The Bay Area’s 10 Fastest-Appreciating Housing Markets: Q4 2018

A home in Atherton California

For the fourth consecutive quarter, two of Silicon Valley‘s most affluent communities were among the 10 in the Bay Area to see the most year-over-year home price growth in the final quarter of 2018. Housing markets in Napa and Marin counties also posted solid annual price appreciation, while San Francisco districts are notably absent from the list.

The analysis below uses fourth-quarter MLS data to determine where prices are rising the fastest in the nearly 70 Bay Area communities in which Compass California operates. Note that only single-family homes are included in this study, and that communities with less than five transactions in the most recently completed quarter were excluded. Here’s a look at the top 10:

  1. Calistoga — up by 173.0 percent — The median sales price in this Napa County city skyrocketed to $2.05 million in the fourth quarter, by far the highest level observed over the past three years. The big price gain was mostly due to a blockbuster $30 million sale in early October.
  2. Yountville — up by 102.3 percent — Like its neighbor to the north, Yountville saw its median sales price climb to a three-year high of $1.85 million in the most recently completed quarter. Of the 11 sales in the Napa County town known as a culinary mecca, seven of them commanded six figures, including a $7.95 million sale in November.
  3. Woodside — up by 53.5 percent — Although home prices in this affluent San Mateo County enclave were actually higher in the previous two quarters, the $3.45 million median was up substantially on an annual basis. Woodside saw the highest year-over-year appreciation in the Bay Area in the second quarter of 2018 and was No. 2 in that regard in the third quarter.
  4. Atherton — up by 48.7 percent — Even with some of the highest home prices in America, Atherton ranked among the Bay Area’s fastest-appreciating markets in every quarter of 2018, with the median sales price ending the fourth quarter at $6.5 million. The prices paid for the 16 homes that changed hands ranged from $2.76 million to $16.9 million.
  5. Kentfield — up by 46.8 percent — The Marin County community of Kentfield had a median sales price of $2.63 million in the fourth quarter, with three of the five most expensive homes sold listed as selling in one day.
  6. Los Altos Hills — up by 42.9 percent — Yet another high-end Silicon Valley community saw significant annual appreciation in the fourth quarter, with the median sales price at exactly $5 million. The 10 homes sold in Los Altos Hills ranged from $2.7 million to $7 million.
  7. Sausalito — up by 30.9 percent — The median sales price in this picturesque waterfront city was $2.3 million in the final quarter of 2018, the highest level recorded since the first quarter of 2016.
  8. Glen Ellen — up by 29.9 percent — For the second time in 2018, this tiny Sonoma County community landed on the list of the Bay Area’s fastest-appreciating housing markets, with a median sales price of $825,000. Partially because of its diminutive size, Glen Ellen saw just five home sales in the fourth quarter.
  9. Fairfax — up by 20.7 percent — Marin County’s Fairfax ended 2018 with a median sales price of $1.06 million, the second consecutive quarter in the seven-digit range.
  10. Hillsborough — up by 20.0 percent — With a fourth-quarter median sales price of $4.2 million, Hillsborough remains in high demand with Bay Area buyers; of the 21 homes that changed hands in the San Mateo County town, nearly half of them sold in 10 days or less.

(Photo courtesy of Mat Anello)

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