Walnut Creek Housing Market

This is an in-depth exploration of the Walnut Creek housing market. Nestled in the heart of Contra Costa, Walnut Creek offers the perfect blend of urban accessibility and suburban splendor, attracting homebuyers from across California and beyond. In this comprehensive post, we delve into the latest trends, statistics, and insights that drive this dynamic real estate landscape. Whether you are a prospective buyer or seller, our analysis will provide you with a deeper understanding of the Walnut Creek housing market.

Renée White

October 31, 2023
Table of content
    KEY TAKEWAYS
    • Walnut Creek properties for sale are limited in number and prices are high. There is a lot of competition for the housing stock.
    • Homes typically sell for slightly more than the list price.
    • Property tax rates are higher than the national average.
    • The market is gaining momentum as it recovers from high interest rates and cost of living.
    • There are lots of great amenities and the climate is sunny but mild, so Walnut Creek is an attractive destination for homebuyers.
    • Now could be a great time to buy in the city, but you must work with a good real estate agent.

    Walnut Creek Housing Market Overview

    Property prices in Walnut Creek are currently sitting at a median value of $795,000, representing a 1.9% increase compared to this time last year. Sales activity, however, has slowed down, with August recording 104 sales, down from 142 the previous year. On average, Walnut Creek homes currently spend just 12 days on the market before finding new owners, indicating high demand and low supply.

    Walnut Creek’s real estate market offers an enticing blend of urban amenities and suburban tranquility. It remains competitive, with limited inventory and sustained demand, which continues to drive property values higher. In fact, the rising house prices in Walnut Creek can have a ripple effect on surrounding areas, impacting the broader U.S. housing market.

    the golden gate bridge for walnut creek housing market

    Detailed Analysis Of Walnut Creek Real Estate

    Let’s take a look at Walnut Creek real estate from a closer view. This section covers trends in pricing and sales, an overview of tax considerations and options for affordable housing.

    Pricing And Sales

    Graph of the sale-to-list price ratio in Walnut Creek, CA

    • List prices versus sale prices
      • The trend in Walnut Creek properties for sale shows that they typically sell close to the asking price, with a sale-to-list price ratio of 100.9%. On average, homes have been selling for slightly above the asking price. This minor difference suggests that homes are being priced effectively.Success in selling homes in Walnut Creek hinges on accurate pricing. Collaborate with our expert team, and we will conduct a comprehensive appraisal to set a competitive asking price. If you’re in the market to buy, we can assist you in finding desirable Walnut Creek homes that fit within your budget.
    • Homes sold above list price
      • The latest data reveals that approximately 60% of homes are selling for prices higher than the list price, marking an improvement from earlier in 2023 when a much lower percentage of homes achieved higher prices. High demand for Walnut Creek real estate has driven this percentage up to as much as 90-100% in recent years, and there is a current upward trend.This suggests that demand is on the rise again after a quieter period in the previous winter. Improved interest rates may be a driving factor behind this resurgence, but it also means that competition for homes in the city is intensifying. If you’re looking to buy in Walnut Creek, be prepared to submit offers on multiple houses to increase your chances of success – we can help with this.
    • Homes with price drops
      • Approximately 37-38% of Walnut Creek housing ends up selling below the list price. When considering the figures about homes selling over the list price, it becomes clear that very few properties are selling for the asking price. This disparity indicates a certain level of market volatility, but there are signs that this volatility is gradually decreasing.Given this uncertainty around pricing, it’s even more crucial to collaborate with an experienced and dependable real estate agent in Walnut Creek. With us by your side, you’ll have a specialized team of real estate professionals and negotiation experts to ensure you secure the right price, whether you’re selling or buying.

     

    Tax And Financial Aspects

    Cities in Contra Costa County adhere to California’s property tax regulations. This means that property tax in Walnut Creek is determined by the 1% base rate, with additional special assessments that can vary from one location to another. These tax funds are used to support local projects such as schools and infrastructure. It’s worth noting that the property tax amount paid in Contra Costa is typically higher than the national average.

    Property tax is a significant consideration for both buyers and sellers in the Walnut Creek housing market. Falling behind on your payments could result in a Walnut Creek property tax lien being placed on your property to collect the owed amount. It’s crucial to ensure that you can comfortably budget for your Walnut Creek real estate taxes liability when planning a move to a Walnut Creek neighborhood.

    Section 8 And Affordable Housing

    Section 8 is an essential resource for many individuals exploring the Walnut Creek housing market. Walnut Creek, being a relatively affluent community, attracts property owners who choose to rent out homes through Section 8 to provide housing opportunities to less fortunate families and individuals. This program provides discounted housing options for eligible individuals, ensuring they have access to safe and affordable rental housing.

    The program plays a crucial role in preventing financial instability and homelessness, making it a cornerstone of the highly inclusive Walnut Creek housing market. However, due to high demand, competition for Section 8 housing in Walnut Creek is fierce.

    an attractive townhouse for walnut creek housing market

    Walnut Creek Housing Market Trends

    Graph of the median sale price in Walnut Creek, CA
    The median sale price for all home types in Walnut Creek currently stands around $795,000. This is down from highs above $900,000 in May 2023, but a significant increase from earlier in the year. The fluctuation in the price of properties for sale in Walnut Creek in 2023 is indicative of the wider issues with interest rates and the cost of living. But there are recent signs of that leveling out, and forecasts indicate that interest rates will soon fall and the Walnut Creek housing market will become more active.

    Buyers and sellers should prepare for greater competition for the limited housing inventory in Walnut Creek. We can help with these preparations, ensuring you know everything you need to buy or sell in the city. Our experts can guide you through and keep you on target to achieve your goals.

