OAK NOTES from Grace Bishop

Dear Friends,

Happy Spring! Have you seen it yet? Scientists aren't exaggerating about this year's "super bloom" - it's pretty spectacular! I've had the fortune of driving the state a few times recently and have never seen it like this. The wildflowers are erupting, blanketing hillsides with vibrant carpets of yellow, orange, blues, and purples, a stark change from the past three years (some of the driest on record for California). Honestly, the hills are so lush and green, they remind me of Ireland. Treat yourself and take a drive before they're gone, you won't regret it. 




"The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated." - M. Twain

When we analyze the state of the East Bay real estate market, it's important to differentiate the past from the present. For example, the number of transactions in January and February dropped to its lowest point since the financial crisis of 2008. The general opinion is that many buyers and sellers took a break given the tumultuous job market, as well as the steady flow of atmospheric rivers. But that changed in March: activity increased 55% month-over-month and median sale price increased 17%, matching 2021 prices (they were down 11% compared to 2022). 

This increased activity is revealing a bifurcation in the market. One line is drawn by price: In Q1, the lower end of the market ($1M or below) saw little competition as these homes sold at asking; the "upper middle" of the market ($1.5M-$2M) was most competitive as these homes sold an average of 20% over list price; and the upper end ($2M+) sold 13% over list.

The other line is drawn by the days on market: older listings are sitting but newer listings are selling. Looking only at active listings in April, 45% of homes have been on the market for 5 weeks or more, but these homes make up only 21% of new contracts. Sellers with older listings can address this issue by taking a price reduction: 57% of homes that have been on the market for 5+ weeks and get into contract are those that lowered their price.

On a whole, as the spring market heats up, there is simply not enough inventory to meet demand. The number of new listings for this time of year is near an all-time low (since Red Oak began tracking in 2011) yet new contracts are on an upswing despite the limited supply. And looking only at Red Oak transactions that ratified in April, key metrics are strong for sellers: average price is equal to 2022 levels, homes are selling an average of 11% over asking and attracting an average of 3.5 offers, which points to an increasingly strong overall market. (Activity appears to be much stronger for homes that sold above $1M: 41% attracted 6 or more offers, and 33% sold 31% or more over asking.)

Market trends can shift week to week. Reach out if you'd like some help navigating these waters.




It is a challenge to analyze the current state of the East Bay real estate market by comparing it to last year's market. That's because 2022 sales were in a post-pandemic frenzy - a true anomaly. While the market has naturally slowed since then, the slowdown has been exacerbated by significant economic headwinds, from job losses to higher mortgage rates. As a result, March activity fell year over year, down 33% in the number of transactions. Median price fell 10% (and now stands close to 2021 levels). Homes sold an average of 8% over list, but there was wide variation in this data point: Albany homes sold an average of 38% over list price while Orinda and El Sobrante homes sold 4% below list. If you'd like custom reports that match your specific needs, just respond to this email.


The Fed met in March and raised their benchmark rate by .25% as expected. After an initial rally in bonds, the market pulled back over the next couple of weeks and we ended up back where we started as we headed into the Fed meeting. April's consumer price index report showed that inflation is continuing to slow, and the producer price index report the day after showed an even further decline in wholesale prices. As inflation continues to slow, we should see rates for mortgages declining as we go through the summer. Lower rates should support higher prices in real estate as a result of inventory not matching rising demand. If you have any questions about this, please contact Faramarz Moeen-Ziai at CrossCountry Mortgage - fmz@ccm.com or 510.254.4697 

FMZ TEAM Crosscountry Mortgage




Personal NMLS342090 | Branch NMLS2020284 | Company NMLS3029 | CA-DOC3420


We would love your vote as the best real estate company and broker in the East Bay.

Please place your vote on Oakland Magazine's site here. This is the FINAL round, and we would truly love your support! 

For 7 years, Red Oak has won Best Real Estate Company in Oakland Magazine's Best of Oakland (& the East Bay) and was a Top Five Real Estate Company in 2022. Let's keep a good thing going.

Click HERE to vote, and thank you!


The Red Oak 2023 desk calendar, Artists & Artisans of the East Bay, is filled with East Bay creatives from a variety of trades using different mediums. April features Philippa Roberts providing handcrafted jewelry in California for more than two decades, showcasing a consistent style that combines clean lines, vibrant gemstones, and a timeless aesthetic. Philippa's sources of inspiration include interior design, architecture, and the natural world.

Philippa's jewelry studio is situated alongside her retail store on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland, which she founded in 2006. You can also find her work in select boutiques worldwide and has been featured in prestigious art museums like the DeYoung Museum and SFMOMA. It's been a lifelong aspiration of hers to showcase her jewelry in such esteemed venues.

When she's not working on her works of art, she shares her home in Oakland with her husband, Brian, daughter, Charlie, and their adorable trio of dogs, Rosie, Scout, and Ginger. Follow her on Instagram @philipparobertsjewelry to see her beautiful work.

If you'd like a free copy of the 2023 desk calendar Artists & Artisans of the East Bay, just reply to this email with your mailing address.


Looking for a new place for Mexican cuisine? Look no further, Masa Tamales & Taqueria offers the same easy-going and fun vibes as the classic food truck with the sit-down feel. Located in the heart of Point Richmond it's surrounded by a lively atmosphere for outside dining while still being private enough to enjoy a conversation. Masa is expanding to the Richmond Annex neighborhood across the street from the El Cerrito Natural Grocery. 

Cooking with only the freshest and finest ingredients they also include a variety of options, all tamales are 100% hand-wrapped while the aguas frescas are made daily with fresh fruit that will reinvigorate your taste buds. The flavors are rich yet savory, coupled with the authentic spice to make your mouth sing and dance. 

IG: @masa.taqueria | Open Daily 10 AM - 8 PM 199 Park Place, Richmond
Coming Soon! 10409 San Pablo Avenue, Richmond 510.778.1463

Grace Bishop
Realtor | #01245471