Bay Area housing stock falls, prices rise: Zillow report

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SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Uncertainty over the ongoing pandemic may result in an extreme drop in Bay Area homes for sale.

A new Zillow report shows that while house prices are rising, not many of them are listed on the market.

KRON4’s Philippe Djegal spoke to an economist who believes this could portend a busy housing market in the spring.

High demand from home buyers, coinciding with a historically low number of homes for sale, is contributing to a rapid rise in home prices across the country.

And the Bay Area is no different.

“I think the rise of the Omicron variant may have contributed to a slight pullback in sellers this winter,” said Jeff Tucker, senior economist at Zillow.

It’s no secret that many Bay Area residents have flocked to other parts of the country in search of more space and financial flexibility while the virus circulates through communities.

This is because some employers have made remote working an option.

But Tucker says that hasn’t resulted in a large increase in the homes available on the market.

Instead, what’s available sells at lightning speed.

Bay Area homes typically only spend two weeks on the market before going into limbo.

People with big bags are closing fast while the average shopper lags behind.

“For the Bay Area, which is San Francisco and San Jose, active records are down about a fifth compared to this time last year,” Tucker said.

Tucker says it’s possible, even likely, that sellers are trying to time the market.

Wait and see how the virus develops, then possibly list their homes for sale in what is typical of a busy spring for real estate.

Meanwhile, rents in the greater San Francisco area are up 10.4 percent year-on-year.

In the greater San Jose area, rents are up 9.2 percent.

“As this sales squeeze continues, it’s helping people stay in the rental market and contributing to these rising rents,” Tucker said.

Demand is high for renters and buyers alike, and Tucker says it may only be a matter of time before supply catches up.

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