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North Bay Prices Show How Much More San Franciscans Pay

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Home sale prices were up across the North Bay last year, with spikes ranging from 29% (Tiburon) to 40% (the City of Napa). But in case there was any doubt, the statistics examining last year's housing market in the North Bay only serve to remind San Franciscans just how much more they pay to live in the city.

Marin, Napa, and Sonoma have a rather gaping range in average price per square foot. Windsor is at the bottom, with an average price per square foot of $243. Belvedere, on the other hand, tops out at $980, the highest price per square in the North Bay. But the city of San Francisco tops all averages in the North Bay with a peak price per square of $1107 in Pacific and Presidio Heights. No surprise there.

The median sale prices in the North Bay are the staunchest indicator of how much extra San Franciscans pay to live in the city. Sausalito's average sale price last year was just under $1.5M, and Tiburon's was just over $2M. If you consider those prices in light of the two cities' price per square foot of $700-$724, you can safely guess that an "average" home is over 2,000 square feet - very different from medians in San Francisco.

Luxury home sales (those over $1.5M) are also up exponentially: 119% from 2009. 731 sales transpired in the North Bay last year, 534 of which were in Marin. 98 of those sales were in Mill Valley and 97 were in Tiburon. When looking at total sales, however, more homes sold in Sonoma last year (5,641) than in Napa (1,522) and Marin (3,143) combined. The drastic difference is due to where new construction has been allowed to occur for the last two decades. Contrast that with San Francisco, where there are only 92 new construction condos actively listed on the MLS. We pay more because there is far, far less for us to choose from.
· North Bay Real Estate: The Marin, Napa & Sonoma Markets [The Front Steps]