San Francisco Neighborhoods Hit New Peak Values

Paragon Market Report, June 2013

New highs in home prices have not yet been reached in every San Francisco neighborhood, but the majority has either regained the value lost since the 2008 market meltdown, or now exceeded the previous high points of 2006-early 2008. (Different neighborhoods peaked at different times, just as they are now recovering at different speeds). This does not mean that every property bought at the height of the bubble in feverish multiple-offer bidding wars has now regained peak value. Nor does it mean that values might not fluctuate or drop in future months due to seasonal and/or other economic factors.

Though virtually every market in the country is now on a similar upward trajectory, San Francisco’s has recovered more quickly than most in the Bay Area, state and country. The city’s neighborhoods, with a few exceptions, were never hit as hard as most other areas by the tsunami of distressed property sales: our home values generally fell in the 15-25% range compared to huge declines of 40-60% elsewhere and so we have had less ground to recover. That said, the city has always been an exceptional real estate market and the confluence of economic factors both general (such as the lowest interest rates in history) and unique (such as the local, high-tech boom) jumpstarted and supercharged our recovery beyond most others.

It should be noted that, looking at past recoveries in the early eighties and mid-nineties, it is not unusual once a recovery gets underway after years of recession and repressed demand, for the market to regain previous peak values within a couple years of the turnaround beginning. Recoveries often start with a dramatic surge and that is what has happened with this one.
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City, State & National Long-Term Overview

In this chart, one can see the recovery occurring everywhere, but most dramatically in San Francisco. For this analysis, we’ve calculated the 2013 SF median house sales price for the 5 months since the year began; if we looked at just the last 3 months (reflecting offers accepted in 2013, when the market accelerated further), the SF median house price jumps to about $1,000,000. (Note: State and national data sources are behind those we can access for the city, and the last median prices reflect that disparity.)

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SFD_Median-Averages_ChangeSF Houses: Previous Peak Values to Present
In this chart, since we’re also calculating average statistics, we’ve capped the sales price at $3,000,000 because ultra-high-end sales usually distort averages. We see the previous peak value in 2007 (for SF houses in general), the drop to the bottom of the market in 2011, and the rebound starting in 2012 and accelerating in 2013. By all 3 main statistical measures of value, San Francisco houses have met or exceeded previous peak values. To adjust for seasonality, the comparisons are for the spring months of each year.

This link goes to the same analysis for SF condos except it starts in 2008 when condo values peaked and sales are capped at $2m:
Condos: Previous Peak Values to Present

Median_SFD-Condo_by-Qtr_Short-termShort-Term Appreciation Trends
This chart breaks down the rise in SF home values occurring over the past 2.5 years. Though it appears that 2013 prices surged after the first quarter, the surge actually started in March, which is when the market really started to reflect offers negotiated in 2013. January and February sales mostly reflect the holiday season market, when the higher-end home market typically checks out. We prefer quarterly or longer time periods because they make for more reliable statistics: monthly statistics often fluctuate without great meaning. The high overall median prices achieved in March-May may drop somewhat during the summer due to seasonal and other factors.

This link goes to an overview of the past 30 years: it helps give context to what we’re experiencing today:
30 Years of SF Real Estate Cycles

Median-SFD_Multi_Areas2006-Present: House Values by Neighborhood
These 4 SF Realtor districts generate a lot of house sales, so they’re good for statistical analysis. For 2013, this chart looks at the last 5 months of sales-if assessing just the last 3 months, 2013 numbers would typically be higher. The central Noe-Eureka-Cole Valleys district, a hot bed of high-tech buyer demand, has soared well beyond its previous peak value in 2008. The very affluent northern district of Pacific Heights-Marina has also exceeded its previous peak. Sunset-Parkside in the southwest has regained its 2007 peak, and the southeast Bayview-Portola-Excelsior district, which was hit hardest by distressed sales, while recovering rapidly, has not yet made up the value lost since its 2006 peak. This district, with more house sales than any other, lost more percentage value in the downturn (25-45% depending on neighborhood) and so has more ground to make up. But it’s well on its way.

2BR_Condos_Medians_Multiple_Areas-V22006-Present: SF Condo Values by Neighborhood
These 6 areas of the city generate high numbers of condo sales, which is why we chose them for this analysis. Condos in all these areas have increased in value beyond their previous peaks in 2006-2008; some of them, such as South Beach, dramatically so.

This link illustrates how, over the past 5 years, the SF market has switched from being dominated by house sales to condo sales; with the continuing construction of large condo projects, we expect this trend to continue. TIC sales have dropped significantly, both as a percentage of sales and in actual unit sales: This is due to a number of complex issues such as changes in city condo conversion and tenant protection regulations.
Sales by Property Type

Unit-Sales_by_Price-Range_Year-Year_CompPrice Range Dynamics
There are 3 main underlying currents occurring in San Francisco. First is the rapid dwindling of distressed property sales: Thus, sales under $500,000, the price range of most distressed sales, have dropped by 62% since last year. This segment is on the verge of disappearing completely in SF. Second is the dramatic resurgence in luxury home sales: the affluent have profited most from the economic recovery and the city also has large numbers of the newly affluent (often high-tech) who wish to buy homes. So, sales of homes costing $1,500,000 plus have surged by 76%. The third dynamic is simply the general appreciation of home values. All 3 factors add up to a large migration from lower-priced to higher-priced sales. Note: The medians quoted on this chart are for many different property types combined.

May-Snapshot_Sales-UC-ExpiredMay Listings/Sales Snapshot
A clear indication of the red-hot heat of our market: 90% of SF home sales closing in May sold without going through any price reductions, at an average sales price 7% higher than the asking price and a very low average days-on-market of 29 days. These are very dramatic statistics illustrating the high demand/low supply situation here in the city.

