The San Francisco Bay area with its nine counties, major metro areas, mid-sized and small towns, has long been the hottest market in the nation. Whenever a new study or survey of residential real estate markets is released, it is hardly surprising any more to see San Francisco-Oakland, or San Jose-Santa Clara in the top spots for the most in demand markets. Realtor.com has released its latest Market Hotness Index, and you may be surprised to find which market sits in between these two areas. For January, Vallejo-Fairfield was the 2nd hottest market in the nation.
The move up for the Vallejo-Fairfield market reflects some key trends about real estate in this region. First, the entire Bay Area continues have the greatest demand of buyers looking for property. Much of the demand stems from the strong high-tech, international economy we have here, as discussed in my post, High Tech Salaries Influence Silicon Valle Housing. Because there is a wide range of affordability levels, lifestyles, and housing needs, as more people continue to search for homes, a natural widening of the net is occurring to meet the demand. With greater competition for homes, cities and towns outside the two largest markets are drawing more interest.
Affordability is another key factor in the rising of market hotness for Vallejo-Fairfield. This area, and others such as Sacramento-Roseville and Yuba City, also in the top 10 Hottest Markets, have lower median home prices, which also means lower down payments, keeping properties more affordable for a wider range of income levels. With a growing shift towards the virtual office, longer commute times are not as critical a factor for many either, making the move to areas a bit further out from the Bay, an easier one to make.
These markets have a lot to offer beyond a lower mortgage, however. Vallejo, is experiencing a full renaissance within the community. Currently there are 5 major development projects either underway or in the planning stages, including the proposed mixed-use project, The Waterfront. This is a prime example of the urban village concept, where residential homes are within walking distance to businesses, retail shops and entertainment venues, alongside vibrant greenspaces and community areas. With projects like this, Vallejo is poised to stay among the ranks of the Nation’s Hottest Markets here in the Bay Area.