Seasonality in the San Francisco Homes Market

Seasonality in the San Francisco Homes Market

August 2014 Report by Paragon Real Estate Group

Seasonality typically affects inventory levels, buyer demand and median home prices, often in significant ways – as is illustrated in the following charts. However, it is not the only factor affecting market conditions and trends – general economic conditions, new construction projects coming on market, sudden changes in interest rates, stock market IPOs, natural and political events, and other factors can and do impact the market as well. It should also be noted that new listings and new sales occur every month of the year – and sometimes, depending on prevailing market conditions and the specific property, buying or selling during the slower periods can be the smart strategy.

The devil’s always in the details, and the details of the market change constantly. Still, there is a typical ebb and flow to the level of activity in the market that correlate with seasonality, and that is what this report explores from a variety of angles.

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Without inventory, there is no market. These first 3 charts show the classic effects of seasonality on supply and demand.

Seasonality_Listings-Accepting-Offers Seasonality_Listings-For-Sale Seasonality_New-Listings

As seen in this next chart, the higher-price end of the market is usually more affected by seasonality that the general market. Among other effects, this will usually raise the median sales price during the peak spring and autumn selling periods, and lower them in the slower periods of summer and mid-winter (as delineated in the final chart). Note: In the chart, the changes up and down in sales are plotted based upon the sales of January 2013 equaling a base line of 100. This is a very approximate illustration, because of other factors that affect the analysis, though we do believe it reflects the market reality.

Seasonality_Lux-vs-General-Market

This final chart illustrates both the rapidly appreciating real estate market since 2012 and the shorter term ups and downs that seasonality can play in median home prices. Of course, in an appreciating or depreciating market, there are usually other factors impacting median sales prices as well – as always, what is most meaningful is the longer term trend in home prices, not short-term fluctuations.

Seasonality_Median-SFD-Price

Bay Area Home Price Report

Bay Area Real Estate Values

Bay Area Luxury Home Sales

San Francisco Home Prices by Neighborhood

August 2014 Report by Paragon Real Estate Group

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Bay Area Home Prices – Mapped

Our updated map of comparative house values around the Bay Area: The trend virtually everywhere around the Bay has been continued appreciation since the recovery began in earnest in early 2012. Please note that median sales prices and average dollar per square foot values are statistical generalities that may fluctuate for a number of reasons.

8-14_Map_Bay-Area_Median_House-Price

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Bay Area Luxury Home Sales

Luxury home sales have soared all around the Bay Area, but are concentrated most in the 3 counties most affected by the high-tech wealth boom – Santa Clara, San Mateo and San Francisco – as well as Marin, which has been a very wealthy county for a long time. In San Francisco, condos and co-ops make up a significant percentage of high-end sales (and generally achieve the highest dollar per square foot values), but in other counties, the luxury segment is comprised almost exclusively of houses, estates and, in the wine country, ranch/vineyard estates.

As a point of context, Santa Clara is the most populous Bay Area county with about 1,875,000 residents; then come Alameda (1.58m), Contra Costa (1.1m), San Francisco (835,000 residents, about 60% of whom are renters), San Mateo (750k), Sonoma (500k), Marin (260k) and Napa (140k). As a percentage of total sales, homes selling for $2,000,000 and above make up about 13% of Marin’s market, 11% of San Francisco’s, 10% of San Mateo’s, 7% of Santa Clara’s, 5% of Napa’s, and under 2% in Sonoma, Contra Costa and Alameda Counties. Solano had no home sales over $2m reported to MLS during this period.

Of course, $2,000,000 will buy you a lot more in some counties and neighborhoods than in others. The devil’s always in the details – and this is only a broad brush overview.

Bay-Area_Lux-Home-Sales_by-County

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San Francisco Home Prices by Neighborhood

Below are 2 of 8 updated tables breaking down the city’s 2014 YTD sales by neighborhood, property type, bedroom count, median and average sales prices, and average dollar per square foot value. Each table is in order of median sales price.

All 8 tables can be found online here: San Francisco Home Values.

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8-14_2BR-Condo

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662 Elizabeth Street

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233 Stanyan Street

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1371 8th Avenue

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320 Joost Avenue

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118 Galewood Circle

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From our NorCal network : The Artisan Group

4791959

172/174 Snug Harbor Road
Glenbrook, NV 89413
Offered at $4,150,000

For more information about this property or a referral to other areas of Northern California, please contact me.

Market Shifts in the San Francisco Homes Market

Where to Buy in San Francisco for under $1,000,000

Shifts in the San Francisco Luxury Home Market

The Biggest San Francisco Home Sales of the Year

The Paragon August 2014 Market Report

For your convenience, a map of San Francisco neighborhoods is included at the bottom of the newsletter. Adjusting your screen-view to zoom 125% or 150% will make the charts easier to read.

