Mixed Signals in San Francisco Real Estate Market

Autumn markets in counties around the Bay Area have seen significant shifts, with wide variance in the magnitude of these changes between counties. So far, San Francisco itself has seen less dramatic changes than  other local markets such as Santa Clara and Sonoma Counties.

Homes that sell have generally continued to sell quickly, at prices often well over asking. Median sales prices are considerably higher on a year-over-year basis. However, listing inventory has climbed, sales volume has dropped, and the numbers of price reductions and expired listings have increased. Luxury house sales hit a new all-time high in San Francisco. Luxury condos hit a new sales peak for the month of October, but the number of listings hit a new all-time high. 

Market statistics are generating contradictory readings amid a background of financial market and political volatility, and rising interest rates. Some standard statistics take time to reflect changes on the ground, and will bear watching in coming months.

Median Sales Price Appreciation

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Luxury Home Sales Hit New Highs

Houses selling for $3 million and above hit an all-time high - by a tad at 38 sales - in October 2018, as reported to MLS. The great majority of these sales occurred in 2 districts, the Noe, Eureka and Cole Valley district, and the Pacific & Presidio Heights-Marina district - though smaller numbers of sales took place in a wide variety of other neighborhoods. The highest-price sales were for $32 million in Pacific Heights and $16 million in Nob Hill. There were 4.5 months of inventory at the end of October, not a particularly high level of inventory for this market segment, and down 15% from October 2017.

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Luxury condos, co-ops and TICs selling for $2 million+ hit their highest point ever for the month of October - 32 sales - but were well below highs hit in previous spring selling seasons. The highest sale in October, as reported to MLS, was for $10.9 million - a 3200 sq.ft. unit in the St. Regis in Yerba Buena. However, the number of active listings also hit an all-time high in September (144) and  October (141) - 11% higher than October 2017, the previous peak (not illustrated on the sales chart below). The months supply of inventory stood at 6.5 months, which would be considered high as compared to the last 5 years - and does not include many new-project luxury condos not listed in MLS.

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SF District Median Sales Price Appreciation since 2005

Short-term fluctuations are not particularly meaningful as pertaining to changes in fair market values - and big fluctuations are more common in more expensive areas. What are important are the longer term trends.

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Compass is a licensed real estate broker (01991628) in the State of California and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, condition, sale, or withdraw without notice. No statement is made as to accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footages are approximate. Exact dimensions can be obtained by retaining the services of an architect or engineer. This is not intended to solicit property already listed

dpaul brown