Are We Seeing a Buyer's Market? It Depends on the Price Point
Year over year, a low-inventory homes market dropped even lower, while buyer demand increased to keep the pot boiling in San Francisco through the third quarter. The number of new listings coming on market in September, which is usually the month of the year with the highest number of new listings, is down considerably from last year - but the number of listings accepting offers increased: Less inventory, but more demand. But is the demand spread out equally? Not really. Buyers are being very picky in this market. If a property has any ding against it, such as undesirable location, quirky layout, lack of a second bathroom, or too much upkeep, they may not pursue it. The entry-level market is still very hot, but the higher up the price range you go, the slower the market is performing. This gives those buyers an advantage, but they may need to be a little flexible. Since closed sales in each month mostly reflect the market heat in the previous month, when the offers are actually negotiated, we will not have hard data on September until October sales data becomes available in November.
The Q3 SF median house sales price was $1,365,000 and the median SF condo sales price was $1,175,000, considerable year-over-year increases over Q3 2016 prices: 7% and 11% respectively. It is not unusual for median prices to drop from Q2 to Q3, to a large degree due to the seasonal decline in luxury home sales, as well as the typical overall market cooling during the summer, and this occurred for houses, which dropped $75,000 from Q2, similar to drops in previous years. Condos bucked the trend and increased $40,000 quarter to quarter. (Q2 to Q3 change is not illustrated on this chart.) However, while the house inventory in the city has been relatively unchanged for 60+ years, tens of thousands of new condos have come into the market over recent decades, which means that comparing the basket of sales in different periods is not always apples to apples.
Q3 New Listings Coming on Market since 2005
New listings hitting the market dropped appreciably year-over-year, doing no favors for buyers competing for homes in Q3 overall, and in September specifically.
Average Days on Market, Q3 since 2005
In the last 6 years, overbidding percentages have usually declined from the Q2 spring selling season to the quieter Q3 summer market. But not this year: This year overbidding increased in July and September to their highest points since mid-2015.
We recently completed a report placing the Bay Area housing market within the context of a wide variety of other economic and demographic dynamics, such as population growth, employment and hiring, the stock and the IPO markets, consumer confidence, interest rates, commercial lease rates, aging homeowners (who sell less frequently), housing affordability and new housing construction. Because conditions, trends and cycles seen among them are, more often than not, closely interrelated. The full report is online here: Economic Context Report.
We have dozens of analyses of appreciation trends within specific SF neighborhoods and districts, and below is a sampling, some by median sales price and others by average dollar per square foot value. Some city neighborhoods plateaued or saw declines in values in 2016, when segments of the market distinctly cooled: Generally speaking, these were more expensive home segments, and condo markets most impacted by new-project condos coming on market with major new supply. Affordable house markets largely continued to appreciate in 2016. In 2017 to date, most areas of the city have experienced further appreciation.
Changes in these statistics do not necessarily correspond exactly to changes in fair market value, as they can be affected by a variety of factors. Neighborhoods with relatively few sales and broader ranges in individual sales prices are most prone to fluctuations unrelated to changes in fair market value. Longer-term trends are always more meaningful than shorter term. If you are interested in a neighborhood not included below, please let us know.
Please let us know if you have questions or we can be of assistance in any other way. Information on neighborhoods not included in this report is readily available.
Over the past 12 months, Paragon sold more San Francisco residential and multi-unit residential real estate than any other brokerage. (Dollar volume sales reported to MLS per Broker Metrics.)
These analyses were made in good faith with data from sources deemed reliable, but may contain errors and are subject to revision. It is not our intent to convince you of a particular position, but to attempt to provide straightforward data and analysis, so you can make your own informed decisions. Median and average statistics are enormous generalities: There are hundreds of different markets in San Francisco and the Bay Area, each with its own unique dynamics. Median prices and average dollar per square foot values can be and often are affected by other factors besides changes in fair market value. Longer term trends are much more meaningful than short-term.
© 2017 Paragon Real Estate Group