The Berkeley real estate market is, most simply, a microcosm of the larger Bay Area real estate market, specifically of the more residential cities that skirt the suburbs of the main regional city, San Francisco. It is difficult to make predictions or generalized statements about the Berkeley real estate market because of the complexity of the local real estate situation. After the beginning of the nationwide economic recession, Berkeley and the rest of the Bay Area began to suffer severe economic repercussions, as evidenced by lower rates of home sales, higher rates of foreclosures, and other related problems. Current economic and real estate news in the Bay Area and Berkeley remains mixed to the present day, confusing any accurate prognosis.
According to a July 23, 2009 article in the San Francisco Chronicle, there is a distinctly mixed picture in the foreclosure section of the Berkeley real estate market. It stated “A key indicator of mortgage trouble hit an all-time high for the Bay Area in the second quarter, according to a real estate report released Wednesday. Notices of default, sent to people who are delinquent on their home loans, totaled nearly 20,000 for the nine-county region in April, May, and June, said MDA DataQuick, a SanDiego real estate data company.” On the other hand, the same article noted that foreclosures themselves dipped slightly during the same time period. “The 6,929 Bay Area foreclosures reflected a 25.4 percent drop from the second quarter last year. Likewise, the state's 45,667 foreclosures were a 27.9 percent drop from the year-ago period.”
On the other hand, home sales in the Berkeley real estate market as well as the Bay Area in general increased somewhat during the month of June 2009. According to a July 17, 2009 article in the Los Angeles Times, “San Francisco Bay Area home sales were up 20% in June over the same month last year, while the median sales price was down 27%, MDA DataQuick reported Thursday.” Additionally, an article in the July 16, 2009 edition of Bloomberg found that “A total of 8,644 new and existing homes were sold in the nine-county region.”