Bay Area home price climb slowing, Solano’s still rising in double digits

As the Bay Area’s real estate market appears to slow, Solano County continues to outpace the pack, according to new industry data.

The median price of a home sold in Solano County in August was up 13.4 percent compared to a year ago — the Bay Area’s only double-digit increase, CoreLogic’s latest figures show. The next highest increase was Sonoma County’s 9.8 percent.

The median price for homes sold in August compared to July was only up 2.7 percent, but it’s one of only two areas that weren’t in the negative. The other was Sonoma, which was up 4.4 percent. Also, at 15.4 percent, Solano had the highest percentage increase in the number of homes sold, with San Mateo second at 14.3 percent.

CoreLogic’s new data shows a total of 8,374 new and resale houses and condominiums sold in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo, Solano and Sonoma counties in August, up 8.3 percent compared to July and 3.2 percent compared to a year ago.

Since 1988, the Bay Area average change in sales between July and August has been a gain of 2.2 percent, and August 2016 was the first month since March to post a year-over-year increase in sales.

The Vallejo-Fairfield Metropolitan Statistical Area has bucked this trend all along, however.

“San Francisco Bay Area home sales perked up a bit in August, rising slightly above a year earlier for the first time since March of this year,” CoreLogic research analyst Andrew LePage said. “Job growth, low interest rates, household formation and other factors helped drive sales. It’s very likely that August 2016 sales also got a boost from timing: This July had five weekends and fewer business days than usual, probably resulting in a significant number of transactions being recorded in August rather than July.”

The median price paid for all homes sold in the San Francisco Bay Area in August 2016 was $675,000, falling for the second consecutive month since hitting an all-time high of $710,000 in June. The median sale price was down 2.9 percent month over month from July and up 5.2 percent compared to a year ago. The median price of a home sold in Solano County rose to $385,000 from $339,500, still the lowest prices in the Bay Area.

Adjusting for inflation, the San Francisco Bay Area’s median sale price in August remained about 15 percent below its June 2006 peak, CoreLogic officials said.

“The region’s median sale price has risen on a year-over-year basis for nearly four and a half years, and while those gains were consistently double-digit — as high as 33 percent — between mid-2012 and mid-2014, they have since been single-digit and fairly steady, averaging about 7 percent over the past two years,” LePage said. “In July and August, those year-over-year gains dropped to around 5 percent. Given seasonal and other forces, including affordability constraints, it’s possible that the Bay Area’s median sale price hit its peak for 2016 in June when it was $710,000, the region’s all-time high. Historically, the region’s median sale price has most often peaked in one of the summer months or in November or December. Last year, for example, the peak median — $660,000 — was reached in June.

Contact Rachel Raskin-Zrihen at (707) 553-6824.

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