Not San Francisco and not San Jose.
Once again, Vallejo is the hottest real estate market in the country, according to realtor.com. It’s the second month in a row that Vallejo has ranked No. 1 in the monthly “hotness” index, which now puts the San Jose- Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metropolitan area in the No. 2 spot and ranks the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward metro at No. 3.
The index measures where houses are selling the fastest and which markets are generating the most listing views on realtor.com. And while the second criterion might seem random — after all, realtor.com may simply get heavier use in some places than others — the latest rankings broadly reflect what’s been happening in the Bay Area real estate market.
Namely, they reflect this trend: The outer fringes of the Bay Area are growing rapidly as more and more home buyers migrate to more affordable areas, often continuing to commute back to decent-paying jobs in the core Bay Area. This migration is not purely anecdotal — anyone who has been caught in freeway gridlock near the once sleepy towns of Lathrop or Manteca will attest to the hard reality of the phenomenon.
Vallejo turns out to be a logical place to register “hotness.” It is in Solano County, where the median price of a single family home has been hovering around $400,000, about half the regional median. It boasts attractive vintage housing stock and is a ferry ride away from jobs in San Francisco.
And the typical house spends 31 days on market before the deal is sealed, as opposed to 29 days in the San Jose metro and 32 days in the San Francisco metro.
The August “hotness” index includes numerous metropolitan areas in the Bay Area’s outer fringes, including the Central Valley, which is increasingly popular for mega-commuters.
The Stockton-Lodi metro is the fifth hottest in the nation, according to the index. The Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade metro is No. 10.
Modesto is No. 12.
Santa Rosa is No. 14 and Fresno is No. 15.
Dreams of affordability are growing ever more distant.
Top: Photo of two-bedroom home in Vallejo that recently sold for $410,500. (Courtesy of Skip Dodge/Kennon Realty)