The Bay Area “megaregion” gets more mega.

Looks like pretty soon we’ll have to add Sacramento to the Bay Area housing market.  Maybe we should now.

Here’s a mind-blowing statistic:  roughly 120,000 Sacramento-area residents have jobs based in the Bay Area, according to a recent post on the Bay Area News Group site.

And Redfin claims that about 75 percent of its site’s users–which in my experience is pretty much everyone who’s thinking of buying a house–moving into the Sacramento area come from the Bay Area.

I guess Portland is so 1999.  Or maybe rising housing costs, driven by the Bay Area diaspora, make Portland less of a bargain these days.  Or maybe Bay Area residents are finally taking Oregon’s unofficial motto, “visit, but don’t stay”, to heart.

And Sacramento is cheap, at least by Bay Area standards.  According to the latest California Association of REALTORS data, the median price of a Sacramento single-family home is $349,900.  For the Bay Area, it’s $892,720.  For Santa Clara County, it’s $1,242,500.  San Mateo County weighs in at $1,522,500.

“Sacramento is so affordable”, says one Bay Area transplant.

At least for now.  Although Sacramento County’s year-over-year SFR price increase of 9.3 percent is only moderate compared to San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties increases of 12.8 and 18.6 percent respectively, it’s one of the highest of any California county, and higher than four of the seven Bay Area counties and all but one of SoCal’s six counties, according to CAR data.  Pretty heady stuff for an area that saw housing prices pancake during the Great Recession.

Sacramento’s new-found popularity has been tough on renters, with “some of the largest price hikes in the nation”, including 9.6 percent over the past year, “the highest among the nation’s 30 largest metros”.

So how are long-time Sacramento area residents taking this?  Bay Area transplants are likened to “drunk millionaires in a dollar store”, paying more for housing than long-timers will or can.

The upside?  “Excellent restaurants, excellent coffee and excellent bars.”  Whether or not that’s a fair trade-off, “Sacramento is cruising at top speed toward peak San Franciscification”.

Couldn’t happen here.

copyright © John Fyten 2017



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