Situated in north-central Contra Costa County, Concord has long been a favorite bedroom community for commuters coming out of San Francisco and Oakland, located 30 miles west and 20 miles south, respectively. But as the largest city in Contra Costa County and the 9th largest city in the Bay Area, it is by no means a sleepy little suburb. Concord includes a strong commercial, industrial, and tech job market.
One of Concord's greatest attributes is its centralized location. Positioned in the northern half of Contra Costa County, it's close to anywhere one would want to be in the Bay Area. San Jose, Half Moon Bay, and Silicon Valley are all within an hour's drive. In 45 minutes, you can find yourself in the heart of Napa Valley or entering the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. That's all in addition to the immediate conveniences and recreation in Concord's immediate vicinity, fewer than 15 minutes from the heart of the city.
Impressive on its own, Concord boasts a temperate year-round climate and a diverse array of amenities and services, including parks, shopping centers, restaurants, an excellent mix of public and private schools, and an outstanding luxury residential real estate scene.
Concord market prices
To have a clearer picture of the Concord real estate landscape as we approach 2024, it's essential to analyze its current state
. The ongoing economic backdrop brings with it some unpredictability as we move into the closing months of 2023. In September 2023, the median listing price for homes in Concord was $749,950, which saw an increase from $725,000 in 2022. The rate at which homes are selling is faster, too: they typically stay on the market for 35 days in 2023 compared to 45 days the previous year. Additionally, 192 homes were sold in September 2023, an improvement from the 183 homes sold during the same month in the preceding year.
Although these figures suggest a brisk movement in sales, the prices continue to be elevated, reminiscent of the rates seen during the peak of the pandemic-era seller's market. This situation is further emphasized by the fact that Concord was a seller's market in September 2023, meaning the demand for homes surpassed the available listings. This scenario creates challenges for potential buyers, and this trend isn't just isolated to Concord; similar patterns are evident in various sought-after locations throughout the Bay Area.
That frustration stems from an exceedingly tight supply of inventory in a marketplace where demand has remained strong despite a pandemic, economic uncertainty, and shifting populations. Active listings, new listings, and overall inventory are far lower than a year ago. The current month's supply is also down year over year, sitting at exactly one month's supply. For context, a balanced market favors neither buyers nor sellers and requires between a five and six-month supply of homes within the market.
It's been several years since any market in the Bay Area was close to balanced with the continued shortage of viable inventory; demand will continue to far outpace supply.
The ongoing worries over increasing mortgage rates are the most significant issue impacting the Concord housing markets. Although the Federal Reserve avoided boosting interest rates at their September meeting, it will have little immediate impact on current mortgage rates. As of September 15, 2023, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 7.49%. Throughout August and September, mortgage rates have reached levels last seen in December 2000. Data from the previous year shows the 30-year fixed rate at 6.29%, which is still higher than the average rate for the past half-decade but considerably more palpable than the threshold of 7.5%, which is expected before month's end.
Given the persistence of mortgage rates above the 7% mark, the current seller's market has shifted from listings incapable of meeting demand to would-be listings being kept out of the market altogether. A considerable number of homeowners are reluctant to list their properties for sale. It's understandable, considering that most homeowners possess rates of 6% or lower with their current homes. Take it a step further; a substantial proportion of these mortgage holders enjoy rates between 2% and 4%. It's produced a large void in the current marketplace. As mortgage rates continue to climb, they negate any potential buying power a person might have even after a lucrative sale. Instead, homeowners are staying put and choosing to expand in place with add-ons, upgrades, and whole home makeovers.
Concord real estate forecast
Despite the prevailing challenges in the current housing market, historical trends indicate that potential buyers might begin to see some seasonal relief now and a considerable change in the Concord market over the next few years.
Sellers will also face their own market-driven challenges, albeit from a slightly more advantageous spot going into 2024.
For buyers, a few silver linings
In the short term, buyers needing to secure a home purchase sooner rather than later will want to be diligent between October and February. The pandemic may have ignored the rules of seasonality, but last year finally returned Concord to a bit of normalcy with how the market functions.
Motivated buyers shouldn't expect an influx of homes to hit the market. What is available is often listed by equally motivated sellers. The chances for a deal will be higher, but due diligence remains paramount. Partnering with a savvy Realtor well-versed in the Concord market will put you in a better position to navigate the market and secure a worthy home in a great location.
Long term, the Concord market could see a once-in-a-generation upheaval that will favor buyers. Among the most unique aspects regarding Concord, and what sets it apart from a large percentage of Bay Area communities, is the presence of a large swath of developable land. At one time untouchable, the Concord Naval Weapons Station occupied nearly a third of the land inside the city's boundaries. After several roadblocks, the city awarded a primary development contract in August to start the process of developing 2,300 acres of land to eventually accommodate 13,000 homes and millions of square feet of retail and commercial space (an additional 2,600 acres of the site are for use as a regional park). While the project remains in its earliest stages, with many hurdles to clear, it has the potential to be a game changer for real estate in Concord.
For sellers, weigh your options
In the current real estate climate, luxury home sellers find themselves at a financial crossroads, balancing the potential for huge gains from a sale against historically low, once-in-a-lifetime mortgage rates—some as low as 2.5%. The most critical aspect for sellers who do need to sell is recognizing the market they're selling into. Yes, your Concord area home sale might prove lucrative, but will it be enough to overcome the lost buying power from elevated home prices and interest rates at 20-year highs?
Before listing your home, it's worth consulting with an expert Concord Realtor who can assist you in evaluating your priorities and scrutinizing the market trends. For some, capitalizing on peak property values to unlock liquidity and diversify assets may outweigh the disadvantages of higher mortgage rates. Others, particularly those with no immediate need to relocate, might opt for a strategic wait-and-see approach, considering market shifts can occur in any given month.
Ready to buy or sell with a trusted Concord Realtor
Whether you're looking to purchase a home in the heart of the East Bay or take advantage of the demand for luxury homes for sale in Concord, contact The Corio Group today
to start your home-buying or selling journey. Allow Aeysha Corio's experience and expertise to help you navigate the Concord real estate market and ensure your purchase or sale is a truly satisfying experience.
*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock