Marin, Napa Home Prices Soar in September

Kentfield_home

A home in Marin County, where the median sales price surpassed its prerecession peak in September.

Home prices rose about 30 percent year over year in both Napa and Marin counties last month, with prices in the latter region surpassing prerecession highs, say statistics from the California Association of Realtors.

Released last week, CAR’s report puts September’s median sales price for a single-family home in Marin County at $1,151,040, an annual increase of 28.9 percent. The median home price in Marin County narrowly eclipsed its June 2007 peak of $1,149,390, historical data from CAR shows.

Napa County also saw strong home price appreciation in September, up 32.8 percent from a year ago. Napa’s median home price of $633,930 is almost $100,000 shy of its precession high, set in August 2006.

Marin and Napa counties also put up the largest home price gains in the Bay Area from August to September — 17.8 and 17 percent, respectively.

The gains reversed numbers recorded in August, when Marin and Napa counties saw both annual and month-over-month home prices decrease.

Year-over-year home prices also grew in all seven other Bay Area counties, ranging from 18.3 percent in San Mateo to 5.5 percent in Alameda. San Mateo was the only California county besides Marin where September’s median sales price was above the $1 million mark. San Francisco ($950,340) and Santa Clara ($850,000) counties had the state’s third and fourth most expensive home prices.

CAR’s report, which also tracks inventory levels, shows that the amount of homes for sale across the nine-county Bay Area still decidedly favors sellers, just as it did one year ago. The months’ supply of inventory (MSI) across the region was 2.8 in September, nearly unchanged on both an annual and monthly basis.

Four Bay Area counties currently have the slimmest supply of homes for sale in California, led by San Mateo County, where the MSI was 2.0. Santa Clara County had the second smallest MSI of 2.2, followed by Alameda (2.3) and Contra Costa (2.9) counties.

Bay Area homes sold in an average of 35.5 days in September, 2.5 days quicker than they did one year ago. The Silicon Valley market is moving faster than any other region in the state; homes in San Mateo County sold in an average of 19.9 days, while those in Santa Clara County left the market in 21.1 days.

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  • Joe

    why are home and condo prices relatively inexpensive in Sonoma County compared to the rest of the Bay Area?

    • Hi Joe,

      Thanks for the comment and question.

      One major reason that property in Sonoma County is relatively affordable compared to other parts of the Bay Area is its distance from San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

      These two regions are the primary drivers of the Bay Area’s economy and have the most jobs, and the commute to and from Sonoma County is long and unattractive for many workers based in San Francisco or Silicon Valley.

      • Joe

        thank you, kind of what I though but why Napa is also far from Silicon Valley but yet seems much more expensive. Perhaps because it’s Napa with big name recognition?

        • Joe,

          You are correct about Napa’s cache helping to keep prices higher than in Sonoma. Also, homes north of Yountville are very high-end and expensive, which helps push prices up in the overall county.

          Also, Sonoma County is much larger geographically than Napa County, and thus the many lesser-expensive properties in Sonoma tend to dilute the higher-end ones.

          -Pacific Union

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