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Total Value of San Francisco-Area Homes Is Soaring

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Homes in Hercules, in Contra Costa County. (Craig Miller / KQED)
Homes in Hercules, in Contra Costa County. (Craig Miller/KQED)

We know home prices in the Bay Area have been skyrocketing. So it makes sense that the total value of the housing stock in the San Francisco and four surrounding counties has risen.

But the numbers still take the wind out of us: Homes in San Francisco and four surrounding counties gained $159.2 billion in total value this year — the second largest gain by dollar volume in the country among large metro areas after Los Angeles. The cumulative value of all homes in the San Francisco area is $987.2 billion.

Real estate research firm Zillow bases the numbers on its estimate of median home values. The firm's "San Francisco metro" zone includes San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin and San Mateo counties.

"It's been a fascinating year for San Francisco and many Bay Area cities," said Svenja Gudell, Zillow's director of economic research. "They have surpassed their peak — they're more expensive than they've ever been."

Gudell notes something that we who live here know too well: The San Francisco metro numbers are high largely because "there's little inventory and high interest from investors and consumers, which is driving up prices."


Home values in Zillow's S.F. metro have appreciated by 24 percent from October 2012 to October 2013, says Gudell. Home values fell in the S.F. metro every year from 2006 till 2011, losing a total of $303 billion, but, says Gudell, in the last two years homes have gained back $247 billion, or 81 percent. The percentage is way ahead of the national total, according to Zillow's press release:

... home values fell in every year from 2007 through 2011. Between 2007 and 2011, the total value of the U.S. housing stock fell by $6.3 trillion. Over the past two years, U.S. homes have gained back $2.8 trillion, or about 44% of the total value lost during the recession.

California accounted for three of the five top metros that showed the biggest gains in home values:

Of the 30 largest metros, those with the largest gains in overall value as measured by total dollar volume include Los Angeles ($323.1 billion), San Francisco ($159.2 billion), New York ($123.1 billion), Miami ($83.3 billion) and San Diego ($71.5 billion).

Gains were calculated by measuring the difference between cumulative home values as of the end of 2012 and anticipated cumulative home values at the end of 2013. The overall value of all homes in the U.S. at the end of 2013 is expected to be approximately $25.7 trillion, up 7.9 percent from the end of 2012. Last year, cumulative home values rose 3.9 percent from 2011.

Here is the Zillow data:

Zillow's Home Values Report December 2013
Zillow's Home Values Report December 2013

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