If you had any doubt that the Bay Area in general – and Silicon Valley in particular – is rapidly becoming the center of the luxury housing universe, a new study out this week should put that to rest. Coldwell Banker’s annual Home Listing Report confirmed that the epicenter of luxury housing has moved from Southern California to Northern California, due in large part to the influence and success of the technology industry.
This year’s most expensive market in the national survey was Los Altos, where the average listing price for a four-bedroom, two-bath home is $1,706,688. In fact, seven of the top 10 most expensive markets were all in the Bay Area (plus Carmel) and 10 of the top 15 were local as well. This is a big shift from the days not long ago when posh Southern California locals like Newport Beach dominated the top end of the survey.
Besides Los Altos, ranking in the top 20 most expensive markets this year were Saratoga, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Los Gatos, Carmel, San Carlos, Cupertino, San Francisco, Belmont, and Redwood City. There are actually more high-end Bay Area cities that would show on the report – but to keep consistency as they compare across the US, the report ranks only 4 Bdrm-2 Bath homes. As you know, we have towns such as Woodside, Hillsborough, and Belvedere for instance with higher average prices than those on the report – but it’s hard to find a home with only two baths among these communities.
As I mentioned in the news release, the success of many of our native tech companies has shined a spotlight on Silicon Valley and our real estate market in the San Francisco Bay Area. Listing prices in our market are a product of ongoing high demand, projected population growth and the low inventory levels of homes in what is one of the most desirable locations to live.
In contrast to prices here in the Bay Area, the most affordable market in this year’s national survey is Redford, Michigan, where a similar home, four-bedrooms, two-bathrooms, is listed at $60,490 – a listing price difference of more than $1.6 million. In fact, 28 homes can be purchased in Redford for the price of a similar home in Los Altos.
Overall, the report found the average listing price of a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home in the U.S. to be $292,152. Affordability remains strong in many markets across the country as 36 percent of the markets analyzed by the report had an average home listing price of less than $200,000 for four-bedroom, two-bathroom homes.
The annual Coldwell Banker HLR provides a snapshot of the average listing price of four-bedroom, two-bathroom homes across the country. This year’s report analyzes more than 72,000 home listings in more than 2,500 U.S. markets, comparing the listing prices of similar homes in markets across the country from January 2012 to June 2012.
One reason we do this survey every year is that it serves as a good apples-to-apples comparison of similar homes in various markets to provide relocating buyers and others with useful information about the many housing markets across the country.
Despite our pricy real estate here in the Bay Area and in the LA area, interestingly enough California was not the most expensive state. The average listing price of a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home in California ($431,625) is less than both Hawaii ($742,551) and Massachusetts ($489,063).