We expect the year-on-year increase in prices to subside to under 5% in the near future, but a slowdown has not shown up in the numbers yet.  Please note that this is a Corelogic report of national prices, not specific to the Bay Area.  Increase in inventory and sales volumes are the numbers to watch in the short term.

From the San Francisco Business Time by Blanca Torres

Last week, Gabriel Metcalf, executive director of urban think tank SPUR, reflected on a common Bay Area trend: People are leaving San Francisco because it’s too crowded, too expensive and too competitive to find housing.

In a widely circulated blog titled The San Francisco Exodus, that he posted in Atlantic Cities, Metcalf opens by stating, “My friends keep moving to Oakland.” Depending on who’s reading, that can be a cause for celebration or despair.

I’ll go with the celebration — if Oakland actually wakes up and seizes the windfall being dropped in its lap.

After years of writing about Oakland development and real estate, I’ve heard many times about how Oakland is in the shadow of San Francisco, how it is centrally located and has better weather, how it is a city with so much potential and how with the right investors or projects or infusion of money, it could be so great. Key words: could be.

Well, Oakland, sounds like your time has come. San Francisco’s loss can be your gain — a huge gain, if you capture those San Francisco refugees before another East Bay city does.

I circled back with Metcalf on how to look at the San Francisco exodus as not a cause for a San Francisco pity party, but a golden opportunity for Oakland.

Here’s what he told me:

What can Oakland do to capitalize on the San Francisco exodus?

Oakland is in a great position right now. It’s the center of all kinds of interesting movements, and all kinds of creative people live there — artists and makers, inventors and musicians. Not to mention the restaurants and bars. Oakland is an amazing, incredible city.

The only thing holding Oakland back is crime. The strategies to get a handle on this include everything from policing to workforce training, and it’s something that smart people in Oakland are very much focused on.

Prices are already going up in Oakland, which is not necessarily a good thing from the perspective of housing affordability, but it is an indicator of a lot of people being interested in living there and in that sense is a nice validation of what a great city Oakland is. On the other hand, I don’t think you’re going to see a lot of employment growth until the perception of public safety is different.

In other words, potential residents and potential employers are evaluating Oakland in two very different ways.

What about the fact that many San Franciscans end up moving to East Bay neighborhoods that already have good schools and transit? Are they pushing or pricing out existing residents?

Yes, neighborhoods near BART are already gentrifying and this is a huge issue. Oakland needs more investment both to create economic opportunity for its residents and to increase funding for public services. But on the other hand, that investment can end up driving out existing residents. There is no easy answer, and this is something cities all across the country wrestle with.

Personally, I think Oakland is the perfect place to invent a new approach to transit-oriented development that combines high-density buildings, assistance for small businesses, focused workforce training, affordable housing and public realm improvements. Right now, there is virtually no unsubsidized development happening in Oakland, so it’s clear that all the so-called “public benefits” cannot be funded by fees on new development. But there are other strategies the city can use.

What other East Bay cities do you think can benefit from the San Francisco exodus?

Lots of people move to Oakland as their first choice! It’s not all about being priced out of San Francisco. On the other hand, we share one regional economy and one regional labor market, so the cities of the Bay Area are very much tied together. BART has been absolutely essential to the region’s development, so you see the tightest relationship between San Francisco and cities with good BART connections, such as Oakland, Berkeley and San Leandro.

via San Francisco exodus is Oakland’s golden opportunity – San Francisco Business Times.

With local markets becoming more balanced and interest rates low, it looks like this Fall will be a great time to be shopping.  We have over 70 homes on today’s Berkeley/Oakland/WCC Broker’s Tour alone.


Bucks trend of 5.24% drop in housing supply nationwide.

The quick-paced decline in housing inventory has slowed significantly, according to the latest report from Data from July revealed a 5.24% drop in the supply of homes for sale nationwide, marking the second month in a row that year-over-year declines were only single digit.

