Bay Area housing: Active listings sank in November as prices shot up again

Bay Area home prices raced upward again in November, climbing 12.5 percent beyond their levels of a year earlier.

It was the steepest regional increase in the state, bringing the median price of a single-family home across the nine-county region to a lofty $910,350, according to the latest analysis by the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.).

The Bay Area “continues to reflect dire market conditions of tight supply and low affordability,” the report said.

Prices rose 27 percent year-over-year to $1,282,500 in Santa Clara County and 22.1 percent to $1,486,000 in San Mateo County. The year-over-year price jumped 10.3 percent to $1,500,000 in San Francisco; 10 percent to $880,000 in Alameda County; and 8.1 percent to $615,000 in Contra Costa County. Among the nine counties, only in Solano County, where the median rose 7.9 percent to $410,000, did the November median fall below the statewide figure of $546,820.

As in past months, the lack of inventory is the key to the region’s affordability crisis.
Active listings dropped 17 percent year-over-year across the nine counties — and by 36 percent in Santa Clara County alone. With so few homes available to potential buyers in a market where the job force has continued to grow, prices inevitably are pressured upward.
Also, because of the exceptionally tight supply, homes get snapped up fast.

Statewide, single-family homes typically spent 22 days on the market, down from 30 days in November 2016. In the Bay Area, homes spent just 15 days on the market last month, down from 22 days a year earlier. In Santa Clara County, homes spent a mere nine days on the market, sharply down from 17 the year before. In Contra Costa County, the median days on market fell from 17 to 14.

C.A.R. also measured the amount of unsold inventory on the market.

Statewide in November, the unsold inventory stood at 2.9 months. That’s how long it would take to sell the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate. In the Bay Area, the unsold inventory was about half that: 1.5 months. In Santa Clara, San Mateo and Alameda counties, it was even less: the unsold inventory stood at just 1.2 months.

Remarkably, given the slim pickings, sales inched upward across the region, by 0.7 percent from November 2016.

Across the state, the year-over-year sales increase was 8.8 percent, the largest gain since January 2016. But that bit of good news comes with a caveat, according to 2018 C.A.R. president Steve White.

“While high-priced markets have performed well in recent months, sales remain lackluster in the lower-priced segments as the supply of affordable homes continues to shrink,” he said. “This tale of two markets is not a story that we enjoy telling as the dichotomy in the market is posing some affordability challenges to many potential homebuyers who want to enter the market.”

Now there’s an understatement.

Article source: http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/12/18/bay-area-housing-active-listings-sank-in-november-as-prices-shot-up-again/

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