Lots of local real estate stories included here:


We’ve all heard about how home prices in San Diego have never been higher, and that demand is so great that homes for sale typically get multiple bids and wind up selling for more than the list price — in some cases, significantly more. What we haven’t heard much about is what’s triggering this boom.

Local realtors say one of the most significant factors is the arrival of home buyers from the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley, where the tech explosion years ago sent home prices skyrocketing. Covid-19 forced many businesses to send their workers home, while the Delta variant squashed what many had expected would be a mass return to the office. As a result, many tech firms — including Google, Twitter, and Facebook, all headquartered up north — now offer telecommuting as a regular option.

Over the last few months, “we have had a huge influx of Bay Area people moving down for the ‘lower’ prices,” says Devonee Alfrey, a realtor who focuses on North County. With Covid-19 and remote working, she says, “being present in Silicon Valley is no longer necessary to do the job.”

The median sales price of a single-family home in San Diego County was $860,000 in July, according to the California Association of Realtors — compared to $1.3 million in the San Francisco Bay Area. The median sales price in the city of San Francisco was nearly $1.9 million and, in San Mateo, $2.1 million. Meanwhile, Zillow Research in mid-August reported that as of July, list prices of homes for sale in San Francisco over the last year have dropped 4.9 percent year over year, while the number of homes for sale has nearly doubled.

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