Bay Briefing: Home prices are officially dropping in the Bay Area

Yesterday, we broke the news that many real estate watchers have been expecting: Bay Area home values are finally declining, if only slightly. For some time, the housing market has been showing lots of signs of slowing down, but this is the first time values have actually dipped during the pandemic.

The latest data from Zillow also shows the housing market cooling down faster here than the rest of the country. What does all of this really mean for home buyers and homeowners?

Slowing demand still hasn’t translated to a drastic decline in prices, and the San Francisco metropolitan area remains one of the most expensive places to buy in the U.S., with average monthly home values nearing $1.5 million. It does, however, give home buyers something they haven’t had in a while: leverage. The rate of home sales has declined, while the number of listings with price drops has increased.

Read more from Kellie Hwang and Ricardo Cano.

Monkeypox updates

 Bay Briefing: Home prices are officially dropping in the Bay Area

People wait for monkeypox vaccine shots at San Francisco General Hospital.

Jessica Christian/The Chronicle

Demand for a monkeypox vaccine is surging, and San Francisco’s supply of shots is running low.

Despite receiving 2,300 doses from the federal government, people say it’s not enough. Yesterday, members of the city’s LGBTQ communities, led by Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, rallied at City Hall in hopes of pressuring local and federal governments for more monkeypox vaccines.

There are 68 probable and confirmed cases of monkeypox among San Francisco residents. Public health experts are concerned officials are not prioritizing monkeypox the way that they did with COVID.

Here’s more from Aidin Vaziri.

Read it again: What’s the latest on monkeypox symptoms and cases in the Bay Area? Here’s what you need to know.

What to eat

 Bay Briefing: Home prices are officially dropping in the Bay Area

Alexis Moreno is one of the staffers at Che Fico in San Francisco who has seen the benefit of a new pricing policy.

Carlos Avila Gonzalez/The Chronicle

During the pandemic, San Francisco darling Che Fico added a controversial fee on top of tipping to support its workers. The funds go toward health insurance, 401(k) matching and paid parental leave — all rarities in the restaurant industry, made possible by its 10% dining-in charge.

The restaurant could have baked the fee into the price of its renowned pastas and pizzas, but it chose to highlight the separate charge to illustrate the true cost of running a restaurant and paying its workers a living wage.

Some diners were behind it, others were aggravated by it. But employees tell Chronicle reporter Elena Kadvany that the revenue created a much better workplace.

“Some people would rather have a little bit more money in an abusive environment than less money in a much more nourishing environment,” server Kyle Quinn told The Chronicle.

Around the Bay

 Bay Briefing: Home prices are officially dropping in the Bay Area

The Bay Area, led by firms such as Salesforce, Twitter and Facebook, has the best tech job market in North America,

Jessica Christian/The Chronicle

Silicon Valley: The Bay Area is still No. 1 at attracting tech talent in North America, but rising hubs like Seattle, Austin and Toronto are catching up.

Marsh Fire: A stubborn and smoky wildfire has smoldered in Contra Costa County for six and a half weeks. Now, county officials are planning to flood the area in hopes of putting it out.

COVID updates: Since the pandemic began, infectious disease experts have repeatedly pointed to good airflow and ventilation as a tactic to mitigate virus transmission. What does that look like?

West Nile virus:
Scientists in Solano County have found a bird that tested positive for the pathogen.

Restaurant world: A Wine Country chef was accused of sexual harassment. His new restaurant Piala has been granted an alcohol use permit — but he cannot drink there.

Innocence Commission: Former San Francisco D.A. Chesa Boudin created a panel to investigate wrongful convictions. Will his replacement keep it going?

Court case: A former chief cardiologist at the Palo Alto VA hospital has been sentenced to eight months in prison for sexually abusing a colleague under his supervision.

Commercial real estate:
Salesforce is cutting its San Francisco office space yet again, listing 40% of the 43-story tower at 50 Fremont St. for lease.

Board game corner

 Bay Briefing: Home prices are officially dropping in the Bay Area

A new board game features San Francisco locations.

Stephen Lam/The Chronicle

Whether it’s in-person or online, board games have been like chicken soup for the soul during the pandemic, Chronicle music critic Joshua Kosman writes.

It’s the perfect way to bring a little joy to friends and family, bonding over colorful meeples, intricate tabletop layouts and dice.

To that end, we have a guide to five fun games to flex your brain, and a sneak peek at one popular game franchise’s new San Francisco-themed set.

Bay Briefing is written by Gwendolyn Wu (she/her) and sent to readers’ email inboxes on weekday mornings. Sign up for the newsletter here, and contact the writer at

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