Homeowners are catching on to the fact that the Bay Area housing recovery is real and sustained. With solid evidence of rising prices, they’re starting to put their properties on the market in increasing numbers.
In both Alameda and Marin counties, the number of active homes for sale jumped 15 percent in May, and in Contra Costa County the homes for sale rose 5 percent, according to Pacific Union International‘s monthly Market Updates.
The return of sellers to the market is a welcome sign, although some of the counties in our area still see demand far outstripping the supply of homes, with multiple bids for homes a common occurrence. In San Francisco, homes for sale declined 6 percent in May, with a 5 percent decline in Napa County and a 4 percent decline in Sonoma County.
Here’s a look at what’s going on in the six Bay Area counties served by Pacific Union International:
San Francisco is a seller’s market, and our monthly statistics show why: Over the past two years, the number of homes for sale month by month have dropped 60 percent, while the number of homes under contract — homes with a sales agreement in place but the paperwork not yet completed — have climbed 50 percent.
That means bidding wars. In May 2010, 17 percent of homes for sale were under contract. Last month, 45 percent were under contract.
For more details on San Francisco County activity, click the chart to the right to view the complete May 2012 report.
In the East Bay, 47 percent of homes on the market in 12 Alameda County communities were under contract in May, up from 41 percent in April.
Our real estate professionals say that in some areas, 65 percent to 75 percent of sales involved multiple offers. A lack of inventory continues to be a factor, and competitively priced properties are getting great attention.
For more details on Alameda County activity, click the chart to the right to view the complete May 2012 report.
Contra Costa County
In Contra Costa County, we’re seeing multiple offers on everything under $1.3 million, and homes priced at $800,000 to $1.2 million are selling as quick as they’re listed.
There’s a caveat, though: The multiple offers are plentiful in part because our agents are advising reasonable prices on properties. Buyers remain cautious, and they’re not bidding on inflated listings.
For more details on Contra Costa County activity, click the chart to the right to view the complete May 2012 report.
Marin County‘s most active price point is $1 million to $1.25 million, but all sectors of the market are selling well.
Prices are rising along with inventory, and the average number of days on the market is steadily falling as the number of properties under contract continues to rise. The county is also seeing a rising number of off-market sales.
For more details on Marin County activity, click the chart to the right to view the complete May 2012 report.
In Sonoma County, homes selling for under $1 million are hot right now — a seller’s market — while homes over $1 million are experiencing a buyer’s market.
It may be that people who weren’t able to afford a second home in years past are now able to buy one as a vacation home or investment property.
For more details on Sonoma County activity, click the chart to the right to view the complete May 2012 report.
In Napa County, we’re seeing multiple offers on nearly every property priced under $500,000 in the southern part of the county.
Further north, St. Helena is on fire, with homes priced over $3 million selling at a pace we haven’t seen in years.
For more details on Napa County activity, click the chart to the right to view the complete May 2012 report.