Market Update: January

U.S., Golden State Home Price Growth Is Expected to Slow in 2019

  • U.S. home prices are expected to increase by 4.8 percent year over year by November 2019.
  • November home prices were up on an annual basis in the San Francisco and Los Angeles metropolitan areas by a respective 5.9 percent and 5.3 percent.
  • Prices appreciation for new homes is projected to slow in 2019 in all four major Bay Area housing markets.

Rising mortgage rates are reducing housing affordability and cooling buyer demand, which should cause price appreciation to moderate in the coming year.

CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Insights report says that U.S. home prices were up by 5.1 percent year over year in November, and the company projects that annual growth will slow to 4.8 percent by the same month in 2019. In a statement accompanying the report, CoreLogic Chief Economist Frank Nothaft noted that 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages reached their highest level in almost eight years in December, and that the resulting diminished affordability conditions are causing home sellers to lower their asking prices.

Even as buyers gain a bit more traction, current owners are confident about their properties’ values thanks in part to a thriving U.S. economy; 16 percent of Americans that CoreLogic surveyed pointed to improving national and local economies as the reason that they believe their home’s value is increasing. Still, company President and CEO Frank Martell said that if the recent volatility in the stock market rattles consumer confidence, buyers may gain even more of an edge as the year progresses.

Every state but North Dakota posted annual home price appreciation in November, with only Nevada and Idaho putting up double-digit-percent gains. California’s home price growth ranged between 3 percent and 6 percent but it was not among the 10 states with the highest year-over-year appreciation.

Home prices in the San Francisco metropolitan area were up by 5.9 percent from November 2017, the third-largest gain in the 10 major areas for which CoreLogic tracks data. Los Angeles home prices posted a 5.3 percent increase from the same time last year.

Although CoreLogic does not offer annual home price growth predictions by state or metro area, analysts at John Burns Real Estate Consulting project that new home price growth will slow substantially in 2019 compared with 2018 in all major Bay Area housing market: San Francisco (1.1 percent), the East Bay (1.8 percent), and San Jose and Santa Rosa (both 2.0 percent). New home prices in Los Angeles are projected to depreciate by 1.7 percent in the coming year. The company forecasts that price growth for existing homes between December 2018 and December 2019 will register about 4 percent in those four Bay Area regions and 1 percent in Los Angeles.


Great New Restaurants Headed Our Way in 2019…

By David Weil

There are so many more great places to eat coming our way than the recently opened Shake Shack in Stanford Shopping Center. Not that there’s anything wrong with Shake Shack (I’ve heard good things), but some of the restaurants on this list sound amazing. I’m really looking forward to Verjus (528-555 Washington St.), an upscale wine bar and retail shop in Jackson Square (owners Michael and Lindsay Tusk shown at right). Routier, a full-service restaurant at 2801 California Street in SF also sounds worth a drive. The chef will be a Manresa vet, Michel Suas (Manresa is a fav). Here’s to some great eating in 2019 (one of the perks of living in our wonderful Bay Area)…


Real Costs to Maintain Your Home in California…

Some of the trends for home maintenance include:

  • Atherton ranks as the most expensive city in California for home upkeep, an average of more than $27,000 per year.
  • Costing nearly $1,800, replacing a swimming pool’s filtration system is the most expensive routine home-maintenance task, . Most pools require owners to do this every two years.
  • California homeowners can expect to spend nearly $17,000 each year to maintain their properties, higher than the national average.

Man cleaning swimming poolAlmost all new homeowners have calculated their monthly mortgage payments, but fewer have likely factored in the cost of routine maintenance tasks.

An analysis by home-remodeling portal Porch breaks down home-maintenance costs by states and ZIP codes, as well as individual jobs. Though it’s commonly accepted wisdom that owners should expect to spend 1 percent of a home’s cost on maintenance each year, Porch determined that nationwide, Americans spend an average of $16,000 on home upkeep annually, assuming that the work is outsourced to professionals.

Not surprisingly, Golden State homeowners can expect to pay a bit more than the typical U.S. homeowner. Californians spend an average of $16,957 per year on home maintenance, the seventh most in the country and the highest of any Western state.

And anyone who has purchased home in the exclusive Silicon Valley community of Atherton — America’s most-expensive ZIP code as of last fall — can expect sticker shock when it comes to maintenance, too. There, the average homeowner spends an average of $27,242 each year on home upkeep, the most in California and the third-highest in the nation.

Los Angeles presents a study in contrasts when it comes to home-maintenance spend. The city’s 90077 neighborhood, which includes Bel Air, is not far behind Atherton, with owners paying an average of $26,474 each year on regular maintenance jobs. Close by in zip code 90073, owners spend less than half that, at $12,746 each year, the lowest in California.

On a final note, home shoppers considering a property with a swimming pool should take note of the amount of money it will take to keep it operational. Replacing a pool’s filter system is by far the most expensive maintenance chore, costing an average of $1,786 every 2.3 years. And cleaning a pool is the most frequently required maintenance task, which happens every 1.9 months, for an annual total of $649.