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Changes to Real Estate 2019

City Transfer Taxes

As approved by voters in this past November’s election, the city transfer tax will change in Berkeley, Hayward, Oakland, El Cerrito, and Richmond.

The transfer taxes will increase in Berkeley for properties over $1.5m, over $2m in Oakland, and for all properties in Hayward. Properties in Oakland that are less than $300,000 will see a decrease in the transfer tax owed. El Cerrito voted to continue their transfer tax of $12 per thousand.

See the chart below for the changes.

Alameda County Berkeley $1,500,000 and less 1.50%
$1,500,001 and above 2.50%
Alameda County Hayward All Values $8.50 per $1,000 of full value
(Increase from $4.50 per $1,000)
Alameda County Oakland $300,000 or less 1%
$300,001 or $2,000,000 1.50%
$2,000,001 or $5,000,000 1.75%
$5,000,001 and above 2.50%
Contra Costa County El Cerrito All Values $12.000 per $1,000 of full value
Contra Costa County Richmond $999,999 or less 0.70%
$1,000,000 to $3,000,000 1.25%
$3,000,001 to $10,000,000 2.50%
$10,000,001 and above 3.00%

Vacant Property Tax

With the passing of Measure W in November 2018, properties that are vacant for more than 50 days in a calendar year would be taxed $6,000 annually for vacant residential, nonresidential, and undeveloped properties, $3,000 annually for vacant condominiums, townhouses, duplex units, and $3,000 annually for ground floor commercial space parcels in use less than 50 days in a calendar year.

See the full text of the measure HERE.

Conforming Loan Limits

Starting January 1, 2019, the loan limits for conforming loans will increase. See the changes in the chart below.

Number of Units Conforming Limit High Balance
2019 2018 2019 2018
1 $484,350 $1,500,001 and above $726,525 $679,650
2 $620,200 All Values $930,300 $870,225
3 $749,650 $300,000 or less $1,124,475 $1,051,875
4 $931,600 $300,001 or $2,000,000 $1,397,400 $1,307,175

Castro Valley Sewer Lateral Ordinance

Effective July 1, 2019, all properties that closes escrow or properties have a newly recorded deed transferring title will be required to be cleaned or pass a CCTV inspection. This is similar to the PSL program in cities like Oakland and Berkeley.

For more information about the program including exemptions, visit Castro Valley Sanitary website HERE.

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