Adding to the health of these gains was a slight 4 percent uptick on overall sales volume from the severely low tally witnessed a year prior. While homes began to move a bit more rapidly than in quarters past, and inventory remains very low, buyers can take some comfort in the fact that price gains aren’t generally seeing the double-digit percentage gains that became customary in 2015 and 2016.
San Francisco, an area typically most prone to outlier data, was arguably the most indicative of these trends. The city’s $1.761 million average home sales price and $1.3 million average condominium sales price were up 4 percent and 5 percent year-over-year, respectively. Both sectors also displayed healthy year-over-year sales volume gains of 9 percent. The only minor factor that seemed out of line with this quarter’s overall trends was the slight rise in the average days on market (DOM) from the previous year. This quarter showed the type of performance that city buyers have been looking for—modest growth in average sales prices, sales volume slightly up, and homes not fleeing the market as rapidly as in the past.
The East Bay also exemplified these more general trends of the Bay Area’s first quarter. Alameda County posted its second-highest average sales mark on record, although only at a gain of 7 percent from Q1 2016. In turn, Contra Costa County posted its fourth-highest mark of $718,957—a 5 percent gain year-over-year. These two counties with the highest sales volume totals in the Bay Area also posted year-over-year gains of 5 percent in Alameda and 7 percent in Contra Costa. The East Bay’s average DOM, while in line with recent trends, saw the average home selling in less than four weeks.
On a granular level, the North Bay was more scattered in its behavior, but as a whole, these three counties were in line with general first quarter trends. Napa County saw its average sales price drop 9 percent from the previous year. Yet at the same time it witnessed a 16 percent gain in year-over-year sales volume—its highest Q1 figure since 2012. Conversely, Marin and Sonoma Counties saw eye-popping gains in average home sales prices of 13 percent and 12 percent, respectively. These two counties experienced the third-lowest sales volume tallies in the past eight years. All three North Bay counties experienced average DOM speeding up from Q1 2016.
The Mid-Peninsula saw a 3 percent gain on average sales price, a speedy 26 DOM average for its seven-figure price range, and its lowest sales volume in seven years. Buyers should expect that last number to swing dramatically upward as sellers jump off the sideline for a busy second quarter of the year.
The Bay Area netted $6.126 billion in total sales this quarter for its 6,260 homes sold. The East Bay provided 60 percent of all sales and 49 percent of the cash share. The Mid-Peninsula contributed 11 percent of all sales and 18 percent of total cash share. The North Bay claimed 22 percent of all sales and 22 percent of total cash share. San Francisco added 6 percent of all sales and 11 percent of total cash share. None of these numbers were abnormal, although the East Bay’s market dominance was slightly more pronounced than in recent quarters.