Bay Area’s Dubious Distinction: Tightest Housing Supply in California

The supply of homes for sale in the Bay Area remained exceptionally tight in July, with no other region in California even close to our constricted inventory levels. The limited supply had predictable results: Sales prices were up solidly from a year earlier, and the Bay Area remained the only region where multiple offers pushed final prices above list prices.

Monopoly toy housesThe California Association of Realtors said in its July 2015 sales and price report that the months’ supply of inventory (MSI) for single-family homes held steady at 2.0 across the nine-county Bay Area, compared with 3.6 in the Los Angeles metro area, 3.9 in the Inland Empire, and a statewide average of 3.3.

San Mateo and Marin counties had the tightest housing supply in the state, both with an MSI of 1.5. They were followed by San Francisco (1.6), Alameda and Santa Clara counties (1.8), Contra Costa County (2.2), Sonoma County (2.6), Solano County (2.7), and Napa County (3.2). An MSI of 6.0 to 7.0 is typically considered to be a balanced market, with larger numbers favoring buyers and smaller numbers favoring sellers.

The median sales price in the Bay Area was $831,290 in July, down 0.2 percent from June but up 9.1 percent from a year ago, outpacing the state’s annual home price growth of 5.4 percent. July sales were down 0.2 percent from June but up 5.2 percent from a year earlier.

“While July home sales rose at the statewide level, the market is still constrained by low housing affordability and a tight supply in areas where job growth is robust, such as San Francisco and San Jose,” said CAR President Chris Kutzkey in a statement accompanying the sales and price report. “Neighboring regions such as Napa, Solano, and Sonoma are experiencing strong sales due to their affordability and proximity to job centers. However, housing affordability could become a bigger issue in these areas if housing demand continues to grow but supply can’t keep pace.”

On an annual basis, median sale prices rose in all but one of the nine Bay Area counties, led by San Francisco, up 19.9 percent to $1,312,500; followed by San Mateo, up 16.4 percent ($1,300,440); Alameda, up 12.2 percent ($810,640); Santa Clara, up 12.1 percent ($965,000); Sonoma, up 11.8 percent ($570,190); Solano, up 7.4 percent ($360,690); Marin, up 2.7 percent ($1,057,140); and Napa, up 0.9 percent ($655,610). Contra Costa posted the only year-over-year price decline, falling 5.8 percent to $746,040.

The Bay Area is home to the six most expensive counties in California: San Francisco, San Mateo, Marin, Santa Clara, Alameda, and Contra Costa.

Homes statewide sold at a median of 98.8 percent of the list price, except in the Bay Area. Homes here sold at a median of 5.2 percent above the list price, up from a 3.4 percent premium a year earlier, but down from a 6.3 percent premium in June.

San Francisco had the highest price per square foot in July at $804, followed by San Mateo County ($748), and Santa Clara County ($574).

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San Francisco Ranked Nation’s Hottest Real Estate Market for Second Straight Month

San Francisco’s famous fog traditionally brings chilly temperatures to the city during the summer months, but the real estate market was caught in a heat wave in July. Ditto for real estate all over California, where more than half of the nation’s hottest housing markets are located.foggy_sf

In its newest monthly report, Realtor.com ranks the 20 hottest U.S. real estate markets based on buyer demand – here meaning listing views – and fewest days on market. In a statement accompanying the report, Realtor.com Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke said that buyer demand is so intense in these markets that listings often receive up to three times as many page views as the national average.

As in June, San Francisco ranked as the hottest housing market in the U.S., with the average home taking just 30 days to sell. Realtor.com classifies the cities of Oakland and Hayward as part of San Francisco, underscoring the point that homes in the East Bay are also in high demand as escalating prices push more buyers out of the city.

Vallejo, which was the nation’s second hottest market in June, fell to the No. 4 spot, with homes selling in an average of 31 days. Santa Rosa ranked as the No. 5 hottest U.S. housing market, with homes selling in 32 days, followed by San Jose at No. 6. Homes in San Jose sold in an average of 28 days in July, the fastest pace of any of the cities on the list.

Other Golden State real estate market named among the country’s hottest were San Diego (No. 8), Santa Cruz (No. 10), Sacramento (No. 12), Stockton (No. 13), Yuba City (No. 14), Los Angeles (No. 17), and Oxnard (No. 18). The latter two returned to Realtor.com’s list after dropping off in June, while Yuba City, located about 40 miles north of Sacramento, is a newcomer.

