Sizzling Housing Market in Bay Area Starts to Cool, but Still Tops U.S. Prices

The Bay Area housing market, continuing a trend of recent years, is the most expensive place in the U.S. to buy a home, according to real estate experts who track home sales.

For a region that registered record sale prices in 2021, with nearly a 12% growth in median home sale prices, the Bay Area market is beginning to level out this year, reports Norada Real Estate Investments, a Southern California firm that studies nationwide real estate trends.

Sale prices in some counties in 2022 are increasing at half the rate of a year ago, and total home sales in the Bay Area in May were 11.5 percent lower than last year. Similar trends were reported in the rest of California and across the U.S.

There remains some disagreement on how much the real estate market will cool off this year, with some experts cautioning that while inventories may grow in the fall, there still will be plenty of competition from buyers.

The continuing price increases exacerbate the challenges facing public and private efforts to increase the quantity of affordable housing in the Bay Area and the rest of the state.

In Property Shark’s most recent annual list of the 100 priciest ZIP codes in the U.S., for 2021, 35 of the top 50 ZIPs were in California, and 17 of these were in the Bay Area. Seven of the most unaffordable ZIPs were in Santa Clara County, led by two in Los Altos, with median home sale prices in the $3.9-$4 million range.

The median sales price for all counties in the Bay Area was approximately $1.5 million, topping $1 million for the 15th month in a row, Norada reported.

Fortune last month predicted that higher costs will continue to challenge 2022 home buyers, as mortgage rates this year have already far surpassed’s earlier prediction of 3.6%.

Home-sale price growth year-over-year is expected to more than double its originally forecasted pace (+6.6% vs. 2.9%). At the same time,’s updated projection for year-end 2022 mortgage rates (5.5%) anticipates that rates already may have largely adjusted for the bulk of expected 2022 Fed interest hikes.

Fortune predicted that total home sales will slow in 2022, shifting its original 2022 growth expectations to a decline of 6.7%, down considerably from the increases in 2021. It estimated that total 2022 sales will still be the 2nd highest tally since 2007, trailing only 2021.

Here are the Santa Clara County ZIP codes in the nationwide top 50 median home sale values for 2021:

  • 94022 and 94024 (Los Altos)
  • 94301 and 94306 (Palo Alto)
  • 95050  Saratoga
  • 95030 Los Gatos
  • 95014 Cupertino

Norada reported that all the counties in the Bay Area posted gains in home prices as compared to last year with Marin County at the top of the list, at nearly 29%.

“Buyers in suburban areas like Santa Clara, San Mateo, and Contra Costa counties appear to be searching for bigger houses,” the real estate investment firm reported, saying that is driving up median home prices. The firm also said that increased demand from the high-income residents who can take advantage of low-interest mortgage rates is another factor in the soaring home prices.

Santa Clara was still reporting a 15% increase in median home prices in May.

The median sales price of this region, which includes all nine counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma, was $1,505,000 ($833 per square foot), unchanged from the previous month.

According to the California Association of Realtors, this is almost a 12.3% increase over the last May. It was the third highest year-over-year gain in California after the Far North (16.4%t) and Central Valley (12.4%).

Sales of existing homes were down in all the major regions of the California housing market in May, the realtors association reported.

Three decades of journalism experience, as a writer and editor with Gannett, Knight-Ridder and Lee newspapers, as a business journal editor and publisher and as a weekly newspaper editor in Scotts Valley and Gilroy; with the Weeklys group since 2017. Recipient of several first-place writing and editing awards, California News Publishers Association.


  1. I love living in the Bay, but I have also long given up the thought of buying a house here unless I strike it rich.

  2. Just an Observation,

    Here is my information. I am going to ask the Project Sentinel to get a copy of all evidence David Avny gave to the court regard the cases of:

    Case Number 16CV291570 Issachar Ohana et al vs Alain Pinel Realtors, INC et al. This was a case where David claimed that the building was Breach of Contract

    And Case Number 2015-1-CV-288597 I Ohana vs E. Kalvig it is listed as Other Real Property Unlimited

    Here is some of the record (

    I strongly suspect that evidence presented BY the Plaintiff documents problems with the property, and since it was made in a public civil action, there is NO protection for gathering whatever information that ADOI (AvnyDavidOhanaIssachar) LLC has some knowledge of problems with the building. Even though they defended the property as being sound, they obviously made arguments in court that questions that.

    Why would they attempt 2 lawsuits to try to cancel the sale or civil remedy against the sale of the property?

    Here is the pages from the cases I discovered.

    In 2015 David DISCOVERED that the building was in nonconformance of the zoning laws.
    That renders all rental agreements illegal please read from here (,the%20property's%20Certificate%20of%20Occupancy”

    “Investors often ask me, what is a non-conforming unit? Non-Conforming is a very nice way of saying that the rental unit is illegal and that the number of actual rental units for the apartment building is more than the number of permitted units according to the property’s Certificate of Occupancy.”

    The legal documents sent by David Avny clearly states:

    Non-disclosure of Non-Conforming Use

    10. One of the material facts about the Property that should have been disclosed to plaintiffs, but which was not disclosed to plaintiffs (either by the sellers or by Alain Pinel), is that the 11 unit apartment building is a nonconforming use under the zoning laws of the City of Mountain View. Under that zoning law, if fifty percent (50%) or more of the apartment building is substantially destroyed or removed, then the owner of the Property will not be able to reconstruct an 11 unit apartment building. Instead, the owner would be allowed to build only two residences on the Property, having a commercial value substantially less than an 11 unit apartment building.

    “30. Alain Pinel’s (and its agents) wrongful conduct, as above described, included without limitation:

    A. Selling the Property without disclosing the non-conforming use and without providing plaintiffs with any reasonable opportunity to discover that non-conforming use;

    On October 29, 2015 Plaintiffs learned that the 11 unit apartment building on the Real Property is a non-conforming use under the City of Mountain View zoning laws, with the result that if fifty percent or more of the apartment building is destroyed, the apartment building cannot be rebuilt; instead, only two residential units would be allowed to be built, which would be a significant decrease in the value of the Real Property.

    This was prepared by David Avny’s attorney

    2166 The Alameda
    San Jose, CA 95126
    [408] 298-6611 Telephone
    [408] 275-0814 Facsimile

    With all the declarations of being in compliance with the CSFRA, no one bothered to see that the building itself is in nonconformance, which would by default render any rent collected as unlawful
    The City is in more serious trouble because they have been enabling illegal rent collection.
    David had PRIOR knowledge that the apartment was not legal, that is for sure under the court records, the previous one was likely never notified by the City of the problem.

    And ADOI cannot claim any protected data here, because they voluntarily provided it during a fully public legal process, they cannot even ask for the case to be sealed, since they lost the case.

    I feel really bad because I know about these cases before. Along with the IRS case in 2014 Docket No. 16014-11 and 25896-11, here ( that case is also recorded and I provided a copy of it to you. Again PUBLIC RECORD.

    I am simply pointing out that there is serious doubt as to the credibility of ADOI in this matter. And that it now appears this apartment is illegal as a whole.

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