March 2020

California Housing Market Vitality



California metro area house prices are forecasted to outperform the national market. Current local conditions support an estimated 12.4% increase in the next twelve months. California’s housing market vitality, based on the twenty nine metro housing markets which comprise it, is stronger than that of the overall U.S. and currently ranks the state as ninth in the nation. Recent changes in local conditions suggest the possibility of improvement in short-term performance.

Housing Market Vitality

Housing Market Vitality summarizes the impact of economic conditions on future house prices. A value of 100 corresponds to conditions supporting current prices; values less than 100 correspond to a dampening effect; and values greater than 100 indicate a positive effect on house prices.  A housing market vitality value can be interpreted as a forecasted growth rate. Hence, a reading of 105.8 can be interpreted as a forecasted 5.8% annualized increase in house prices.

California Metro Housing Markets

California is comprised of twenty nine metro housing markets that account for nearly 98% of the state’s population. The markets are unique in their demographics and local economies and exhibit trends that are distinct from the national or state narrative. Each metro market presents its own unique opportunity.

Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, CA Outperform 49
Bakersfield, CA Underperform 246
Chico, CA Outperform 267
El Centro, CA Underperform 162
Fresno, CA Underperform 152
Hanford-Corcoran, CA Underperform 402
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA Outperform 67
Madera, CA Track 131
Merced, CA Underperform 239
Modesto, CA Outperform 58
Napa, CA Track 76
Oakland-Hayward-Berkeley, CA Track 95
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA Outperform 137
Redding, CA Outperform 272
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA Outperform 234
Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA Outperform 228
Salinas, CA Underperform 387
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA Track 79
San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA Outperform 26
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA Outperform 192
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA Outperform 268
San Rafael, CA Track 270
Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA Track 108
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA Outperform 19
Santa Rosa, CA Outperform 221
Stockton-Lodi, CA Track 85
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA Outperform 146
Visalia-Porterville, CA Underperform 373
Yuba City, CA Track 83

Industry Specialization

California’s state economy is specialized in Information, Pro Bus svcs, and Leisure Hosp. Mining, Edu Health svcs, and Trade Trans Util industry sectors are less important to the state economy compared to the national economy.

Industry specialization helps explain the differing impact of industry trends on local economies in contrast to industry composition which describes the structure of the economy. A Specialization Index value greater than 100 corresponds to the sector having a greater share of the state economy than it does of the national economy. Sectors with a Specialization Index greater than 120 characterize the local economy.


Compared to the U.S., there is a higher incidence of poverty amongst Golden State residents and they have less purchasing power. There are fewer high school graduates and a smaller proportion of the population is college educated. California’s population is comparatively more diverse than the overall U.S. population.

A Demographics Index value greater than 100 corresponds to the factor being more intense in the state versus the national average. Characteristics of the local population is a longer-term factor that influences the housing market.