2015 Market Wrap Up
2015 was a year of change, like many years.
There were changes in FHA requirements for Appraisers, changes in compliance for AMCs and yes, the constant, change in the market.
Many counties that we track on our Home Price Statistics Page topped out in the Spring or Summer of 2015 and from there, went into a more stable, or sometimes even slowly declining, trend.
Rising interest rates, global instability and decreasing home affordability are the culprits in bringing the housing markets to a more normal pace.
And that’s a good thing.
The good news is that every market we track was up for the year. I expect this may change for 2016.
Alameda County took the top spot for days on market, with the median DOM being just 15 days in December, 2015, which is up from a low of 12 DOM back in the Spring. In general, home prices have been stable in the county since Spring 2015, although there are still some pockets that are red hot. Orange County took the longest to sell a home, at an average of 79 days.
San Francisco City and County gets a lot of press for housing trends and while it increased 15.4% in median price from January to December 2015, it was not the greatest increase we found. San Francisco did, however, have the highest list price to sale price ratio, at a whopping 112.73% in December 2015. in April of 2015, the LP/SP ratio was a crazy 123%! That’s definitely a seller’s market.
The most expensive county we track is San Mateo County, ending the year at $1,511,292, although it’s increase in price, from January 2015 to December 2015 was the lowest at only 1.2%. The average sale price in San Mateo County has been declining since hitting a high in May of 2015 of just over $1,700,000.
The least expensive county was Kern County, ending the year at an average sale price for a single family home, of $208,000. Although the unemployment rate dropped throughout the first 3/4 of 2015 in Kern County, it bounced back up to a whopping 9% rate by November of 2015, according to the California Employment Development Department. Houses are cheap, but it can be to find a job, too.
There was a tie for the greatest increase in housing prices from January 2015 to December 2015, between Stanislaus County, in the Central Valley and Napa County at 16.5% each. Stanislaus County has become a high demand area, with housing prices being affordable at a median of $276,000 in December of 2015 and consumers taking the hit of a long commute for the Bay Area salaries and jobs. From a Mercury News article in September of 2015 titled “Bay Area Commuting Nightmares: jobs in city, affordable homes in exurbia” by Richard Scheinin,
“Dianne Isaak can relate.
Every morning in Manteca, where she and husband Albert bought a new home last year for $300,000, she wakes up by 4:30, while their children sleep. Out the door in 20 minutes, she drives to a commuter bus stop and jumps on the bus to Dublin, where she catches BART to San Francisco. For the last leg of her 75-mile journey, a company shuttle takes her to the health care facility where she works as a surgical coordinator: “All in a whopping three hours time,” she joked. At night, she reverses the process.
She lists the pros of maintaining this grinding daily routine: the backyard, the shady trees, the children’s happiness. The mortgage in Manteca is $2,000, less than the $2,600 in rent that she and Albert would have paid had they stayed in their old apartment in Pacifica.”
Napa County had the other highest increase over the year. Relative affordability, ending the year at an average sale price for a single family home at $570,000, and the increasing overall Bay Area economy fueled this increase. The demand for second, or vacation homes soared in 2015 in Napa County. Napa County also had the biggest increase for the year in 2012, at over a 24% increase in home prices.
You can see all of the home price statistics charts for all of the areas we survey, throughout California, HERE.
Anthony Blackburn is the CEO of Apple Appraisal, Inc., an appraisal management company licensed in California and Nevada.
Apple Appraisal, Inc. provides appraisal management services to banks, mortgage bankers, credit unions, private money lenders and the general public. Apple Appraisal, Inc. serves the public trust by complying with USPAP and staying abreast of the complicated compliance spectrum of the lending industry. Apple Appraisal, Inc. manages a panel of some 350 Appraisers across CA and NV. Mr. Blackburn oversees the production quality control and works with Appraisers to provide high quality, USPAP compliant reports. Mr. Blackburn has a keen focus on leveraging technology to make appraisers more efficient and more accurate in their valuations.