Another Hot Autumn in the SF Real Estate Market?

SF Bay Area real estate market charts 10. Where to buy a house in San Francisco, Bernal heights, Potrero Hill, Miraloma Park, West Portal, Ingleside terrace, Noe, Eureka Valley, Richmond

13 Sep Another Hot Autumn in the SF Real Estate Market?

Hello everyone, 

This month, our newsletter is jam-packed with information as we get ready for an awesome fall market. September is always a fun, exciting month as we finally get more inventory. Even though this is a good thing, listing agents get a bit nervous around this time. With so many choices, buyers can become indecisive and change their minds frequently as they search for the perfect home. And with more competition, they tend to get antsy (totally understandable). This creates an opportunity for buyers to take advantage of this by offering preemptively. The fall market typically lasts about 7 weeks before slowing down a bit for the holidays. In addition to working hard with buyers to get them into contract while there is a lot to chose from, we have several new listings coming up. We have a fantastic listing in Napa ( and we also have condos coming in Noe and The Mission Terrace, and a SFH in Mission Terrace very soon.

This September newsletter, written by Patrick Carlisle, describes the current market trends in detail. For instance, he notes that Eureka Valley has had a much larger jump in appreciation than the rest of Noe. For anyone living around Liberty or Sanchez, they know that this isn’t highly unusual: these homes do sell for high prices. I believe this trend will continue, since it’s a quiet, peaceful neighborhood yet walkable to Castro, the Mission and Noe Valley.

If you are looking for a new home, this is the perfect time to jump in the car with us to see a bunch of houses (and ask a lot of questions), so you can feel comfortable in knowing your options. Be sure to check out the video below and the attached newsletter, and if you have any questions at all, I’d be happy to chat with you any time.  Feel free to forward our newsletter to friends whom you think might enjoy it.

Happy fall!


Warmest Regards,


& The Krishnan Team

 Francisco Real Estate:
Another Hot Autumn Market?

September 2017 Report

Generally speaking, late summer market dynamics (or, for that matter, during the mid-winter doldrums) are not of great significance and do not tell us much about where the market is heading. September, however, is usually the single month with the greatest number of new listings hitting the market in San Francisco, and that surge fuels sales through mid-November, when activity begins to plunge. The coming two months will be the next major indicator: Will the SF market continue to maintain the intense high-demand, low-supply heat of this past spring, or will it cool? While the entire market is affected by seasonality, the luxury home segment is fiercely so, and the next couple months will be the peak selling period for high-end homes until spring 2018 rolls around.

City-Wide Home Appreciation Trends since 2005
Median Sales Prices & Average Dollar per Square Foot Values
As of September 1, the 3-month-rolling median sales price was $1,418,000 for SF houses, and $1,160,000 for condos. The average dollar per square foot value was $907 for houses and $1056 for condos.

SF Bay Area real estate market charts 1. San Francisco Median Price Appreciation

SF Bay Area real estate market charts 2. San Francisco home value appreciation

San Francisco Neighborhood Appreciation Rates
2011 to 2017 YTD, Median Sales Price Change

Median sales prices are not perfect indicators of changes in values for specific homes: They can be and often are affected by factors other than changes in fair market value, and shorter-term anomalies are not uncommon. What is certainly true is that every part of the city has seen tremendous appreciation since the recovery began in 2012, however the percentages on the charts below should be considered very approximate indications of the scale of change.

These charts delineate 2011 and 2017 YTD median sales prices by neighborhood, as well as the percentage change between the two. The 2 charts on house appreciation are followed by 2 on condo appreciation. If you wish information on a neighborhood not included in the charts below, please let us know.

