The new normal for Bay Area home buying: 36 days on the market

ec241 96916615%2A304xx1469 2203 59 0 The new normal for Bay Area home buying: 36 days on the market

Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose — three metro areas feeling the impacts of a Bay Area tech boom that has driven housing prices to historic highs — happen to be three markets where homes are among those selling the fastest in the entire U.S.

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ec241 lauren 4 The new normal for Bay Area home buying: 36 days on the market
Lauren Hepler
Economic Development Reporter- Silicon Valley Business Journal


Forget, for just a moment, all of the hype about Silicon Valley’s mythical millennial tech talent clamoring for newfangled luxury apartments.

New monthly data for September from reveals that the region’s for-sale housing market is also crazy as ever.

Homes listed in the San Jose and San Francisco metro areas have only been on the market for a median 36 days, which leaves the Bay Area locales tied for the designation of the second-fastest-moving residential real estate markets in the entire country.

In what could be a testament to concerns about skyrocketing prices in San Francisco and Silicon Valley sending prospective buyers fleeing to farther-flung Bay Area housing markets, the neighboring Oakland metro area boasted homes with the shortest median time on the market at 35 days.

Oakland also had the most inventory, with 4,175 homes on the market as of September, compared to 2,050 in the San Jose area and 2,397 in San Francisco.

Median home prices were $500,000 in Oakland, $718,000 in San Jose and $949,000 in San Francisco.

See the chart at the bottom of this story for a breakdown of how the Bay Area housing markets stack up against other fast-growing tech hubs like Austin and Seattle when it comes to pricing and the amount of time homes are listed for sale.

The upshot for those looking to buy homes in the Bay Area — in case you haven’t heard the horror stories of competing with all-cash buyers or brokers specializing in selling homes before they even hit the market — is that competition to buy is extremely fierce, even if you can afford high boom-time prices.

As I have reported, median home prices that have in some areas surpassed $1 million also undermine the ability of even middle- or relatively high-income area workers to buy a home. Unaffordability pushed some would-be homeowners into the crowded rental market and some into buying in cheaper areas that can entail grueling commutes — that is, if they don’t decide to pack up and move somewhere much farther away that offers much more house for much less money.

Lauren Hepler is the economic development reporter at the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

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