OAK NOTES from Grace Bishop

Grace Bishop  2021 Top Producer  2021 Neighborhood Ace - Northbrae


Red Oak Realty is thrilled to announce the distribution of $105,000 in funds to local charitable organizations through the Red Oak Opportunity Foundation (ROOF).* As the leading independent real estate brokerage in the San Francisco East Bay, Red Oak has granted over $1.5M to local East Bay nonprofits since ROOF's inception 35 years ago. 

ROOF was established as a way for agents, staff, clients, friends and family to give back to the local East Bay communities in which we live and serve. ROOF distributions make a direct impact, going to charitable organizations that may not receive significant funding from larger sources. Donations support groups that serve the unhoused, at-risk youth, educational programs, the environment, training for the unemployed, women and children in need, and so much more.

The funds recently granted were raised in 2021 and given to organizations that were recommended by agents and staff members. We invite you to learn more about this year's recipients and encourage you to help support their missions:

YES Nature to Neighborhoods offers numerous programs for people of all ages with a mission to nurture leaders who champion the well-being of their communities.

LavaMaex's vision is a world where hygiene is treated as a human right. They have brought over 100,000 people access to sanitation and hygiene services through their mobile showers, hand washing stations, and pop-up care villages.
Save the Bay's mission is to protect the San Francisco Bay for both people and wildlife by combining political advocacy, wetland restoration and environmental education to drive positive change.

Nia House Learning Center is a Berkeley nonprofit Montessori program, providing children 18 months to 6 years old with an education centered around peace, understanding, acceptance, independence, community, and truth.

Goodness Village, based in Livermore, is a Tiny Home Community that provides affordable and permanent housing options for people transitioning out of chronic homelessness.

Berkeley High Jazz is a local music program that fosters creativity, community, cultural understanding, respect, and career preparation through the study of jazz music.

Youth Spirit Artworks (YSA) is located in Berkeley and provides job training for low-income, homeless and at-risk youth using art as a vocational medium.

Building Futures, based in San Leandro, helps to build communities with underserved individuals and families, where they are safe and supported with housing and needed services, free from homelessness and domestic violence.

Rebuilding Together Oakland/East Bay performs home and community facility repairs, maintenance, and safety modifications for older individuals, people with disabilities, and those caring for others in need of full-time care.

The Mercy Brown Bag Program addresses food insecurity and scarcity that impacts seniors living in Alameda County. "Seniors helping seniors" is at the heart of the program, with volunteers sorting, packing and distributing groceries to 17 sites throughout the county.

The Sogorea Te' Land Trust cultivates rematriation in the East Bay where traditionally land belonged to the Lisjan Ohlone. Led by urban Indigenous women, they facilitate the return of Indigenous land to Indigenous people and revitalize the cultural and spiritual traditions of their ancestors. 

Women's Daytime Drop-in Center empowers homeless women and children, offering hot meals, groceries, hygiene products, and diapers to women and children in need. They also provide support services and housing resources for Berkeley, Albany and Emeryville families.

Central Stage is a nonprofit organization with a mission to promote the arts, with an emphasis on Persian arts and culture. They provide an affordable space where the artistic community can explore creative expression, promote cultural dialogue, and share knowledge.

ROOF's contributions make a direct impact on our East Bay communities. This year, during November only, Red Oak will match up to $5,000 in donations to ROOF. All contributions are tax-deductible and go directly to the people and organizations selected annually with the help and guidance of Red Oak agents. To make a contribution, click HERE.

If you or someone you know is interested in learning more please visit ROOF.

*ROOF is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit charitable organization; all contributions are tax-deductible.




The Inner East Bay real estate market began to slow in June, and that trend has continued through October. The number of homes sold in October fell 5% compared to September (it's rare that sales decline between these two months) and they fell 31% compared to the previous year. It was the least active October since 2007. Despite the lower number of sales, the median sale price was $1,090,000, a slight increase from September but a 5.2% decrease from the previous year and the largest decline since 2011. While homes continued to sell over asking, at an average of 6% over list, this can feel like a significant change since the market reached an all-time high of 25% in April. Days on market continued to grow to an average of 25 days. 

