Berkeley sells the most homes over asking price in the country, report finds

Homes selling for over list price have been common in the Bay Area since pre-pandemic times. But houses selling routinely for $1 million over asking or more is a new phenomenon, especially for the East Bay.

A new report from shows that one East Bay city sells the most homes for over asking price in the country. Berkeley, with an average increase over asking of 19%, took the top spot, showcasing just how popular the university town became amid the San Francisco exodus.

The real estate website looked at sales in nearly 1,500 U.S. cities during the first three months of 2021, comparing the final sales price with the last-known list price to calculate the list.

One Berkeley home made national news in March when it sold for double its list price and received 29 offers. "People are not surprised when a home goes $1 million over," Josh Dickinson, the founder of real estate agency Zip Code East Bay, told SFGATE in May. "When my clients see a house for $1.9 million they're almost conditioned to think it'll go over $3 million in Piedmont or North Berkeley."

Overbidding was most common in Alameda County when compared with all Bay Area counties in the past year, with the percentage of homes selling for over list price reaching 85%, according to data from Compass. Alameda County home sales have climbed in 2021, up 20% when compared to the same time period last year, with the median price in Berkeley sitting at $1.2 million.

Redfin real estate agent Ena Everett told SFGATE in May that the East Bay market has always been busy, but it's gotten much more competitive in the past year. "In Oakland and Berkeley ... people could expect homes to go 20% over asking on a pretty regular basis," she said. "Now that the supply is a lot smaller, instead of 20% over, it's common to see houses go for 10 to 40% over asking or more."

Montclair, New Jersey, a suburb of Manhattan, had the second-highest over asking price in the country, with an average of 14% over list price. Champaign, Illinois, the home of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, saw an average increase over asking of 13%.

UPDATED: Please read and follow our commenting policy:

  • This is a family newspaper, please use a kind and respectful tone.
  • No profanity, hate speech or personal attacks. No off-topic remarks.
  • No disinformation about current events.
  • We will remove any comments — or commenters — that do not follow this commenting policy.
Send a letter to the editor

Our Network

The Press Democrat
Sonoma Index-Tribune
Petaluma Argus Courier
North Bay Business Journal
Sonoma Magazine
Bite Club Eats
La Prensa Sonoma
Sonoma County Gazette