Real Estate Roundup: San Francisco Begins 2018 as the Hottest U.S. Housing Market

Here’s a look at recent news of interest to homebuyers, home sellers, and the home-curious.Real Estate Roundup: San Francisco Begins 2018 as the Hottest U.S. Housing Market

Demand for Bay Area real estate remains intense as 2018 begins, with three local markets once again ranked as the country’s hottest.

That’s according to’s latest monthly list of the 20 hottest U.S. real estate markets as gauged by listing views on its website and the fastest pace of sales. San Francisco has unseated San Jose as the nation’s hottest market in January, returning to a spot it held for multiple months in 2016 and 2017. San Jose fell to the No. 2 position, while Vallejo held steady at No. 3. All three Bay Area cities had stints at the top of the hot-markets list last year.

As has become typical, California markets took most of the spots on’s January list, with a total of 13 representatives. The other Golden State cities to make the cut: San Diego (No. 6), Santa Rosa (No. 7), Sacramento (No. 8), Stockton (No. 10), Modesto (No. 11), Fresno (No. 13), Los Angeles (No. 14), Chico (No. 16), Oxnard (No. 17), and Santa Cruz (No. 18). The latter three cities returned to the hot list after dropping off in December.

While many millennials are priced out of the Bay Area’s most expensive real estate markets, Santa Rosa has seen a notable influx of younger homebuyers over the past decade.

An analysis by SmartAsset ranks the 25 most popular U.S. housing markets for millennials on a scale of 100 based on homeownership rate in 2016 and change in the number of younger owners since 2007. Based on those criteria, Santa Rosa ranks. No. 7 for millennial homebuyers, tying three other cities with a score of 88.68.

As of 2016, 31.19 percent of Santa Rosa residents under the age of 35 owned a home, which is still lower than the national millennial homeownership rate of 34.7 percent. However, between 2009 and 2016, the Sonoma County city saw its millennial homeownership rate increase by 11 percent, the highest of any market included in the study.

While it can be difficult to discern where exactly you picked up that nasty cold or flu bug, one builder is trying to make sure that sickness does not come from a doorknob in your home.

KB Home has announced that it has partnered with door hardware manufacture Kwikset to introduce a new line of products designed to fight household germs. The health-conscious hardware will incorporate Microban protection, a coating designed to repel bacteria on doorknobs, locks, and latches. KB Home says that the protection will last for the products’ lifetimes.

The new door components are part of KB Home’s Healthy Homes program, which has previously introduced products such as environmentally friendly paint and high-efficiency home-ventilation systems.

Mortgage rates rose to the highest level in 10 months last week, though they are still lower than they were at the same time last year.

The latest Freddie Mac data says that 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.15 percent for the week ended Jan. 25, up from 4.04 percent the previous week and down from 4.19 percent on an annual basis. Fifteen-year, fixed-rate mortgages rose to 3.62 percent, up both week over week and year over year.

“The 10-year Treasury yield reached its highest point since 2014 reflecting expectations of broad-based economic growth,” Freddie Mac Deputy Chief Economist Len Kiefer said. “Mortgage rates, in turn, followed the surge in Treasury yields.”

(Photo: iStock/chameleonseye)

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