We expect the market to continue to slow as we move closer to the holiday season. There is debate as to how soon the market will pick up again - some think there will be bright spots in the first few months of the year, some think it will be in the spring. This may depend on broader economic factors that drive consumer confidence such as layoffs at tech companies, the rate of inflation, interest rates and mortgage rates. Time will tell. Reach out with your thoughts.


As homeowners living in California, we're no strangers to earthquakes and the amount of damage they can do to homes. But did you know that there's a grant available through the state's Earthquake Brace + Bolt program? The grant is designed to help homeowners seismically retrofit homes that meet criteria developed by the California Earthquake Authority. Funds are limited and time is running out. Go HERE to see if your home qualifies.


We all knew that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) numbers coming out on November 10th would be critically important, and they did not disappoint. CPI is one of two key inflation reports in the US - Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) is the other big index, but because CPI comes out 2 weeks earlier, it gets almost all of the market's response. Why was this week's CPI so important? First off, almost every CPI report has been important in 2022. No other economic report has caused more volatility in the bond market. Bonds dictate interest rates, we can also say CPI has caused just as much volatility in the mortgage world. CPI is the king of economic data in 2022 because inflation is the dominant focus of the financial market and the Federal Reserve (Fed). The Fed sets policies intended to keep inflation at a low, stable level. Runaway inflation causes the Fed to hike interest rates in order to slow down the demand side of the economy. In the post-pandemic environment where a good amount of inflation is thought to be driven by the supply side of the economy, that's resulted in the Fed being particularly aggressive in trying to tamp down demand. In other words, each time inflation has surprised to the upside, the market has braced for even higher rates from the Fed. Although the Fed Funds Rate (the overnight lending rate that the Fed actually sets) doesn't directly dictate mortgage rates, Fed rate expectations set the tone for longer-term rates.

What did the data show? There are two ways to look at inflation in general: the "headline", which includes everything, and the "core", which excludes more volatile food and energy components. Markets and the Fed care much more about the core reading. Traders and economists expected core inflation to rise at a pace of 0.5% in the current case. That would have been a victory in and of itself compared to last month's 0.6% reading. The actual result ended up being 0.3%! This resulted in the biggest day-over-day drop in 10-year yields since 2009. While this is great news, the FED has been clear in stating that it would take multiple consecutive months of lower inflation for them to consider easing their policies. Where this goes is hard to say but for now, it could be a sign that we may be turning the corner on inflation and mortgage rates. 

For more information or to get preapproved for a mortgage, please contact Faramarz Moeen-Ziai of CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC at fmz@myccmortgage.com or 510.254.4697.


Personal NMLS342090 | Branch NMLS2020284 | Company NMLS3029 | CA-DOC34209


Each year Red Oak joins local businesses in collecting donations for Toys for Tots. This year the organization turns 75, having distributed over 627 million toys to children in need. Please consider donating a new, unwrapped toy to this worthy cause. Collection boxes are currently located at our Montclair, Hopkins, and El Cerrito offices until December 8th:

  • 6450 Moraga Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611    
  • 1575 Hopkins Street, Berkeley, CA 94707    
  • 7502 Fairmount Avenue, El Cerrito, CA 94530

If you'd prefer to give a monetary donation, please click HERE to go to their website directly. 


Organically grown and locally loved! Broc Cellars is California natural wine made in Berkeley by winemaker/owner Chris Brockway. Originally from Nebraska, Chris is part of the new generation of winemakers making exciting organic wines, embracing the natural acidity and expression of the grape which he sources from all over California. Broc Cellars has a lovely tasting room on the urban industrial 5th street in Berkeley where one can try their wines in chic, contemporary surroundings both indoors and out, on the heated patio. In addition to hosting regular private parties, they also throw their own launch parties for their new wines, and an annual Broc-tacular event where they invite the public in for entertainment, tastings and food from local food trucks. They also support other local businesses in their retail shop that offers gifts like their locally made and designed decanter and Broc glasses, and plants curated by Botania Club. 

1300 5th Street, Berkeley, CA 94710 | Walk-ins welcome or reserve online.
Open Thursdays 2 - 5 PM; Fridays 2 - 7 PM; Saturdays & Sundays 12 - 5 PM 

Grace Bishop
Realtor | #01245471