Home prices in the San Francisco Bay area, the epicenter of the U.S. technology boom and housing-affordability crunch, hit an all-time high last month.
The median price paid in the nine-county swath of Northern California was $686,000 in April, up 4.1 percent from a year earlier, CoreLogic Inc. said in a statement Wednesday. The prior peak was $665,000, reached in mid-2007. House and condominium sales in the region – including Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo, Solano and Sonoma counties — totaled 7,518, down 7.3 percent from April 2015, according to the real estate information company.
Silicon Valley tech salaries have fueled a rapid rise in Bay area home prices, putting purchases increasingly out of reach for average workers who have to live in tiny spaces or commute longer distances to find properties they can afford.
“It’s no surprise that in a month when the San Francisco Bay area’s median home-sale price hit a record high, the region also logged a year-over-year decline in sales, which remained well below the long-term average,” Andrew LePage, research analyst with CoreLogic, said in the statement. “Low mortgage rates, job growth and other drivers have stoked demand, but the supply of homes for sale -– especially in the low-to-middle price ranges -– hasn’t kept pace, leaving many would-be buyers struggling with a thin and increasingly expensive inventory.”
The median price for the area has risen on a year-over-year basis for 49 consecutive months, according to CoreLogic. Transactions for $500,000 or more accounted for 69.7 percent of sales in April, the highest share since August 2007, when it was 72.1 percent.