Contra Costa Housing Market

Explore the Contra Costa housing market as we dip into the ever-evolving landscape of property sales in this picturesque California county. From the suburban elegance of Walnut Creek to the organic charm of Brentwood, you will find diverse housing options throughout Contra Costa. In this post, we take a look at key market trends and considerations for people looking into Contra Costa real estate. Whether you’re seeking to buy or sell, or you’re simply curious about Contra Costa housing, our expert insights and data-driven analysis will help you understand what to expect here.

Renée White

October 25, 2023
Table of content
    • House prices in Contra Costa are trending upwards and sales activity is increasing.
    • Property tax is relatively high in the county.
    • There is good provision of Section 8 affordable housing.
    • The county is recovering from a dip in the market but trends are heating up and the outlook is very positive.
    • Many come to Contra Costa for family life and there are many great amenities and attractions.
    • Now is a good time to buy, or you could choose to rent if you are unsure of your long-term plans.

    Contra Costa Housing Market Overview

    In August 2023, houses for sale in Contra Costa County were priced 0.6% higher than the same time last year. The median selling price was $785,000, and homes were selling after just 14 days on the market – that’s 7 days less than the same time in 2022. August saw 895 property sales, which was down from a total of 1,138 a year ago.

    Contra Costa has many desirable locations in California, which has one of the nation’s most competitive real estate markets. With high property values here, fluctuations can sometimes cause ripples throughout the U.S. housing market.

    Detailed Analysis Of Contra Costa Real Estate

    Here we take a closer look at things like pricing and sales, taxes and affordable housing in Contra Costa to help you get a stronger understanding of the situation in the county.

    Pricing And Sales

    Through 2023, particularly in later months, homes for sale in Contra Costa have sold for approximately the asking price in most cases. The median listing price, according to the most recent data available, is $789,400, while the media price that homes have been selling for is $785,000. This is a sale-to-list price ratio of 100.92%.

    This indicates that homes are being priced realistically for the current market. If you are looking to sell your property quickly in Contra Costa, work with us to get an accurate valuation and you can expect to receive good offers within a couple of weeks. Our negotiation skills will ensure you get the right price for your goals.

    The latest statistics for 2023 indicate that 663 homes were sold in the month of September. Among these Contra Costa property sales, 55% were sold above the asking price. However, prices generally remained close to the list price, as the previous section’s statistics show.

    This implies that if you’re considering a purchase in Contra Costa, you might find yourself paying slightly over the asking price. Currently, Contra Costa County’s real estate market favors sellers due to relatively low housing inventory and high demand outstripping supply. Consequently, there’s competition for housing, which can result in homes being sold above the listing price due to bidding wars.

    Of the 663 homes sold in Contra Costa in September 2023, 28% were sold below the asking price. Once again, it’s important to note that these prices remained close to the initial asking price, resulting in an overall sold-to-listing price ratio that is very close to parity.

    This suggests that there are opportunities for negotiation in the Contra Costa real estate market, and negotiation is what we do best. If buyers target the right sellers or property types, they may find chances to secure savings relative to the listing price and leverage the high quality of life in this picturesque county. Furthermore, securing a deal below the asking price can enhance the benefits of California’s enticing property appreciation trend.

    Tax And Financial Aspects

    Contra Costa real estate taxes are a crucial consideration for individuals involved in buying or selling property in the county. Property taxes serve as a fundamental source of funding for essential local services such as education and infrastructure. The typical Contra Costa property tax rate is approximately 1% of the assessed property value, with the inclusion of special assessments, resulting in some variation in actual tax rates based on location.

    To curb excessive tax increases, property value assessments are capped at a 2% annual increase. It’s important to note that falling behind on property tax payments may lead to a Contra Costa County tax lien.

    If you’re seeking information on potential exemptions that could lower your property tax obligations, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

    Section 8 And Affordable Housing

    Section 8 housing programs are important in Contra Costa real estate. They provide much-needed support to people like:

    • Low-income families
    • Seniors
    • Other vulnerable individuals

    These programs ensure there is access to safe, affordable housing via subsidized rents. This reduces the risk of homelessness and ensures vulnerable residents have adequate living conditions.

    Affordable housing is important in Contra Costa County, and many people choose to rent out their properties as Section 8 landlords. Affordable housing promotes stability and self-sufficiency, fostering diverse and inclusive communities. As such, Section 8 is seen as a cornerstone of the county’s commitment to providing equitable access to housing.

    Contra Costa Housing Market Trends

    Graph of the median sale price in Contra Costa County, CA
    There has been fluctuation in recent years when it comes to median sale prices in Contra Costa. Issues like the global pandemic and the subsequent rises in interest rates have been significant factors in this. The current median price of Contra Costa County homes for sale is $785,000, which is indicative of a general upward trend in 2023. But the year started with a dip in January, following a spike in the previous April, showing mild volatility in recent trends.

    These fluctuating sale prices are caused by conditions in the wider economy. If you are looking to buy or sell, work with us to get the best results. We can help you prepare for all you need to do to buy or sell property successfully in 2023 and beyond.

    The number of homes sold in 2023 has been down on previous years. With interest rates being particularly high right now, there has been a dip in the number of people applying for mortgages. In January 2023, Contra Costa property sales rates were lower than at any point during the pandemic, but they have picked up and there were 895 homes sold in August 2023.

    If you want to sell your house fast, you will be glad to know that demand is still outstripping supply. It is a seller’s market in Contra Costa, and forecasts for mortgage rates indicate there is likely to be a surge in applications in the coming months. Work with us to get the right price for your home.

