Get to Know: San Francisco


Originally founded in 1776 by Spanish missionaries, San Francisco swelled starting in 1849 during the Gold Rush Era. Nearly 200 years later, San Francisco is experiencing an eerily familiar yet vastly different type of boom, where tech entrepreneurs have taken the place of gold miners. The rising cost of real estate seems nothing compared to the potential fortunes to be made by an enterprising few. Most are familiar with San Francisco's historic architecture, cable cars and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, a few of the things that make its properties some of the most sought after in the world. With its ever shrinking inventory of available real estate, investors both domestic and foreign are snatching up properties. Every inch of the city is now considered a worthwhile investment.

Even neighborhoods once considered seedy are becoming popular for urban renewal projects, prompting citywide gentrification. With a finite amount of property available, even lesser known and traditionally industrial areas are being looked at with an investor's eye. Median home prices for single-family homes hovering around the $1 million mark -- and condominiums are not far behind.

For those looking to make San Francisco their home, temperate weather, beautiful homes, an abundance of natural beauty and a diverse mix of cultures are just a few of things newcomers can expect. With endless outdoor activities like hiking, golfing or surfing, as well as a vast array of intellectual pursuits such as world-class museums, the ballet, opera and fantastic schools, its no wonder residential properties don't stay on the market long here.

San Francisco's history is peppered with captivating characters, and its colorful future will no doubt be filled with innovation and amazing things to come.


San Francisco Housing Trends - 1993 - 2013

The real estate market recovery started in earnest in 2012 and then went white hot in spring 2013, which resulted in a huge jump in home prices. In the last six months of the year, the market calmed somewhat and prices generally stabilized, but buyer demand remained very strong by historical standards. Economic conditions have continued to improve, household net worth has increased dramatically with rising stock and housing markets, rents remain very high, new construction is soaring, and interest rates, after jumping in 2013, are still relatively low. Though it is impossible to predict the future, these factors typically form the foundation of a healthy, active housing market.


District 1: Sea Cliff, Lake Street, Richmond (Inner, Central, Outer), Jordan Park/Laurel Heights, Lone Mountain

District 2: Sunset & Parkside (Inner, Central, Outer), Golden Gate Heights

District 3: Lake Shore, Lakeside, Merced Manor, Merced Heights, Ingleside, Ingleside Heights, Oceanview

District 4: St. Francis Wood, Forest Hill, West Portal, Forest Knolls, Diamond Heights, Midtown Terrace, Miraloma Park, Sunnyside, Balboa Terrace, Ingleside Terrace, Mt. Davidson Manor, Sherwood Forest, Monterey Heights, Westwood Highlands

District 5: Noe Valley, Eureka Valley (Castro, Liberty Hill), Cole Valley, Glen Park, Corona Heights, Clarendon Heights, Ashbury Heights, Buena Vista Park, Haight Ashbury, Duboce Triangle, Twin Peaks, Mission Dolores, Parnassus Heights

District 6: Hayes Valley, North of Panhandle (NOPA), Alamo Square, Western Addition, Anza Vista, Lower Pacific Heights

District 7: Pacific Heights, Presidio Heights, Cow Hollow, Marina

District 8: Russian Hill, Nob Hill, Telegraph Hill, North Beach, Financial District, North Waterfront, Downtown, Van Ness/ Civic Center, Tenderloin

District 9: SoMa, South Beach, Mission Bay, Potrero Hill, Central Waterfront-Dogpatch, Bernal Heights, Inner Mission, Yerba Buena

District 10: Bayview, Bayview Heights, Excelsior, Portola, Visitacion Valley, Silver Terrace, Mission Terrace, Crocker Amazon, Outer Mission

Some Realtor districts contain neighborhoods that are relatively homogeneous in general home values, such as districts 5 and 7, and others contain neighborhoods of wildly different values, such as district 8 which includes both Russian Hill and the Tenderloin.

Get to know---dpaul