Bay Area’s housing recovery isn’t as ubiquitous as you think
With double-digit price appreciation returning to some Bay Area markets, we’re used to hearing that the region’s homeowners are a lucky bunch, richer by the minute.
It’s not always true.
A new report by Trulia, the real estate web site, finds that only 60.4 percent of single-family homes in the Oakland metropolitan area have recovered their pre-recession peak values, compared with 84.3 percent in metropolitan San Jose and 98 percent in the San Francisco metro. Out of 100 U.S. metros whose housing recovery was measured by Trulia, Oakland ranks 35th, while San Jose ranks 19th and San Francisco is No. 2 in the nation.
“It’s important to realize that even though home prices have boomed in the Bay Area and a lot of people have gained a lot of equity in their homes, it’s not necessarily a ubiquitous phenomenon,” said Ralph McLaughlin, Trulia’s chief economist and author of the report. “In some areas, the recovery is still yet to be complete for all homes.”
Even so, Bay Area homeowners are in much better shape than their counterparts nationally. The report, titled “The Housing Recovery that Wasn’t,” finds that just over a third — 34.2 percent — of the nation’s homes have seen their values surpass their pre-recession peaks. The peak value for each home, as defined by the study, could have been reached at any time between January 1, 1996 and December 1, 2007.
The report notes that markets with strong post-recession income growth tend to have large percentages of homes passing their pre-recession peaks. In Denver, Colo. — the No. 1 market for “recovery,” according to Trulia — 98.7 percent of homes passed their pre-recession peaks, while income growth stands at 20.0 percent. In San Francisco, job growth has been even higher — 25.5 percent — though the recovery rate of 98.0 percent is a tad lower. San Jose’s income growth is 21.2 percent, while Oakland’s is 17.2 percent.
The Oakland metropolitan area includes Contra Costa County, where many homes in outlying areas have yet to surpass their post-recession values. McLaughlin said that likely explains why Oakland — which has a reputation as a real estate hotspot — landed 35th on the list nationally. Only 37.2 percent of Contra Costa County’s single-family homes have regained their pre-recession peaks, as compared with 80.7 percent in Alameda County, 87.0 percent in Santa Clara County and 98.0 percent in San Mateo County.