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San Francisco dubbed nation's top real estate market

19 Dec 2012 9:22 AM
Tech sector continues to power San Francisco's housing market

With the housing market recovery underway, many California metros have witnessed rapid rises in sales volume and median price. Cities like San Diego, Los Angeles and San Jose have all seen their housing markets strengthen in the last few months, but San Francisco real estate has, in many ways, undergone the most complete transformation.

According to the Urban Land Institute's (ULI) "Emerging Trends in Real Estate" report, the Bay Area is considered to be one of the nation's top market for investment, development and homebuilding. In fact, in early December, local real estate experts gathered at an event sponsored by the ULI to discuss the region's growing strength. Double-digit rent growth and the strong economy were brought up as two indicators of the region's recent improvement.

The panel's pronouncements echoed other recent data from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), which recently added San Francisco and San Jose to its list of metros with improving markets. To secure a spot on the list, a region must have demonstrated employment growth, rising home prices and new permits for home construction in the most recent quarter.

San Francisco showed gains in all of these categories, but the progress it demonstrated in terms of price appreciation was the most stark. According to the latest S&P/Case Shiller report, the Bay Area saw home prices rise 7.45 percent between September 2011 and September 2012, significantly more than they did in other improving markets like Seattle, San Diego, Los Angeles and Portland. The national average was 3 percent.

Together, these figures appear to demonstrate that the local housing market has recently begun to return to its pre-recession levels.