Across the U.S., homes sold in an average of 69 days in July, down 7 percent from one year ago but up 5 percent from June. Smoke said that while demand for homes remains strong as summer peaks, the slowing pace of sales indicates that market conditions are becoming more balanced, which points to more moderate price growth this fall.

Northern California homebuyers would likely welcome any drop-off in home prices, which were more than three times the national median list price of $234,000 in some places. In July, the median list price in San Jose was $898,000, the highest of the 20 hottest markets. Santa Cruz had the list’s second largest home price — $824,000 – followed by San Francisco at No. 3, with a median list price of $748,000.

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Zillow’s dotloop Acquisition: It’s About Trust

I don’t trust Zillow. It’s that simple. I have frequently communicated my lack of trust to Zillow’s C-suite.MarkMcLaughlin_small

As someone who runs a real estate brokerage, I have always been wary of Zillow’s ambitions. There were, and are, just too many contradictions to stomach.

Consider the following:

  • From the beginning, Zillow has positioned itself as the consumers’ friend but has cynically titillated millions with inaccurate “Zestimates.”
  • The company aggressively markets itself as the best place to find a home even as its listing coverage and quality leave much to be desired.
  • Zillow’s business model depends on advertising and selling services to real estate professionals, yet it touts consumers’ ability to post self-listed homes on the site.

For me, many of the real estate professionals at Pacific Union, and brokerage leaders across the country, this has hardly engendered admiration. But Zillow’s recent acquisition of dotloop, a real estate transaction-management software company, represents something much more serious: a total failure of trust.

At risk here is the industry’s most sensitive personal and financial information and our legal and ethical duty as real estate advisors.

It’s time our industry takes a stand, pushes back, and demands the same trust and integrity from Zillow that our clients expect and receive from trusted real estate professionals.

In my mind this comes down to three issues:

The Gap Between Words and Actions

First, this acquisition is the greatest disconnect between Zillow’s words and actions to date. For the past year, Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff has proclaimed to anyone who will listen that Zillow sells ads, not houses. I suppose this was meant to make those of us in the real estate business feel better, but many of us were asking ourselves the question “Does he think we’re stupid?” even before the dotloop deal.

Now Zillow has done something quite odd for a self-proclaimed “media company.” It has potentially extended itself deep into the mechanics of the real estate transaction. Rascoff’s spin on this is that Zillow acquired dotloop to make the leads it sends agents more valuable.

Zillow said that it simply sells ads. What Zillow just did is something quite different.

As the saying goes, “Fool me once … ”

Privacy and Common Sense

With the dotloop acquisition, Zillow will offer real estate transaction-management software while continuing to sell advertising. Selling advertising is about matching advertisers with audiences. These days, that is done through sophisticated data mining, tracking, and targeting technologies that concern many privacy advocates.

Now, I am not paranoid. I am not a conspiracy theorist. And I have no reason to believe that the Zillow team has plans to egregiously violate thecommon-sense privacy policies consumers expect and real estate professionals would demand of a service provider.

But it seems obviously reckless that sensitive data needed for a life-changing financial transaction will be housed in a system owned by a company that sells a ton of advertising.

Would you upload your bank statements or Social Security number to a Facebook group? Would you store your medical records in your Yahoo! account?

Real estate transactions are built on trust between professionals and their clients. At Pacific Union, we will not jeopardize that trust by treating our clients’ information cavalierly.

Below I identify some huge gaps in dotloop’s privacy policy that may alarm you – indeed, now that Zillow owns the company, they may terrify you.

The Fine Print

Let’s do what dotloop and Zillow hopes you won’t and take a moment to consider some of the fine print – dotloop’s privacy policy. Warning: This is not a trust-building exercise.

First comes the reality directed at real estate professionals:

“You agree and consent that we may collect, use, and disclose your personal information in accordance with this Policy. To make this Policy easy to find, we make it available on our homepage.

Then, an ambiguous definition of the sort of information that may be collected and shared:

“The type of personal information collected on the website includes, but is not limited to: Name, Address, Email Address, Phone Number, and your involvement in a real estate transaction.

Followed by the reality that they’re not just talking about your information – your clients are on the hook too:

” … the same types of information previously described in this paragraph will also apply to other people’s information.

