As the number of homes on the market continues to drop and purchase prices continue to increase, home sales are still strong throughout the East Bay.
"Buyer confidence in home ownership is up compared to this time last year," said Mike Fracisco, president of the Bay East Association of Realtors. "On average, sales increased more than 90% in Alameda and Contra Costa counties."
The rise in sales activity runs counter to the continuing slide in inventory.
According to the Realtors' association, the inventory of existing homes for sale in the East Bay during February dropped by almost 20% compared to the same period in 2014.
"Every local real estate market is unique, but for the most part there are fewer homes on the market and the competition is certainly driving prices," Fracisco said.
He added that some of the drop in inventory is also related to the calendar.
"We need to remember that even with all the challenges over the last few years that real estate activity is still seasonal," Fracisco said. "We anticipate more units coming on the market as we get into the spring and summer months."
Fracisco said that current homeowners watching the continuing trend in rising sales prices may decide now is the time to sell. The median sales price for existing single-family detached homes increased, on average, 11% compared with prices from February 2014.
"Interest rates are low and while there are a few new residential developments under construction, we're still in a restricted supply environment which is supporting the current price appreciation," he explained.