Real estate trends

Real estate’s hottest season is in full swing and local experts are predicting the market will stay hot through the summer.

If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home, local experts have shared trends that can help you prepare for your transaction.

The first trend should have East County homebuyers keeping their eyes peeled and ready to move quickly.

“Homes are selling at a faster pace than compared with this time last year,” said Craig Sasville, broker and owner of Sasville Properties.

This gives sellers more negotiating power, as they typically have multiple offers and can choose a buyer who not only has the strongest offer but also agrees to a time line that works best for them. Unfortunately, this isn’t great news for buyers, who have to compete with other offers.

The trend of homes selling at a faster rate might be linked to the decrease of home inventory available.

“According to BHHS Drysdale Properties market trends, active listings are down 20 percent from a year ago,” said Donna Boland, broker associate at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Drysdale Properties. “In addition, from the month of April to May 2018, there has been no change. This means buyers, who may have waited for the end of the school year to move, hoping for more homes to hit the market, may have a smaller selection to choose from.”

While houses in East County are flying off the market, home prices are on the rise.

“Home prices have risen,” said Boland. “According to Zillow, the average home value in Brentwood is $580,000, up 7.7 percent from last year and is expected to rise 11 percent within the next year.”

If you’re a seller, you will most likely make a nice profit. If you’re a buyer, finding a home that you can afford may be more challenging, and you might have to sacrifice some of the things you want in a house.

“Some buyers are forced out simply because they cannot compete or afford homes, because prices have increased,” said Sasville. “This is a more favorable situation for the seller, given they will have more offers to choose from and most likely a higher price than they were originally asking for.”

Some of those who have been pushed out turn to options other than purchasing a home.

“The low inventory and upward pressure on prices, coupled with rising interest rates has forced many would-be buyers in the renter’s market,” said Sasville. “There is also a lack of inventory for available homes to rent, which has put upward pressure on the amount of rent a home can generate.”

The trends hitting the East County real estate market is prevalent through the Bay Area.

“The overall East Bay market is still quite hot,” said Boland. “The closer you get to San Francisco and the Silicon Valley, the heat intensifies.”

According to Boland, the East County market is strong because it continues to be an attractive and affordable option, compared to many other Bay Area cities. Not only that, it also has much to offer its residents including access to the Interstate 580 corridor, minutes away from the Delta waterways and now just minutes from BART and public transportation.

“The East County real estate market is robust and remains a desirable place to live in the Bay Area,” said Bolan. “With its close proximity to virtually every major urban workplace, we are centrally located and have so much to offer our residents.”

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Drysdale Properties is located at 141 Sand Creek Road, Suite E. For more information, visit or call 925-323-7570.

Sasville Properties has offices at 1555 Riverlake Road, Suite M, in Discovery Bay, and 80 Eagle Rock Way, Suite E, in Brentwood. For more information, visit or call 925-513-4483 or 925-513-5418