Pacific Union’s October Real Estate Update

Though several of our Bay Area markets saw slight median price declines from September to October, most of them saw equally modest upticks.

Home prices in our Silicon Valley region increased only about $45,000 month over month, but they registered yearly peaks of $2,250,000. After falling into the mid-$800,000 range in September, prices in Marin County rebounded 9 percent to finish October at $922,000. And in anticipation of the upcoming winter-sports season, condominiums in our Tahoe/Truckee region also saw 9 percent gains.

Inventory tightened in almost all of our regions from September to October, though the months’ supply of inventory (MSI) for single-family homes in Tahoe/Truckee expanded by a fraction of a percentage. And buyers in the East Bay, San Francisco, and Silicon Valley continued to fork over more than asking prices for properties, a trend that has persisted for much of 2013.

Click on the images accompanying each of our regions below for an expanded look at real estate activity in October.

CONTRA COSTA COUNTYContra_Costa_October13_Update

The median sales price took a barely perceptible drop in Contra Costa County from September, falling by just $5,000 to land at $750,000. October’s median price is the lowest in the county since April.

The MSI decreased to 1.5, down from 1.7 in September but in the same general range it has been all year. Properties stayed on the market for 28 days, the longest stretch since February.

Throughout the late spring and fall, Contra Costa buyers were paying in excess of list price by a few percentage points, but in October, sellers received about 98 percent of their asking prices.

EAST BAYEast_Bay_October13_Update

East Bay median sales prices inched up 1.5 percent in October from the previous month and are up 17 percent year over year. After spiking to 2.1 in September, the MSI fell back to 1.4 in October, a level that has been typical since the spring.

Homes in the East Bay left the market in exactly three weeks, the same rate as we saw in September. And hopeful homebuyers in the region should expect to dig deep into their wallets if they can get their hands on the right property; as has been the case for much of the past year, East Bay homes in October commanded the highest premiums in all of our regions, 9 percent over list price.

MARIN COUNTYMarin_October13_Update

In September, median prices in Marin County dipped below $900,000 for the first time since March, but they climbed back to $922,000 in October, a yearly increase of 19 percent. Sellers in the county received almost 98 percent of their list prices, an uptick of 4 percent from the previous month.

The MSI constricted month over month in Marin, falling to 1.9, roughly the same level we saw in August. Homes took an average of 52 days to exit the market, consistent with levels observed since the midsummer.

NAPA COUNTYNapa_Octoer13_Update

Home prices in Napa County climbed 5 percent from September to October, to finish at $495,000. Buyers paid 93 percent of asking prices, the lowest we’ve seen since the start of the year.

Though Napa County is one of the few Bay Area regions where inventory is closer to a balanced market, the MSI declined almost a full percentage point in October, from 3.9 to 3.2. Homes stayed on the market for 84 days, slightly longer than they did over the summer and early fall.


Sales prices for single-family homes in San Francisco have seen minor but steady decreases since August and fell to $925,000 in October. That said, prices are still up 11 percent from where they stood a year ago.

Just as they have all year, buyers in the city paid more than list price in October, this time by about 6 percent.

In September, the MSI climbed above 2.0 for the first time in over six months, but by October it had shrunk back to 1.6. Single-family homes left the market in an average of 34 days, not radically different from what we’ve seen throughout most of 2013.


San Francisco condo prices reached the $900,000 plateau for the second time in a year, finishing October exactly at that number. Condo prices in the city are up 5.5 percent from September and 10 percent from October 2012.

Like single-family-home purchasers in San Francisco, those who bought condos also paid a premium over list:  3.5 percent to be precise. Condo inventory levels in the city also mirrored a trend seen in single-family homes, falling to 1.6 after topping 2.0 the previous month.

The average days on market for condos in the city was 36, slightly higher than in September and identical to what we saw in August.

SILICON VALLEYSiliconValley_October13_Update

It’s taken at least $2 million to afford the median sales price in our Silicon Valley region all year, but prices peaked in October, reaching $2,250,000. And after two months where buyers enjoyed paying slightly less than asking price, they parted with about 1 percent above list in October.

As was the case in San Francisco, the Silicon Valley MSI declined in October to 1.6 after hitting 2.9 the month before. Houses left the market in almost exactly one month, a decrease of about of a week when compared with July and August.

SONOMA COUNTYSonomaCo_October13_Update

With an October median price of $464,000, homes in Sonoma County are up 3 percent from September and a healthy 26 percent from this time last year. Buyers paid a few points less than list prices – 4 percent – which is consistent with patterns that began in June.

Homes stayed on the market an average of 66 days, almost identical to the levels established over the two previous months. And after four months of holding at or above 2.0, the MSI began to shrink again, dropping to 1.9.

SONOMA VALLEYSonomaVal_October13_Update

Home prices have been going up and down in Sonoma Valley since the spring, and October saw them dip to $565,000, a modest month-over-month decline of 4 percent. Sellers received an average of 94 percent of original price, a 2 percent bump from September.

In September, Sonoma Valley homes took about three months to exit the market, but by October that time had dropped by exactly 30 days. The MSI fell from 4.1 in September to 2.2, almost identical to August numbers.


After peaking at about $550,000 for the previous three months, the median sales price for a single-family home in our Tahoe/Truckee region fell to $536,000, which is still a year-over-year increase of 20 percent. Sellers collected 93 percent of asking prices, not radically different from what we’ve noticed most of this year.

Homes stayed on the market an average of 94 days, the third straight month of numbers above the 80s.  At 4.7, the October MSI is virtually unchanged from August and September.


Prices for condos in the Tahoe/Truckee region have been steadily gaining since the midsummer and now stand at $381,500 – the second-highest levels in the past year. At the same time, buyers paid about 91 percent of list price, similar to levels in April and May.

The MSI, 4.7 as of October,  has been shrinking ever since June and is now at its lowest level in the past 12 months. Condos took an average of 113 days on the market to sell, a 29 percent decrease from September, when they languished for 159 days.

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