Bay Area housing inventory drops, prices rise: Zillow report

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Uncertainty over the prolonged pandemic may be factoring into an extreme drop in homes available for sale in the Bay Area.

A new Zillow report shows while home values are soaring, not many of them are being listed on the market.

KRON4’s Philippe Djegal spoke with an economist who believes this may be setting up for a busy spring housing market.

High demand from home buyers coinciding with a historically low amount of homes available for sale is contributing to a rapid appreciation in home prices across the nation.

And, the Bay Area is no different.

“I think the rise of the omicron variant could have contributed to a bit of a pullback by sellers this winter,” said Zillow senior economist Jeff Tucker.

It is no secret that many Bay Area residents have flocked to other parts of the country, looking for more space and financial flexibility while the virus circulates through communities.

This as some employers have made working remotely an option.

But Tucker says that has not translated to a sharp increase in homes available on the market.

Instead, what is available is selling at lightning speed.

Bay Area homes are typically spending just two weeks on the market before going pending.

People with big pockets are closing quickly, while the average buyer is left behind.

“For the bay area, so San Francisco and San Jose were down about a fifth from this time last year in terms of active listings,” Tucker said.

Tucker says it’s possible and even likely sellers are trying to time the market.

Wait and see how the virus plays out and then possibly list their homes for sale in a typically busy spring in real estate.

Meanwhile, rent in the San Francisco metro area is up 10.4 percent from last year.

In the San Jose metro area, rents are up 9.2 percent.

“As this for sale shortage goes on, it kind of backs people up to stay in the rental market and contributes to those rising rents,” Tucker said.

For renters and buyers, demand is high, and Tucker says its may just be a matter of time before supply catches up.

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