Bay Area home prices rise; sales hit an eight-year high

A sign advertises Candlestick Cove, a new housing community in San Francisco, in February.
(Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

The Bay Area housing market roared forward in July as prices rose and sales hit an eight-year high, a real estate information service said.

Buyers purchased 9,339 new and resale houses and condos last month in the nine-county region, the highest for a July since 2005, DataQuick said. An expanding supply of homes for sale and pent-up demand in the tech hotbed helped push sales, the San Diego researcher said.

Buyers paid a median price of $562,000 for a home last month, 1.3% more than June and a stunning 33.5% more than last year.

Southern California’s housing recovery: An interactive map

Low mortgage rates, tight inventory and investor demand has helped the housing market recover from last decade’s bust and sent prices rapidly higher this year. The swift increases have raised concerns, though many economists predict they will cool as inventory expands and interest rates rise. In Southern California, July’s median remained flat from June as inventory swelled.


“There’s all this talk of a frenzy, but the fact is that we’re still looking at a Bay Area housing market that is in the process of rebalancing itself, regaining lost ground,” DataQuick President John Walsh said in a statement. “As prices continue to rise, more homes will be put up for sale, easing the upward price pressure.”

The region’s median remains below its bubble peak of $665,000 reached in 2007.

The median sales price is the point at which half the homes sold for more and half sold for less. That means it reflects not only rising values, but also changes in the types of homes selling at any given point.

Pricier homes continued to sell faster than those in the more affordable markets last month and distressed sales dropped as well.

San Francisco saw the largest gain in sales in July. Buyers in the city purchased 31.3% more homes than a year earlier. The median price there rose 17.6% over the year to $840,000.


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