The year-over-year decline back in January was 16.47%.

For months now, California markets have taken the cake with the largest inventory declines in the first part of 2013. However, they have been replaced by a new set of market leaders, including Detroit -30.21%; Boston -28.91%; Denver -25.10%; Honolulu -23.78% and Naples, Fla. -23.05%.

The shift in inventory decreases to other markets indicates the beginning of a housing market recovery process similar to what was observed in Florida in 2011 and in California in 2012 and 2013 for these new markets.

“The recovery is entering a new phase where inventory shortfalls are no longer the driving force behind changes in housing prices in many markets. Larger inventories, especially in the hotter markets that experienced rapid price increases in the spring, are expanding buyers choices and helping to moderate price increases,” said Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Move, Inc.

In July, the number of markets with drops in year-over-year inventory declined from 125 markets to 118 markets, an indicator that in the fall, some market inventories could potentially return to levels of a year ago and may continue to slow price appreciation in certain markets.

All but five markets are posting year-over-year declines in age of inventory and on a month-over-month basis. Nationwide, housing inventory is an estimated 17% lower than last year, but the national age of inventory rose 6.25% month-over-month.

“This months report also underscores the uneven nature of the housing recovery and its dependence on the strength of the local economy,” he said.

Median listing prices are now negative year-over-year in only 31 markets, down from 36 in June.

According to Trulia TRLA Chief Economist Jed Kolko, much of California’s inventory rebound has to do with the appreciated home prices in many of the state’s markets.

“Prices have skyrocketed in much of California over the last year, and some homeowners are deciding to take advantage of these price increases and put their homes on the market,” Kolko told HousingWire.

A recent report from research and analytics firm CoreLogic CLGX revealed that California home prices, when including distressed sales, climbed 21.4% year-over-year in June.

Kolko added that, as a non-judicial state, most of California’s foreclosures are completed already, so California has already experienced its big inventory drop that happens after distressed homes hit the market and get sold.

via California inventory pool no longer shrinking fast | 2013-08-13 | HousingWire.

New research explores the power of price “anchoring” when buyers look at real estate.


“The Price Is Right” isn’t just a game show. It is a mental strategy real-estate agents use to get the most money when listing a home.

When setting an asking price, there are two schools of thought: In one, agents overprice properties in the belief that a higher asking price will draw higher initial offers from potential buyers.

Wendy Jodel, associate broker with Town Residential in New York City, says overpricing works when inventory is low. Ms. Jodel recently listed a two-bedroom apartment on Manhattan’s Upper East Side for $1.35 million—4.5% above the price of similar apartments nearby. “I had no competition,” she says, adding that few comparable apartments are available in the area. The apartment closed this week with multiple offers for $1.32 million.

Name Your Price

Sellers who listed their homes…

…10% to 20% higher than other homes in the neighborhood saw a slight increase of 0.05% to 0.07%, on average, in the sale price.

…10% to 20% lower than other homes in the neighborhood saw a slight decrease of 0.5% to 0.8% in the sale price.

In 10 sample listings, real-estate agents recommended underpricing homes at a frequency of 70.4%.

Source: Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, May

Other real-estate agents take the opposite approach, pricing homes below nearby properties in hopes of starting a bidding war. Chris McDonnell, senior associate broker with Coldwell Banker Distinctive Properties in Vail, Colo., says he prefers to underprice homes by 5% to 10%. Now, even in a heated market, buyers are looking for a bargain, he says. If sellers start low, they could potentially add 10% to 15% to the sale price. “There’s so much pent-up demand out there right now. Money is just waiting on the sidelines,” he says.

This strategy, however, poses a challenge: “It’s really hard to get your seller to agree to that,” Mr. McDonnell says.

New research tackles this dilemma. A study published in the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization in May found that homeowners who set the initial asking price 10% to 20% higher than similar houses in the neighborhood see a slight increase of $117 to $163, on average, in their sale price. Pricing a home 20% or more than similar houses leads to an impact three to four times as big.

