March 2020 Emeryville Real Estate & Rental Report: Housing Market Bracing for Impacts of Pandemic

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Our March report might be considered the “calm before the storm” as it was a bit premature to capture the volatility some are expecting due to the ongoing pandemic and the government response to it. As might be anticipated, rents and listings are trending downward for the month.

It appears, nearly overnight and despite low inventory, the market has shifted to a buyers market. Although some buyers are already getting cold feet and backing out of contracts as they reassess whether they can still afford to buy amid economic uncertainty.

It remains too early to determine what the longterm forecast will be and we’ll need more data to better understand this in the short-term. Our next report should be more telling of the state-of-affairs in our local housing market.

Median Rents Begin Anticipated Decline

Emeryville ranked as the 9th most expensive city to rent in the Bay Area (one spot down from our last report). The price of one bedroom units fell to a median of $2,700, while two bedrooms decreased to $3,460. Read the full report on Zumper.com. Browse all current Emeryville rental listings here.

Nearly 1/3 of tenants in the U.S. did not pay their rent in April due to economic hardships caused by the Coronavirus according to this Fox Business report. There are also advocacy efforts underway to coordinate a Bay Area rent strike. What the impact of these will be is anybody’s guess.

New Listings down by 21%

We have already noticed fewer new listings in recent weeks.

March year-to-year sales up 20%

Year-to-year sales were up by 20% in March.


Year to Year Sales and List price rise


March – A Week-by-Week Breakdown

Looking at a weekly breakdown, there have been fewer listings coming to the market since the shelter-in-place order on March 16. At the same time, we are still seeing properties going in to contract and escrows closing.

New, Pending and Sold Listings In Emeryville by week

Historic Context to 2007 Great Recession

In 2007, the Alameda County housing market peaked at a median sales price of about $690,00. The mortgage crisis took hold in 2008 and average sales prices plummeted, hitting a low of $395,000 in 2009.

The market eventually recovered toward the end of 2014 and has been steadily climbing since. This 6 year recovery period was among the longest it’s taken for the housing market to recover.

Some Good News for Current Home Owners

Interest rates are at historical lows after the feds cut the prime rate to zero in response to this crisis. It may be an ideal time to refinance for some. That said, some lenders are adjusting requirements for their loans and tightening restrictions regarding credit scores and jumbo loans.


The U.S. government, realizing the gravity of the moment, has announced relief for homeowners in the form of suspended mortgage payments for those who unable to pay due to layoffs, furloughs, etc. There have been some complaints about the process being cumbersome and discrepancies with the level of cooperation among lenders.

National Association of REALTORS Reacts to Economic Stimulus

Real Estate has been deemed an “essential” business and many guidelines have been published to outline how REALTORS can conduct business. Most homes are shown virtually. Title companies and lenders also responded quickly and virtual closings are possible for most transactions.

There is still a strong demand from buyers and with less listings coming on the market, we still see multiple offers for most properties.

Listing of the Month: Glashaus Lofts

Address: 6466 Hollis St, Unit 320
Bedrooms: 2
Bath: 2.5
Listed at: $865,000
HOA: $371/mo.

Image courtesy of BridgeMLS

Many prospective buyers have reached out to me to ask if now is a good time to buy. I tell them that it truly is a case-by-case basis. Inventory remains low and there is still a big pool of qualified buyers looking to buy a home.

This report is prepared by Coldwell Banker Realtor Nicole Gruen. Nicole lives and works in Emeryville. Are you considering buying or selling a home? Contact me for a no pressure virtual meeting: Email or call/text her at (510) 585-4444.

There are currently 11 homes for sale in Emeryville. Want to see local listings? Click on the banner below to search and subscribe. All Data deemed accurate, but not guaranteed.


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Nicole Gruen

Nicole Gruen is a top real estate agent at Coldwell Banker who specializes in the East Bay—especially in Emeryville where she lives. After working for 15+ years in Silicon Valley for companies like IBM, NVDIA, and Nestle, she transitioned to pursue real estate, which was a true passion for her. With her extensive knowledge of the East Bay markets, Nicole is a unique agent who combines her data-driven approach and people-first philosophy to help you buy, sell, and market homes with ease.

For more information, visit her website: www.eastbayreal.com


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