Category archive - Blog

Weekend: Nov 16 – Nov 17, 2019

This weekend offers many fun things to do for free and on the cheap. From the “Santa’s Village” Holiday Window Displays in Palo Alto, to the San Mateo Harvest Festival to the Renegade Winter Craft Fair Market featuring 200+ Makers at Fort Mason. The events below will help you fill your calendar with fun!

View even more events here.

San Francisco Real Estate November 2019 Report

Using six-month-rolling figures for monthly median sales prices smooths out the often meaningless monthly fluctuations to illustrate broad, long-term appreciation trends with more clarity.

Home Sales Volume by Month

A crystal clear illustration of the role of seasonality in the SF real estate market. Starting in November activity begins to plunge towards the mid-winter nadir. Remember that November sales volumes mostly reflect October accepted-offer activity. Market activity hits bottom in December, which makes January the month with the lowest sales volume.

Home Sales & Median Prices by District
HOUSE Sales & Median Sales Prices

Note that districts often include neighborhoods of varying values and that the district median sales prices quoted reflect combined sales. Median prices are broad generalities useful for comparative values and home-price trends, but how they apply to any particular home is unknown without a specific comparative market analysis.

Median sales prices broken out by neighborhood, property type and bedroom count are also available upon request.

Condo, Co-op & TIC Sales by District
2-BR, 2-BA Condo Median Sales Prices

Luxury Home Sales

Sales of homes of $3 million and above in October were a little below the number in October 2018, but looking at September-October sales, there were gains over same-period sales in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Sales vs. Listings for Sale by Price Segment

Market Dynamics by Property Type & Price Segment

Location is, of course, always important in real estate value – within the the city and within the neighborhood – but to a large degree, market dynamics within San Francisco are also determined by the property type and the price segment. And individual neighborhoods and districts will usually have homes in several or even all of the price segments broken out in the 3 charts below, with these segments seeing differing supply and demand conditions.

Generally speaking, demand is stronger and supply is lower (as compared to demand) for houses over condos. For both houses and condos, market dynamics are somewhat softer in the higher price segments, especially above the $3 million price threshold for condos, and in the $5 million+ price segment for houses.

People Moving in & out of CA in 2018

According to new census estimates, approx. 501,000 people from other states moved to CA in 2018, while 691,000 Californians relocated to other states – a net loss of 190,000. In addition, an estimated 284,000 foreign nationals moved into CA from outside the country. (Foreign out-migration numbers are not available.)

The top states for out-migration are Texas, Arizona, Washington, Nevada & Oregon, states with high-tech centers of their own and/or no state income taxes, and/or significantly lower housing costs – thus attracting working residents, local businesses, and retirees. Updated Bay Area figures are not yet available, though migration trends here have generally paralleled state trends in recent years.

Sales Without Price Reductions & Withdrawn (No-Sale) Listings

The following 2 charts illustrate both year-over-year changes in market conditions and the role of seasonality within the calendar year.

Last year saw a big jump in the number of listings pulled off the market without selling in December – this was a particularly volatile time in financial markets and interest rates were relatively high. The situation with both of those factors has changed dramatically in 2019, but it is too early to see how that will affect the number of listings withdrawn in the last 2 months of this year.

Weekend: Nov 9 – Nov 10, 2019

This weekend has lots of great things to do for free and on the cheap. From Free Union Square Ice Skating Lessons, to the Holiday Artisan Fair at the de Young Museum to “Bayview Business Day” Street Fest. The events below will help you fill your calendar with fun!

View even more events here.

Weekend: Nov 2 – Nov 3, 2019

This weekend has lots of great things to do for free and on the cheap. From the Sick Plant Clinic at the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden, to the the San Francisco Coffee Festival at Fort Mason. The events below will help you fill your calendar with fun!

View even more events here.

Weekend: Oct 26 – Oct 27, 2019

This weekend has lots of great things to do for free and on the cheap. From the World Veg Festival in Golden Gate Park, to the Chinatown Halloween Neighborhood Festival to the Fall Harvest Artisan Food Festival in Nob Hill. The events below will help you fill your calendar with fun!

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Weekend: Oct 19 – Oct 20, 2019

This weekend has lots of great things to do for free and on the cheap. From adopting a furry new family member at Jack London Square from the SPCA, to the Indonesian Day Festival to 1880’s Vintage Baseball. The events below will help you fill your calendar with fun!

View even more events here.