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San Francisco & Bay Area Home Values – in Maps

May 2013 Update

Below are 3 maps delineating recent median home sales prices and/or average dollar per square foot values for San Francisco neighborhoods and communities around the Bay Area. These statistics are generalities which may fluctuate for a variety of reasons, but still give an idea of comparative home values in and around the city.

Generally speaking, home price appreciation is continuing and indeed accelerating in 2013, extending the upward swing that began in 2012. This is being supercharged by increasing demand meeting inadequate supply. For more information about current market conditions and trends, please click on the “Market Dynamics Charts” link above.

In the maps below, “k” signifies thousands of dollars; “m” signifies millions; “$/sf” means average dollar per square foot; and “N/A” means there wasn’t enough data to generate a reliable number.

Home Values around the San Francisco

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San Francisco Neighborhood HOUSE Values

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San Francisco Neighborhood CONDO Values

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Real estate statistics in the Bay Area are based upon that relatively unique basket of homes that happen to sell within any given period, so instead of being exact measurements applicable to specific properties, they should be considered indications of the direction and approximate scale of market trends.

Median price is that price at which half the sales occurred above and half below – a single additional sale can sometimes make a 3-5% difference in overall median price, especially when the number of sales is low. Dollar per square foot is based on “livable space”, which should not include decks, patios, yards, garages, unfinished basements and attics, or rooms built without permit (“bonus rooms” and “in-law apartments”). Square footage figures are often unreported, measured in different ways or simply unreliable. Both these statistics can be affected by other factors besides changes in value, such as seasonality, available inventory, variations in buyer profile, changes in the distressed and luxury home markets, and variations in average home size (all things being equal, a smaller home will have a lower sales price but a higher dollar per square foot value than a larger home).
These analyses were performed in good faith with data derived from sources deemed reliable, but they may contain errors and are subject to revision. If you have any questions, please contact us.

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December Newsletter: SF Neighborhood Values

San Francisco Neighborhood Values

December 2012

The general market dynamics in November were little changed from October, so for a different perspective, below are long-term trends in average sales prices and average dollar-per-square-foot values in a variety of areas around the city. The last sales period assessed on the charts is made up of the three months September through November; the neighborhoods chosen were picked for their high volume of sales for the property type being tracked — generally speaking, the greater the volume of sales, the more reliable the statistics.

Pretty much all areas of San Francisco are now showing the same general trend line, a distinct and substantial recovery in values, though some neighborhoods began their recovery earlier in the year and have seen greater increases year to date.

If you’d like to review the overall real estate market dynamics of San Francisco — months supply of inventory, days on market, the number of new listings coming on market, percentage of listings accepting offers, and so on — these can be found online here: SF December Market Report


Inner & Central Richmond House Values
House sales here over the past three months had an average sales price of $1,186,000 at an average of $575 per square foot. Compared to 2011, those figures reflect a 13% to 14% increase.


Central & Outer Sunset & Parkside
This table shows the changes in average sales price and dollar per square foot since 1995. One can also see that the average size of the houses sold can fluctuate (which will affect the average sales price). Distressed home sales are in rapid decline here, as they are throughout the city. The average dollar per square foot is up about 9% since 2011.
Chart


Bernal Heights House Values
With an average sales price of $896,000 and a distressed home market that has basically disappeared, the Bernal Heights averages are up about 19% from the bottom of the market in 2011. And getting very close to the previous peak in values in 2007.
Numbers Table


Noe & Eureka Valley House Values
Average house sales price in this extremely hot market area was $1,665,000 in the past 3 months, which is actually higher than previous peak values in 2008. However, we’ll have to wait to see what occurs over the longer trend since seasonality is one of the factors in prices. Average dollar per square foot is still somewhat below the 2008 peak.
Chart


Noe, Eureka & Cole Valleys: Condo Values
Condo values in these highly sought after Upper-Market neighborhoods have followed a similar trajectory. The average condo sales price here over the past 3 months was $1,000,000.
Numbers Table


Prestige Northern Neighborhoods
The most expensive area for houses in San Francisco is in the northern band of old-prestige neighborhoods running from Telegraph Hill in the east to Sea Cliff in the west. As the luxury market has rebounded in a big way in 2012, we’ve seen increases in value in the 18% to 20% range since the market bottom in 2010.


South Beach – Yerba Buena Condo Values
The greater South Beach area has seen a rebound in condo values in the 15% to 20% range. This area has some of the most expensive condos in the city, many featuring spectacular views.
Numbers Table


Pacific Heights-Marina Condo Values
At $1,235,000, the average condo sales price in the neighborhoods of Pacific & Presidio Heights, Cow Hollow and the Marina is now back up to the previous peak-value level of 2008. While the condos in South Beach have all been built in the last 15 years or so, condos in these older prestige neighborhoods are in buildings typically built 70 – 100 years ago.


Portola & Mission Terrace House Values
The southern-most neighborhoods of San Francisco were those hit hardest by the distressed sale crisis. But the distressed property market is rapidly dwindling here and prices have been rebounding dramatically in the past 6 months. The recovery here started a step behind the recoveries in the most affluent neighborhoods, but is now accelerating rapidly.

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Home Sales by Price Segment

San Francisco Neighborhood Home Prices by Price Segment

These charts show the breakdown of San Francisco home sales as reported to the Multiple Listing Service in the first six months of 2012. The analyses are sorted by city district by the number of transactions in different price segments. The star on each map corresponds to the district being analyzed.

Whether you are considering a home purchase within a certain price range or contemplating the sale of your property in a certain neighborhood, this may give a sense of what sells for how much where in San Francisco.

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