Oaklands Zip 94608 one of the hottest

Some ZIPs drawing more bidding wars
Carolyn Said, Chronicle Staff Writer

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Bay Area locales where homes sell the most above asking price tend to be relatively affordable, according to a report from ZipRealty released Friday.

That underscores the sway that investors and first-time home buyers hold in today’s real estate market, where bargain homes bring out multiple bids that drive up the price.

The highest offers (measured by sales price-to-list price ratio) were clocked in the East Bay’s 94608 ZIP code, which includes Emeryville and part of Oakland. Homes there on average sold for 105.65 percent of the asking price in the third quarter, said ZipRealty, a national real estate brokerage with headquarters in Emeryville.

That ZIP stood out as one of the top 10 “hottest” U.S. areas in terms of offers exceeding asking price, Zip said.

“The housing stock there is single-story Craftsmen style two-bedroom one-bathroom homes built in the 1920s through 1940s,” said David Kerr, a Zip Realtor who specializes in the East Bay. “The homes are in the $200,000 to $300,000 price range. I’ve been writing offers there like nobody’s business and getting beat out, often by cash offers.”

All-cash offers are the telltale mark of investors. Kerr said a fair number of homes on the market in Oakland were foreclosures that investors bought, fixed up and flipped. “I’ve seen the same house picked up at a (foreclosure) auction go back on the market and sell higher than the highest comparable sale in that area because it’s been rehabbed,” he said.

The third “hottest” Bay Area ZIP code, 94606 in central Oakland, is similarly affordable with a median price of $279,000, he said.

Of both ZIP codes, Kerr said: “Homes here were selling in the $400,000s and $500,000s at the height of the market and now you’re picking them up in the $200,000s and $300,000s.”

The second hottest Bay Area ZIP, 95122 in South San Jose, is one of the region’s foreclosure hot spots, where bargain-priced bank repossessed homes are readily available.

On the other side of the spectrum, the “coldest” ZIP code in the Bay Area, where homes sold for the most below asking price, was Los Gatos/Monte Sereno, where the average list price is currently $2.5 million, according to Movoto.com. Homes there on average sold for 92.26 percent of their asking price in the third quarter, Zip said.

The sales ratio was also low in the much more affordable Rio Vista, a troubled town in Solano County, where homes sold for 93.47 percent of their asking price, according to the report.

Nationwide, the hottest ZIP code was in the Rancho Bernardo community of San Diego, where homes sold for 125 percent of list price in the third quarter, Zip said. The coldest ZIP was Denton, Texas, where homes went for 30 percent of their asking price.

Hot ZIPs
These are the Bay Area ZIP codes where houses sold for the highest ratio to their asking price in the third quarter.

City ZIP Ratio
Emeryville        94608          105.65%
San Jose           95122          105.22
Oakland           94606          105.06
Berkeley           94703          104.78
San Lorenzo     94580          104.45

Cold ZIPs
These are the Bay Area ZIP codes where houses sold for the lowest ratio to their asking price in the third quarter.

City ZIP Ratio
Rio Vista          94571          93.47%
Napa                94558          93.45
Alamo              94507          93.07
Half Moon Bay 94019           92.94
Los Gatos/ Monte Sereno      95030     92.26

Source: ZipRealty