SF HOUSE Median Sales Price Appreciation Rates
SF Bay Area real estate market charts 3. San Francisco Median House Price Appreciation Cole Valley, Ashbury, Eureka Valley, Dolores Heights, St Francis Wood, Potrero, Richmond, Sunset, Noe, Glen Park

NOTE: A perfect example of how median price changes can misrepresent changes in fair market value can be seen above: Typically, Noe Valley and Eureka Valley (Castro) have very similar median house prices, but in 2017 YTD, the Eureka Valley median price unexpectedly jumped by an astonishing $500,000 (23%), putting it far above Noe, and giving it a much higher overall appreciation rate. However, the average size of houses sold in Eureka Valley so far in 2017 suddenly jumped by 22% from 2016: That is, its houses did not just suddenly and inexplicably have a tremendous jump in value: the average size of homes sold changed, probably temporarily. Monthly median price changes in particular, trumpeted everywhere in the media as vitally important, are often unreliable due to seasonality and the small size of the data set.

SF Bay Area real estate market charts 4. San Francisco Median House Price Appreciation Miraloma Park, Ingleside, Sunnyside, Bayview
SF CONDO Median Sales Price Appreciation Rates

Thousands of newly constructed condos, which typically sell for higher prices than resale condos, have hit the marketin recent years, which means year-over-year comparisons are not always apples to apples. Generally speaking, comparable-condo appreciation rates have been well below house appreciation rates since 2015, because of the difference in the supply available to purchase.

SF Bay Area real estate market charts 5. San Francsico Meian Condo Price Appreciaion Marina, Cole Valley, Pac heights, Noe, Hayes, Potrero, Dolores

SF Bay Area real estate market charts 6. San Francisco Median Condo Price Appreciation Eureka Valley, Corona Heights, Dogpatch, Mission Bay, SOMA, South Beach, Diamond Heights

The September Rush of New Listings

General Market

SF Bay Area real estate market charts 7. San Francisco Market Seasonility New Homes


Luxury Home Market

For some reason, September 2016 saw a stupendous rush of luxury home listings coming on market, which among other effects led to the highest monthly number of luxury house sales ever in October 2016. (As an aside, luxury condo and co-op sales hit their highest sales volume this past June.)

SF Bay Area real estate market charts 8. San Francisco Luxury Homes Market, new listings, by month


Where to Look in Your Price Range

In August, we updated our complete series of charts delineating where one is most likely to find a home in a specific price range. Below are 2 of the charts, and the entire series can be found here: SF Neighborhood Affordability.

SF Bay Area real estate market charts 9. San Francisco where to buy a condo, soma, downtown, hayes, nopa, alamo square, yerba buena, noe, dolores, cole valley, north beach, bernal heights, potrero
Where to buy a condo in San Francisco, Downtown, SOMA, Richmond, Lake St, Laurel Heights, Russian Hill, Nob Hill, Telegraph Hills, North Beach, Pacific heights, Presidio, Marina, Cow Hollow, Potrero Hill, Bernal Heights, Dogpatch, Hayes Valley, Nopa, Alamo Square, South Beach, Yerba Buena, Mission Bay, Noe Valley, Eureka, Cole Valley, Mission Dolores.
SF Bay Area real estate market charts 10. Where to buy a house in San Francisco, Bernal heights, Potrero Hill, Miraloma Park, West Portal, Ingleside terrace, Noe, Eureka Valley, Richmond
Where to buy a house in San Francisco

National Housing Affordability

This next chart illustrates home affordability for selected metro areas across the country as calculated by the National Association of Realtors. The 7 Bay Area counties, in our 2 metro areas, are the least affordable in the nation – not the happiest of distinctions, except for those planning to sell and move out of the area.

SF Bay Area real estate market charts 11. San Francisco National Housing Affordability index USA
San Francisco, California & the United States

The appreciation of home prices in San Francisco since 2011 has out-performed overall state and national markets by a substantial margin.

SF Bay Area real estate market charts 12. San Francisco Median Home Sales Price by Year California and US Trends, Median House, condo

County House Markets

Since San Francisco is considered the big city in the Bay Area (though San Jose is actually larger), it seems counter-intuitive that its house market is one of the smallest, but this is a major part of its ruling dynamic: Very little supply compared to intense demand. Owners in the city (and the nation) are getting older, and selling their houses ever more infrequently. And virtually no new houses are being built within SF itself.

