Bay Area Real Estate Snapshot: A Return to Normalcy?

House Money
Photo by David Toerge.

This crazy year in Bay Area real estate appears to be heading toward a more sane end, as the August numbers from the research firm DataQuick show home prices leveling off after a sharp increase, and the rate of sale declining. The next issue of CA-Modern carries a more in-depth look at how this year's changing housing market affected different regions of the Bay Area, especially in terms of Eichlers and other mid-century moderns.

But in the meantime, I thought it would be worthwhile to offer a brief run-down of those numbers, based on reports in the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Jose Mercury News. The basic trend: Prices are up significantly over last year, but the frenzied pace of home sales has dropped since the first two quarters of 2013, partly because of higher interest rates and partly because of those increased home prices. But the Chronicle and the Mercury News reported the DataQuick numbers slightly differently:

Mercury News: "While the median single-family price of $588,000 extended several months of double-digit annual gains, it was 3.9 percent lower than it was in July, the first such drop in six months, DataQuick reported."

Chronicle: "The median price of $540,000 paid across the nine-county region was up 31.7 percent from a year earlier, said DataQuick of San Diego."

Mercury News: "After months of increases, single-family home sales dropped 3.2 percent from a year ago, and were down 8.8 percent from July."

Chronicle: "As is normal in the late summer, both price and sales dipped in August compared with the previous month. The median was 3.9 percent short of July's $562,000 median, and sales were down 7.7 percent from July."

Mercury News: "In Alameda County, the median price for existing single-family homes was $570,000, up 32.6 percent annually but unchanged from July; in Contra Costa County, $435,000, up 39.4 percent annually but down 3.3 percent from July; in Santa Clara County, $744,500, up 24.1 percent from last year but nearly unchanged from July, and in San Mateo County, $867,500, up 33.5 percent from last year and up 4.1 from July."

Chronicle: "Around the Bay Area some of the biggest price increases were in lower-cost counties. Solano County saw the median jump 46.1 percent, albeit starting from a low base. It is now $277,500. Contra Costa's median was up 40.9 percent to $420,250."

Mercury News: "Condos, which made up about a fifth of all sales, are still going strong, with sales at an eight-year high for the month of August. The median price of a condo was $445,000, up 39 percent from a year ago."

Chronicle:  "The rising prices helped fuel another trend: Condo sales hit an eight-year high for the month of August with 1,960 changing hands at a median price of $445,000."