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      houses for sale bay area peninsula

      The Peninsula has many great cities and every one is only a short drive or train ride to San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area. Full of potential day-trips, great schools, easy commutes to Silicon Valley, and pleasant suburban living!

      Table of Contents:

      Houses For Sale in the Peninsula Bay Area

      The San Francisco Bay Area is truly a unique location. Here you’ll find the headquarters of some of the most advanced tech companies in the world but also the most beautiful rural landscapes. Along the coast and inland there are many smaller and medium-sized cities and towns that provide a great lifestyle in some wonderful homes.

      View of the Californian coast. Half Moon Bay, San Mateo County, CA. Summer 2015.

      It’s true that being a part of California, you can expect to pay more for houses for sale in the Peninsula Bay Area, but most who move here find that the trade off is more than worth it. Great work opportunities come with a strong local economy, and feeding this growth are some of the best schools and universities in the country. Local parks and beaches are just part of the beautiful awe-inspiring landscape.

      The Bay Area, including the Peninsula, is a region that’s rich in history and celebrates its past. However, it also looks forward, is progressive, and is active in providing its residents with a very natural and human living environment.

      Here we’ll take you through some of the most notable areas in the Bay Area, so you know what to expect when considering where to live on the Peninsula.

      An Overview

      The Peninsula Bay Area is bordered by the City and County of San Francisco to the north and Santa Clara County to the south. It is made up primarily of San Mateo County and contains numerous towns, cities, and villages.

      While the climate could be described as Mediterranean, especially in the summer, it does receive strong cooling winds on the coast. These winds also are a prime reason for the fog and the crispness in the air throughout certain parts of the year.

      The area is diverse and culturally rich with festivals and events, and it places a high importance on living well. This means great food, great entertainment, and great outdoor recreation opportunities.

      Daly City

      Daly City is a great area for those who want to live close to some of the best beaches in the Peninsula Bay Area. It is one of the more densely populated areas in the region, although it still very much has the air of a suburban living area.

      The real estate market in Daly City

      The median price of a home in Daly City is around $1M. This is actually fairly reasonable considering some of the prices for houses for sale in the Peninsula Bay Area. The median has come down somewhat from the last couple of years, but this is true of the whole real estate market across the country from the last two quarters of 2022 and the beginning of 2023. On the whole, it can be said that the real estate market has stabilized after the frenetic period between 2020 and 2022.

      What to do in Daly City

      Thornton Beach State Park is one of the most popular places for residents and visitors to go to in Daly City, and is within walking distance from many areas of the city. Thornton Beach State Park is not your typical sun-drenched beach with people tanning themselves; indeed, because of the terrain, beach activities such as swimming are not permitted. However, here you find wonderful walking and equestrian trails which provide fantastic views of the Pacific Ocean, and dramatic landscape scenery. As a place to just take in the beautiful natural surroundings, it’s unmatched. You can also try Mussel Rock Park, where there are provisions to play frisbee or soccer, and some very picturesque picnic areas.

      When it comes to shopping, the area is well served with Serramonte Mall, which has everything from established stores as well as fabulous boutiques. It almost goes without saying that there are a range of dining options here, including well-known coffee houses and classic Japanese and Italian restaurants. There’s also the Westlake Shopping Center, and between the two, there’s really not much you can’t get from a shopping trip.


      Formed by the amalgamation of many small communities along the coast, Pacifica can make a strong claim to be one of the most picturesque towns on the Bay Area coast. The weather is temperate, and you can often rely upon a cool or even brisk breeze that sweeps in from the ocean.

      The real estate market in Pacifica

      The median price for a home in Pacifica was $1.15M at the beginning of 2023. This is down from a 5 year peak of almost $1.6M reached in March 2022. Note that since homes here have become increasingly more attractive price wise, competition will increase and homes sell for close to their asking price.

      Things to do in Pacifica

      It won’t come as a surprise that the coast provides plenty of recreational activities for residents and visitors to enjoy. Indeed, Pacifica is a draw for many who enjoy the surfing life. If you want a different pace, there’s fishing where you can also fish for crabs. But it’s not just sand and surf. There’s great hikes, that give the opportunity to take the splendour of the scenery.

      If golf is your passion Sharp Park is beautiful 18 hole course that’s open to the public. The clubhouse is exceptional. There’s also the Pacifica Tennis Club , which is also open to the public. If you prefer, try San Francisco Archers and find out if your a natural archer or if more practice is required.

      South San Francisco

      South San Francisco is located on the west Shore of San Francisco Bay with a population of almost 7,000 people. Bordered by the San Bruno Mountains it offers a scenic landscape which is not as susceptible to fog as other areas in the region. The biotech industry is strongly represented here.