Buying a Home for under $1 Million

There has been a lot of chatter in the media recently about the median home price in San Francisco hitting $1,000,000. Here’s a look at the neighborhoods where one is most likely to find something under that price.

If one wishes to buy a house for less than a million dollars, choices are definitely shrinking with the recent, huge surge of appreciation – approximately 50% over the past 2.5 years. Neighborhoods like Bernal Heights, Miraloma Park and the Richmond district are quickly dropping off the list of options. The largest selection of affordable houses is now in the neighborhoods running along the western and southern borders of the city.

Houses_Under_1m

Looking for a condo or TIC under $1 million opens up a completely different and much wider array of neighborhood options in San Francisco. Needless to say, what one can buy at a particular price point may vary tremendously between neighborhoods.

Condo-TIC-sales-Under_1m

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Shifts in the San Francisco Luxury Home Market

20 years ago, “San Francisco luxury home” referred to real estate in the northern band of old-prestige neighborhoods running from Sea Cliff/ Lake Street/ Jordan Park through the Pacific Heights/ Marina district, to Russian, Nob & Telegraph Hills (plus a few smaller enclaves like St. Francis Wood and Ashbury Heights). Those neighborhoods are still known for large, beautiful, expensive homes and, indeed, still dominate the ultra high-end. But other districts have developed footprints in the luxury market due to changing tastes and demographics, to the high-tech boom creating new centers of gravity for wealth (and changing commuting patterns), and to the formation of entirely new SF neighborhoods.

The general Noe, Eureka and Cole Valleys district (much of which was originally blue-collar neighborhoods) is now one of the most sought after areas of the city, and its prices have blown through the roof – more houses over $2 million now sell here than in all the prestige northern neighborhoods combined. In the South Beach, Yerba Buena and Mission Bay area, some of the most expensive condo buildings in the country have risen from formerly B-class commercial-industrial wastelands. And most recently, new $1000+ per square foot condo buildings are beginning to pop up in places like the Mission, Hayes Valley and the Market Street corridor, catering to new, young, high-tech buyers.

These two charts show the shifts that have occurred just in the past 7 years.

Lux-Condo_Market-Shifts

Lux-House_Market-Shifts

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Sales Prices Over & Under List Price

Believe it or not, this next chart, which shows an incredible percentage of San Francisco home sales selling for more, and often much more, than asking price, actually indicates a small cooling from May’s market. In May, 7% of homes sold went through price reductions before sale; in July, price reductions went up to 11%. In May, the percentage of homes selling for 20% or more over list price was 29%; in July, that dropped to 24%. In May, 8% sold more than 1% under list price; in July, it was 12%. Most of July’s sales went into contract in June and if the market is cooling further, which is not unusual in mid-summer, it won’t show up in the statistics until later.

Over-Under-at-LP_July14

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Biggest Home Sales of 2014 YTD, by Neighborhood

These two charts of the most expensive house and condo sales so far this year are not comprehensive, but simply snapshots of highest home prices achieved in a selection of neighborhoods around the city. One can’t help loving the idea that the biggest SF home sale reported to MLS so far in 2014, at $11 million, was marketed as having “tremendous potential.”

Biggest_Condo-Sales

Biggest_House-Sales

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We recently wrote an article on the underlying conditions that, we believe, have given rise to our current real estate market, which can be found here: 10 Factors Behind the SF Market. Our mid-year report on the Bay Area apartment building market is here: Paragon Apartment Market Report. And our recent update on the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index is here: SF Metro Area Case-Shiller Report.

Median Home Sales Price by Month

As is quite common, the overall median sales price dropped in July after the spring spike. Such short-term fluctuations don’t have much significance until substantiated over the longer term.

Median-Prices_Short-Term

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Mortgage Interest Rates

Interest rates, whose movements are famously difficult to predict, have for the time being remained very low – an important dynamic in the real estate market as people compare the costs of renting and buying.

Average_30-Year_Mortgage-Rates

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San Francisco Neighborhood Map

For your convenience, below is a map of the city’s neighborhoods.

San_Francisco_Neighborhood_Map

SAN FRANCISCO REALTOR DISTRICTS

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

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

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

District 4 (Central SW): 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 (Central): Noe Valley, Eureka Valley/Dolores Heights (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 (Central North): Hayes Valley, North of Panhandle (NOPA), Alamo Square, Western Addition, Anza Vista, Lower Pacific Heights

District 7 (North): Pacific Heights, Presidio Heights, Cow Hollow, Marina

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

District 9 (East): SoMa, South Beach, Mission Bay, Potrero Hill, Dogpatch, Bernal Heights, Inner Mission, Yerba Buena

District 10 (Southeast): 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, for example, includes both Russian Hill and the Tenderloin.

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47 Octavia Street

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