The Bay Area real estate market is extremely competitive and arguably one of the top housing markets in the world. When a brokerage rises to the top of this market, that’s certainly worth celebrating. So I’m very pleased to report that Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage once again ranked as the Number One real estate company in the Bay Area this past year, according to the newly released REALTrends 500 report.

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage accounted for more than $21.5 billion in closed sales volume in the Bay Area last year, more than twice our nearest competitor, Alain Pinel. Our company also closed 22,654 transaction sides in 2013, putting it at number one in that category as well.  Both of those figures attest to the fact that Bay Area homebuyers and sellers alike are choosing us over all of our competition.

We are very proud of our company’s placement on this prestigious real estate industry ranking, widely regarded as the most prominent ranking in our business. Our sales associates, managers, and office staff constantly strive for excellence in customer services and the utmost professionalism, and I’m pleased to see that our hard work is paying off.

The REALTrends 500 is an annual research report that identifies the country’s most successful residential firms as ranked by closed transaction sides and separately by closed sales volume. The report measures the performance of the nation’s leading realty service firms. The REALTrends 500 report was released at REALTrends’ annual Gathering of Eagles event on April 30.

NRT LLC, the parent company of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, was ranked as the No. 1 residential real estate brokerage firm in the United States based on sales volume and transaction sides for the 17th consecutive year.

Thanks to all of our outstanding sales associates and staff for this tremendous honor. Here’s to another great performance in 2014!

Below is a market-by-market report from our local offices:


North Bay – Our Greenbrae manager reports that there still are 60-70% multiple offer situations. Inventory is increasing slowly but there still is pent up demand. There are only one short sale and one REO on the books – so nearly non-existent. Agents are still seeing active Open Houses. The market in Sonoma County is experiencing multiple offers on appropriately priced homes, our Santa Rosa manager says. In addition, Open Houses are very well attended. There have been two properties in the last week that have fallen short of the contract price when appraised. Appraisals have not been an issue for the majority of the last year. However, it seems like the lack of inventory and competition for homes is beginning to create an appraisal problem that agents hope is short-lived. The median price in the County is not increasing at a double-digit pace as it had last year, which you could exacerbate the problem. In the Sebastopol area, the crowds are large at open houses in all price ranges. Agents report 40-60 individuals on average. These include lots of neighbors curious about the values in the neighborhood. Good inventory sells quickly. Previews luxury listings continue to come to market, some of which get multiple offers while others sit. The Southern Marin market continues to have strong activity in the $2 million to $3 million range. The $3 million to $5 million properties are selling at twice the pace of last year, but there is still a strong supply of properties available. Above $5 million, only the most desirable, well-priced properties are receiving offers. Our Southern Marin manager says he’s seeing more inventory, thereby giving buyers more options. Where listings were receiving 4-6 offers, today they are receiving 1-3 offers. Downtown Mill Valley listings were selling for 20% to 40% over list price. But today they are going for 5% to 10% over list price.


San Francisco – Buyers in the San Francisco Lakeside area remain persistent and sellers remain reluctant. Low inventory constrained by sellers’ fear of not finding a replacement property continues to challenge the market. Our Lombard office manager says quick, all cash, over asking deals still predominate. Some sellers however are reaching and their properties remain unsold. Most deals this month went asking price – some as much as 45% over asking, representing $500,000 to $600,000 over asking in some cases. No signs of inventory rebounding. Our Market Street office manager says the local market remains a story of not enough properties and too many buyers. While most properties still receive multiple offers, agents did see a few ratified with just one during this period (only one of these being new construction). There was even one well-priced property whose offer date came and went without any offer despite heavy open house traffic and multiple disclosure packages given out.


