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What it’s like to live in the hottest Bay Area real estate neighborhoods now

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Like the heat wave Housing market continues to cool The Bay Area community remains the strongest in most parts of California Growth of home value According to the latest data, it seems to be increasingly concentrated, especially in the wealthy North Bay community along the coast of Marin County.

Chronicle analyzes data from real estate listing firm Zillow to find out which zip codes throughout the Bay Area are typical home prices from January to June 2022 this year, and to June 2021 over the past year. I checked if the average growth rate of was the highest. The analysis considered only postal codes with a population of 1,000 or more, based on US census data.

According to Zillow’s data spokesperson Matt Kramer, data showed a continuous slowdown following a pandemic-related “house value explosion.” In the six months from January to June, home price growth was less than half of the year-on-year growth for almost all zip codes surveyed, he said.

However, many Marin County postal codes, including some established coastal vacation areas, have shown their lasting popularity, surpassing both the 2022 and year-over-year lists.

According to realtors Sarah Kowartik and Lotte Moore, a team of compasses in Marin County, their dominance reflects changing buyer priorities during the pandemic. Many were attracted to Marin for the same goal: a better lifestyle, sunny days, and access to outdoor spaces.

“Gentle” and “Quiet”: Oud Acre

Woodacre, a small, unincorporated community in the San Geronimo Valley of Marin County, northwest of Fairfax, has the highest home prices in the Bay Area in 2022, rising 15.4% from $ 1.06 million in January. It rose to $ 1.29 million in June.

The pandemic has turned buyers into areas that were previously thought to be “too far”, Kowarchik said. “Now buyers are looking at what they can get, and they have no problem commuting.”

She said her team is seeing an increase in buyers from populated areas in southern or central Marin County, and its wealth has risen to levels close to San Francisco. At Oud Acres, they can “still find relative value” and get a large home with a large area and “complete privacy”.

View of 110 Carson Road in Woodacre, the home currently listed by Mark Machado in Attain Real Estate.

Courtesy Mark Machado

Oud Aker has a “sleepy countryside environment”, no gas station and you have to drive a little further to buy groceries, but the town is still accessible and the area is prestigious public There is a school district.

“There is a learning curve, but 95% of the people who move there understand it … and aren’t excited about how safe and quiet it is,” she said.

Mark Machado, a member of the National Association of Realtors, co-founder of San Rafael-based Attain Real Estate, said the community is close, friendly and has a “calm and quiet” atmosphere. The only downside is that the house is in a septic and propane system, which can take some getting used to.

Coastal Magnets: Point Reyes Station, Sea Ranch

To the west of Woodacre on the Marin County coast is Point Reyes Station, a popular tourist destination that serves as the main gateway to the Point Reyes National Sea. Home prices this year were the third highest at 14.2%, rising from $ 1.57 million in January to $ 1.79 million in June.

A team of realtors at Compass said they saw older buyers primarily wanting a second house. Perhaps the first is to look at the wine country in the east, Bolinas or Stinson beach in the south, and expand your search.

Nobuhill Road 30 at Point Reyes Station, a home sold by compass agents Sarakowarchik and Lotte Moore.

Nobuhill Road 30 at Point Reyes Station, a home sold by compass agents Sarakowarchik and Lotte Moore.

Team Lotte & Sara, Compass

The main attraction of Point Reyes Station is the culture of craftsmen from the farm to the table, Moore said. It also acts as a hub for many activities and attractions, but it can be a downside for residents as the town is full of tourists on weekends and holidays.

Coastal Marin County towns such as Point Reyes Station have long been popular as day trips and weekend destinations for Bay Area residents seeking quick vacations to enjoy nature and the life of a small town. But the pandemic has transformed them into places where people are trying to take root. “If you don’t have to commute to the office every day, it makes sense for quite a few people to move there,” she said.

Another small coastal community, Sonoma County’s Sea Ranch, continues to lead the Bay Area and California in growing home value. Chronicle analysis of Zillow data earlier this month Sea Ranch showed the highest year-on-year growth across the state from May 2021 to May 2022.

According to the latest data, Sea Ranch had the highest year-on-year growth rate of home prices in the Bay Area at 43.87% as of June, and the second highest year-on-year growth rate in the region between January and June was 15.37. %was.

Members of the National Association of Realtors in the region said the uniqueness of the building, proximity to the coast, the recent addition of high-speed internet, and a dedicated runway attracted wealthy buyers who could work in remote areas.

Sea Ranch House sold for $ 1.8 million in August 2021.

Sea Ranch House sold for $ 1.8 million in August 2021.

Kennedy & Associates

Suburban pull

But for many, it’s about affordability and getting more value for their money. Creamer said. In general, buying a home in a city in San Francisco or San Jose is more expensive than in the suburbs of the nearby Bay Area.

The three Tri-Valley zip codes in San Ramon and Danville and the Union City zip code all showed significant year-over-year growth in home prices, each rising more than 24% from June 2021 to June 2022. .. Dublin, Pleasanton and Livermore are also on the top 15 list of year-on-year rises in home prices.

“Buyers can certainly get more space for their money in some suburban areas,” Kramer said. “If you’re buying for the first time in the Bay Area, it makes sense to consider a place like Livermore or Union City where you can get more space and garden at a relatively affordable price and at a small price. It’s a condominium near the city. “

Many Bay Area homebuyers have the freedom to expand their options during the pandemic, and over the past year, whether it’s a location, type of home, or other equipment that’s important to their lifestyle. did.

“What’s happening in the Bay Area is that many people are more free than ever to find a home that is closest to their tastes and to make fewer trade-offs,” Creamer said. Said.

As a result, nature lovers and those seeking a more peaceful life turn to Marin and Sonoma counties. On the other hand, families seeking larger homes, facilities and backyards for children can be drawn to suburbs such as San Ramon and Danville.


Zillow’s Home Value Index measures typical home value in a region and rises in the home market based on multiple data sources, including seasonal fluctuations and the value of nearby homes. Home price quotes are not based solely on the price of recently sold homes, but estimate the value of all homes in the selected area, whether or not they have been sold.

This approach is different from the approach used by many National Association of Realtors members. National Association of Realtors subscriber data is obtained from a database of National Association of Realtors subscribers and brokers in regions called multiple listing services. The methodologies can be different and the analyzes cannot be compared directly.

Kelly Fan is a staff writer at the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected] twitter: @KellieHwang

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