Here’s a look at recent news of interest to homebuyers, home sellers, and the home-curious.
SILICON VALLEY IS HOME TO THE COUNTRY’S MOST EQUITY-RICH HOMEOWNERS
The number of U.S. residential properties classified as equity-rich climbed to another new all-time high in the fourth quarter, with the Golden State and three of its largest housing markets once again leading the pack.
That’s according to ATTOM Data Solutions’ Year-End 2018 U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report, which says that there were more than 14.5 million equity-rich properties as of the final quarter of 2018, representing 25.6 percent of homes with a mortgage. The company defines equity-rich homes as those where the owner owes 50 percent or less of a home’s value against the total loan amount.
As in the second and third quarters, California had the highest number of equity-rich homeowners in the U.S., at 43.6 percent. Homeowners in the San Jose metropolitan area remain the most equity-rich, with 72.0 percent classified as such. San Francisco ranks No. 2 for equity riches, at 60.7 percent, followed by Los Angeles at 48.5 percent.
The Bay Area also claims the nation’s top five equity-rich ZIP codes, led by San Francisco’s 94116, where 85.0 percent of homeowners owe less than half of a property’s value against the mortgage. The other equity-rich hot spots: Sunnyvale’s 94087 (84.6 percent); Mountain View‘s 94040 (83.5 percent) and 94043 (83.0 percent); and Santa Clara’s 95051 (82.7 percent).
LOS ANGELES SEES THE NATION’S LARGEST INCREASE IN LUXURY HOME FLIPS
Flipping activity for U.S. luxury homes ticked up slightly in 2018, most notably in Southern California.
Citing data from realtor.com, Mansion Global reports that 2.6 percent of home sales valued at $1 million or more in 2018 were classified as flips, up from 2.2 percent in 2017. High-end home flips increased year over year in 14 of the 15 U.S. housing markets that realtor.com examined, though company Chief Economist Javier Vivas noted that luxury flipping activity is still low compared with levels recorded a decade ago.
The Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim metro area posted the largest increase in luxury home flips last year, moving from 3.4 percent of all such sales in 2017 to 4.0 percent in 2018. Vivas attributes the gain to the fact that Los Angeles was one of the country’s healthiest luxury markets last year, which can lead to an uptick in flips of such properties.
NEARLY TWO-THIRDS OF CALIFORNIANS SAY THEY WOULD RELOCATE OUT OF STATE
California’s exorbitant cost of living is top of mind for its residents, with nearly half saying that they cannot afford to live here.
Poll results from the Bay Area Council found that 43 percent of Californians say that the state’s affordability conditions are a major hardship, according to a report from SFGate. Predictably, that number increases to 61 percent for those in the 18-to-34 age bracket, as that demographic is often saddled with paying off student debt.
Although most Californians think that the state’s economy is excellent (or at least good), they would not be afraid to leave it behind under fortuitous circumstances. Sixty-four percent of those surveyed said that they would consider moving out of state for the right job opportunity, and 40 percent would definitely leave for the proper compensation package.
CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR LISTS MARIN COUNTY HOME
A couple of weeks back, SFGate offered readers a tour of California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new home in a Sacramento suburb, and now the public is getting a look at the Bay Area home he and his wife are putting on the market.
As Curbed SF reports, California’s first family have listed their five-bedroom, six-bathroom home in the posh Marin County community of Kentfield for $5.99 million. Built in the 1950s and upgraded with modern details, the 4,014-squre-foot home sits on 1.4 acres and features amenities such custom gates, a gazebo, a swimming pool, and a fire pit.
After deciding not to live in the Governor’s Mansion in Sacramento, Newsom and his family are trading up for a lot more space in the suburbs (and for a lot less money), grabbing their 12,000-square-foot Fair Oaks residence for $3.7 million.