Pricing a home 10% to 20% lower than homes in the neighborhood leads to a decrease of $117 to $187, on average, in the home’s sale price.

The research explores a behavioral trait called “anchoring.” That is a common tendency to rely on the first piece of information offered (the “anchor”) when making decisions. Once buyers have an anchor, they typically interpret other information involved in the sale around it.

“Every house is different, and so those qualitative things really matter. Buyers will turn to the good attributes that justify the high price,” says Grace Bucchianeri, former assistant professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Prof. Bucchianeri and co-author Julia Minson, a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania at the time, analyzed 14,616 real-estate transactions in Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania between January 2005 and April 2009 with an average sale price of $234,000.

The study, “A homeowner’s dilemma: Anchoring in residential real estate transactions” found that “overwhelmingly anchoring is a good strategy,” Prof. Bucchianeri says.

In the same study, researchers found that while agents privately believe that overpricing leads to a higher final sale, they publicly advocate underpricing. In this study, 35 agents were shown 10 sample properties between March 28, 2011, and May 2, 2011, and asked to recommend a listing price. In 70.4% of the properties viewed, agents recommended underpricing.

They had a “strong belief that listing low was the only way to go,” Prof. Bucchianeri says. “‘If you list it too high, you would never sell your house,’ they thought.”

Pricing low may speed up the sale, which can save the real-estate agent both time and money spent marketing the property. In the end, agents may get a lower commission, but the difference is usually negligible. “It’s intuitive if you think about it,” she says. “It looks like the realtors are doing what’s best for them, and as homeowners, we need to understand that relationship.”

Write to Sanette Tanaka at

via Should Home Sellers Overprice or Underprice Real-Estate Listings? –

We’re now getting data to back up what we’ve seen anecdotally since rates perked up this Spring.  More Sellers now realize prices won’t continue their dramatic rise and are placing their homes on the market.

Perhaps a return to a more stable “normal”?  -Derek



Asking Home Prices Cool Most in Hottest Housing Markets: Las Vegas, Oakland, and San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO, August 6, 2013 – Trulia, Inc. (NYSE: TRLA), a leading online marketplace for home buyers, sellers, renters, and real estate professionals, today released the latest findings from the Trulia Price Monitor and the Trulia Rent Monitor. These indices are the earliest leading indicators available of trends in home prices and rents. Based on the for-sale homes and rentals listed on Trulia, these monitors take into account changes in the mix of listed homes and reflect trends in prices and rents for similar homes in similar neighborhoods through July 31, 2013.

Asking Home Prices Fall 0.3 Percent Month-Over-Month

Asking home prices are now starting to lose steam as mortgage rates rise, inventory expands, and investor demand declines. Nationally, asking prices dropped 0.3 percent in July – the first month-over-month (M-o-M) decline since November 2012. Seasonally adjusted, prices rose 3.3 percent quarter-over quarter (Q-o-Q), down from a peak of 4.2 percent in April. Year-over-year (Y-o-Y), prices are up 11 percent nationally; however, this change is an average over the past 12 months and is therefore slower to show changes than monthly and quarterly numbers.

July 2013 Trulia Price Monitor Summary

% change in asking prices

# of 100 largest metros with asking-price increases

% change in asking prices, excluding foreclosures

seasonally adjusted


Not reported


seasonally adjusted








*M-o-M change is July versus June. Q-o-Q and Y-o-Y changes are three-month averages.

Asking Home Prices Now Slowing Down in the West

In 64 out of 100 U.S. metros, the quarterly asking home price gain was lower than in the previous quarter. This slowdown was most apparent in the West Coast where prices have rebounded strongly already. Among housing markets where asking prices rose sharply Y-o-Y, price gains dipped the most Q-o-Q in Las VegasOakland, and San Francisco. Other California metros, including SacramentoVentura CountySan Jose, and Fresno, saw Q-o-Q gains drop by at least two percentage points between April and July. Meanwhile, many metros in the South and Midwest are seeing price gains accelerate, such as Atlanta (3.2 percentage points higher in July versus April) and Detroit (3.7 percentage points).