SF Bay Area real estate market charts 13. San Francisco COunty Market Sizes Annual house sales volume, Napa, Marin, San Mateo, Sonoma, Solano, Contra Costa

Condo sales significantly outnumber house sales in SF, and the supply of condos available to purchase has surged with new project construction. This has made that market segment somewhat less heated; condo owners also tend to sell more frequently than house owners. However, the condo market in the city is much more expensive than in other counties.

Bay Area Condo Markets

SF Bay Area real estate market charts San Francsico


Ultra-Luxury House Sales in San Francisco
Houses Selling for $5 Million & Above

A quick look at the very highest end of the SF market. Though other districts, such as the greater Noe-Eureka-Cole Valleys district, have increasingly surged into the luxury home segment, when it comes to the realm of the really big, most expensive houses, the district comprised of Pacific & Presidio Heights, Cow Hollow and Marina dominates with 75% of sales. House sales there can exceed $30m, though that is still very rare.

SF Bay Area real estate market charts 14. San Francisco ultra-luxury House Sales by District in Pacific heights, Marina, Sea Cliff, Lake, Jordan Park, Noe, Eureka, Cole Valley

Bay Area Home Price Appreciation
per the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index

Earlier in this report, it was mentioned that median price changes can sometimes be unreliable as indicators of actual appreciation. However, the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index measures appreciation using its own special algorithm tracking resales of the same home, and it does not use median sales prices. This first chart below, based on Case-Shiller, is a simplified, smoothed-out look at the up and down cycles over the past 33 years in the higher end of the Bay Area real estate market, which predominates in most of the city, Marin, San Mateo and areas like Piedmont, Diablo Valley and Lamorinda. Because it covers 5 counties, it merges the differences between their separate markets into a single trend line.

SF Bay Area real estate market charts 15. San Francisco cycles home price increases & declines by percentage, S&P Case-shiller home price index

This second Case-Shiller chart illustrates how homes in different price segments around the Bay Area have recently been appreciating at considerably different rates. C-S divides all the Bay Area house sales into thirds by number of sales: low-, mid- and high-price. As illustrated in the lower green line, the higher-priced segment went flat in appreciation in 2016, but then jumped back to life in 2017. The most affordable price segment (top blue line) has been experiencing the highest pressure of buyer demand and competitive bidding, and since April 2016, has out-appreciated the most expensive segment, 12.4% to 4.3%, i.e. almost triple the rate of increase. The middle price segment (gold line) has been in between, appreciating by 7.8%.

These dynamics are generally true within each county, as buyers, somewhat desperately, search for homes they can still afford, in the area they wish to live.

The numbers on this chart all refer to a January 2000 home price of 100. Thus 262 signifies a price 162% higher than in 2000.

SF Bay Area real estate market charts 16. S&P Case-shiller home price index for short-term changes by price tier, San Francisco

Months Supply of Inventory (MSI) 

The lower the months supply of inventory, the higher the demand as compared to the supply of homes available to purchase, i.e. lower MSI equals a hotter market. The entire Bay Area has been experiencing very, very low MSI figures recently, with San Mateo at rock bottom. (Its median house sales price has just recently been exceeding the median price in the city.) Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, generally offering considerably more affordable home prices than Silicon Valley, San Francisco and Marin are also at extreme lows.

Within SF itself, the MSI for houses alone, and especially in the more affordable neighborhoods, is substantially lower than the MSI for condos, though both have been very low since spring began.

SF Bay Area real estate market charts 17. San Francisco Months supply of inventory MSI supply & demand dynamics

Mortgage Interest Rates

Since the election, interest rates have seen a wild ride, first up and then down. As of the end of August, rates hit their lowest point so far in 2017, a significant financial advantage for buyers.

SF Bay Area real estate market charts 18. San Francsico Mortgage Interest Rate Trends

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.

All our many Bay Area real estate analyses can be found here:

Over the past 12 months, Paragon sold more San Francisco residential and multi-unit residential real estate than any other brokerage.



It is impossible to know how median and average value statistics apply to any particular home without a specific, tailored, comparative market analysis. In real estate, the devil is always in the details.

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


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