I compiled some data on San Ramon back in August. San Ramon is an interesting beast in the Bay Area, since the interstate divides the town in two, and results in a reasonable representation of Contra Costa county as a whole.
I pulled comps for 92 properties that have sold in San Ramon from April 1-August 5, 2007. I only pulled comps that were sold between $700,000 and $850,000. San Ramon varies widely depending on which side of I-680 the property lies.
The average list price (again, within the range of $700k and $850k) was $788,677, the average sales price was $777,549, for an average price of $11,127 BELOW list (1.41% below list). The most that a home sold ABOVE list was $36,000, and the most BELOW list of $72,500.
Here is some data for June 2007 versus June 2006 for the two San Ramon zips (data courtesy of DQNews.com):
Zip: 94582 (aka "Great" San Ramon zip)
Median Sales Price: 871,500
Change in Median Price: -1.0%
Zip: 94583 (aka "Ok" San Ramon zip)
Median Sales Price: 711,000
Change in Median Price: -11.7%
The discrepancy between the 2 zips is representative of what is happening across Contra Costa county. The higher priced areas are faring well relative to the lower priced areas. The subprime, and larger credit markets, crunch is affecting the poorer areas first but will undoubtedly take a toll on the higher priced market in the months to come. So, what does this mean for negotiating prices? If you are looking in the lower priced areas of San Ramon, now may be the time to buy - as inventory is up and the data is there to support more aggressive negotiating tactics with sellers. If you are looking at the higher priced areas, it makes sense to wait a few months for an even better buyer's market.