Bay Area luxury market soars in Q2

In San Mateo County, median home price sailed past $2M


San Mateo County’s median home price exceeded $2 million in the second quarter, the first county in the Bay Area to pass that milestone, as luxury home sales across the region gained, according to Compass reports.

Sales of homes for $3 million and up in the Bay Area more than doubled from a year earlier, the report said. There were 1,785 sales above $3 million, a jump of 137 percent from the previous pre-pandemic high in the Spring of 2019.

“The wealthiest demographic was least negatively affected by the pandemic,” said Compass chief market analyst Patrick Carlisle. “In fact, their wealth has increased dramatically since the pandemic struck as they are most likely to be invested in financial markets. They have the money and they want bigger homes in more rural or suburban counties, with bigger yards. The pandemic motivated them to spend their money on a higher quality of life.”

Median prices in many of San Francisco’s suburbs have jumped above $200,000 since the end of last year. San Mateo has the distinction of being the first Bay Area county to cross the $2 million mark, rising to $2.1 million, from $1.85 million in the first quarter. Nearly 350 sales in San Mateo were at $3 million and above, compared with 168 in the first quarter. Homes sold in an average of just 19 days.

“San Mateo is at the heart of Silicon Valley, which has been having very good economic times in the past year,” Carlisle said.

The closer to the valley, the higher the median prices, with Menlo Park and Burlingame at almost $3 million and Portola Valley at nearly $3.3 million. Woodside’s median hit nearly $4.5 million in the second quarter and Hillsborough’s median was $5.65 million. Atherton continues to see jaw-dropping numbers, with a median sales price of almost $8.3 million.

San Francisco’s median house price was $1.9 million, just under San Mateo’s, though that doesn’t mean the high end of the market is any less overheated in the city. In many of the northern neighborhoods, homes were trading at median prices double or triple the citywide figure.

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With a median of $6.75 million, Pacific and Presidio Heights were by far the most expensive areas in the city. District 7 (which also includes Cow Hollow and the Marina) had 63 sales over $5 million between June 2020 and June 2021, according to Compass. Of the 21 houses that sold over $10 million during that time period, 18 were in District 7.

District 5 (Noe, Eureka and Cole Valleys/Ashbury Heights/Buena Vista Park) had by far the largest number of sales over $3 million in the last 12 months. There were 84 sales between $3 million and $4 million, and 78 sales between $4 million and $8 million.

Even the city’s beleaguered condo market seems to be staging a bit of a comeback.

“The condo market was much more negatively affected by shelter in place,” said Carlisle. “People didn’t like those shared hallways and elevators and became desperate for open space. But that is turning around with the vaccine rollout.”

There were almost 1,200 condo sales in the city in the second quarter, not including new-project condo listings and other sales not reported to the MLS. The median sales price was $1.24 million, the same as in the second quarter of 2019 and $85,000 more than the median condo sale in Q2 2020.

The second quarter often brings in the highest prices of the year before a seasonal summer slowdown, Carlisle said. Last year, that slowdown never came, but this year seems to be following the usual curve, with a 15 percent drop in San Francisco listings going into contract in June.

“The question now is, ‘Have we peaked for the year in Q2?’” he said.

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