Rising home prices speed Bay Area market recovery | Bedford Corners Homes

The recovery of the Bay Area housing market reached a turning point this year as rising prices restored equity to tens of thousands of homes and low interest rates attracted flocks of buyers.

The rebound in 2013 “was very convincing,” said Andrew LePage of DataQuick, which released a report Tuesday on Bay Area home sales and prices for November. “There were virtually no markets left behind.”

The report is the last look at the Bay Area’s housing market to be released in 2013.

Historically low interest rates helped fuel the market until midyear. Thousands of homeowners were finally able to refinance their mortgages, take out a home equity loan or sell and move up to a bigger house.

This Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012, photo, shows an exterior view of house with a pending home sale sign in Palo Alto, Calif.

Sales slowed and price increases flattened midyear when interest rates rose above 4 percent, where they remain today. A slight uptick in the number of homes for sale also made for a less frenzied market.

But as the number of less expensive homes for sale dwindled, many buyers were priced out of the market for single-family homes and turned to condos and townhouses instead.

Jerry Molnar and his wife Cecilia Villar moved from Chicago to the Bay Area 18 months ago and began shopping for a home, just as prices began escalating. As prices soared, they realized a single-family home where they wanted to live had gone beyond their reach, so they bought a townhome for $590,000 in a new development in Dublin.





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