First quarter results are in on 2019 real estate performance. We always look at year over year results in planning our business, strategizing our pricing, and advising our clients. We are on track to have another strong year in condominium sales. The condominium market shows relatively little change in sales price comparing 2018 and 2019 numbers. We did see a slight decrease in price January/February, with a rise in prices beginning in March. Two other more significant metrics were the reduction in inventory in March, and the list price to sales price ratio.
As suspected, list price and sales price are beginning to align again. This is a welcome relief to our buying clients, and the sellers as well. We recently interviewed Monica and Joe, a young relocating couple from Brooklyn, NY. They were floored during their 2017 purchase at the “pricing game” found in the east bay, south bay, and San Francisco markets. “Who prices a commodity like this?” was Monica’s strong, and somewhat disgusted reaction.
We believe the reduction in inventory may be received a little less favorably than the pricing transparency this year. While we see prolific building in Oakland, the building time is slow, and properties are generally for lease only. This will continue to put pressure on demand, which likely means our prices will still be pushing upward.
We feel excited to hang up our winter coats, and anticipate that with the spring flowers, we will see a bounty of fresh condominium properties for sale and continued low interest rates for buyers and sellers to take advantage of in this exciting town, Oakland.