Experts believe that the San Francisco housing market has entered a bubble, according to data published in a news release from Zillow this morning. One-third of experts surveyed for the most recent Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey believe that the Bay Area metro is currently experiencing bubble conditions, while another 20% of respondents think the San Francisco market is at risk and will see the consequences of over-priced housing within the next year.
Of the 108 expert panelists surveyed about their housing market predictions, 66 expect that there might be bubble conditions coming in 20 local housing markets, and many are concerned about the growing over-valuation in markets across the nation, especially in hot housing areas such as San Francisco, L.A., and Boston. As home prices soar—with no sign of decline—housing bubbles appear.
However, survey respondents are not in agreement about the impact that rapid home-value growth in these markets will have on consumers, or even if the over-valuation will eventually impact some of these hot spots.
Experts are also in disagreement about which markets are most at risk. Some think worrisome conditions are already present in Miami, Los Angeles, New York, Houston, San Diego, and Seattle, but there's no consensus on Boston's fate. A quarter of the experts surveyed believe that there is significant risk of a housing bubble in the next three years in the market, but the same number of panelists think there is no risk in Boston within the next five years. Panelists also believe there could be risk in Dallas; Phoenix; Washington, D.C.; and San Diego within the next three to five years. The conflicting opinions show that it's hard to predict where the markets will be even a year from now.
The over-valuation fears are prevalent even amidst a gradual slowing of home values overall. Zillow projects an annual growth rate for home values of 3.9% through the end of 2015. Among all 108 experts surveyed, the expected average annual home-value appreciation rate for the next few years is just over 3%. With those projections, the national median home value would be more than $215,000 by the end of 2020.
"Without 20/20 hindsight, it's difficult to identify bubbles as they're happening, but it is very clear that nationally we are not seeing a return of the conditions that caused the last national bubble," said Zillow chief economist Svenja Gudell in the news release. "It's significant that some experts are starting to worry about bubble conditions, but in my opinion, there's no real danger of a severe crash like the one we all remember from the last decade."
For more details on the fourth quarter Zillow Home Price Expectations survey, visit Zillow.com.