Vallejo Real Estate Market Among Nation's Hottest During Pandemic

Can you guess the third-hottest housing market in the country? Here's a hint: it's Vallejo. Andria Borba reports. (4-15-21)

Video Transcript

Bay Area City is one of the hottest real estate markets in the country right now, and we're not talking about our big three cities. It's Vallejo. KPIX5's Andria Borba is live there at the ferry terminal to explain why it's such a seller's market. Hi, Andrea.

ANDRIA BORBA: Hi, Juliette. Vallejo's housing market has been hot before in the past, but never quite this hot. They are seeing homes come in with multiple offers all over the asking price, and homes are simply flying off the market here. This home on Vallejo's Georgia Street just hit the MLS this morning, and chances are even with gargoyles out front, that this property won't last long before getting snapped up. Tim Hiemstra is the owner and broker of Napa River Realty.

TIM HIEMSTRA: Yeah. I've never experienced anything like it.

ANDRIA BORBA: Vallejo, a city of 120,000 residents with a median income of just over $30,000 a year, has emerged as the third hottest place in the country to buy a home, with only 58 single family homes on the market today.

TIM HIEMSTRA: And I can't keep up with all the buyers reaching out to me.

ANDRIA BORBA: Hiemstra says the appeal of Vallejo has grown during the pandemic. The Bayside city just 15 minutes from Napa Valley has an average listing price of $550,000 for a home with a backyard, and a massive tech expansion coming to Mare Island, and ferry service back to still shuttered offices in San Francisco.

TIM HIEMSTRA: And people are getting it and seeing it. In the open space and the fact that they can-- they're not restricted to being in their office in Silicon Valley, San Francisco.

ANDRIA BORBA: Jay Kobuvec just sold his home in Vallejo. He bought it after the '08 crash, and when the city itself filed for bankruptcy. In 2021, Jay got multiple offers all over the asking price.

JAY KOBUVEC: I put $100,000 into it, but still I got more than that out of it. So that was nice.

ANDRIA BORBA: He says, Vallejo isn't a punch line anymore, but an affordable way into a slower lifestyle.

JAY KOBUVEC: Well, it used to be an unknown gym. Now it's a known gym.

ANDRIA BORBA: Now the problem with the housing inventory in Vallejo is that there is simply not enough of it. We are talking about scarcity on the market. As we said, as of today only 58 single family homes on the market. In fact, one of the homes that we showed in our story had a for sale sign but was already pulled off the market. Already sold before we got to the story, today here at 6 o'clock. Live in Vallejo, Andrea Borba, KPIX5.