We’ve been hearing the same story, month after month: The tight housing supply is driving competition among buyers, which keeps pushing home prices up.
It’s a national story. The number of U.S. homes for sale sank 13 percent in March compared to one year earlier, marking the 18th straight month of annual inventory declines, according to a report from Redfin. At the same time, said the report, 2017 “remains on track to be the fastest housing market on record.” Nearly a fifth (19.1 percent) of U.S. homes sold in March went under contract within two weeks, and 21.7 percent of homes sold for more than their asking price.
And it’s a Bay Area story. After Denver and Seattle (where newly listed homes spent just eight days on market), Oakland and San Jose were the fastest-moving markets in the nation with 13 and 14 median days on market, respectively. What’s more, Redfin ranked the nation’s most competitive markets like this: No. 1, San Jose, where 69.6 percent of homes sold for more than their listing price; No. 2, San Francisco (66.7 percent); No. 3, Oakland (65.9 percent). No. 4 was Seattle (56.6 percent) and Tacoma, WA (44.4 percent).
In parallel with the 13 percent dip in national inventory, U.S. home prices rose 7.5 percent year-over-year to a median sale price of $273,000.
This was the picture in the Bay Area: In San Jose, where the number of homes for sale fell a whopping 25.9 percent year-over-year, the median sale price rose 11.3 percent to $957,000. In San Francisco, where inventory fell 14.2 percent, the median price increased 8.2 percent to $1,185,000. And in Oakland, where supply fell 12.7 percent, the median price rose 11.6 percent to $650,000.
You can read the Redfin report (which covers single family homes, condos, townhomes and 2-to-4 unit buildings) right here.
This chart shows you how fast-moving the markets are in the Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose (here described as “Santa Clara County”) metros:
Top: Photo of home for sale in Pleasanton, CA. (Courtesy of Redfin)