2016 was another strong year in our Alamo/Danville real estate market. The upper end (over $3 million) felt particularly strong this year – and I took a look at the details in the MLS to see if my gut feeling was supported by the stats.

It wasn’t that long ago that almost nothing over three million sold – for example, just looking at Alamo for a moment: in 2013, only two $3m+ homes sold; yet in 2016, an astounding 15 high-end homes traded. That’s up from 10 in 2015 and 7 in 2014.

Danville (including Blackhawk), although larger, has very similar numbers with 14 sold in 2016.

It’s great to see the high-end moving so briskly because it’s a good sign for the overall market. When the market was so sluggish in 2010 and 2011 with all the foreclosures, we saw the healing process begin in 2012 at the bottom. As prices came back in 2013 and 2014, the move-up buyers came back into the picture, and the market improved price range by price range from the bottom up.

And just as a weather forecast is only pertinent if it’s for your zip code, so are any market condition remarks. Danville and Alamo, with great schools, large lots, and a lot of pride in the community, held values through the foreclosure years far better than many other locations. I hate to keep picking on Antioch, but there is a town in the same county as Alamo, and the recovery process has been wildly different. When I started tracking the inventory in 2007, Antioch had an astounding 1300 homes on the market. As the Alamo inventory increased in the spring and summer and decreased in the fall and winter (high of 160, low of 100 in the slow years, then high in the 60’s and low in the 20’s more recently); the Antioch market gradually decreased year after year from 1300 to less than 100 most recently. Average sales price hit a high of over $500,000 in 2006 and dove to $199,000 in 2010. In 2016, the average sales price in Antioch is up to $368,000 — so the recovery is happening but slower than in our area.

In Alamo and Danville, 2015 was the year I felt we returned to market-high prices. 2015 was a great year for real estate sales, and 2016 was very similar. Here are some interesting stats:

Alamo: there were 207 sales in ’16 and 207 in 2015 – exactly the same number per MLS statistics. Median days on market was 19 vs 18 days. Median price per sq foot was about $500 ($499 vs $503). The average sales price went up from $1.7 in 2015 to $1.815 in 2016.

Danville: the number of sales went down from 866 in 2015 to 809 in 2016, but the average price increased from $1.1 to $1.145, and the median price per sq foot increased from $448 to $471. Both years had median days on market of only 12 – that’s a fast moving market.

Blackhawk: there were 123 sales in 2015 and 130 in 2016. Again, the average sales price went up: from $1.578 to $1.7, but the median price per sq foot decreased from $442 to $434. Median days on market improved from 24 in 2015 to 19 in 2016.

In all three communities, sales were strong and prices went up – so another great year for our market. What does 2017 hold? I am expecting another good year, perhaps slightly better than the last – in other words, a repeat of 2016. But time will tell. Happy New Year!