Median Sale Price of Homes Jumps 14% in One Year
Given San Bernardino County’s location and relative housing affordability in Southern California, it has become a substantial supplier of housing and construction-related jobs, which are a key employment sector for the region (see Employment). As a result, the county’s economy is acutely sensitive to changes in the housing market. Home sale prices are a key measure of the health of the community’s housing market, as well as consumer confidence. Trends in home sale prices, housing availability, and the number of housing permits granted signify the health of the county’s housing market and the local economy.
How is San Bernardino County Doing?
New home construction generates jobs and strengthens the local economy. Until 2017, however, the construction of new homes in the county had stagnated. One likely factor for this was the low Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan limit. The FHA loan limit is the maximum loan amount that the FHA will insure and is updated annually. FHA loans are appealing, and often the only option, for buyers who cannot afford a 20% down payment, have a lower credit score, or cannot get approved for a conventional loan.
When the FHA loan limit is low, there is a disincentive for developers to build new properties – which typically sell for more than re-sale homes – because there are a limited number of buyers who can afford to put down a large enough down payment to stay under the
FHA loan limit.
In 2018 for San Bernardino County, the FHA loan limit has been set to $405,950 for a single-family home. A loan limit of at least $450,000 would stimulate growth in new construction.
Median home sale prices continue to rise:
- The median sale price of existing single-family homes increased 14%, from $242,650 in January 2017 to $277,000 in January 2018.
- During the five-year period between January 2014 and January 2018, the median sale price of homes increased 46% in San Bernardino County.
- More homes are being sold compared to a 28% increase in California.
More homes are being sold:
- There was an 8% increase in the number of homes sold, from 28,070 total homes sold in 2016 to 30,321 homes in 2017.
- Since 2014, the trend in the number of homes sold each year has been upwards.
The long-term trend in the number of construction permits granted is upward:
- In 2017, there were 3.1 permits granted per 1,000 residents in San Bernardino County, which was higher than the California rate (2.9).
- This is a one-year increase of 68%, from 1.8 permits granted per 1,000 residents in 2016.
- Overall, there was a 70% increase in the number of housing permits granted between 2016 and 2017, with 3,925 and 6,675 total housing units granted, respectively.