A Closer Look at the San Francisco Real Estate Market 11/1/20

This report explores the current San Francisco Single-Family and Condo/TIC/Co-op markets based on Price Per Square Foot, Sales Price, Days On Market, Months Supply, and the number of Sold Listings. Additionally, we have included New Listings and Pending Sales for a closer look at the inventory trends. Monthly figures are shown for the last three years. Our latest data point is October of 2020 and the graphs indicate October of 2019 as a year over year marker. This gives us insight into the traditional fluctuations of the market and how the current pandemic has impacted it. Notes are included on each page to discuss our thoughts on the key metrics.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a market where trends for Single-Family homes diverged significantly from that of the Condo/TIC/Co-Op. However, we may be starting to see some increasing parity in these two segments. In our last report we stated that anecdotal evidence from busy contractors, stagers, and photographers, combined with an expected seasonal September peak, suggested more inventory was on the way. That inventory did arrive and now seems to be subsiding.

In summary, the figures do bear out what we have seen trending in our own sales. Many of our clients have completed a move to the North or East Bay or larger home within the City limits. This is largely due to the pandemic conditions accelerating plans that they already had in motion and/or the often-mentioned transition to work from home. With the school year now underway and the holiday season rapidly approaching, we would typically expect a slowing of sales and a reduction in sales price. November sales will likely set the stage for the next couple of months.


Average Price Per Sq Ft remains greater than $1,000/sq ft for SFH, down slightly from$1,029/sq ft this time last year. The Condo/TIC/Co-Op category is 12.4% lower year over year. This highlights the reduced desirability for condos in recent months and may also be influenced by the desirability of larger units.


Median SFH prices are flat year-over-year. While not showing the cyclical October peak that usually see, we also did not see the traditional late summer dip in price. This is largely due to the increased desirability for SFH in recent months. Condo/TIC/Co-Op prices have fallen 12.4% year-over-year. Note that this category peaked last October. Both Categories show disruption from the pandemic. Condo/TIC/Co-op prices reflect the recent increase in inventory and therefore increased competition in that segment.


DOM for single-family homes remains low at 26, up slightly from 22 this time last year. At 41 DOM Condo/TIC/Co-Ops are significantly higher year over year but trending downward from last month. As we will explore later, it appears that some of the Condo/TIC/Co-Op inventory is being absorbed. Note that DOM is based on when a sale goes pending. Longer loan and inspection contingencies typically extend DOM though the property may be in contract earlier. In our experience loan contingencies tend to more common and longer in the Condo/TIC/Co-Op category. Open houses are not being conducted due to the COVID-19 pandemic which makes it much more time consuming for buyers to view available inventory.


Sold property counts dipped at the traditional time in February with additional delay in rising for SFH. October is typically one of our cyclical market peaks and SFH sales were higher than seen in the last three years. Condo/TIC/Co-Op sales reached their low in May despite that typically being a peak month. Trending upward since then, they are now positive year over year. This is likely a result from buyer/seller changing needs and consumer adjustment to the pandemic situation.


As of our October data point SFH inventory is 3.6 months, down significantly from an early August peak of 4.6 months. Condo/TIC/Co-Op inventory had grown to 8.2 months but seems to have reached the traditional September peak and is now falling at 7.5 months in October. The next pages will explore New Listings and Pending Sales to further understand these trends.


SFH New Listings were down 2% year over year and remain in the range we have seen in recent years at 240. New Listings for Condos/TIC/Co-Op was up 8.4% year over at 373. This is down significantly from a multi year peak of 649 in July. As previously shown, the traditional dip in listings over the summer was largely absent this year as the pandemic changed people’s housing needs. A downward trend in new listings is typical this time of year.


October is a traditional seasonal peak for Pending Sales in San Francisco and this year was no exception. SFH Pending Sales swelled to 283, the highest figure we have seen in the three years shown. Though the Condo/TIC/Co-Op segment did not reach the same peak, it has hovered around last year’s peak for the last three months. This larger area under the curve, combined with the reduction in new listings, is significantly reducing available inventory. Our boots on the ground experience corroborates the improved demand for the Condos/TICs/Co-Op category having seen premium condos in high demand, selling quickly, and over for asking.