20 hottest markets in January 2017: we’re numbers 1 and 2.

The San Francisco and San Jose Statistical Metropolitan Areas ranked first and second in housing market hotness this January, according to realtor.com.  And there’s a sleeper in the top 20 hot list too.

The San Jose Metro includes Santa Clara and Sunnyvale as well as San Jose; San Francisco includes Oakland and Hayward.

San Francisco keeps its December #1 ranking, while San Jose bounds up two notches to #2.  Vallejo (actually the Vallejo-Fairfield MSA, just about the last affordable Bay Area locale within easy commuting distance of anything) held on to its #3 position nationally.

Sacramento, Stockton, Fresno, Modesto and Santa Rosa, all within brutal commuting distance of the Bay Area, also placed in the national top 20 hot list.  These cities may also be benefiting from the Bay Area diaspora, since not everyone can move to Portland.

That top 20 sleeper I mentioned?  No, it’s not Detroit, Columbus OH or Fort Wayne IN–it’s Yuba City, CA which you undoubtedly recognize as the Prune Capital of the World and county seat of Sutter County, coming in at a strong #7.  Did I say “strong”?  Yuba City or, more properly, the Yuba City MSA comprising Yuba and Sutter Counties, has been in the top 20 nationally since at least mid 2015.  Who knew?

Sited forty miles north of Sacramento, Yuba City’s jobs, like those of so many Central Valley towns, come mainly from government, retail and agriculture.  And, like so many Central Valley towns, Yuba City was hammered by the recession.

But as Bay Area and even Sacramento prices rise, Yuba City, “agricultural, economic, and social hub of the Yuba-Sutter Region, providing a unique blend of urban amenities and small-town charm” is an affordable alternative.  It also sounds like an attractive alternative.

The next recession will tell us whether California’s affordable alternatives have gotten better at holding value.

copyright © John Fyten 2017

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