Bay Area real estate gains highest in country since recession

Bay Area trend u2014 low earners move out, high earners move in

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If you bought a Bay Area home in 2012, pat yourself on the back.

You almost certainly doubled your investment, just by sleeping in your own bed.

Home values across the country have stepped up since the aftermath of the Great Recession a decade ago, but nowhere have values vaulted higher than in the Bay Area.

New research released Thursday by real estate website Trulia shows homes in the San Jose, Oakland and San Francisco metro areas have more than doubled in value since 2012.

The cities ranked three of the top four in the country for appreciation: San Jose (122%) led the way, followed by Las Vegas (114%), Oakland (108%) and San Francisco (101%). By comparison, the S&P 500 index during that stretch rose 87%.

Nationally, home values have grown 45 percent since 2012, when they hit bottom across the country.

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“Things are considerably different in the Bay Area,” said Trulia housing economist Felipe Chacon, author of the report.

The rocket fuel for rising Bay Area home values has been a mixture of booming job growth — more than 14% — and few building permits issued for new homes. Depending on the city, one new building permit was issued for every two or four new people moving into the area during the period. That’s far below the national average of roughly one permit for every 1.6 new residents.

Chacon believes the Bay Area’s population growth would have been even more rapid if not for the high cost of living driven by a dearth of new housing. He added that building permits had recently started to rise in the Bay Area, but still remain far below the national average.

The populations in San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland grew by between 5% and 6%, well behind fast-growing Austin, Texas (15%), Houston (11.5%), Dallas (10.9%) and Seattle (9.1%).

The median home value in Santa Clara County is $1.3 million, and $954,000 in San Francisco and Alameda counties, according to Zillow.

But while the growth in home values has been a boom for owners, the business community and some state lawmakers believe the shortage has reached a crisis. They are pushing for more permissive zoning and faster approvals for affordable housing.

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group has set housing as a top priority, and is supporting a campaign to pass a $4 billion housing bond aimed at creating affordable housing for low-income residents and veterans.

State lawmakers expect to introduce more bills in the coming session promoting higher density around transit hubs and more construction of affordable housing.

Tribune Content Agency

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