Market Update: Pricing Reigns Supreme
2010 saw a very strong spring market turbo-charged by federal and state tax credits, a much slower summer, and then a strong finish from Labor Day on. The 4th quarter of 2010 had more accepted offers than the 4th quarters of 2009, 2008 & 2007. Comparing 2010 to 2009, overall median sales prices for SF houses and condos barely budged. The luxury home market woke back up. Interest rates jumped at the end of the year, but are still very low. Of those homes that did sell in 2010, most sold relatively quickly, without price reductions, at or a little above or below list price: the market identified them as good deals. A minority of sales sold after one or more price reductions, taking much longer and at a substantial discount to the original price. And many listings didn’t sell at all because buyers perceived them as overpriced.
There seems to be a positive momentum to the market as 2011 begins. A large influx of new listings will arrive in coming weeks as both buyers and sellers jump back in after the holidays.
Statistics are generalities, subject to fluctuation due to a variety of reasons. Median prices may be affected by other factors than changes in value. Averages may be distorted by a small number of sales substantially higher or lower than the norm. New-development condo sales not reported to MLS are not included in this analysis. All information herein should be considered approximate. It is derived from sources deemed reliable, but may contain errors and omissions, and is not warranted.
San Francisco Unit Sales: 2007 – 2010
Comparing 2010 to 2009, the market strengthened and sales went up in every property type except TICs. From 2007 to 2009, the total number of sales fell 23% (plus an approximate 15-20% decline in values). Now, house sales are almost back to 2007 levels; condo sales are 17% up from 2009 but still 14% below 2007; TIC sales are 62% below 2007; 2-4 unit buildings are up from 2009 but still down 28% from 2007; 5+ unit buildings recovered a bit but are still 34% below 2007.
Median Sales Price & Average Dollar per Square Foot
These 2 charts are for SF house and condo sales over the past 3 years. From late 2007, early 2008, the median price dropped about 15% and the average dollar per square foot about 18%. However, there has been a remarkable stability over the past 7 quarters: the median was within 1½ % of $700,000 in 5 of the 7 quarters (the 2 other quarters were about 5% above that); and the average dollar per square foot remained within about 2% of $550/sq.ft.. 2009 to 2010, the overall median prices for both houses and condos was virtually unchanged.
Median House Sales Price by Neighborhood
Median price in thousands of dollars. The median price is that price at which half the sales occurred for more and half for less. For more information on median price trends and average dollar per square foot, click on the below link:
Median Price Overview
SF Condos: Average Dollar per Square Foot
Dollar per square foot is calculated on liveable square footage, which doesn’t include garages, attics, storage or outdoor space. This calculation is based on those sales that reported square footage. Square footage figures are often unreliable or unreported, and average $/sq.ft. figures can fluctuate, but as a general statistic, this gives a relatively fair picture of the progression of condo values by neighborhood in San Francisco. Remember that the average age, size and condition of condos can vary widely by neighborhood.
SF Home Sales by Realtor District
The big districts for house sales were southern District 10 (hit hard by distress sales), western District 2 (Sunset/ Parkside), central Districts 4 (St. Francis Wood/ Forest Hill/ Miraloma Park) and 5 (Noe/ Castro/ Haight). District 9 (SOMA/ South Beach/ Mission), with dozens of large condo developments, had twice as many condo sales as District 8 (Nob/Russian/Telegraph Hills) and District 5. TIC sales have dramatically declined in the city and are mostly found in Districts 5, 8 (Nob/Russian Hills) and 6 (Hayes Valley/ NOPA). The big districts for 2-4 unit building sales are 5 and 1 (Richmond).
SF Realtor Map
Sales by Price Range
For sales of SF houses, condos, co-ops and TICs over the past year, the largest price segment by far was $500,000 to $750,000, with the next largest being the segments on either side. Once the million dollar mark is passed, the quantity of sales in each segment steps down dramatically.
SF Luxury House Sales
Luxury house sales – sales of $2m and above – bounced back dramatically in 2010, but are still below 2008 levels except in District 7 (Pacific & Presidio Heights, Cow Hollow & Marina), which saw a large surge this past year.
SF Luxury Condo Sales
High-end condo sales – sales of $1.5m and above — have not recovered as well as luxury house sales, except in Realtor District 5 (Noe/ Castro/ Haight), where after a huge decline in 2009, there was a huge increase in 2010 (though still slightly below 2008). The Pacific Heights area (District 7) also saw a small increase in 2010.
Distress Home Sales by District
Bank-owned property sales and short sales (loan amount greater than market value) can be found throughout the city, but are heavily concentrated in specific areas. Distress house sales are concentrated in the southern band of neighborhoods running from Bayview west to Oceanview (Districts 10 & 3). Distress condo sales are mainly found in the eastern band of neighborhoods that experienced massive new development in the last 15 years (District 9). Compared to other counties, San Francisco has been much less affected by distress sales, with the overall percentage in the past year running at roughly 15-16% of total sales.
SF Realtor Map
Listings Accepting Offers; Listings Expiring
The dark blue columns delineate the number of listings accepting offers in any given quarter over the past 3 years; the purple columns show listings that expired or were withdrawn (without selling). In the top chart, last spring’s market surge shows clearly. The 4th quarter of 2010 was more active in offers being accepted than the 4th quarters of 2009, 2008 or 2007, and the usual slowdown between 3rd and 4th quarters did not occur. However, a high number of listings expired without selling in the 4th quarter of 2010 as well. Many of these will be relisted in January at reduced prices.
Months’ Supply of Inventory & Days on Market
These 2 charts pertain to SF house sales only, which is the hottest segment of the market. The gray columns show months’ supply of inventory over the past 2 years, which at 2.5 months, is now at its low for that time period. Inventory will increase significantly in January. The dark blue columns show the average number of days it took a house to accept an offer (by quarter over 3 years).