Then, the kicker:

“We may share your personal information with third parties who may offer services that may be of interest (“Third Party Sharing”).

Of course, users are informed that they can opt out of third-party sharing. But I don’t think many real estate professionals will feel comfortable bringing this up with their clients, do you?

The Bottom Line

Zillow is feeling extreme pressure from Wall Street – the word “desperate” comes to my mind. The company’s stock price has fallen from $160 on July 28 of last year to $81.50 at the close of trading last Friday. And while Rascoff recently said that Zillow’s management thinks about the company’s trajectory in “decades,” the heat is on to grow revenue – fast.

I therefore expect more moves like the dotloop acquisition. I expect more efforts to frantically spin the industry into believing that Zillow is a trusted partner. I predict more disconnects between words and actions.

I know I am not alone in holding these views. And on behalf of our company, our professionals, our clients, and our industry I will not remain idle. I will continue to ask hard questions, and I won’t accept deflective answers.

I don’t trust Zillow.

– Mark A. McLaughlin, CEO, Pacific Union

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Walkable Neighborhoods Are Key to Millennial Homebuyers

Living in a highly walkable neighborhood is more important to millennials than it is to other generations, as nearly one-third of them use their feet as a regular form of transportation.

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In a recent survey conducted in conjunction with Portland State University, the National Association of Realtors found that 50 percent of millennials – defined here as persons born in 1981 and later – said that living within an easy walk of amenities was very important when choosing a place to live. The importance of walkability decreases with age: 43 percent of Gen Xers ranked it as critical, compared with 38 percent of baby boomers.

One reason that a neighborhood’s walkability is so important to millennials is because a significant number of them – 32 percent – reported walking to work or school within the past month, compared with 19 percent of Gen Xers and 13 percent of baby boomers. Millennials were also the most likely to stroll in their free time, with 62 percent saying that they walked to restaurants and shops and when running personal errands. Additionally, the survey found that millennials walked an average of 13.3 days per month, more than older generations.

Members of Generation X were slightly more prone to travel by bicycle: 28 percent reported having ridden a bike for transportation or exercise in the past 30 days compared with 26 percent of millennials and 21 percent of baby boomers. Gen Xers favored neighborhoods with bike lanes more than other generations, with 28 percent calling them very important.

Millennials are flocking to the Bay Area to take advantage of a booming economy and high-paying jobs, and the fact that the region’s major cities are some of the most walkable in the U.S. is likely an additional attraction. In its 2015 rankings of America’s most walkable cities, Walk Score named San Francisco as the second most walkable city in the country, with a score of 83.9 out of a possible 100. Chinatown ranked as the city’s most walkable neighborhood, with a perfect score, while four other enclaves received a 99.

Oakland ranked No. 9 in the country for walkability, notching a 68.5. Downtown tied Koreatown-Northgate as the most walkable neighborhood in the city, both scoring a 97.

Walk Score also ranks neighborhoods for their bike-friendliness based on four factors, including number of bike lanes and hills. Even with its famously steep terrain, San Francisco ranks No. 2 in the country for bike-friendliness with a score of 75.1. Perhaps not surprisingly, San Francisco’s best neighborhoods for bicyclists are all in relatively flat parts of the city, including the Civic Center and the Mission District, both of which received a score of 98.

With a Bike Score of 60.9, Oakland ranks No. 14 in the U.S. for bicyclists, with the Bushrod neighborhood in the northern part of the city netting a high score of 98. Nearby Berkeley actually has a higher overall Bike Score – 88.8 – than either of its larger neighbors but didn’t make the top 20 due to its size.

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New Homes Today Are Larger, With More Amenities

How does your home compare with the latest trends in residential construction? The U.S. Census Bureau recently released reams of data on new-home characteristics for 2014.

New Homes

Looking at data compiled over the past 40 years, new homes today are larger and come with more amenities than in decades past. Rental units are more likely to be part of large, multifamily developments than they once were. And some construction features, such as vinyl siding, have seen their popularity wax and wane over the years.

