Some ZIP codes in San Jose saw home values increase by more than 16%, but on the whole, the city’s property values increased by 14% compared with the same period last year, bringing its median home price to $1.2 million. San Francisco, on the other hand, saw a 3.2% decrease, bringing its median home price to $1.4 million.
We compare two homes — each right around their cities’ median price points — to see what the market looks like in both regions.
A three-bedroom Victorian that kept the old fixtures — but with a big remodel
List price: $1,395,000
Size: 1,770 square feet
Price per square foot: $821
Amenities: Outdoor patio, one parking spot, bonus room, laundry
This condo in the heart of Duboce Park is a true Victorian — it was built in 1887 — and owners over the years have retained many of the signature architectural details, including a stained glass box bay window, wainscoting throughout the house, pocket doors, and 12-foot ceilings with medallions.
But other parts of the home — the kitchen, the furnace, added closet spaces and more — have been totally remodeled.
“It gives you the best of both worlds,” said listing agent Cece Doricko of Compass.
The property has two levels: two bedrooms on the first floor, and a third bedroom on the lower ground level, which is advertised as a “flex work space” and also has a bathroom and laundry. The kitchen, which was recently remodeled and has a gas range, farmhouse sink, built-in desk, and chessboard kitchen tiling, leads directly to the outdoor patio space.
Doricko says she already has more than 20 interested parties and anticipates between five to 10 offers. The level of interest is one among many signs she’s been noticing in the past months that the market in San Francisco is coming back. Though there was a lag in the last year — which aligns with Chronicle data on home values — it’s picking back up in ways Doricko says she hasn’t seen in years.
“I’ve never had business like this in the first quarter, ever, it’s been phenomenal,” she said.
“Sellers are realizing that the market is good again, and they’re starting to get their homes ready,” Dorkio said. “Nobody wanted to take a loss last year, so now inventory is starting to pick up and buyers are out in droves. It’s like a light switch went off.”
The frenzy is everywhere in the city — she’s seen listings get up to 17 offers and close for nearly a million over asking. Houses in the Sunset District especially, she says, are highly desirable, with some getting more than 30 offers. “The COVID discount is just about gone,” she said.
At the $1.4 million price point, Doricko says she’s seeing a lot of young professionals — mostly in their late 20s or early 30s — interested in buying homes, some of them for the first time. With many companies in the Bay Area announcing hybrid work-from-home plans, more people, it seems, are considering San Francisco again for real estate.
Even as things appear to heat up in the city, there’s still plenty of demand to the south in San Jose, which has always been more affordable than San Francisco but also is now seeing a competitive market.
A four-bedroom home with a lush backyard and private gazebo
List price: $1,150,000
Size: 1,758 square feet
Price per square foot: $654
Amenities: Large backyard, parking, patio, bonus room
This four-bedroom, three-bathroom house in San Jose’s desirable Pinehurst neighborhood couldn’t look more different than the Noe Street house. But for those looking to get out of the city and find a tranquil space in the suburbs, this property would likely fit the bill.
The house, built in 1977, has its own quirks, including a staircase in the middle of the open concept living area that leads up to the top floor’s upstairs bedrooms. The home has sliding patio doors that lead out to a large, well-maintained backyard with ample space for landscaping (the entire lot is 5,436 square feet) and even more space in the garage.
The home is convenient for a typical Bay Area commuter — it’s near the VTA light rail, Highways 87 and 85, and close to major tech companies like Apple, Netflix and PayPal.
For those still working from home, the property also has a bonus room with its own private entrance that can be used as an office.
Tam Lee, a real estate agent at Realty World Dominion who is listing the property, says the market in San Jose is increasingly becoming more competitive and has heated up even more so since November. She’s seeing a lot of buyers — particularly those who have young families — coming from other parts of San Jose where they were renting because of its relative affordability, but some are having problems nailing down offers because of the demand.
Are you considering moving? Explore more about these and other areas in our guide on where to live in the Bay Area.
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Annie Vainshtein is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @annievain