Bay Area real estate: Region leads California in cost per square foot — and the tightest housing supply

Single-family home prices rose markedly across the state in June — by 7.0 percent from a year earlier, according to a new report by the California Association of Realtors.

The price growth was even greater in the Bay Area — up 7.9 percent across the nine counties.

The statewide median sale price was $555,150.

Compare that with the Bay Area: $908,740.

Yes, the region-wide median sale price is now approaching a million bucks.

And look at some of the numbers from specific counties: The median price rose 12.6 percent year-over-year to $1,182,500 in Santa Clara County and 12.1 percent to $900,000 in Alameda County. It jumped 9.8 percent to $1,433,750  in San Mateo County, 8.8 percent to $1,469,000 in San Francisco and 5.6 percent to $660,000 in Contra Costa County.

Once again, all of this is driven by the combination of low housing supply and job growth. Worried that they won’t otherwise seal the deal, buyers are pushing sale prices up and up.

Broken down another way, the data shows that the highest per-square-foot prices in the state were in the Bay Area. At the top of the list was San Francisco ($909/sq. ft.), followed by San Mateo County ($848) and Santa Clara County ($662).

And which California counties showed the sharpest drops in inventory? The top five were all in the Bay Area: San Mateo was No. 1, followed by Santa Clara, Alameda, San Francisco and Contra Costa counties.

Read the report here.

“A lack of available homes for sale continues to be the largest single factor influencing California’s housing market,” said C.A.R. President Geoff McIntosh. “With active listings 13.5 percent lower than last June, we’ve now experienced a full two years in which active listings have fallen on a year-over-year basis and the lowest inventory level this year. Would-be sellers aren’t listing their homes as many of them would also face an inventory challenge if they were to turn around and buy another property.”

Interestingly, tight inventory combined with buyers’ desperation to spur sales on a year-over-year basis. The volume of sales was up 2.4 percent across California and 6.1 percent in the Bay Area.

Sales jumped 9.4 percent in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties; 8.2 percent in Contra Costa County; and 4.8 percent in Alameda County. Only in San Francisco did the number of sales decline, by 5.6 percent.

This chart (from the California Association of Realtors) shows the year-over-year changes in price and sales for single family homes.

Photo: A “sale pending” sign outside a house in Palo Alto. (Paul Sakuma/AP)


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