Take a look at some of the Census Bureau’s findings:

Of the 620,000 single-family homes completed in 2014:

  • 91 percent had air conditioning (up from 48 percent in 1974).
  • 10 percent had two bedrooms or less, while 46 percent had four or more. (Forty years earlier, 64 percent of new homes had three bedrooms.)
  • 4 percent had one and one-half bathrooms or less, while 36 percent had three or more. (It was a different story in 1974: 40 percent of homes had one and one-half bathrooms or less, and there were so few homes with three or more bathrooms that they weren’t even counted.)
  • 30 percent had vinyl siding as the principal exterior wall material. (Vinyl siding was first tracked by the Census Bureau in 1992, when it appeared on 23 percent of new homes. Its use peaked at 40 percent of new homes in 2002.)
  • The median size was 2,453 square feet (up from 1,560 in 1974).

Of the 437,000 single-family homes sold in 2014:

  • 72 percent were in a homeowners’ association.
  • 4 percent were in an age-restricted development.
  • 39 percent had one story, 56 percent had two stories, and 6 percent had three or more.
  • 71 percent were paid for using conventional financing, and 9 percent were paid for in cash.
  • 31 percent had both a patio and a porch.
  • The average sales price was $345,800 (up from $97,600 in 1984).
  • The average price per square foot was $97.09 (up from $60.21 in 1994).

Of the 264,000 multifamily units completed in 2014:

  • 48 percent were in buildings with 50 units or more (up from 20 percent in 1974).
  • 9 percent were age-restricted.
  • 47 percent had two or more bathrooms.
  • 5 percent were efficiencies.
  • The median size of units built for rent was 1,080 square feet. The median size of those built for sale was 1,432 square feet.
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California: Home to Most of the Country’s Priciest ZIP Codes

Seventy percent of the most expensive U.S. communities in which to purchase a home are located in the Golden State, with Silicon Valley of course well represented.

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Using data from real estate listings portal Property Shark, Business Insider ranked the 20 priciest ZIP codes in America based on the median home sales price between January 2014 and June 2015. Fourteen of those ZIP codes are in California, although the country’s highest-dollar real estate market is actually on Long Island.

Business Insider ranks Sagaponack, New York — in tony The Hamptons – as the most expensive place in America to buy a home, with a median sales price of $5.13 million. Four other New York ZIP codes made the top 20, including another in The Hamptons and three in Manhattan.

Besides Miami’s 33109 ZIP code, the rest of the country’s most expensive neighborhoods are situated along the California coast. Five of Silicon Valley’s most exclusive communities landed on the list, with residents earning some of the highest salaries in the U.S.

Atherton‘s 94027 ranks as the country’s second-most expensive ZIP code, with a median sales price of $5.05 million. Residents of the San Mateo County town pull in a median household income of $220,583, the third highest of any community included on the list.

Palo Alto‘s 94301 ZIP code captured the No. 5 spot, with a median sales price of $2.83 million. Los Altos Hills‘ 94022 ranked No. 10 ($2.6 million), followed by Portola Valley’s 94028 (No. 11, $2.45 million) and Los Altos’ 94024 (No. 17, $2.3 million).

Home shoppers who are lucky enough to afford a property in one of those prestigious Silicon Valley communities will call the country’s most elite and affluent tech executives neighbors. Atherton is home to Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman, while Google co-founder Sergey Brin lives in nearby Los Altos Hills. In Palo Alto, where Business Insider says that home prices have doubled over the past 10 years, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg owns five homes and even purchased four neighboring properties in order to protect his privacy.

The other Golden State communities ranked among the nation’s priciest are all in Southern California: four in Los Angeles County, three in Orange County, and one each in Santa Barbara and San Diego counties.

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Marin County: Q2 Results

With a continued shortage of available homes and plenty of eager buyers, sellers controlled the market in Pacific Union’s Marin County region during the second quarter of 2015, as they have for more than a year. Home prices continued to increase throughout the quarter, and multiple offers were the norm – particularly for properties priced fairly and in desirable neighborhoods. It was not uncommon to see buyers offer all cash and waive contingencies to close deals quickly.

Competition among buyers was fierce as the real estate market in neighboring San Francisco tightened and tech money continued to move north. Aggressive offers were necessary for buyers to close a deal. Sales in Mill Valley and Kentfield were particularly strong, with many offers climbing far above asking prices. Private purchase agreements – reached without homes ever appearing on a local MLS and without competing bids – were not uncommon. Such off-market deals can simplify the sales process but don’t guarantee the highest possible prices.

Looking Forward: Sales typically slow during the summer months as buyers’ thoughts turn to vacations, but the Bay Area’s booming economy will ensure that Marin County homes will continue to generate strong interest from buyers while multiple offers for desirable homes will push prices higher.

