California Dreaming: Golden State's real estate market among hottest on record

Across the state, homes are selling at well above the listing price, and selling more quickly, as well.

ByJose Mayorquin KGO logo
Thursday, May 13, 2021
California's real estate market among hottest on record
Since the start of 2020, homes across the Golden State are selling well above the asking price, and they're selling more quickly.

Since the start of 2020, California is experiencing one of its hottest housing markets in recent history. Not only are many homes across the Golden State selling at well above the asking price, they're also selling at record speeds.

Although the trend began before the state's economy was rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic, it has accelerated in recent months.

"The recovery has been heavy on housing, because our homes are more important to us than ever before. We're working out of them. We're living out of them, etc., and that has created this perfect storm," said Jordan Levine, vice president and chief economist at the California Association of Realtors.

Levine believes the strength of the housing market is a testament to the state's robust economy. It also signals a steady desire by aspiring home buyers to live in California, despite the high cost of living and the state's varied issues.

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California is among the most desirable places to live in the world, despite its challenges and high cost of living. The Golden State offers much more than just beautiful landscapes and great weather.

"There's been some fairly ominous trends of late with more folks leaving the state and a slowing of the overall population," said Levine. "But if you look at the housing market numbers, what you see is that those numbers are really a relative drop in the bucket compared to the almost 40 million-person state that California is."

"If you list your house at a reasonable price, you're going to get multiple offers," said Ted Jenkins, a realtor in Riverside County. "Honestly, most of them will be way over asking, anywhere from $10,000 to $40,000 and $50,000 over, and I've even heard more."

If you're selling a home this is good news. However, for those looking to purchase it presents a challenge. And the demand of homes across the state will continue to outpace supply for the foreseeable future.

"In November, we had a budget in our mind. This would be the max we would go to," said Abhinav Guha, who is shopping for a home in San Francisco. "We have certainly blown out that number and we're still finding ourselves shot."

"We have high-wage jobs and we continue to grow," said Levine. "Even with all of our issues, which of course we still need to address, we're creating lots of good opportunities for homeownership and wealth creation. We're optimistic that the buyer demand that we're seeing today will continue and get even stronger as the broader macro-economic picture continues to heal over the next 12 to 18 months."

Our special docuseries "California Dreaming" explores the challenges, solutions and people striving to keep the Golden State great, and the California Dream alive. Download our app on Roku, AppleTV, FireTV or AndroidTV to watch the special now on your TV!