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Update on the Richmond, California Housing Market in 2021

Are you planning to buy a home in Richmond, California in 2021? Wondering what to expect when you enter the Richmond, CA real estate market? You’re in the right place. We’ve rounded up all of the pertinent housing market stats and trends, so you can make a well-informed home purchase in 2021.

Richmond, California Housing Market in 2021

It’s official: 2020 was a huge year for the Bay Area real estate market. Despite the economic slowdown and layoffs brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, the region’s housing market continued to break records over the past year.

In a March 2021 real estate update, the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) wrote:

“The year-over-year increase in the Bay Area’s median [home] price was the largest since September 2013, and it helped to set a new record high in the median price for the Bay Area.”

Like most cities across our region, the Richmond, CA real estate market is bustling right now. Home sales are up, year over year, and prices continue to climb in this highly competitive housing market.

There’s not much inventory out there, but there are plenty of buyers seeking a home. That’s the number-one thing you should know about the Richmond, California housing market in 2021. There’s not enough supply to satisfy the demand from buyers.

We’ll get to those supply and demand factors in a moment. First, an updated look at home price trends.

Richmond Home Values Up by Double Digits

Home prices in and around the city of Richmond, CA have risen steadily over the past couple of years. In fact, the median house value in the city rose by double digits during 2020, despite the COVID-19 situation. Surprising but true!

According to the real estate data company Zillow, the median home price within the Richmond, California real estate market rose by around 13% over the past year (as of March 2021). The median house value had climbed to $665,000 when this article was published, in late March. It will likely be even higher by the time you read it.

Recent forecasts for the Richmond housing market and the broader Bay Area suggest that prices will continue to climb throughout 2021 and into 2022. And that’s not surprising, when you look at the current inventory situation. Housing supply is very low right now, and that’s leading to bigger and bigger offers from local home buyers.

Sales Are Up, Inventory Is Down

During the month of February 2021, Contra Costa County had about a one-month supply of homes for sale. In theory, that means it would take about a month to sell all of the homes currently for sale, if no new properties came onto the market.

In the “real world,” these metrics allow us to track inventory levels over time, and to determine which way the market leans — toward buyers or sellers. And right now, the Richmond housing market is suffering from a severe shortage of properties for sale, relative to the demand.

Here’s another stat to put this into perspective. Back in February 2020, Contra Costa County had an “unsold inventory index” of 2.7. (This metric refers to the number of properties available for purchase at any given time.) By February of 2021, the county’s unsold inventory index had dropped to just 1.7, which is well below normal.

Here’s what these stats mean from a home buyer’s perspective. Like the rest of Contra Costa County, Richmond currently has a very low level of inventory. This supply shortage will continue to affect the Richmond, California real estate market throughout 2021, and probably well into 2020 as well. Buyers will have to work hard to find the right property at the right price.

Due to the current imbalance between supply and demand, Richmond is more of a seller’s market right now. Sellers tend to have the upper hand, when it comes to negotiations. The same goes for most of the Bay Area. That doesn’t mean you can’t succeed, when trying to buy a home in the Richmond area. You can! It just means you have to be realistic … and patient and persistent.

A Fast-Moving Real Estate Market

As you can probably guess from the statistics mentioned above, the real estate market in Richmond, California is pretty fast-paced in 2021. As a home buyer, you’ll want to have your financing lined up before entering the market. This will allow you to make a strong offer when the right home comes along.

According to the C.A.R. report from earlier, homes listed for sale in Contra Costa County spent a median of just 11 days on the market during February 2021. That’s pretty low. Slower housing markets often have a median “DOM” of 30 days or higher, because it takes longer for houses to sell. But within the Richmond housing market — and across the broader county and region — homes are selling fast.

A separate real estate report published recently showed that nearly 70% of homes sold within Richmond, CA ended up selling for more than┬áthe original listing price. This indicates a high level of demand within the local real estate market. It also suggests that high competition is leading to multiple-offer scenarios and bidding wars — more signs of a hot market.

So there you have it, an updated look at current conditions and trends within the Richmond, California real estate market. Home prices have risen steadily, and will probably continue to climb through 2021 and into 2022. Low inventory remains an issue, while the demand from buyers continues to soar. In short, it’s a hot market!

Mike Trejo

Mike Trejo

Mike Trejo is a Bay Area mortgage broker with 20+ years of knowledge and experience.

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