San Francisco’s “Value” Neighborhoods Take Off as Inventory Remains Low

April Newsletter

I’ve been opining for some time that many of San Francisco’s previously overlooked neighborhoods are seeing rapid home-price appreciation as buyers are being priced out of their first and second choices. I now have data to confirm it.

When the SF market recovery began in 2012, the more affluent neighborhoods led the way in rapid home-price appreciation. This is what you’d expect to happen as the “haves” tend to see their prospects improve before the “have nots.” But starting in 2014, the more affordable neighborhoods have taken the lead. Of course, there are few places outside San Francisco where houses of $1.2 million would constitute the “affordable” segment of the market, but as median house prices in the greater Noe, Eureka & Cole Valleys area  ...  Additional Details

Here We Go Again?: Signs Point to Another Feverish Spring Market

Spring-shoots-dollars

It’s easy to sympathize with potential buyers who are sitting the market out in the hope that … “sanity will prevail” …”…the market will stabilize…” “…prices have to come down sooner or later….” Alas, for buyers at least, our analysis indicates the contrary: 2015 looks like it’s getting off to a very strong start.

Below are key takeaways from our recent analysis of sales trends over the last few months, which include the seasonally quiet year-end holiday period, along with what we’ve been seeing since the start of the year. These preliminary statistics, and, even more so, reports “from the trenches,” suggest that we may well be looking at the fourth intense spring season since the market recovery began in early 2012. ...  Additional Details

New Case-Shiller: Bay Area Home Prices Tick Up a Little

After the feverish spring 2014 market, home prices in the high-price tier – which applies best to San Francisco and Marin counties – flattened and then ticked down a little, while more affordable home segments continued to tick up: It’s not unusual for the market to cool off and plateau during the summer months. The October 2014 Case-Shiller Index just released (on December 30), begins to reflect the autumn selling season, which starts after Labor Day: The market typically begins to heat up again in autumn. (Note that transactions negotiated in September generally start closing in October.) ...  Additional Details

Affordability by San Francisco Neighborhood

Where to Buy a Home in San Francisco for the Money You Want to Spend

To a large degree, if you’re buying a house in San Francisco, your price range effectively determines the possible neighborhoods to consider. That does not apply quite as much to condos and TICs: Generally speaking, in neighborhoods with high numbers of condo and TIC sales, there are buying options at a wide range of price points – though, obviously, size, quality, view and amenity considerations will come into play.

The charts below are based upon transactions reported to MLS for 2014. We’ve generally broken out the neighborhoods with the most sales within given price points. Of course, the era, style, amenities and average size of homes will  ...  Additional Details

Thirty Years of San Francisco Real Estate Cycles

Updated Report, December 2014

Below is a look at the past 30+ years of San Francisco Bay Area real estate boom and bust cycles. Financial-market cycles have been around for hundreds of years, all the way back to the Dutch tulip mania of the 1600’s. While future cycles will vary in their details, the causes, effects and trend lines are often quite similar. Looking at cycles gives us more context to how the market works over time and where it may be going — much more than dwelling in the immediacy of the present with excitable pronouncements of “The market’s crashing and won’t recover in our lifetimes!” or “The market’s crazy hot and the only place it can go is up!” ...  Additional Details

New Case-Shiller Index Report

The Case-Shiller Index for September was released today. Note that it will mostly reflect sales negotiated in August or before, during the slower summer sales season. (The next Index, published in late December, will begin to reflect transactions negotiated in September and the start of the autumn sales season.) These 2 charts pertain to the upper third of sales for 5 Bay Area counties – upper third by price range. The majority of home sales in San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo are in this upper price tier. ...  Additional Details

San Francisco Autumn Real Estate Market Dynamics

SF Luxury Home Sales Hit New Peak

Neighborhood Snapshots: Noe & Eureka Valleys, South Beach
& Yerba Buena, Richmond District, Bernal Heights & Sunset/Parkside

November 2014 Update

The San Francisco market definitely cooled after the overheated feeding frenzy of the first half of the year. The competition between buyers for new listings declined to more rational levels: Homes that might have received 5 to 10 offers earlier in the year received 1 or 2 or 3. Values in many of the city’s neighborhoods plateaued or even ticked down a bit after spring’s big spike – the exception being districts with the most affordable house prices (under $1.2 million) where prices generally continued to tick up. The number of expired and withdrawn listings jumped 18% August through October when compared to last year, to over 460 listings, as buyers decided many sellers were pushing the envelope on prices too far...  Additional Details

August Case-Shiller Index Report

The August Case-Shiller Index report released today showed a small home price decline for the 5 counties of the SF Metro Area. Autumn’s numbers will give us a clearer indication as to whether this is the beginning of a flattening or declining price trend or simply the not untypical indication of a summer adjustment from the spring frenzy. PDFs are attached.

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