OAK NOTES from Grace Bishop


Every so often a listing comes along with a specific buyer in mind, which is why I'm excited to tell you about 8445 Wildcat Drive. This luxury country estate on the edge of Wildcat Canyon is ideal for the nature lover who is looking for privacy, sweeping views and abundant space, yet appreciates the convenience of being close to El Cerrito and Kensington. This serene and peaceful property offers gracious living spaces, perfect for entertaining, and a spacious wrap-around deck where you and your guests can take in the canyon views. Soaring ceilings and modern finishes are just a few of the additional features this custom home has to offer, as well as a separate wing to easily accommodate an au pair or visiting family and friends.

Some of my favorite features of this home lie outside on the grounds; a small hillside vineyard with Pinot Noir grapes, and a multitude of mature fruit trees including apricot, cherry, persimmon, pomegranate and Meyer lemon.

If you know someone who would appreciate all that this incredible home has to offer, please reach out to me. This is truly a special property! 8445Wildcat.com


It's hardly news that the East Bay real estate market has been growing at a steady pace. It continues to break all-time records. For example, in Q2 2021:

  • Median price for single family homes is at an all-time high of $1,090,000, up 25% since last year.
  • Homes are selling at an average of 20.6% over list, the highest ever recorded.
  • Homes are selling in an average of 15 days, the lowest ever recorded.

Interestingly, this recovery is similar to the years following the financial crisis, roughly defined as 2008-2013. For example, in Q2 2021 compared to one year prior:

  • The number of sales increased 95%. This is the highest level of growth since the financial crisis in Q1 2009 (145% YOY).
  • Median price increased 25%, the largest growth since Q2 2010 (47% year-over-year).

The financial crisis and the pandemic experienced such similar recoveries, one could use historical trends to determine what the East Bay market has in store for us over the next few years. Here are a few predictions that might play out:

  • Prediction 1: The number of sales will decline after 2021. After the number of sales peaked in 2009, they steadily decreased for over a decade until the pandemic struck. This could have been because older generations are aging in place, and prices continued to increase and sellers had less incentive to sell and "move up," reducing inventory and increasing prices.

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  • Prediction 2: The rate of appreciation will decline. Prices fell as much as 56% between the first half of 2008 and 2009. After recovering in 2013, the rate of appreciation continued to slow for 7 years. Similarly, the current buying frenzy will cool at some point, and sky-high prices will push more buyers out of the market, reducing the rate of appreciation.

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  • Prediction 3: Homes will continue to sell over asking in a short period of time. While the market suffered during the financial crisis, it remained active through the pandemic, which reflects the resiliency of the East Bay. For example, homes sold as much as -7.2% below asking in the first half of 2009; in 2020, sales remained high at +7.7% above asking and skyrocketed in 2021. Similarly, homes were on the market an average of 50 days during the first half of 2008; in 2020 this metric didn't increase - it declined to just 22 days on market.

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All said, there simply isn't enough inventory of available homes to meet the demand of today's buyers. This has been the case for over a decade and is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

Do you agree? Disagree? Reach out to discuss or if you would like to see custom reports that affect your real estate goals.





The East Bay real estate market is starting to sound like a broken record: even more all-time records fell in June 2021. The number of sales increased 69% (it makes sense this number is so high; it's being compared to 2020's bottom of the pandemic market). And while median sales price has decreased over the past two months, it remained 25% higher than last year at a median of $1,250,000. Homes sold an average of 21% over list, the highest ever recorded in the East Bay, and they sold in an average of 15 days, the lowest ever recorded. We expect these key metrics to soften as we head into the summer and more people take their post-pandemic vacations. However, expect a new rush of listings after Labor Day.



Mortgage bonds continued their June rally into July as inflation fears were outdone by concerns about a lagging economic recovery and the possibility of further easing by the FED. Additionally, bond traders were caught covering short positions and other investors were looking to the safety of bonds in light of continued volatility in the equities market. The release of the FED meeting minutes from the June meeting also reinforced the FEDs position that, while inflation is high for the time being, that it was expected and that it is "transitory".  The net result of all the June activity was a roughly 0.25% improvement in the interest rate market from the highs in April. 

It's a great time to get preapproved or to look into refinancing your mortgage. For more information, please contact Faramarz Moeen-Ziai of CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC at fmz@myccmortgage.com or 510.254.4697.

FMZ TEAM  Crosscountry Mortgage




Personal NMLS342090 | Branch NMLS2020284 | Company NMLS3029


Grace Bishop
Realtor | #01245471