Weekend: Oct 12 – Oct 13, 2019

This weekend has lots of great things to do for free and on the cheap. From the Free Fleet Week Ship Tours at Pier 19 + Pier 30/32, to the the Weekend Along the Farm Trails in Sonoma County to the EV Week 2019: Electric Vehicle Festival & Expo. The events below will help you fill your calendar with fun!

View even more events here.

San Francisco Neighborhood Home Prices, Market Trends

Updated Market & Census Statistics, Home Prices & Appreciation Rates, Luxury Home Sales, Price Reductions, Employment & Interest Rates.

It will be another month before hard data on the autumn selling season begins to become available. In the meantime, below is a review of market trends and statistics through the third quarter. Note that September sales data mostly reflects market activity in August, a historically slow month.

Year-over-Year Q3 Comparisons – Q3 2016 – Q3 2019

Looking back over the Q3 statistics in the past 4 years, the San Francisco market has remained quite strong, though the number of sales has declined. The “IPO effect” may well be playing a role in keeping demand up, especially in the higher price segments where sales volumes have continued to increase.

Median House Sales Price – 3-Month Rolling Figures

Median house sales prices hit a new high in spring, though the year-over-year increase was relatively modest. However, many Bay Area Counties have seen small declines in median home sales prices over the last 4 quarters.

Year-over-Year, Quarterly Median House
Sales Price Percentage Change

Generally speaking, San Francisco is seeing significantly better year-over-year home price appreciation rates over the past 2 quarters than most Bay Area Counties, but the increases are well down from those seen during much of the recovery since 2012.

Median Condo Sales Price -3-Month Rolling Figures

Median condo sales prices have hit new highs, but the apples-to-apples appreciation issue is complicated by the thousands of new condos that have come on market, many of which have been at higher price points.

San Francisco Home Sales
by Price Segment & Bedroom Count

The most common sale in San Francisco is that of a 2-bedroom condo selling between $1,000,000 and $1,500,000. 2 & 3 bedroom condos now have higher median sales prices than 2 & 3 bedroom houses. This is due to 2 issues: 1) the tens of thousands of newly built, higher-price (often high-rise) condos coming on market in the last 15 years, and 2) condos are commonly found in more expensive neighborhoods than those where most house sales occur.

Updated Census Statistics

Underlying the real estate market are the changing details and circumstances of its population. At the end of September, the U.S. Census released its 2018 American Community Survey 1-year data estimates for a broad range of economic, social and demographic statistics. Below is a selection of survey insights into our community, plus 2 or 3 statistics from other sources. (You may want to expand this slide for easier reading.)

Luxury Home Sales

Sales Volumes & Price Reductions

Looking forward, October is typically both a big month for closed sales, reflecting the surge in deals after September’s big spike in new listings, as well as for price reductions, as sellers of unsold homes try to spark renewed buyer interest before the market slows in mid-November for the winter holidays.

Then in December, many sellers pull their unsold listings off the market altogether to wait for the market to wake up again in January-March. Of course, sales occur in every month of the year, and indeed, slower periods can be advantageous to buyers since competition for listings plunges.

SF Employment Trends

Behind the story of home price appreciation since 2000 are the ups and down in the number of employed residents. After a spectacular boom in job creation since 2010 – many of the jobs extremely well paid – the number has generally leveled off in the past year (according to the CA Employment Development Department).

Trends in Rents

The 2 big recent factors in rent rates have been changes in employment numbers, and the increase in the supply of apartments on the market due to the boom in rental unit construction (the first such boom in many decades). Economists believe there should be generally parallel trends in rents and ownership costs, those being the 2 housing options (besides living with one’s parents).

The dotted line delineates the approximate divergence in rents between a market rate unit and a rent-controlled apartment leased in 2010.

Mortgage Interest Rates

A year ago, many experts predicted that interest rates in 2019 would average in the 5.5% range, but they plummeted instead, a major dynamic in this year’s market. Buyers generally saw big drops in homeownership costs as compared to late 2018. If you are already a homeowner, depending on when you purchased your home, you might want to investigate the option of refinancing your mortgage with a new, long-term, fixed-rate loan. Note: Historically, it has been very difficult to predict interest rate movements.

Weekend: Oct 5 – Oct 6, 2019

This weekend has lots of great things to do for free and on the cheap. From the Black Cowboy Parade & Festival in Oakland, to the Vallejo “Waterfront Weekend” Festival to the Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival in Berkeley. The events below will help you fill your calendar with fun!

View even more events here.