      The real estate market in South San Francisco

      South San Francisco is one of the more affordable locations in the area with a median home price of just over $1M at the end of 2022. This is down from $1.5M in May 2022. However, this decline does seem to have stabilized and there was actually a slight increase from November 2022 to December 2022. South San Francisco offers a great opportunity for those looking to invest in area without having to pay for the considerably higher priced homes in some of the cities we’ll see later.

      Things to do in South San Francisco

      There’s an abundance of outdoor activities to enjoy in South San Francisco. Of course, there are hiking trails and cycling and we can recommend visiting Skyline Ridge Preserve. Covering over 2,000 acres this landscape is rich is flora and fauna and perfect for a true getaway into the wilderness.

      An interesting, and one could say unique place to visit is the Wind Harp, a 92 foot structure that stands on a hill in South San Francisco. As the wind passes through the structure music is made, it’s both eerie and magical at the same time.

      San Carlos

      San Carlos calls itself the City of Good Living. With a small population of around 30,000, it has a small town feel and there is a good sense of community. Its schooling system is excellent and there is a very nice downtown where residents can shop, dine, and get together.

      The real estate market in San Carlos

      San Carlos is another city that offer very good value when it comes to buying a home. The median price of a home in the city at the end of 2022 was $2M and like many of the cities in the region, prices here have become much more affordable over the last 6 months. The market in San Carlos seems to have stabilized and now would be a good time for investors to get into the market.

      Things to do in San Carlos

      Every October the city hosts The San Carlos Art and Wine Faire where you’ll find many of the cities finest wine vendors and breweries side by side with displays from the best local artists and galleries. It can be a heady mix.

      On a more daily basis, there are some great museums including the San Carlos Museum of History and The Hiller Aviation Museum

      If you have young kids, a great place to take them is The Reading Bug. This bookstore goes all in on creating a space where children can not only become immersed in the books they read but in the decor around them like an enchanted forest. There are numerous activities planned throughout the year, making The Reading Bug a place you’ll want to bring the kids to frequently.

      Redwood City

      Redwood is a small to mid-sized city of around 85,000 people. In the past industries such as leather tanning and lumber were the driving economies. Now tech, as in many cities in the Bay Area is a prominent industry with the presence of Oracle and Box. Though great properties can be found throughout the city, the south part is where you can find most of the best residences in Redwood.

      The real estate market in Redwood

      Redwood is a relatively affordable area to live in but house prices do tend to be high. The median price of a property in Redwood at the end of 2022 stood at a little over $1.8 M. It is an incredibly stable market and if we were to look at appreciation rates over the last 3 years, it would show us that while appreciation rates were not spectacularly steep, they are nonetheless consistent. As such, Redwood is a great place to invest in if you’re a looking to live in the area and possibly relocate later in a few years.

      Things to do Redwood

      Visit the San Matteo County History Museum and learn more about the region with exhibits that really take you back in time. As well as a treasure trove of archives and exhibits the museum features locations where visitors can interact with people from the past, in full and authentic dress, creating a real feel of life in the not so distant past.

      From the past to something that points to the future with a visit to the Century 20 Cinema. These cinemas are as good as they come and feature XD (extreme digital) screens offering the highest resolutions with the most immersive audio.

      Along with parks and sports venues as well as delightful eateries and boutique stores, Redwood is a very easy place to enjoy life.

      Palo Alto

      Palo Alto is a smaller community than Daly City with a population of around 65,000. However, this city has big draws including great educational institutions, including Stanford University. It also has great parks and outdoor spaces. Considered the heart of Silicon Valley with many top-end companies having started or still currently based in the city, you’ll find Hewlett Packard, Mint Bills and Etón Corporation headquartered here.

      Hoover Tower, Stanford University

      The real estate market in Palo Alto

      Houses for sale in Palo Alto have a median price of $2.6M. and while this may seem high, consider that at the height of the market frenzy in early2022 the median price was $4M. Certainly the correction in the market that began to happen in Q4 of 2022 has taken effect in Palo Alto but it would be simplistic to say house prices have plummeted. If we look at prices in Palo Alto over a 5 year period it’s closer to the truth to say that prices have stabilized to more sustainable levels, and the price hikes seen from 2020 to mid 2022 were part of the national boom that saw drastic spikes in many of the housing markets in the US.

      Now that prices are back to more reasonable levels, there is great opportunity for those who were simply priced out of the Palo Alto market previously.

      Things to do in Palo Alto

      It’s not surprising that Palo Alto would have a museum dedicated to computers. Although technically in Mountain View, The Computer History Museum (CHM) is only 5 miles away from Palo Alto, and around a 9 minute drive. The CHM not only displays a history of the tech that has so revolutionized modern living, it holds frequent events and ever-changing exhibits that mean it’s a place you can visit frequently over the year. A great place for kids as well as adults, this is a local museum that focuses on global changes.

