California’s Top 10 healthiest housing markets: Three are in East Bay

You’ve seen one study after another touting this city and that neighborhood as the “hottest” or the “costliest” or the “most walkable” or the … whatever.

A new report throws a different frame around California’s residential real estate picture. It measures the “healthiest” housing markets and concludes that three of the top five in the state are in the East Bay: Castro Valley, in Alameda County, is No. 1 on the list; Benicia, in Solano County, ranks at No. 3; and Pleasant Hill, in Contra Costa County, ranks at No. 5. The rest of the top 10 markets are in southern California.

Benicia? With the oil refineries?

Well, yes. The study, by the financial technology company SmartAsset, explains that “a healthy housing market is both stable and affordable. Homeowners in a healthy market should be able to easily sell their homes, with a low risk of losing money over the long run. So, in order to find the healthiest housing markets in the country, we considered the following four factors: stability, affordability, fluidity and risk of loss.”

Read the report here.

SmartAsset measures market health by weighing the average number of years residents spend in homes, home values, ease of sale, and the costs associated with ownership. It considers the percentage of homes that are underwater; the percentage of homes that have decreased in value; days on market; and, maybe most significantly, home costs as a percentage of income.





Photo:  A “for sale” sign. (John Bazemore/AP)


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