Bay Area housing prices up 20% since the start of the year: report

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — As record-low mortgage rates brought on by the pandemic begin to level out, some Bay Area homeowners are paying more than 20% since the start of the year.

According to Zillow’s March Market Report, a typical home in San Francisco is worth $1,461,773, up 20.1% year over year. Homeowners living in the city are reportedly paying about $5,700 a month on their mortgage, a 19.8% increase since the start of the year and 37.4% higher than a year ago.

Housing inventory in the city grew by 26.3% from February but remains 9.1% lower than a year ago. The typical monthly rent is roughly $3,118.

In San Jose, a typical home is worth $1,674,427, up 23.9% year over year. Homeowners are reportedly paying about $6,529 on their mortgage, a 22% increase since the start of the year, and 41.8% higher than a year ago.

Housing inventory in San Jose grew 33.6% from February but remains 16.9% lower than a year ago. The typical monthly rent is roughly $3,133.

Home prices increasing nationwide

Across the U.S., the cost of a 30-year mortgage is now 19.5% higher than it was just three months ago, according to Zillow. Despite this, the pace and volume of sales picked up in March, showing the depth of the pool of home buyers willing and able to meet current asking prices. 

The typical U.S. home is worth 20.6% more than it was a year ago, the 12th straight month in which a new record for annual home value growth has been set. Mortgage rates, which were below 3% a year ago, entered March at 3.51% and rose as high as 4.54% throughout the month.

Zillow’s report shows the combination of rising home values and mortgage rates has pushed the monthly payment on the typical U.S. home 38% higher than it would have been a year ago, assuming a 30-year mortgage with a 20% down payment.

“Higher mortgage rates were anticipated this year, but the speed of their rise has been breathtaking,” said Jeff Tucker, Zillow senior economist. “Record low mortgage rates had been an affordability lifeline during the pandemic, keeping monthly payments in check even while prices climbed quickly. March was the biggest test yet of whether enough buyers can meet the new asking prices to keep home values growing at a record pace, and the answer was ‘So far, yes.’

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