 Hot Housing Markets Where Prices are Slowing Most

# U.S. Metro

Y-o-Y % change, July 2013

Q-o-Q % change, July 2013

Q-o-Q % change, April 2013

Price slowdown = Difference in Q-o-Q % change, July minus April

1 Las Vegas, NV





2 Oakland, CA





3 San Francisco, CA





4 Sacramento, CA





5 Portland, OR-WA





6 Ventura County, CA





7 Grand Rapids, MI





8 San Jose, CA





9 Fresno, CA





10 Salt Lake City, UT





11 Bakersfield, CA





12 Orange County, CA





13 Los Angeles, CA





Table shows metros with the biggest decline in Q-o-Q asking prices between April and July, among metros with large Y-o-Y increases. The final column equals the difference between the third and second data columns, but the numbers might not appear to add up due to rounding.

Asking Home Prices Outpace Rents in All Major Rental Markets

Rents rose 3.9 percent year-over-year nationally, which was a big increase compared with inflation or income growth, but small compared with asking home price gains. Even as asking home prices slow down, July was the first time that prices outpaced rents in the 25 largest rental markets since Trulia started tracking rent trends in March 2011.

Housing Markets Where Rents Rose Most

# U.S. Metro

Y-o-Y % change inrents

Y-o-Y % change inhome prices

1 Seattle, WA



2 Houston, TX



3 San Francisco, CA



4 Portland, OR-WA



5 Denver, CO



Note: Among 25 largest rental markets


  • “If you were worried about a housing bubble, July’s asking-price slowdown will probably be the best news you’ve heard this year,” said Jed Kolko, Trulia’s Chief Economist. “The asking home price slowdown in July could be the start of the return to normal price gains. The blazing fast price increases we’ve seen in recent months could not last, especially with rising mortgage rates, expanding inventory, and declining investor interest.”
  • “The biggest price slowdowns have come to some of the hottest local markets,” said Jed Kolko, Trulia’s Chief Economist. “California and Nevada remain the Wild West for asking home prices, with some of the sharpest drops during the bust, strongest rebounds over the past year, and now biggest slowdowns in the past quarter. In the rest of the country, the ride is less wild, but is on the same track: price gains have cooled in almost two-thirds of the largest metros.”


  • To read the full report, see here.
  • To see a graph of price changes from July 2012 to July 2013, see here.
  • To download a list of the price and rent changes for the largest metros, see here.



To view the full methodology and 2013 release schedule, see here.  The next release of the Trulia Price Monitor and the Trulia Rent Monitor will be Thursday, September 5 at 10 AM ET.


Trulia (NYSE: TRLA) gives home buyers, sellers, owners, and renters the inside scoop on properties, places, and real estate professionals. Trulia has unique info on the areas people want to live that can’t be found anywhere else: users can learn about agents, neighborhoods, schools, crime, commute times, and even ask the local community questions.  Real estate professionals use Trulia to connect with millions of transaction-ready buyers and sellers each month via our hyperlocal advertising services, social recommendations, and top-rated mobile real estate apps. Trulia is headquartered in downtown San Francisco. Trulia is a registered trademark of Trulia, Inc.

8037 McCormick Ave          8037 McCormick

Michelle and Marcia’s family was out-growing their Moss Avenue condo quickly and we needed to find an Oakland home with plenty of space, an easy commute to the City and a short trek to Skyline High.

After adventures in Maxwell Park and Millsmont we found this recently-remodeled charmer in a quiet section of the Eastmont Hills.  Not only did it have a hardwood floors and Bay views – an entire in-law unit was refurbished below!

Congratulations Guys!