Big Jump in State, Bay Area Home Prices

Illustration of a house sitting on a stack of $100 bills.Home prices rose dramatically across the Bay Area in December, led by Contra Costa County, where the median sale price of single-family homes jumped 22.9 percent from a year earlier.

San Francisco finished a close second, with the median price up 22.3 percent, according to a report released this week by the California Association of Realtors.

The median price rose 21.8 percent in Sonoma County, 17.8 percent in Alameda County, 14.8 percent in Marin County, and 4.5 percent in Napa County.

Across California, the median sale price rose 27 percent, which the C.A.R. attributed to a significant increase in sales of higher-priced homes last month and a shortage of lower-priced homes on the market.

For all of 2012, the median sale price rose 11.6 percent in California.

The median sale price indicates that half the prices paid were higher than this number, and half were lower.¬†Medians are more “typical” than average prices, which a relatively small share of transactions at either the lower- or the upper-end can skew.

California home sales edged up 0.9 percent in December from a year earlier and declined in all but one Bay Area county.

Sales rose 29.7 percent in Marin County but fell 17 percent in Napa County, 7.9 percent in Sonoma County, 6.9 percent in Contra Costa County, 5.3 percent in San Francisco, and 1.5 percent in Alameda County.

For the year, home sales statewide rose 5.4 percent from a year earlier.

(Illustration courtesy of 401(K) 2013, via Flickr.)

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