Buyer Demand Strengthens, Median Home Prices Rise, but Conditions Still Cooler & Prices Lower Than in White-Hot Market of Spring 2018.
The luxury home market is fiercely seasonal with sales volume typically peaking in May or June – remember that one month’s sales typically reflect accepted offers in the previous month. By any standard except a comparison with spring 2018’s market, luxury home sales in spring 2019 have been strong – however, as referenced in the table above and the chart below, they are well down year over year.
Comparing annual median home prices to partial year prices is not really an apples-to-apples comparison because of the effect of market seasonality on sales prices, but the below analysis is still an interesting indicator: In almost all of the markets below, year-to-date prices have ticked down. However, full-year 2019 median home prices may be significantly different than the year-to-date figures.
Click here to go to our updated map of Bay Area median house prices.
This next chart graphs unemployment rates from 1990 through January 2019. By April 2019, they had typically fallen another half percentage point.
Bay Area housing affordability – the percentage of county households that could afford to buy a median priced house with a 20% down-payment – ticked up in Q1 2019 due to the significant drop in interest rates, and in Santa Clara County, a year-over-year decline in median house sales price. But affordability is still very, very low compared to state and national standards.
In the Bay Area, the counties most affected by the high-tech hiring boom – San Francisco, Alameda, Santa Clara & San Mateo – have the highest percentages of population in the 25-34 age group, i.e. of millennials.
Of Bay Area counties, Santa Clara has the lowest percentage of 1-person households, and the highest percentage of households with 4 or more residents.
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