Economy Drives Explosive Home Sales Growth in the Bay Area in March

Home sales in the Bay Area shot up by almost 60 percent from February to March while prices increased in all nine counties, thanks in large part to our region’s vigorous economy.Toy houses

The California Association of Realtors’ March home sales and price report says that single-family home sales increased by 56 percent across the Bay Area from February, with six local counties posting monthly gains in excess of 50 percent. Month-over-month sales volume upticks ranged from 90.6 percent in Alameda County to 28.9 percent in Solano County. Across the region, home sales were up 9.9 percent from March 2014.

Statewide, home sales increased 6.3 percent month over month and 7.3 percent from one year ago. According to CAR President Chris Kutzkey, California’s strong economy and job growth are helping fuel demand for real estate.

“The housing market is picking up momentum and continuing its upward trend as economic conditions improved throughout the state,” Kutzkey said in a statement accompanying the report.

In the Bay Area, March’s median sales price rose to $809,200, up 9.3 percent from February and nearly identical to the gain observed statewide. All nine counties reported month-over-month price growth in March, ranging from 10.4 percent in San Francisco County to 1.9 percent in Santa Clara County. Home prices were up year over year in all local counties except for Napa.

As in February, CAR says that Bay Area counties had the five highest median sales prices in California, with San Mateo County in the No. 1 position at $1,300,000. San Francisco was the state’s second most expensive county, at $1,275,000, followed by Marin County ($1,085,230), Santa Clara County ($932,100), and Contra Costa County ($784,950).

According to CAR, the Bay Area is the only metro region in the state where the average buyer paid a premium to secure a home in March – 105.9 percent of original price. The main reason: tight supply conditions, which worsened across the region from February, with the months’ supply of inventory (MSI) dropping to 2.4.

Four Bay Area counties had the lowest MSI in the state, and all but one had a smaller supply than the 3.8 recoded statewide. San Mateo and San Francisco counties tied for slimmest supply at 1.6, followed by Santa Clara County at 1.9 and Alameda at 2.0. Perhaps not surprisingly, three of those counties saw the quickest sales pace in California, with the average home selling in 17.7 days in Santa Clara, 17.9 days in San Mateo, and 20.7 days in San Francisco.

(Photo: Flickr/Woodleywonderworks)

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