With Exception of San Francisco Condos, Bay Area Sees Some ‘Astounding Increases’ in High-End Sales

Luxury transactions are up 176% annually in Sonoma County and 116% in Contra Costa County, according to Compass

Mansion Global | Liz Lucking

Luxury home sales surged this summer in the Bay Area. Photo: Getty Images

High-end home sales in California’s Bay Area surged this summer despite the continuing challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic and blazing wildfires, according to a report released Thursday from Compass.

Bay Area luxury home sales—defined as transactions priced above $2 million or $3 million, depending on the county—were up more than 50% in the three-month period between June and August, compared to last year, the estate agency said.

In some counties, big-ticket home sales “have seen astounding increases,” Patrick Carlisle, chief market analyst for the San Francisco Bay Area at Compass, wrote in the report.

Luxury transactions were up 176% annually in Sonoma County and 116% in Contra Costa County.

San Francisco’s high-end condo market was the only luxury segment to record year-over-year declines, falling 19%. The city’s luxury house market, meanwhile, saw deals increase 28% from 2019, the report said.

The city has a wealth of active apartment listings, accounting for 73% of the overall properties on the market, while houses, in slightly shorter supply, make up 27% of the listings available to buy.

Housing stock in San Francisco has “risen dramatically over the last few months,” Mr. Carlisle said.

The number of homes on the market in San Francisco jumped 75% year over year during the four weeks ending Aug. 23, according to a separate report last month from Redfin. The increase in inventory has pushed almost a quarter of sellers in the city to cut their asking prices to remain competitive.

The overall San Francisco market had an active August, with the number of listings going into contract hitting a high point for the year, Compass said.

The severe wildfires that are currently blazing across California, Oregon and Washington state, didn’t significantly impact the number of homes finding buyers across most of the Bay Area during the last two weeks of August, according to Mr. Carlisle.

The exceptions were in Santa Cruz, Sonoma, Monterey and Napa counties, which saw deals fall between 13% to 33%, the report said.

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