CHN Blog

Home price increases slow in 11 of 13 markets in the state

Home price gains continue but were much smaller in most of the state, the latest evidence that the once red-hot housing market is cooling and possibly returning to a more normal market, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.

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By Ron Trujillo/

California’s red-hot housing market is definitely cooling off. Rather than boiling, it’s become more like a simmer in recent months.

Now, home prices are climbing across the state, but the head-turning gains — including some double-digit increases during the past year — have slowed, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.

The industry-tracking firm found that 11 of 13 housing markets in the state had a decline in home prices during the second quarter from the same three-month period a year earlier compared to the first-quarter of the year.

Only San Francisco and Santa Rosa reported higher annual gains during the second quarter compared to first-quarter 2018 and the first three months of 2017.

San Francisco’s home prices increased 14.2% during the second quarter compared to a year earlier, a hefty jump from the 11.9% in the first quarter, according to ATTOM. And Santa Rosa home prices increased a more modest 7.2% during the second quarter vs. 5.6% for the first three months of 2018.

The rest of the housing markets, from Sacramento to San Diego, had declining gains in home prices. Again, home prices increased, just not as much as the first quarter.

Bakersfield and Vallejo-Fairfield had the largest percentage point declines at 5.1% from the first quarter to the second quarter.

Now, the data is a mixed bag of news, depending if you’re a homeowner or a home shopper. But higher home prices and interest rates will likely continue to affect the housing market in the coming months.

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Tale of two cities: SF boasts lowest negative equity in U.S., Bakersfield among the highest

Negative equity is a thing in the past, at least in most of California. But there are a couple of housing markets where negative continues to plague at least one of every 10 homeowners with a mortgage.

Bakersfield — battling a local recession because of hard-hit oil prices — had one of the largest rates of underwater mortgages at 15.0% during fourth-quarter 2017, easily the highest in the state. Fresno, with an always challenging economy and difficult jobs market, had 10.5% of its homeowners with a mortgage in negative territory, according to Zillow.

Nationwide, 9.1% of mortgages were underwater during the final three months of 2017, the lowest rate since the bottom of the housing market. Virginia Beach, Va., had the highest percentage of underwater mortgages at 16.7%, followed by Chicago (15.5%) and Baltimore (14.2%).

Fast-rising, record-setting home prices have helped most homeowners in the state to escape negative equity and enjoy the lowest rates in the nation.

Five of the 10 cities in the nation with the lowest negative-equity rates were in California, including San Francisco (1.9%) and San Jose (3.1%) at the top of the list. Los Angeles finished at No. 5, while San Diego and Sacramento rounded out the top 10.

Photo of Bakersfield skyline by Robert Hale/Flickr

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California has some excellent family-friendly communities, from the Bay Area to Southern California. But what communities are the best for parents — boasting good-paying jobs and low crime rates — and first-rate schools for their children?

Roseville — a 135,000-population city about 25 miles northeast of the state Capitol in Sacramento — tops the closely watched Best Places to Raise a Family list by SmartAsset.

Fremont, a booming economy and one of the safest cities in the Bay Area, and Torrance in Southern California with good jobs and high-ranking high schools finished in second- and third-place, respectively.

Rounding out the top 10, how they ranked:

  • Livermore
  • Pleasanton
  • Temecula
  • Rocklin
  • Redondo Beach
  • Mountain View
  • Davis

If you’re keeping score, the Bay Area had four cities crack the top 10 list, while the Sacramento region and Los Angeles-Riverside, had three each. The Central Valley — one of the highest jobless rates and lowest-paying regions in the nation — Northern California (think Chico to the Oregon border) and San Diego failed to have a city on the list.

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