A Survey of San Francisco Bay Area
Real Estate MarketsFebruary 2018
I hope everyone is having fabulous February! In this month’s newsletter, we have taken a wide look at the Bay Area markets. One of my favorite charts below shows how many square feet you would get in various parts of the Bay Area if you had 1 million dollars to spend. Apparently, for a million dollars you could get around 600 SqFt in Palo Alto, 700 SqFt in Pacific Heights, or almost 3,900 SqFt in Alamo!
Spring seems to have arrived early to the SF market and we the Krishnan Team have been very busy prepping many homes about to hit the market. Coming soon, we have a super hip place on Natoma Street in SOMA that can be used as a single family home, a two-unit building, or even a commercial building. We are fortunate to have listed this home a few years back and feel honored the person who bought it has reached out to us to help sell it once more. See the write up on SF Curbedfrom the previous time we sold this building. Stay tuned for many more listings to come, including a few of the sweetest single family homes in Noe Valley, Merced Manor, and Inner Sunset as well as a spacious condo on 3rd Ave in theInner Richmond.
On a personal note, one of my core values is to grow and find ways to constantly push myself. For that reason, I have really enjoyed building a network of stellar agents all around the Bay Area. I regularly meet with a few groups of the very top-performing Realtors in the Bay Area. We focus on sharing ideas, on challenges, and on brainstorming solutions to help us be our best selves. If you are ever looking for an agent outside of San Francisco, let me know. Chances are, I will have a great Agent to introduce you to.
In family news, Roshen lost his two front teeth and has the cutest toothless smile ever!! After recovering from pneumonia and jetlag, I am struggling to get back to my morning routine. I know that getting back to it will give me more energy throughout the day and help me feel centered, calm, and energetic. Although I need to try harder to get back to my routine, the extra sleep I have been getting lately has been very much needed and enjoyed. If you have ideas on how to get motivated or inspired to get your butt out of bed and start your day right, I would love to hear them. I’m going to start by revisiting the book, Miracle Morning. I will let you know how it goes.
As you know, we are always here for you! Feel free to email or call us if we can help in any way. Please do send us an introduction to anyone you know who might be thinking of buying or selling. It’s never too early to consult a Realtor for ideas and strategies.
Bay Area Home Price Maps Our newly updated median home price maps for the entire Bay Area by city, for San Francisco by neighborhood, and then specifically for the Marin, Diablo Valley & Lamorinda, and Wine Country markets. To access them, click on the map image below and then roll your cursor over the maps on the webpage.
Bay Area Q4 2017 Median House Sales Prices
Bay Area 2017 Median Condo Sales Prices
One cannot draw many conclusions regarding the new year market by looking at January data, whose low volume of sales mostly reflects offers accepted in December, however, so far, it appears that the low-inventory/ strong-buyer-demand dynamic is continuing in 2018. One recurring situation in recent years is that buyers jump back into the market in January in larger numbers than sellers getting their homes listed to sell – setting up a mismatch between supply and demand. Typically, many more listings will start pouring onto the market in February and March, and a much better idea regarding where the market is heading in 2018 will be possible once spring selling season data starts coming in.
Since questions constantly arise as to how one development or another is affecting or may affect Bay Area real estate markets – new tax laws, the high-tech boom, interest rates, financial markets, new home construction, climate change, and so on – our chief market analyst has made an attempt to identify and quantify the factors currently at play: Positive & Negative Factors in Bay Area Real Estate Markets
Year-over-Year Home Price Appreciation Rates
Comparing 2017 Median Sales Prices to 2016 Prices
————————————————————Average Dollar per Square Foot Values
& What You Get for $1 Million in the Bay Area
Your great aunt gives you a check for a million dollars to buy a home, so you go down to the real estate store to fill your cart. Below are some examples of how much home you would get for your money at 2017 average dollar per square foot rates: In Palo Alto, you could buy 626 square feet of home, and in Vallejo, 3817 square feet, with many other options in between.
Bay Area Luxury Home Markets
Though San Francisco is a major player in luxury home sales, Silicon Valley – Santa Clara & San Mateo Counties together – has over 3.5 times as many homes selling for $2m and above. All 3 counties have similar average dollar per square foot house values in this high-price category. SF dominates the luxury condo market, and these condos, on average, sell at the highest per square foot values in the Bay Area. Marin, Alameda and central Contra Costa Counties have smaller luxury home segments, but you start to get more for your money.
Market Dynamics Overviews
The decline in active listings available to purchase has played a significant role in pressurizing the market in recent years, especially as buyer demand has increased over the same period during which supply has dropped.
Since median sales prices are so often quoted and compared, it adds context to look at the average size of houses in the different markets. (Comparing median prices to average sizes is not ideal, but you get the idea.)
New Housing Construction
This chart below from the November 2017 Housing Inventory Report issued by the SF Planning Department is for 2016, but illustrates how new housing construction in Alameda County has recently accelerated ahead of San Francisco and Santa Clara. Our larger analysis of this report, which focuses mostly on San Francisco, can be found here: SF New Home Construction Report
Days on Market, Overbidding Asking Prices
& Months Supply of Inventory
Interest Rate Trends
Interest rate changes will certainly be one of the main factors to keep an eye on in 2018, as they play a huge role in housing affordability.
Bay Area Unemployment Rate Trends
Bay Area Housing Affordability Trends
The CAR Housing Affordability Index, of which the trend lines since 1991 are charted below, estimates the percentage of households who can afford to purchase a median priced house in their county, based on a 20% downpayment. The big factors in this analysis are prevailing household incomes, interest rates, and, of course, quarterly median house sales prices. It should be noted that half of home sales are, by definition, below the median sales price, and that if one included condos in the equation, that would add substantially to affordability percentages.
For Q1 2018, the Index will attempt to factor in the effects of the new federal income tax law limiting mortgage interest, property tax and state income tax deductions, which will presumably reduce affordability percentages further. As seen below, many Bay Area counties are already getting close to historic lows, clearly one of our biggest social and economic challenges.
County to County, Metro Area to Metro Area
& State to State Migration TrendsBay Area County-to-County Migration
Though people from all over the country and world migrate to and from the Bay Area, the greatest flow is actually betweenthe local counties themselves. In net migration numbers, amid all the back and forth, people are, generally speaking, flowing from the core, most expensive counties to adjacent, somewhat less expensive counties, and then to even more affordable counties outside the inner Bay Area. However, the inner core counties, where the high-tech boom has been most concentrated, attract significant immigration from outside the Bay Area, state and U.S., which is why their population numbers have continued to grow. Note: This chart does not include Santa Clara County, though much of its migration patterns can be seen in the data of the other counties.
U.S. Metro Area to Metro Area Migration
This chart pertains to immigration in and out of the 5-county San Francisco metro area, which does not include Santa Clara to its south. Between U.S. metro areas, more people are leaving the SF metro than arriving, but that deficit has been more than made up for by substantial numbers of foreign immigrants. These numbers, however, pre-date the much more hostile view of immigration by the current administration, so we will have to wait and see what effects derive from that change. Looking at net metro-area migration, more people come to the SF metro area from Santa Clara County, Southern California, New York, Chicago and Boston. And more people leave the SF metro area to go to other (less expensive) CA counties east and north of the Bay Area, and to metro areas in Texas, Nevada, Oregon and Washington State. The exodus is made up of both people changing jobs, and retirees, though they tend to go to different places.