Home & Leisure

Bay Area homes deliver record-breaking returns

Louis Hansen, The Mercury News on

Published in Home and Consumer News

But rising prices also meant a drop in home sales. The 3,410 purchases of resale homes last month represented a dip of nearly 4.5 percent from last year, according to CoreLogic.

Over the long-term, the Bay Area bounced back more quickly from the real estate crash than other parts of the country, said CoreLogic research analyst Andrew LePage. He noted that other metro areas in the west, including Los Angeles, Seattle and Phoenix, have seen similar strong runs in their housing markets. But the Northern California run has been notable for its record-busting prices.

"The Bay Area is impressive, or daunting, depending on your perspective," LePage said.

Local agents say the streak has been fueled by the combination of a strong local economy steadily adding tech jobs, rising stock prices that benefit tech professionals, and confident buyers.

William Doerlich, an agent with Realty One in San Ramon, said the market began to turn around 2011 and 2012 with the help of federal tax breaks.

"It really started what we're seeing -- this fairly robust market," he said.

Alain Pinel's Wong said many clients were looking to catch the bottom of the market around 2012. "But whenever you see the bottom," he said, "you've missed it."

Wong has seen houses in hotspots like Cupertino, Los Altos and Mountain View going for almost 50 percent over asking price. "It's a very good long-term investment," he said.

Agents continue to point to the shortage of new homes being built as a key reason for escalating prices. By one estimate, the region added 6 times as many jobs as new housing units between 2010 and 2015.

"We're not nearly keeping up pace," said Gustavo Gonzalez, a San Jose agent. "We're not trying to send somebody to Mars, here. We're trying to build more houses."


swipe to next page


blog comments powered by Disqus

Social Connections


Marshall Ramsey Scary Gary The Other Coast Gary Varvel Steve Breen Bob Gorrell