    In line with the other statistics in this section, the start of January 2023 was a challenging time for the Contra Costa housing market. With low sale prices and a drop in sales, it may not surprise you to learn that houses spent a lot of days on the market at that time – averaging 45+ days. Fortunately, that trend was short-lived, and homes are currently spending an average of 14 days on the market before being sold.

    This is great news for buyers and sellers looking to secure a quick deal. And with our extensive team of real estate professionals and negotiation aptitude, you are sure to get fast results if you work with us.

    How Hot Is The Contra Costa County Real Estate?

    The economy softened in Q3 of 2023, contributing to an upswing in the Contra Costa County housing market. With demand surpassing supply, prices are on the rise, and the housing inventory is expanding, indicating a heating market. This trend appears poised to continue in the coming months as the economy remains soft, and mortgage rates decrease.

    Anticipate a continued uptick in activity in the foreseeable future. Whether you are in the market to buy or sell, you’ll find numerous opportunities during this time. It’s important to understand who is responsible for various fees in a property transaction. If you select us as your real estate agent, we will guide you through this bustling period to secure the best possible deal for your Contra Costa property purchase or sale.

    Contra Costa Migration & Relocation Trends

    It’s a bit of a Bay Area cliche that young singles begin adulthood in San Francisco, move to Oakland or Berkeley when they marry, and settle in Contra Costa to start a family. But migration statistics show some truth in the idea that Contra Costa is a great place for Californians to raise a family. Recent statistics show the following as popular sources of people buying properties for sale in Contra Costa County in 2015-2019:

    • Alameda County, California (18,007)
    • Solano County, California (2,435)
    • Sacramento County, California (1,301)
    • Los Angeles County, California (2,273)

    Interestingly, people leaving Contra Costa were moving to similar places. The suggestion is that young people born in Contra Costa move away as young adults then return later in life.

    Popular Neighborhoods In Contra Costa County, CA

    The most desirable neighborhoods for the Contra Costa housing market tend to be in southern regions, while more affordable housing is found in the north. If you’re after the best quality of life and price is no object, the following neighborhoods are great options:

    • Crow Canyon, San Ramon
    • Moraga, Oakland
    • Downtown, Walnut Creek

    These are just a few of the many fantastic neighborhoods in the county. If you have a large budget and want the best of what Contra Costa has to offer, we can help.

    If you are looking for more affordable areas, some of the best neighborhoods include:

    • Pacheco, Oakland
    • Bishop Ranch, San Ramon
    • Port Costa, Oakland

    Ultimately, house prices in general around Contra Costa are above the national average. Work with us to find homes in popular Contra Costa locations that are within your budget.

    Amenities Near Contra Costa County, CA

    Contra Costa County is known for offering a variety of suburban living options. With beautiful locations like Mount Diablo State Park and prestigious educational institutions such as Dougherty Valley High School in San Ramon, you have an abundance of resources and amenities to create a happy family life.

    The county also offers numerous entertainment options that help drive the Contra Costa real estate market, including:

    • Lesher Center for the Arts
    • Broadway Plaza
    • Pixieland Amusement Park
    • Wineries and vineyards
    • Community events

    Additionally, you’ll find excellent shopping destinations throughout the county, with examples including the Sunvalley Shopping Center in Concord and the vibrant Downtown Walnut Creek. Contra Costa County truly has something for everyone, making it an ideal place to live and raise a family.

    Is It The Right Time To Buy Your Dream Home In Contra Costa?

    With the Contra Costa housing market on the upswing, now is an opportune moment to dive in. Currently, demand surpasses supply, and this competition is poised to intensify in the coming months. The upward trajectory of house prices is expected to persist, making it advantageous to capitalize on early mortgage rate decreases when considering a purchase in the county.

    For a successful venture into the market, it’s crucial to collaborate with the right real estate professionals. A mortgage advisor will evaluate your financial situation, while a skilled real estate agent can help you explore options that align with your preferences and connect you with other relevant experts. By partnering with us, you gain access to our complete team and extensive professional network, ensuring you’re well-equipped to navigate this thriving market.

    Should You Buy Or Rent A House In Contra Costa?

    Your choice should be based on your specific circumstances. California offers robust rent control laws, making it an appealing state for renting. However, if you have financial stability and intend to establish long-term roots, buying a home might be a wiser decision.

    We maintain an extensive selection of properties available for both purchase and rental. While rental rates can be relatively high, opportunities for affordable rentals, such as Section 8 housing, do exist. Reach out to us to discuss your unique situation and objectives, and we can provide guidance to make an informed decision. If you’re new to the state, renting initially could be a prudent way to explore different areas. Work with us to evaluate your needs and make the most suitable choice.

    The Role Of Climate And Its Impact On The Contra Costa Housing Market

    Like many parts of California, Contra Costa can be susceptible to wildfires. This can have an impact on the Contra Costa housing market, with different insurance needs and people staying away from fire-prone areas.

    That said, the warm climate in the county attracts buyers who want a comfortable living environment. And it is conducive to outdoor living, great for people who like the great outdoors or spending lots of time in their backyard. Spring and summer tend to be peak selling seasons, while the market slows somewhat during those mild, wet winters.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How Hot Is The Contra Costa County Real Estate?

    At the time of writing, the market is rebounding from a dry spell and heating up rapidly. Generally speaking, it is a very competitive market with high prices and plenty of demand.

    Amenities Near Contra Costa County, CA

    Contra Costa County has an abundance of great parks and picturesque scenery. But it also offers outstanding schools, superb entertainment and excellent shopping throughout the county.

    Should You Buy Or Rent A House In Contra Costa?

    This depends on your circumstances. Many choose to rent before buying, and renting can be the better choice if you are less stable or unsure of your long-term plans. If you have the budget and wish to settle here, there are many advantages to buying.

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