Defining Marin County: Our real estate markets in Marin County include the cities of Belvedere, Corte Madera, Fairfax, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Larkspur, Mill Valley, Novato, Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Sausalito, and Tiburon. Sales data in the charts below includes single-family homes in these communities.

MEDIAN SALES PRICE

The median sales price represents the midpoint in the range of all prices paid. It indicates that half the prices paid were higher than this number, and half were lower. It is not the same measure as “average” sales price.

Q2 - Graph 1

MONTHS’ SUPPLY OF INVENTORY

The months’ supply of inventory is a measure of how quickly the current supply of homes would be sold at the current sales rate, assuming no more homes came on the market. In general, an MSI below 4 is considered a seller’s market; between 4 and 6 is a balanced market; and above 6 is a buyer’s market.

Q2 - Graph 2

AVERAGE DAYS ON THE MARKET

Average days on the market is a measure that indicates the pace of sales activity. It tracks, on average, the number of days a listing is active until it reaches “pending” status, meaning all contingencies have been removed and both parties are just waiting to close.

Q2 - Graph 3

PERCENTAGE OF PROPERTIES UNDER CONTRACT

Percentage of properties under contract is a forward-looking indicator of sales activity. It tracks expected home sales before the paperwork is completed and the sale actually closes.

Q2 - Graph 4

SALES PRICE AS A PERCENTAGE OF ORIGINAL PRICE

Measuring the sales price as a percentage of the final list price, which may include price reductions from the original list price, determines the success of a seller in receiving the hoped-for sales amount. It also indicates the level of sales activity in a region.

Q2 - Graph 5

 

A CLOSER LOOK AT MARIN COUNTY

Q2 - Graph 6

 

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Bay Area Home Sales, Price Growth Lead Golden State

Bay Area home sales continued to set the pace for all of California in May, posting solid sales growth and home prices that rose on a yearly basis at more than twice the rate of any other region.

Map of the Bay AreaThe latest figures from the California Association of Realtors also show that the Bay Area, with more buyers than sellers, was the only region in the Golden State where homes sold at a premium, with final sales prices an average of 7.3 percent above asking prices.

Statewide, single-family home sales in May were down 1.1 percent from April but up 8.9 percent from a year earlier. The median home price rose 0.8 percent from April, and 4.4 percent from May 2014, to $485,830 — the highest price since November 2007.

In the Bay Area, meanwhile, home sales in May were up 2.2 percent from April and 1.8 percent from a year earlier. The median sales price, $846,900, was up 0.2 percent from April and 9.9 percent year over year.

San Francisco and San Mateo counties recorded the highest median sale prices in the state in May: $1,375,000 in San Francisco, up 22.8 percent year over year, and $1,330,000 in San Mateo, up 16.7 percent. They were followed in the Bay Area by Marin County ($1,153,120, up 11.6 percent), Santa Clara County ($993,000, up 13.1 percent), Contra Costa County ($829,640, up 9.2 percent), Alameda County ($814,930, up 8.8 percent), Napa County ($610,120, up 1.2 percent), Sonoma County ($566,040, up 15.4 percent), and Solano County ($360,490, up 13.8 percent).

In the Lake Tahoe/Truckee area, the median sales price was $403,420 in Placer County (up 5.3 percent) and $340,620 in Nevada County (up 22.6 percent).

Looking at home sales, Solano County posted the biggest annual gain in the Bay Area, up 18.6 percent year over year, followed by Alameda County (up 6.5 percent), Napa County (up 6.3 percent), Contra Costa County (up 2.7 percent), Santa Clara County (up 2 percent), and Sonoma County (up 1.1 percent). Sales declined by 13 percent in San Francisco, followed by San Mateo County (down 9 percent) and Marin County (down 5.8 percent). Farther north, Placer County sales rose 10.5 percent, and Nevada County sales rose 8 percent.

The average price per square foot for an existing single-family home in California was $226 in May, up 3.2 percent from a year earlier. San Francisco had the highest price per square foot, at $818, followed by San Mateo County ($775) and Santa Clara County ($591).

