Bay Area Sellers Still Scoring Premiums, Bucking Statewide Trend

Multiple-offer situations are fading across most of the Golden State, with sellers netting a smaller percentage of list price than they did a year ago. But here in the Bay Area, a pronounced lack of homes for sale means that overbids are still common.Gold coins

In its November home sales and price report, the California Association of Realtors estimates that the average home seller in the state currently receives 97.2 percent of list price, down from 98.4 percent one year ago. In the nine-county Bay Area, where homebuyers compete for a limited amount of properties, sellers are pulling in 100.5 percent of list price – the only region in the state where the average buyer could expect to pay a premium.

“The declining sales-to-list price ratio suggests that mismatched expectations of home prices between sellers and buyers still exist in most markets, except for the Bay Area, where there’s a dearth of homes for sale,” 2015 CAR President Chris Kutzkey said in a statement accompanying the report.

CAR’s data shows that the inventory shortages that local buyers have become all too familiar with persisted in November.

The months’ supply of inventory (MSI) in the Bay Area edged up slightly to 2.3 in November on both a monthly and annual basis, but our region has about half as many available homes compared with the entire state. San Mateo had the smallest MSI of any California county, at 1.4, followed by Alameda and Santa Clara (1.9), Contra Costa (2.0), San Francisco (2.3), and Marin (2.7) counties.

Besides fueling overbids, CAR noted that supply constraints have also caused sales volume declines, similar to conclusions reached in a newly released CoreLogic DataQuick report.

“The San Francisco Bay Area, which has an extreme housing supply shortage due to robust economic growth, is a perfect example of how these factors have slowed down home sales this year,” CAR Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young said.

In November, the number of single-family homes sold in the Bay Area dropped 21.5 percent month over month and 6.3 percent year over year. All nine counties reported double-digit volume declines from October, with seven seeing drops in excess of 20 percent. Sales were down from November 2013 in six of nine local counties.

The median price for a single-family Bay Area home was $748,870 in November, a modest 1.5 percent dip from the preceding month and up 8.1 percent from a year earlier. Marin and San Mateo were the only California counties to post median sales prices higher than $1 million.

San Mateo County was also the fastest-moving market in the state in November, with the average home selling in 21.3 days, as well as the most expensive per square foot, at $654.

(Image: Flickr/Bhautikjoshi)

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