Bay Area Housing Market Has 33 Cities in the $2M Club – The Real Deal

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It’s no secret that such Bay Area cities as Atherton, Woodside and Lafayette command home prices well beyond $2 million. Now Danville and dozens of other cities have joined the club.

The price of a typical home in Danville, an East Bay town in the shadow of Mount Diablo, has nearly doubled in the last eight years to $2 million, from $1.2 million in 2016, the San Jose Mercury News reported, citing figures from Zillow.

The town of 43,000 is among 33 former farm towns across the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area with a median home price of $2 million or more. Others on the list include Sunnyvale in Silicon Valley and Diablo, Alamo and Orinda in the East Bay.

And now that property values are up, many residents want to pull up the gates on new development.

Blame pandemic refugees from San Francisco and San Jose, who during the dawn of remote work found larger homes with offices in the suburbs, brokers say.

Real estate agent Kevin Cox said prices soared during the pandemic as buyers sought communities like Danville with larger lots as the need for a short commute to big-city offices diminished.

Among the cities on the list, Danville had one of the highest growth rates, with values jumping 7 percent in a year, according to the Mercury News.

“My kids can walk to two schools, or ride their bike to the high school. It’s quiet, peaceful, safe. People want to raise their kids here,” Cox, a Compass agent based in the city, told the newspaper. “There’s not really any more places to build here.”

Many of the towns in the $2 million club have retained their status as wealthy enclaves by making it nearly impossible to build.

Woodside, where the typical home is valued at $3.8 million, famously declared itself a mountain lion habitat to try to get out of a new state law that allows developers to build up to four units on single-family lots

In Lafayette, with a typical home value of $2 million, residents went to battle with a developer for 12 years over a 315-unit apartment development that had to clear two lawsuits, a ballot referendum and over 100 public hearings to move forward.

And in Atherton, home of the nation’s most expensive zip code, tech executives and venture capitalists and basketball star Steph Curry banded together to fight the city’s plan to add 348 new homes.

The list of Bay Area cities with values over $2 million could get bigger.

The typical price for a single-family home across the Bay Area in May was $1.46 million, the fourth straight month of price increases. For the first time, the median home price across Santa Clara County in April surpassed $2 million.

— Dana Bartholomew

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