Can you afford a house in ALAMEDA, CA? ($1,500,000)

What can you buy with $1.5 million in a house in Alameda? Well, let’s continue with our series of “What the Money Bought.” By the way, I also did a blog on the $1 million and $2 million price points, so you can check those out as well.

What $1.5M bought in Alameda from 2018 to 2021

The format for this video and blog will be similar to the first one in this series. We’re going to explore the data and show the averages. We will explore what the MLS has to tell us about the numbers, historically, and trends here in the city to help you understand where we’ve been and where we’re going. So again, I went and scrubbed the MLS. I looked at all the houses’ data, took averages, and put it all into this spreadsheet. Hopefully, these will all help you make a good decision on whatever you’re doing, real estate-wise.

Days on the Market, Beds and Baths, and Square Footage

So this is fascinating to me. According to the data, in 2018, the average days-on-market (DOM) of houses sold at $1.5 million was 12 days. Also, those nine houses had an average of 3.8 beds and 3.1 baths. Furthermore, the average square footage of those homes was 2,559 square feet and cost $613 per square foot.

On the other hand, in 2019, the average DOM of nine houses sold at the same price point increased to 18 days. The average number of beds for these homes also grew to 4.1 beds. In contrast, the average number of baths and square footage decreased to 2.9 and 2,425, respectively. Also, it goes without saying that the square footage was more costly in 2019 than in 2018 by $11/ft.2.

Next, in 2020, there was a significant drop in those numbers for the five houses sold at $1.5 million. In that year, the average DOM was ten days, the mean number of beds was 3.2, and the mean number of bathrooms was 2.4. In addition, the area shrank to an average of 2,050 sq. ft., a 375 sq. ft. difference compared to 2019. Hence, last year’s average price per square foot increased dramatically by $169/square ft.

Then, in 2021, we jumped up to the highest number of sales at that $1,500,000-price point. There have been 14 houses sold so far this year, with an average of 17 days on the market. Also, on average, the number of bedrooms slightly increased to 3.5, but there were fewer bathrooms at 2.2. Moreover, the average square footage decreased further to 1,970 ft.2, a striking 589 sq. ft. less than in 2018. And, if you ask me, that’s really crazy and quite significant.

Price per Square Foot

Let’s look at the price per square foot for a minute. As you can see, it has shot up to $180 per square foot, almost $200 in 3.5 years. From $613 in 2018, it has risen to $793 per square foot today. That’s incredible, and it’s really interesting to see how much it grew in such a short period. Imagine how much money that increase translates to a 2,000 sq. ft. house today compared to 3.5 years ago. Well, that would be an additional $360,000 for that 2,000 ft2 house in Alameda! That’s also something interesting to think about.

List Price vs. Sales Price

Now there’s also another perspective on how you can look at these trends. That is by considering the difference between the list price and the final sales price. So, if you look from this perspective, you’ll observe a pretty big spread between the averages of the two. In 2018, sellers got $167,889 more than the asking price for their houses. Meanwhile, sellers got $83,000 more in 2019, the smallest increase in four years, and then sprung to $134,889 in 2020. Finally, the year 2021 has seen the biggest gains yet. In this case, the average final sales price is greater than the asking by $286,151, which is almost $300,000.

Perhaps we might want to look at the difference in terms of percentage to get a different perspective. So let’s look at the numbers under “% difference.” From the data, the percentage difference between the listing and sales prices has jumped pretty significantly over the years. It was 12.60% in 2018, a bit below 6% in 2019, and 9.87% in 2020.

Moreover, in 2021, properties were being sold for around 23% over the average asking prices. That means that if you’re looking to spend a maximum of about $1.5 million on a property, you need to be looking at properties listed right around that $1.2 million mark on average. Again, every property is a little different, and all of this data is based on averages. That means that this number may not apply, property by property. Remember, some homes sell well above their asking price, while some sell at prices very close to it. Thus, make sure you’re applying that appropriately. However, using that 20%–25% rule of thumb as a basis for the percent difference is pretty safe, especially in today’s market.

Number of Properties Sold Over the $1.5M Price Point

Lastly, and this is what I find super, super interesting—how many properties were sold over that $1,500,000 price point? According to the data, in 2018, the number of houses sold over that $1.5 million price point was 41. Again, that’s 41 out of a total of 637 properties sold that year, which is 6.44%. So, that really pushed you right up to the top, almost to the top 5% of the market.

On the other hand, 9.21% of 619 properties were sold for over $1,500,000 in 2019, and 14.10% of 624 in 2020. Today, in 2021, with 117 properties out of 505, you’re only getting into the top quarter of the market. So the price for each unit is really pushing up, which we also saw at the million-dollar price point. Let’s find out if we’ll see the same for the $2 million price point in the next video in this series.

Final Thoughts

To recap, $1.5 million does not buy you what it used to here locally. First, the average price per square foot today is almost $800, which is $180 more than in 2018. In addition to that, the average size of properties has gone down by nearly 600 ft.2 in just 3.5 years.

So, in general, that $1,500,000 price point is insane! Therefore, if you’re going to jump in at that $1,500,000 price point, you need to be really clear on what you want to buy, like what I always say in a lot of my other blogs and videos. Hopefully, knowing these numbers and these trends will be of value to you and help you be a little smarter when purchasing a house here in the city of Alameda.

I hope my blog on what $1.5M can get you in a house in Alameda has helped you.

If I can give you more context on the process of buying or selling your home, please do not hesitate to reach out. My information is below. 

Here’s to all your success!


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Can you afford a house in ALAMEDA, CA? ($1,500,000)