Rising home prices show the difference between the Bay Area and the rest of the U.S.

Many comparisons can be drawn between Northern California and the rest of the United States. San Francisco, for example, is lauded for its amiable residents, fantastic scenery and renowned entertainment scene.

However, now even the homes for sale in the Bay Area are getting in on the act. Rising home prices, coupled with renewed interest in the region after the housing collapse of the mid-2000s, have resulted in a rebounding housing market that shows no signs of slowing down.

Property values increase exponentially
Data on housing markets in the Bay Area are mirroring the behavior of the national real estate market, which has posted improving statistics for five months in a row. According to CNN, the average home value spread out across the largest 20 metro areas increased by 0.9 percent year-over-year.

"The sustained good news in home prices over the past five months makes us optimistic for continued recovery in the housing market," said David Blitzer, spokesman for S&P, according to the news source.

The Los Angeles Times reports that San Francisco property values rose by about 5.3 percent, which placed it among the best cities in the country. Compared to other California metro areas, San Francisco beat out Los Angeles (increase of 2.1 percent) and San Diego (increase of 1.9 percent).

Since the Bay Area market figures were more than double numbers of Southern California, you might want to consider San Francisco as a prime relocation destination. Home prices are expected to continue to rise, so there is no better time than now to take a quality home off the market.

West Coast versus East Coast
Forbes recently compared the housing markets on the two coasts of the United States, and the results were shocking - 6 of the top 10 metro areas that experienced the highest annual gains were located in California. As of September 2012, San Francisco was number 2 on the list, surpassed only by the sizzling Santa Barbara. The Bay Area has gained 18.1 percent more when compared to 2011, and it continues to top many other lists.

The East Coast, on the other hand, is simply not at the same level as California. Though cities like Miami continue to improve, the change is more limited to southern Florida, while in the Bay Area, San Jose, Oakland, San Francisco and other communities are improving relatively uniformly.