Richmond Waterfront Housing Market May Be Evening Out.

Up until very recently, the housing market in the Richmond Waterfront area — including Point Richmond, Marina Bay, and Country Club Vista — was similar to other parts of the Bay Area: Prices were climbing, inventory was dropping, and the average home only had to spend a relatively brief time on the market before selling. Even back in May, however, there were signs that this could be slowing down in the near future. For example, new properties were entering the market at a greater pace than the demand for those same homes, begging the question if the climbing prices were tenable.

The possibility is a ray of hope for prospective buyers who feel overwhelmed by the Bay Area’s fiercely growing real estate market.

Working off of the latest data, it appears that housing in neighborhoods such as Point Richmond, Marina Bay, and Country Club Vista may indeed be leveling off. There are a few reasons to suspect this. For starters, many houses have begun to close for less than asking price. In June, the median house closed for $70,500 below asking price; the month before that, the difference was about $83,000. While these disparities are not as unusual (or bleak) as they may seem, they can mean that homeowners are anticipating more growth than there actually is, and asking for more money than the local market can support. In time, these price differences could recede as homeowners get a better feel for the market’s direction and set asking prices closer to what they will be able to get.

Reinforcing this suspicion, we have observed closing prices normalizing in recent months. Increases over the last six months in particular have formed a much gentler slope than the rapid, sharply climbing trends of other parts of the Bay Area. In other words, the local market is “evening” out. Additionally, while the average Bay Area home spent 24 days on the market in June, the average Point Richmond, Marina Bay, and Country Club Vista homes spent 48 days—twice the aggregate average—before closing. Unsurprisingly, longer “days on market” times generally mean that the markets is slowing down.

For Richmond homeowners, the good news is that prices have climbed in the past year, homes are selling for closer to their pre-recession levels, and very few properties are expiring. However, overpriced homes often spend longer on the market, close for less than asking price, and scare off potential buyers. For these reasons, it is more important than ever to consider hiring a team that can build an ideal strategy for selling your home.

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