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May Valley in Richmond: ‘Hottest’ Neighborhood in Contra Costa County?

According to a recent report from the San Francisco Chronicle, the May Valley neighborhood in Richmond, California is one of the hottest housing markets in the Bay Area for 2022. At least when measured by home price growth.

The Chronicle used home price information provided by the housing data company Zillow to identify the “hottest real estate neighborhoods in each Bay Area county.” They published the results in a February 10th article.

The neighborhood of May Valley — located within the city of Richmond, CA — was ranked as the hottest neighborhood in Contra Costa County. We chose to share this report because our company is based in Contra Costa County, and many of our clients live and work in the area.

May Valley Among ‘Hottest’ Bay Area Neighborhoods

Earlier this month, the San Francisco Chronicle published a report that identified some of the hottest neighborhoods in the Bay Area, from a real estate perspective.

Specifically, they used data from Zillow to determine which neighborhoods had the most home-price growth from December 2019 to December 2021. According to that report, the May Valley neighborhood in the city of Richmond experienced the biggest two-year price gain of any neighborhood within Contra Costa County.

Here are some of their key findings:

  • At the end of 2019, the typical home value in May Valley was around $572,000.
  • By the end of 2021, that price point had risen to a whopping $805,000.
  • That’s a two-year gain of more than 40%, the highest home-price growth of any neighborhood in Contra Costa County.

Related: 2022 housing analysis for Walnut Creek

Getting More for the Money in a Hot Market

So what is it about the May Valley neighborhood in Richmond, California that makes it such a hot housing market in 2022? Why have home prices in that area risen so much faster than the countywide average?

Several reasons, apparently. For one thing, the May Valley neighborhood offers more space and bigger lots than a lot of other Bay Area neighborhoods, especially those located near city centers.

During the early days of the pandemic, many people moved away from crowded cities like San Francisco in favor of neighborhoods that offered more space. As it turns out, a lot of those home buyers found what they were looking for in Richmond’s May Valley neighborhood and nearby El Sobrante.

To quote the February 2022 Chronicle report:

“The May Valley neighborhood is tucked away in northeast Richmond, flanked by parks, recreation areas and preserves. Santino Muscardin, a realtor with Compass, said there’s a number of reasons this area and nearby El Sobrante have been so hot, including that there are ‘houses with unusually sized lots for this part of the Bay Area.’ He said you can find lots from 5,000-square feet to a quarter of an acre, and a lot of custom built homes.

There’s the price point to consider as well. As mentioned earlier, the typical home price in the May Valley neighborhood rose from $572,000 to $805,000 from late 2019 to late 2021. That’s a lot of growth. But this housing market still comes in well below the broader Bay Area average home price of nearly $1.4 million.

In short, home buyers are getting more bang for the buck in the May Valley neighborhood of Contra Costa County. They’re getting more square footage and bigger lots, and for less money. It’s easy to see why home-buyer demand has surged in the May Valley neighborhood, and also in nearby El Sobrante.

Another Competitive Year for Buyers in 2022

The Bay Area real estate market is expected to remain highly competitive in 2022, mainly due to an ongoing supply shortage. You’ve probably heard about the supply crunch many times in the news, so there’s no point in rehashing it all here. The short version is there aren’t enough homes for sale to match the demand from buyers.

This is especially true in hot housing markets, including neighborhoods like May Valley and El Sobrante in Richmond. In these competitive markets, buyers would be wise to make a strong initial offer based on recent sales data.

A sense of urgency might be warranted as well. In hot Bay Area real estate markets like Contra Costa County, home prices will likely keep climbing through 2022 and into 2023. So those buyers who shelve their home-buying plans until later this year might end up paying a price for it — literally.

Need a mortgage loan? Do you plan to buy a home in Contra Costa County, or elsewhere within the East Bay? Need a mortgage loan to make that happen? We can help! Bridgepoint Funding is a local mortgage company based in Pleasant Hill, California. Please contact us if you have financing questions or would like to apply for a loan.

Mike Trejo

Mike Trejo is a Bay Area mortgage broker with 20+ years of knowledge and experience.

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