      However, it’s not just about tech in Palo Alto. There is a thriving and well supported art scene. Head down to Stanford University and visit the Cantor Arts Center. Here you find local and international art exploring modern social themes in a fresh and engaging way. While you’re at the University grounds there are so many other places of interest to visit, such as catching a show at Stanford Live or taking a tour of the grounds. You don’t need to be a student to enjoy what the University offers.

      When it comes to dining out, you’re spoiled for choice in Palo Alto. For fine dining try Zola, a fusion of French cuisine influenced with a Californian spirit. You can also try Evvia, excellent Greek cuisine in a venue that oozes rustic charm. Don’t be deceived by the cozy surroundings, this place is frequented by some of the most influential people in the world.

      Palo Alto is community-minded and laid back, a typical Californian city, but it has an understated luxuriousness and is definitely high-end.


      Hillsborough is a small town where you’ll find a wealth of historic mansions and historic homes. It is a completely residential neighborhood, but as with many small towns in the area, getting to amenities is never really an issue, and homeowners in Hillsborough are able to enjoy fantastic homes set in beautiful natural surroundings within walkable distance to many amenities..

      The real estate market in Hillsborough

      When it comes to houses for sale in the Peninsula Bay Area, Hillsborough is one of the most expensive areas. Hillsborough comes with a median price of a property at around $6M. Bear in mind that in mid-2022, the median value of a property was close to $7M. Very much like the property market of Palo Alto, the market in Hillsborough has

      corrected itself and stabilized. Again, this presents opportunities for buyers who could not have considered a home in Hillsborough in the housing frenzy of 2021 and 2022.

      Things to do in Hillsborough

      With Hillsborough being almost completely residential, you’ll find that most residents travel a few minutes by car to go where they can access the area’s amenities. That being said, it is a joy to drive around and admire the historic homes and nature found in Hillsborough. You can take a tour of Carolands which is often referred to as a chateau, with its 98 rooms set in almost 6 acres of land. Beautiful in its design and furnishings, Carolands is well worth a visit.


      Located in San Mateo County, Burlingame is just two minutes from Hillsborough and has a bigger population than both Palo Alto and Hillsborough, with almost 30,000 people living in the city. As such it is not completely residential and strikes a perfect balance for those looking for great homes in rural areas but also want immediate access to great amenities.

      The real estate market in Burlingame

      As with the properties listed above, Burlingame has stabilized from a peak in July 2022 which saw homes reach a high of around $3.25. Entering 2023, homes are valued at just under $3M. Unlike Palo Alto and Hillsborough, shifts in prices have not been as pronounced and overall the market is less prone to dramatic fluctuations.

      Things to do in Burlingame

      Locals love the Farmers Market open every Sunday morning. Community-owned and operated, it features some of the best and freshest produce available in the area. And, while it’s a great place to shop, it’s also a great place to have breakfast; which one you do first is up to you! It’s a lively local event and it’s not unusual to have live music played as well as entertainment for the kids.

      Burlingame has an eclectic downtown, so if you’re in the mood to shop, dine and or get out for the evening, there’s a wealth of boutique stores to explore, restaurants to try, and coffee houses to while-away the time.


      A special mention must be given to Atherton, a small town both in geographic size and

      number of people living here. Covering a little over 5 square miles and with a population of only around 7,000 people, this area is rural and residential. However, Atherton provides the perfect location in terms of its connectivity to major amenities not only on the Peninsula Bay Area but to San Francisco and the rest of California.

      This is a town that has some of the most exclusive and expensive houses on the market anywhere in the world. In the neighborhood of Atherton, there are homes listed around the $30M price point and there’s even a home, at time of writing, that is valued at almost $50M.

      Home to many of the most influential (and richest) residents of San Francisco and Peninsula Bay Area, Atherton is a special place for some of the most discerning home hunters.

      Finding your place in the Peninsula Bay Area

      Finding your ideal place in the Peninsula Bay Area is made easy when you partner with a top real estate professional. You’re looking for experience, area knowledge, and a track record of success. A great agent will have expertise as well as being innovative. Just as important is the personal touch that always puts your interests front and center.

      Work with the Carol Reen Team

      The Carol Reen Team with Compass, has presided over $780M in real estate transactions and has over 20 years of experience. Add to this over 25 years of income tax experience and you’re not only given the best real estate guidance, but also very solid asset and wealth generation advice.

      carol reen working

      The Team’s success is built upon attention to detail and knowing the market inside and out. They have a network that not only provides a wealth of expertise in many related fields, including tradespeople, but also access to private listings of the finest properties. The team can show you some of the best houses for sale not only in the Peninsula Bay Area, but also San Francisco City and County.

      If you’re looking for a place in San Francisco or the Peninsula Bay Area, contact the Carol Reen Team at 415.728.6199 or send an email here and we’ll get right back to you.

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