Bay Area Home Inventory Shortage Persists as 2014 Ends

The number of Bay Area homes on the market further tightened as 2014 ended, with inventory declining from November to December in all nine local counties.Monopoly toy houses

According to the California Association of Realtors December home sales and price report, the months’ supply of inventory (MSI) for single-family homes across the Bay Area dropped to 1.7 in December, down from 2.3 in November. CAR says that an MSI in the 6.0 to 7.0 range is considered a balanced supply, meaning that the Bay Area real estate market remains heavily tilted in favor of sellers – just as it did one year ago.

Bay Area counties had the fewest amount of available homes in California in December. San Mateo County claimed the lowest MSI in the state, at 1.1, followed by Alameda (1.2), Santa Clara (1.3), Contra Costa (1.4), San Francisco (1.7), Sonoma (2.0), and Marin (2.2) counties.

Home prices also dipped across the nine-county region from November to December, CAR’s data shows. The median sales price for a single-family home in the Bay Area was $718,370 in the final month of 2014, a 4.1 percent decline. Home prices slid on a monthly basis in seven Bay Area counties, with only Contra Costa and Sonoma counties seeing moderate gains.

Even with the month-over-month slips, Bay Area counties remain the state’s most expensive. Marin County had the highest median single-family home price in California, at $990,130. San Mateo County ranked No. 2, with a median sales price of $980,000, followed by San Francisco ($935,480), Santa Clara ($846,500), and Contra Costa ($704,440) counties. CAR’s report says that the Bay Area is the only region in California where sellers are still pulling in premiums, estimating that homes are selling for an average of 0.6 percent above asking price.

Silicon Valley continued its run as California’s fastest-moving real estate market in December. Homes in San Mateo County sold in an average of 20.6 days, while those in Santa Clara County left the market in 22.6 days – roughly twice as fast the regional and state paces. Those two counties also had the highest prices per square foot in California: $667 in San Mateo and $500 in Santa Clara.

 (Photo: Flickr/Woodleywonderworks)

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