Contra Costa County: May 2020 Real Estate Update

Brian Louie
Brian Louie
Published on May 12, 2020

Contra Costa Real Estate Market Begins to Bounce Back – Slowly 

Market activity begins to tick up after severe shelter-in-place plunge. Median home sales prices are up. Interest rates hit new low. 

May 2020 Crisis Update

Shelter-in-place caused steep drops in activity across the board in what is typically the busiest selling season of the year. However, though still far below normal levels, activity has been slowly picking up since bottoming out in late March/early April, and will presumably continue to do so with the easing of both shelter-in-place and property-showing rules. 

So far, median home prices are up year-over-year, but a fair proportion of the sales behind April median sales prices still reflects offers accepted prior to shelter in place. 

Interest rates hit a new historic low in the last week of April.

Week by Week Supply & Demand Trends

The only way to clearly perceive the recent changes in the market – sudden plunge and the beginning of recovery – is by looking at WEEKLY trends in buyer and seller activity. These are illustrated in this first chart below.

Median House Sales Prices – Year-over-Year Comparisons & Trends since 2017 

Generally speaking, the first months of 2020 have been characterized by often substantial, year-over-year increases in median home sales prices across the Bay Area.

Monthly Supply & Demand, Year-over-Year Comparisons 

The next series of charts reflects the dramatic changes in seller and buyer dynamics by MONTH as compared to spring 2019. These don’t illustrate the uptick in activity in the most recent weeks. 

Mortgage Interest Rates

Unemployment 

We are not going to review the economic news already extensively covered in the media, except for this stark illustration of the unparalleled rise in unemployment. How quickly this horrifying trend can be reversed will probably be the single largest factor behind an economic recovery (after the discovery of a vaccine). 

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