Property Sales Are Strong Despite Pandemic, Newspaper Finds

Property Sold

In news that likely will be welcomed by local property tax collectors, the San Jose Mercury News studied data from real estate firms and found that “the Covid-19 pandemic doesn’t seem to be an impediment to the Bay Area’s housing market, with median home prices in the region nearly at the $1 million mark.”

Since changes of ownership trigger reassessments of property – typically resulting in higher taxable value – this could indicate that property taxes will remain a stable source of local government funding.

Single-family home sales are up more than 20 percent from October 2019, the Mercury News found, and median sales prices have experienced a year-over-year increase of approximately 15 percent across eight of the Bay Area’s nine counties (October sales data was not available for Alameda County).

CoreLogic Deputy Chief Economist Selma Hepp said demand for homes has been boosted by low interest rates, extended remote work policies and an increase in first-time homebuying by millennials.

“Buyers appear to be looking for extra space in homes, especially for offices where they work from home and backyards where they hang out during shelter-in-place periods,” the Mercury News reported. “That has pushed up median home prices in suburban areas ….”

Though the pandemic has taken a massive toll on the service and retail sectors, tech continues to thrive. High-income tech workers remain steadily employed due to remote-work policies, and limits on leisure travel and commuting mean they have more to spend on real estate, the newspaper reported. (Source: San Jose Mercury News, December 21.)