The California Association of Realtors is out with its September housing report and the news is that home sales and prices are continuing to accelerate in the state. Home sales in California climbed to their highest level in more than a decade while the median home price set another record high for the fourth straight month. The change started with Covid-19 and the lockdown and now it has evolved into what appears to be a ongoing reality. Many workers now have the flexibility of working remotely. That gives homebuyers the option of searching in less expensive areas where they can get more home for their money.
We also continue to see the exodus from cities such as San Francisco. People are looking for more liveable space — inside and out. And renters are now realizing they may be in a position to buy. Indeed, the historically low mortgage interest rates are making it possible for more people to afford to buy. Last week the rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage ticked down to 2.8 percent, another low. And here’s another record breaker: The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home in California in September was 11. This is the lowest figure ever recorded. A word of caution, though. With a low supply of homes on the market and high demand, this could lead to more housing shortages and more affordability issues. But for now, it’s full steam ahead.
At the regional level, the San Francisco Bay area saw the median price of a single-family home rising more than 20 percent in September over a year ago. And as of last month the median sold price in the area was $1,060,000. Meanwhile in Contra Costa County, September home sales were more than 35 percent higher than the previous year. Home prices were up over 19 percent with the median in September standing at $783,000. But perhaps the most interesting figure was that of San Francisco home sales. In the city sales in September were up more than 90 percent over last year, an indication that people are leaving.