Original Article Written by Madeline Schnapp, Economist at Property Radar

Jobs are Plentiful, Affordable Homes are Not

May 2017 Home Sales Unchanged from May 2016

Median Home Price Up 3.5 Percent Y-o-Y to $815,000, Despite Month-over-Month Declines in Four of Nine Counties

CALIFORNIA, JULY 13, 2017 –The San Francisco Bay Area kicked off the summer selling season in May 2017 with an 18.0 percent jump in home and condominium sales from April. Looking back over a longer period, May 2017 home sales were flat compared to May 2016 and nearly identical to 2007 sales.

“San Francisco Bay Area home sales were nearly unchanged relative to a year ago,” said Madeline Schnapp, Director of Economic Research for PropertyRadar. “Sluggish sales in the face of rising prices has been a consistent theme for over five years. Healthy job growth has increased demand for homes, while low inventory and cheap debt has led to rising prices, exacerbating affordability. That may be changing soon due to a regional slowdown in job growth colliding with unbelievably high Bay Area home prices.”

At the county level, sales were mixed. San Francisco, Alameda, and Marin counties posted the largest annual sales gains of 9.1, 8.9 and 6.2 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, Santa Cruz, San Mateo, and Sonoma counties posted the largest annual sales declines of 13.8, 8.5 and 6.2 percent, respectively.

The San Francisco Bay Area median home price (single-family residence) was $815,000 in May 2017, down 2.4 percent from April 2017, but up 3.5 percent from $787,750 in May 2016. At the county level, May 2017 median home prices ranged from a low of $390,000 in Solano County to a high of $1.4 million in San Mateo County.

“Median home prices in the San Francisco to Santa Clara corridor have sailed passed the million dollar mark topping out at $1.4 million in San Mateo County,” said Schnapp. “It is stunning to compare what $1.4 million can buy you in various parts of the Bay Area. In San Mateo County, $1.4 million will buy you a 2-bedroom, 1-bath, 1,000 square foot home built in 1946 on a 5,000 square foot lot. That same $1.4 million will buy you a relatively new 4-bedroom, 3-bath, 3,500 square foot home, on a 1/2 acre lot in Sonoma County.”

At the county level, median home prices were lower for the month in four of the nine Bay Area counties, Alameda (-1.4 percent), Contra Costa (-1.6 percent), Marin (-3.0 percent) and San Francisco (-2.8 percent). Prices were unchanged in San Mateo County.

Read the entire article on PropertyRadar