Bay Area home prices leap in 2014

The average price of a home in the Bay Area is up again on a year over year basis, data released Friday by property information service CoreLogic DataQuick shows.

CoreLogic DataQuick’s Bay Area housing market report shows prices were up 9.9 percent in Dec. 2014 from a year ago. The number of homes sold in the Bay Area was also up on a year-over-year basis by 14.1 percent.

CoreLogic DataQuick analyst Andrew LePage attributes the gains to stronger job growth and historically low mortgage rates. The nationwide rate on a 30-year conventional mortgage was 3.86 percent, according to the Federal Reserve Bank in St. Louis.

The rate has dropped steadily since it was above 18 percent in 1981. Between Dec. 2011 and Dec. 2012 prices rose 32 percent and between Dec. 2012 and Dec. 2013 the increase was 23.9 percent. The median home price in the nine-county area was $603,000 in Dec. 2014 compared with $548,500 in Dec. 2013, $442,750 in Dec. 2012 and $335,500 in Dec. 2011.

LePage said:

“There’s still pressure on prices. …┬áPrices just aren’t going up as fast.”

Prices have even fallen a bit since June 2014 when the median price reached $618,000. LePage also said the lack of homes for sale compared with the demand for homes has been driving up prices this year. The increase in home sales was greatest in Marin County. Sales were up 25.5 percent in Dec. 2014 from a year ago, though just 276 homes were sold last month.

Sales in Santa Clara County were the highest with 1,774 homes sold in Dec. 2014. Prices were the highest in the City and County of San Francisco. The media price was nearly $1 million last month at $949,000. The median price was lowest in Solano County at $310,000.