Sunday, March 17, 2013

Bay Area home prices up 24.6% over 2012

In the latest sign of a rebounding real estate market, eager buyers vying for a limited pool of properties pushed Bay Area median home prices 24.6 percent higher in February compared with last year, according to a real estate report released Thursday.

"Drum-tight inventory, lower (interest) rates than most people alive have ever seen, and in some areas record levels of investor purchases (created) an unusual environment," said Andrew LePage, analyst at San Diego's DataQuick, which produced the report.

Another big factor - "unleashing of pent-up (buyer) demand," he said. During the downturn, "for years, some people sat on the sidelines, afraid to buy. Now there's been a shift in psychology in the past year with people switching from fearing prices might fall more, to fearing they will go up, so they want to buy now."

An improving economy and job growth - factors that are stronger here than elsewhere in the country - also feed buyer demand.

"The San Francisco Bay Area is the hottest market in the country right now," said Errol Samuelson, president of Realtor.com, the online marketplace for the National Association of Realtors.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/realestate/article/Bay-Area-home-prices-up-24-6-over-2012-4356658.php#ixzz2NqSHK0bB

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