Up-and-Coming San Francisco Bay Areas
With the average house price set to soar ever above already-astronomic heights, some of the biggest jumps are predicted for some of the Bay Area's most, er, challenged real estate markets.
When you're priced out of your dream neighborhood, you start investigating the ones around it. Then you go a little further, and further, and further ... But with housing prices set to skyrocket in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2013, house-hunters are truly going where no (sane) man has gone before.
Well, not really. Lots of people live in the areas more than a stone's throw away from San Francisco. But during the housing bust, some of the greatest losses and loads of foreclosures made outlying areas seem undesirable, leading to a depressed housing market. Now that things are looking up, this is where the biggest gains are going to be seen, according to industry experts.
Similar gains, also in the double digits, are predicted for the most exclusive and expensive towns: Portola Valley, Atherton, and Palo Alto, home to Stanford University and median-home prices that soar above $1 million even now. Closer to home, San Francisco neighborhoods whose streets are already paved with gold, such as Noe Valley, The Castro, and Twin Peaks, should have the same meteoric rise. Even the slowest-growing towns and neighborhoods are predicted to have twice the growth of the rest of the country.
For denizens of the Bay Area, however, the formerly-depressed areas sound like a roll-call of dread: Vacaville, Fairfield, Dixon and Suisun City are predicted to have double-digit growth, yet many cite these towns' distance from the city (more than an hour even without traffic), challenging reputations, and the proximity of the Nut Tree road stop as reason enough to avoid the area, no matter what real estate experts predict.
The bottom line is that people aren't likely to come flocking to these particular communities. Rather, those who already live in and around them will benefit from the improved economy, which is good news. After all, their home values were depressed more than the rest of the area's and well deserving of a comeback. As for the snooty house-hunters who don't want the commute and the hassle, they benefit too: rather than feeling dread at the idea of moving further from the city than they'd hoped, they can comfort themselves by thinking, "Well, at least it's not Vacaville."