    With low inventory, home sales in Walnut Creek rarely reach the highs seen in some other cities within Contra Costa. There was a noticeable downward trend, going from over 200 sales per month in mid-2021 to fewer than 50 at the beginning of 2023. These numbers have since shown signs of recovery, with 104 homes sold in August 2023. We anticipate this upward trend to continue as mortgage rates decrease and demand rises.

    While Walnut Creek is technically still a seller’s market, it’s possible that some homeowners may wait for further signs of the market’s recovery before putting their homes up for sale. We expect to see increased activity in 2024, but there may be unique opportunities for buyers and sellers who act early. Contact us to explore your options and determine if there is potential right now for your goals.

    In the current Walnut Creek housing market, homes are consistently selling in less than two weeks, a trend similar to this time last year and not unusual for the city. This is a positive indicator, especially considering the average time on the market exceeded 40 days in January 2023.

    If you’re looking to sell your house fast in Contra Costa, you will have no problem if you work with us. Our specialized team is ready to assist, with a wide selection of real estate professionals at our disposal. We always strive to achieve the best results for both sellers and buyers.

    How Hot Is The Walnut Creek Real Estate?

    We are seeing:

    • Increasing sales volumes
    • Quicker sales
    • Rising house prices
    • Demand significantly surpassing supply

    In this light, it’s evident that the Walnut Creek real estate market is heating up. This is a positive development following the sluggish start of 2023, and forecasts indicate that these upward trends are far from reaching their peak. While the market is currently hot, it hasn’t yet reached its boiling point, so feel free to get in touch if you want to enter early and reap the rewards.

    Walnut Creek Migration & Relocation Trends

    Map of Walnut Creek inbound & outbound migration trends
    People are drawn to Walnut Creek from across the country, enticed by its unique blend of suburban living with easy access to urban hotspots. Many newcomers hail from various regions of California, such as Ukiah, but there’s also a noticeable influx of individuals from places like Chicago, Bloomington, and Jackson.

    Conversely, those departing Walnut Creek tend to gravitate toward larger metropolitan areas within California, such as Sacramento, Los Angeles, and San Diego. However, we’re also witnessing an outflow to other parts of the country, including cities like Seattle and Las Vegas.

    These migration patterns align with the typical Contra Costa narrative. Young adults often depart in search of excitement and opportunities, while slightly older individuals settle in the county to raise their families.

    Popular Neighborhoods In Walnut Creek, CA

    The Walnut Creek housing market includes a lot of attractive locations where people seek homes to enjoy the lifestyle there. Some of the most highly regarded districts in the city include:

    • Rossmoor
    • Northgate
    • Downtown Walnut Creek

    While the more affluent areas of the city can command prices exceeding $1 million, there are also more budget-friendly options in neighborhoods like Rossmoor and San Miguel, with homes that range from $200,000 to $300,000. The key to finding the right fit is to clearly define your needs and conduct a thorough search, and our team is here to assist you in this process.

    Amenities Near Walnut Creek, CA

    There are numerous attractions that enhance the quality of life in Walnut Creek. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the many parks, including the stunning Mount Diablo State Park. Families are drawn to the city due to its exceptional schools catering to children of all ages.

    The well-connected public transportation system provides easy access to entertainment and shopping venues like the Lesher Center for the Arts and Broadway Plaza. These outstanding amenities contribute to the city’s vibrant and well-rounded lifestyle, which, in turn, fuels the high demand for houses for sale in Walnut Creek.

    broadway plaza for walnut creek housing market

    Is It The Right Time To Buy Your Dream Home In Walnut Creek?

    With mortgage rates showing signs of improvement and activity on the rise in the Walnut Creek housing market, it’s an opportune time to consider buying a home. Anticipate increased market demand in the coming months, leading to heightened competition, driven by falling interest rates.

    As you embark on this journey, it’s crucial to assess your financial health with the assistance of a financial advisor. Should you require further guidance in evaluating your circumstances and defining your goals, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here to help you identify suitable properties for sale in Walnut Creek.

    Should You Buy Or Rent A Property In Walnut Creek?

    If you’re concerned about the high prices and fierce competition in the Walnut Creek real estate market, you might be considering the option of renting. However, it’s essential to be aware that there’s limited availability of rental properties, and median rent prices are relatively high. Currently, it stands at $3,800 per month for a 3-bedroom apartment or $2,575 for a 1-bedroom.

    Nonetheless, renting can be the right choice for certain individuals. If you’re in the city for a short-term work assignment or uncertain about your long-term plans, committing to a home purchase might not be practical. Similarly, if you’re building financial stability, renting can provide a starting point in the city before considering a purchase.

    The Role Of Climate And Its Impact On The Walnut Creek Property Market

    Walnut Creek’s climate features mild, sunny weather, making it an attractive destination for many. This pleasant climate significantly contributes to the city’s popularity, leading to high property values and an active Walnut Creek housing market.

    However, similar to much of California, Walnut Creek is susceptible to both wildfires and earthquakes. To make an informed decision, it’s advisable to review historical data on such occurrences before purchasing property in these areas, as it might require additional insurance coverage.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How Hot Is The Walnut Creek Real Estate?

    The Walnut Creek housing market is always quite hot due to low inventory and high demand, but it is currently heating up due to shifting market conditions.

    Amenities Near Walnut Creek, CA

    Walnut Creek is home to fantastic outdoor recreation, shopping and entertainment facilities. It is also close to larger urban areas and contains some outstanding schools.

    Should You Buy Or Rent A Property In Walnut Creek?

    There is stiff competition for both buying and renting in Walnut Creek, and prices are high for both. The decision between buying and renting comes down to personal circumstances.

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