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Real Estate Executives Forecast More Growth in 2016

New home sales and prices should rise in the coming year, say recent projections from housing industry executives, while the chance of a downturn over the next three years appears less likely than it did one year ago.houseglass

These were a few of the key takeaways from The Summit, a two-day conference hosted by John Burns Real Estate Consulting. Held in early May, the event gathered nearly 80 real estate industry executives — including home builders, land developers, and investors – to gauge where the U.S. housing market is headed in the coming years. As a subscriber of the company’s research, Pacific Union CEO Mark A. McLaughlin attended The Summit, the only executive from a residential real estate brokerage at the conference.

When asked to project home price growth over the next year, 69 percent of attendees felt that prices will rise by 2 to 5 percent. Last year, the majority of attendees called for 5-percent appreciation, and the company’s Burns Home Value Index indicates that prices actually rose by 4.1 percent. JBREC predicts price of growth of 5 percent in 2015 and 4.5 percent in 2016.

Conference participants also expect new home sales to increase by about 10 percent from 2015 to 2016, down from JBREC’s current forecast of 12 percent. Fifty-three percent of attendees believe that new home sales will rise by 5 to 10 percent, while 38 percent predict sales gains of 10 to 20 percent.

This year, real estate industry executives are more optimistic about the overall state of the nation’s housing market. Attendees put the chance of a housing downturn at 17 percent, compared with 22 percent at last year’s event.

Along with home prices and sales volume, most conference participants also think that mortgage rates will increase over the coming year, with 59 percent predicting gains of between 0.25 and 0.75 percent. Another 36 percent believe that rates will remain essentially flat. Currently, JBREC projects that mortgage rates will rise by 0.3 percent over the next year.

According to the company, a key area of disagreement involved investment location. The majority of participants felt it was preferable to invest in more expensive markets with plentiful jobs — such as downtown San Francisco — because even if greater costs mean lower returns, such areas will always be in demand. Others indicated a willingness to venture into outlying areas because they feel the risk/reward proposition outweighs the high prices of real estate in urban centers.

JBREC says that attendees also were split on homeownership rates amongst millennials. Some feel that fewer millennials will own homes due in part to affordability conditions, while others believe that ownership rates will be about the same as with previous generations – just delayed.

In November, Pacific Union and JBREC will team up for the second consecutive year to deliver the San Francisco Bay Area Real Estate and Economic Forecast 2018, which will offer our clients an exclusive, in-depth look at what to expect in Northern California in the coming three years.

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Bay Area Is the Nation’s Hottest Market for Home Sellers

As has been the case for the past few years, Bay Area home sellers remain firmly in the driver’s seat, with four of our local counties ranking among the top 10 in the nation for largest premiums this spring.cash1214

RealtyTrac’s most recent U.S. Home Sales Report says that U.S. single-family homes and condos sold for almost exactly 100 percent of their estimated full market value in April. In a statement accompanying the report, company Vice President Daren Blomquist said that while that statistic indicates a national overall housing supply-and-demand balance, most local markets tended to favor either buyers or sellers.

According to the report, homes sold for more than their estimated full market value in 27 percent of U.S. counties in April, with Northern California and Bay Area counties dominating the list of places where sellers enjoyed the largest premiums.

Home sellers in Alameda and San Francisco counties netted the largest amounts over market value in the nation, both at 108 percent. Marin and Contra Costa counties tied four others for second place – including Yolo in the Sacramento area — with sellers receiving 107 percent of market value. Shasta County also cracked RealtyTrac’s list, with the average home selling for 106 percent of market value. No state other than California had more than one market that ranked among the top 10.

In its latest monthly home sales report, the California Association of Realtors said that the Bay Area was the only region in the state where homes were selling for above asking price – an average of 107.1 percent in April. CAR wrote that a lack of inventory throughout the region is the primary factor pushing final sales prices beyond original prices.

Bay Area counties had the fewest available homes for sale in California in April, with the months’ supply of inventory (MSI) at 1.6 in San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties. Alameda had the second smallest MSI – 2.0 – while Contra Costa and Marin tied San Benito and Yolo counties for third lowest at 2.4.

According to Pacific Union President Patrick Barber, employing the services of an expert, trusted real estate professional is the most important thing that sellers and buyers can do to navigate highly competitive markets with low supply levels. “Too often do I see good buyers lose out or sellers leave money on the table because of poor representation,” he says. “Hire a real estate professional the same way you would a doctor or a lawyer; get referrals and interview them.”

Source: http://blog.pacificunion.com/bay-area-is-the-nations-hottest-market-for-home-sellers/

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