$500,000 Bay Area homes are becoming an endangered species


The Bay Area’s housing affordability disaster is so greatly acknowledged that it often can seem like the new normal. But this graph – displaying the declining share of single-family properties that provide for $500,000 or less – is really a stark reminder of just how dire the problem has become.

The three lines within the graph clearly show the diminishing share of inexpensive houses from the nine-county Bay Area being a total, as well as in Santa Clara and Contra Costa counties. We chose these three examples in order to give the regional “big photograph,” when contrasting Santa Clara County (in which the median sale selling price was $1,075,000 in September) with Contra Costa County (a relative bastion of affordability, where by the median rate was $560,000.)

The CoreLogic real estate information service crunched the data on which this graph is predicated. In just about every instance, the share of houses selling for $500,000 or considerably less steadily declines from 2002 to 2007. With all the onset from the Great Recession in 2008 and 2009, the share of economical homes spikes upward. Following that, the share once more grows ever slimmer.

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Within the first 9 months of 2017, only twenty five.5 per cent of single-family properties within the nine-county area sold for $500,000 or less. In Santa Clara County, the share was a mere nine.0 p.c. Even in “affordable” Contra Costa County, only 39 per cent of single-family homes sold for $500,000 or underneath. As shocking as these percentages are, they are not fairly as low as they had been in 2007, before the housing bubble burst.