SF Peninsula Open houses are less robust except in the $1.2 mill and under arena, according to our Menlo Park manager. There still are multiple offers on 50% plus of local sales but fewer offers in general. Buyer fatigue and certainly agent fatigue are occurring. Our Palo Alto manager says low, low inventory to no inventory results in nothing to sell to buyers. In the Redwood City-San Carlos area, there finally seems to be a little of a break through with listings. There are still many multiple offers on desirable properties. The open houses, especially first time opens, are getting from 50 to 100 people through. Luckily most of our buyers are hanging in there and they keep trying to purchase, according to our office manager. There was some slowness last week in the San Mateo market due to the Easter week. Still, there were plenty of buyers out there but some reluctance on some price ranges from those buyers. In the Woodside-Portola Valley area, there are still steady sales but a bit less attendance at open houses.


East Bay – At least 70% of the Berkeley listing inventory reflects “Coming Soon.” Closed sales are running 8-28% over list price. Spring has sprung and it is very exciting and busy for Berkeley agents. Inventory has gone up in the Danville area, but so has the number of new pending sales. Prices in Danville and Alamo are robust. For example, out of 50 active listings in Alamo, there is only one home listed for under $1,000,000 ($975,000). In the Fremont area, there’s been a steady increase in inventory since the beginning of the year. Sales price is moving lateral and market may see slow increases in price. In the Lamorinda area, the above $1.7 million dollar market seems to be slightly cooling, although our office in Orinda just had a $3,000,000 listing go into contract with multiple offers. The market remains strong and extremely active below $1.7 million. Rarely do these listings stay active after their first open home, going into contract usually within 7 days. Open homes continue to be heavily attended. It’s still a seller’s market in the Pleasanton area, but agents are seeing more inventory coming on. The number of offers has reduced; even homes slightly overpriced are still on the market.


Silicon Valley – The Cupertino market is crazy as ever. Some of the best properties are going 20% over the asking price. Los Gatos area buyers are getting some relief as more homes came on the market this week. Our San Jose Almaden manager notes that active listings are down eight over this time last year in Almaden. Agents are still seeing multiple offers although prices aren’t going as high over list price as they were last year.  Agents in the San Jose Main office have seen a slight slowdown in multiple offers and open house traffic – very slight. Our local manager says it’s still a strong seller’s market with properties selling significantly over asking price and for incredibly generous terms to our sellers. The slight slowdown has allowed for an increase in contingent offers – but at a cost to the buyers. The local Willow Glen market has experienced a substantial week-to-week inventory increase the last two weeks, according to our manager there. Agents have had two consecutive weeks of 20 plus new listings hit the market. The absorption rate is now going to be the key metric to measure as we move through the spring selling season. More sellers are coming into the Saratoga area marketplace north of $3.5 million. Spectacular homes or highly desired streets are selling for over list, but others seem to take time and then a price reduction before receiving an offer. Overall, there has been some cooling off in the markets where schools are not a positive factor. Many sellers in the higher priced markets are trying to grab more appreciation, which is leading to longer DOM’s.


South County – South County agents (and their buyers) are finally seeing an increase in the listing inventory—both in Morgan Hill and Gilroy. This week at the local broker’s tour, there were 21 houses open for agents to preview. That is almost double from what it was just several weeks ago. Demand, however, remains strong with open houses drawing large numbers of potential buyers. Though multiple offers exist, they are not quite so common as at the beginning of the year. Another interesting aspect of the South County market is the number of buyers who are coming from up the Peninsula and North San Jose to purchase property. Homes in Gilroy, Morgan Hill and San Martin remain a good bargain when compared to areas closer to Silicon Valley.


Santa Cruz County – The luxury market in Santa Cruz has not kept pace with the modestly priced homes. The market has experienced a small uptick in deals being cancelled as more homes come on the market. Meanwhile, the average days on market has remained low.


Monterey Peninsula – Our local manager reported that the month of April up over 30% on MLS sales, and combined with off-MLS sales, there were an even greater number of transactions. Agents are seeing demand pick up in the $2 million-plus market. An ocean view property that has been on the market for over three years with multiple brokers saw one of our local agents bring in the buyer. The prime golf course and ocean view properties are receiving more attention as of late. Agents are seeing new listings in the under $1 million price point come to market, and it will be interesting to see what kind of response they receive.


That’s it for now. Have a great weekend!