real estate

Bay Area Homes Are Still Pricey, But Here's Why It's Hard Finding One for Sale

NBC Universal, Inc.

Prices continue to surge in the Bay Area real estate market while the number of available homes for sale keeps dropping.

One reason real estate experts point to for the decline in housing inventory is homeowners are opting to rent out their properties instead of selling.

"Home shoppers who go out right now are just looking around and finding empty shelves, metaphorically," said Jeff Tucker, a senior economist with Zillow.

Home prices are staying high in the Bay Area with fewer units on the market. Zillow said homes are also selling quickly and provided the following numbers:

  • A typical San Jose home cost more than $1.5 million, while the month-over-month inventory in the area is down 24%
  • San Francisco homes come in just below $1.4 million. The city is also seeing a big drop in inventory.

"Buyers were taking those listings off the market by buying them at a faster rate than normal," Tucker said. "So cumulatively, that just kept draining the reservoir of listings available."

Meanwhile, some would-be sellers are holding onto their homes because they can tap into another source of income by renting the property out, South Bay realtor Holly Barr said.

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