Bay Area condos proving to be hot commodity

February 18, 2013 7:08:48 PM PST
It has been quite a while since we reported anything resembling a real estate boom, but that is exactly what is happening now in one segment of the housing industry. There is a bump in condominium prices across the Bay Area.

One of the rarest commodities in Bay Area real estate is a 900-square-foot condo. We took a look at one that was just sold. We wonder just how hot is hot?

"This property generated 11 offers. Most of those were significantly over what the list price was. It was originally offered for $195,000," said Dave Gorman, a real estate agent at East Bay Properties.

For agent Gorman it's been a long time since the last market like this. As of Monday, Emeryville had only 11 condos listed for sale and their values are increasing by double digit percentages. It's supply and demand in action.

"Well, they're affordable for one. A lot of first-time buyers or low to moderate households. That's the start point," said Gorman.

"But there is a strange dynamic going on here. What we're looking at an after-effect of the real estate bubble that burst. We have a shortage of homes for sale because many of the people who bought are still underwater and can't afford to sell.

"If you're anticipating that values are on the rise and you're not forced to sell in this market, why would you?" said Gorman.

For Gorman, and his working partner Kevin Rooney, it's both the best of times and the worst. A few years ago, these units sold for double, even triple their prices now.

"If you were trying to buy five or six years ago, it's a bargain. If you're a seller, it doesn't feel like a bargain," said Rooney.

Real estate is kind of like the weather. If you don't like it at any given time, be patient. It will change.


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