The Bay Area real estate surge is back as COVID eases

“The market is hot going into spring,” Vanguard agent Alan Thuma told SFGATE. “Like always it’s a tale of many markets, with the single-family homes being the most sought-after properties, especially those in $1-2 million range.”

Real estate brokerage Compass characterized San Francisco’s market as coming “in with a vengeance in early 2021, especially within the city’s house market,” in a recent report that revealed the year-over-year active listings for houses and condos was up 66% for February.

As the shift to remote work becomes the new normal, many of these buyers are looking for single family homes and second bedrooms over smaller units. Though condos with any extra space for new owners spending more time than ever at home are also in demand.

“Condominiums that offer alternatives to single-family homes, with deeded outdoor space and home-office potential can be as hot as single-family homes,” said Thuma.

Sales of existing single-family homes in the Bay Area rose 36% in January, as buyers hunted for bargains and suburban space, reports the San Jose Mercury News. Median sale prices jumped nearly 16 percent to $860,000 in eight Bay Area counties, driven by a thin inventory and eager buyers.

One year on from coronavirus upending the market, condo sales in San Francisco are up 64%, year-over-year, as buyers seek out deals and start to see the end of pandemic restrictions.

In Alameda County, data from the California Association of Realtors revealed the median home price surged 21% to $1.06 million — the 7th consecutive month the county’s median home sale prices have topped $1 million.

The rise in buyers combined with scant inventory has led to a surge in offers particularly in the $1 – $2 million range.

Santa Clara-based agent Alan Wang told the Mercury News that the January surge in buyers was more bullish than he’s seen in nearly two decades. “The aggression of the buy side is shocking to us,” Wang said.

This was exemplified in one of his clients, a family who bid on a single-family home in Dublin, discovering they were one of 49 offers on the house. The four-bedroom home sold for about $400,000 over the $1.7 million listing price.

And as for the much reported Bay Area pandemic exodus? There may be signs that the tide is returning to San Francisco.

“We’re even starting to see buyers who left the city make their returns,” said Thuma, “after moving away during the pandemic.”

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