changed: Many parts of the Bay Area still lead the country as some of the most expensive places to live, and buyers continue to find greater housing opportunities in the East Bay.

Livermore is a perfect example of this trend. Named one of 2013’s “hottest neighborhoods”, the city is home to a growing number of people who have escaped the soaring prices and overwhelming buyer competition that’s been defining Bay Area real estate for the past few years. That isn’t to say that Livermore’s housing market has stalled. On the contrary, the median closing price in March was $693,000—a higher figure than it’s been for at least 24 months, and roughly $30,000 higher than the county average. But the attractive aspect of Livermore real estate is that it’s remarkably stable.

Take Oakland, for instance: In the past year, the median sale price fluctuated up to $100,000 in a single month; on occasion, it shifted $75,000 each month for multiple months in a row. In Alameda, the median has bounced back and forth, $40,000-80,000 a month, with no clear pattern. What is lost in December is gained back in January, only to be lost again in February.

Buyers struggle to determine when is the best time to make an offer in such a variable market, but it can be especially difficult for sellers to know when to put their homes up for sale, or even what price they can reasonably ask for. Conversely, steadier values allow both parties to read the market better, resulting in fewer disconnects and smoother transactions. Compare Livermore’s smoother trajectory with another market and the differences seem obvious:

The predictability of Livermore's housing market.
Oakland's much more irregular housing market.

There’s another reason why Livermore real estate is an attractive market for buyers: Its inventory patterns. In March-April of 2013, months supply of inventory fell just short of a single “month” before steadily increasing to its peak in September 2013. In March-April of 2014, inventory was once again shy of a month, at which point it began to climb over the summer until it reached its peak in September. As if on cue, the most recent data puts Livermore’s current inventory at 0.8 months; if the pattern continues, the rising supply will help give buyers options they won’t find in other parts of the Bay Area, where competition for a dwindling number of homes leaves many empty-handed.

An interesting aspect to note is that, while the previous values would typically make the city a “hot seller’s market”, prices have not been driven sky high or distorted by supply (as they have in many cities). Instead, there has been a gradual increase in property values that keeps the market approachable to both buyers and sellers—everybody knows what to expect.

Finally, the time it takes the average house to sell in Livermore is surprisingly consistent. Over the last 25 months, the average has been 22.6 days; taking it one step further, the specific averages were 21, 22, and 20 days for January, February, and March, respectively. Over the past few years, these numbers have only increased with the predictable holiday slowdown. This is something that obviously benefits both parties, since faster transactions help buyers move in and sellers move on.

This is all to say that Livermore real estate has demonstrated an appealing consistency for both sides of a home sale. For these reasons, it would make an excellent place to buy or sell a home. And with summer drawing near and real estate heating up, there’s no time like the present to get in touch with an experienced team that can help guide you through the process—contact Lifestyle Real Estate Services today!