The Ups and Downs of the Hercules Housing Market.

Although the summer has heated up most of the Bay Area’s real estate market, it’s fair to say that the skyrocketing gains of places like San Jose and San Francisco have not been shared evenly across the entire region. So while the last few months have brought moderate increases in property values and shorter market times for many areas, this growth may appear a little underwhelming when it’s compared to parts where homes clear the market in less than a week…and for 20-30% above asking price. That’s the nature of real estate, of course. Despite this, Hercules homeowners enjoyed their own share of the housing market boom when the average closing price jumped to $482,000 in August—its highest point in over 3 years—and left many wondering if the local market was getting a second wind.

Unfortunately for homeowners, this may not be the case. In anticipation of climbing prices after August’s fantastic turnout, sellers added an average of $40,000 to their price tags, which bumped the median list price to $499,000 last month. But recent data also shows that in the same period of time, the median closing price in Hercules and Victoria on the Bay dropped by nearly 30%, settling at $339,000 in late September and resulting in a sizable $160,000 difference between the two figures.

The division between listing and closing prices is at one of its widest points in the past six months, which would ordinarily point to a possible separation between expectations and realities concerning local property values. However, there is a degree of volatility that is likely affecting the market as well:

You can see that the differences between average asking and closing prices (measured in the rightmost column) have bounced back and forth on a monthly basis, varying in both size and direction. In April, the list price and closing price were only $2,500 apart. However, the following month, the difference jumped to $75,000—without any change in the list price. This sort of volatility can make it difficult for homeowners to figure out an acceptable asking price when selling their home, or if it is even an appropriate time to sell.

Because of the small sample size, it’s quite possible that September (and the significant drop in closing prices) was an anomaly that we will see correcting itself in October. The fact of the matter is that the Hercules and Victoria on the Bay areas have been performing well all year: As I mentioned earlier, August saw the highest closing prices in the past 3 years, and the average home continues to take less than a month to sell. These are certainly factors that should instill confidence in sellers.

Yet the volatility of the local housing market can make figuring out how to prepare your house—and the price you should ask for—frustrating tasks. That’s why it’s more important than ever to choose a company like Lifestyle Real Estate Services that understands your needs and will help guide you through the process of selling your home. Remember: You never need to feel overwhelmed or alone when it comes to selling your house. Let Lifestyle Real Estate Services help bring out the best in your home so that you can move on to the next chapter of your life, confidently.

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