Bay Area Home Sales, Price Growth Lead Golden State

Bay Area home sales continued to set the pace for all of California in May, posting solid sales growth and home prices that rose on a yearly basis at more than twice the rate of any other region.

Map of the Bay AreaThe latest figures from the California Association of Realtors also show that the Bay Area, with more buyers than sellers, was the only region in the Golden State where homes sold at a premium, with final sales prices an average of 7.3 percent above asking prices.

Statewide, single-family home sales in May were down 1.1 percent from April but up 8.9 percent from a year earlier. The median home price rose 0.8 percent from April, and 4.4 percent from May 2014, to $485,830 — the highest price since November 2007.

In the Bay Area, meanwhile, home sales in May were up 2.2 percent from April and 1.8 percent from a year earlier. The median sale price, $846,900, was up 0.2 percent from April and 9.9 percent year over year.

San Francisco and San Mateo counties recorded the highest median sale prices in the state in May: $1,375,000 in San Francisco, up 22.8 percent year over year, and $1,330,000 in San Mateo, up 16.7 percent. They were followed in the Bay Area by Marin County ($1,153,120, up 11.6 percent), Santa Clara County ($993,000, up 13.1 percent), Contra Costa County ($829,640, up 9.2 percent), Alameda County ($814,930, up 8.8 percent), Napa County ($610,120, up 1.2 percent), Sonoma County ($566,040, up 15.4 percent), and Solano County ($360,490, up 13.8 percent).

In the Lake Tahoe/Truckee area, the median sale price was $403,420 in Placer County (up 5.3 percent) and $340,620 in Nevada County (up 22.6 percent).

Looking at home sales, Solano County posted the biggest gain in the Bay Area, up 18.6 percent year over year, followed by Alameda County (up 6.5 percent), Napa County (up 6.3 percent), Contra Costa County (up 2.7 percent), Santa Clara County (up 2 percent), and Sonoma County (up 1.1 percent). Sales declined by 13 percent in San Francisco, followed by San Mateo County (down 9 percent), and Marin County (down 5.8 percent). Further north, Placer County sales rose 10.5 percent, and Nevada County sales rose 8 percent.

The average price per square foot for an existing single-family home in California was $226 in May, up 3.2 percent from a year earlier. San Francisco had the highest price per square foot, at $818, followed by San Mateo County ($775) and Santa Clara County ($591).

(Image: Flickr/Soozums)