Autumn Selling Season Begins

Autumn Selling Season Begins & New Listings Surge in San Francisco

Coming out of the summer slowdown, the last big sales season of the year runs from Labor Day to mid-November (when the market usually retreats into semi-hibernation until mid-January). September is typically the single month with the highest number of new listings and this year, it started out with a bang: 300 new listings hit the market in the first week after Labor Day. As a point of comparison, May, the biggest new-listing month YTD, had 720 new listings total. 

This year’s summer slowdown was bigger than usual: Compared to 2013, the number of new listings coming on market dropped 12% and the number of sales fell 16% - these are large drops. Median sales prices also declined significantly from the spring peak, but summer price drops are normal. We’ve found it difficult and dangerous to make assessments of market trends during the summer or winter holiday slowdowns: One really has to see what happens in spring and autumn when sellers and buyers jump back in.

San Francisco, California & United States Markets


This chart compares Months Supply of Inventory (MSI) – a measurement of buyer demand against the supply of homes for sale; median Days on Market (DOM) – how quickly new listings go into contract; and median home sales prices, for the city, state and country. Typically, an MSI under 3 to 4 months is considered a seller’s market; at an average of 1.5 months of inventory over the summer, San Francisco would typically be considered an extreme seller’s market (which puts upward pressure on prices). San Francisco’s median days-on-market figure is also extraordinarily low, and of course, our home prices are significantly higher than most places on the planet. 


San Francisco Home Sales by Property Type & Price Range

Unit-Sales_Price-Range_Prop-Type Unit-Sales_by-Prop-Type

Unlike the vast majority of other counties, condos and condo-like homes such as co-ops and TICs now predominate in the SF homes market, a trend that will only accelerate as dozens of new-condo projects come on line in coming years. The difference in median sales prices between houses and condos has also narrowed to less than 12% – when condos used to be the significantly cheaper alternative – and condos now play a huge role in luxury home sales, often selling for the highest dollar per square foot figures in the city. TIC sales, almost an exclusively SF phenomenon, have been dwindling, but now sometimes command prices in excess of $1,500,000.


And, last but not least, as the Napa earthquake reminded us, it makes supreme good sense to make basic preparations for possible natural disasters: Being Prepared
All data from sources deemed reliable, but may contain errors and is subject to revision. Every time one looks at median sales prices, even for slightly different periods, the price will typically change. Statistics are generalities and how they apply to any specific property is unknown without a tailored comparative market analysis. All numbers should be considered approximate. Please contact us with any questions or concerns.