Next Hot San Francisco Real Estate Market

Opposite of mainstream news talking about down markets and bubbles... I'm predicting an uptick of Activity and possibly prices in San Francisco's most sought after neighborhoods. Why? Well, there are a lot of reasons, but the focus of this post is that the Fall is the 2nd hottest Selling season for San Francisco properties... the first being the Spring, March thru June.

Every year the Fall tends to have a higher percentage of sales than Winter or Summer, and usually an uptick in prices too. Why is the Fall hotter than the Summer? Well, literally the Fall weather is hotter than Summer weather. As locals know, San Francisco's Summer is often cold and foggy - hence Mark Twain's famous quote, "The coldest winter I ever spent was a Summer in San Francisco".

The Fall is gorgeous, and really, the most beautiful time of year in SF. Plus, San Francisco has far few families who prefer to relocate when school is out than the majority of U.S. real estate markets so they don't prefer Summer moves. Finally, there are a ton of vacations and weddings that take out big chunks of Buyers at a time throughout the summer.

With all of the above, what San Francisco ends up with is pent up home sellers waiting to put their homes on the market after Labor Day... and pent up Buyers who weren't focused on Buying, plus those Buyers who were out looking but found the best properties weren't on the market yet.

If the above holds true once more, both Buyers and Sellers of San Francisco real estate are going to come out of the wood works and overall activity will go up. If Buyers finally realize the sky is not falling, and since Sellers are mostly too rich here to need to drop their prices, we could also get a ton of competition which could lead to increased home prices.

So let's follow the market day by day to see what happens! Initially I'll focus on new listings.... ie. homes and Condos just listed in the MLS... and again, this is ONLY for the City of San Francisco. Although I'm also going to narrow it down just a bit more... I'm going to exclude "District 10" which is where most of the Short Sales, REO's and drop in prices has occurred in San Francisco. Nearly every other district (there are 10 San Francisco "Districts" on the Realtor Map found here) is either flat or up this year.

Today, Sept 2nd, there are 360 Single Family Homes for sale in the San Francisco MLS in District's 1 thru 9. You can sort of make out in this an image of my MLS back office the number 360 in the "Preview Count"
area - with the "Single-Family Homes" box checked under "Property Types" and Districts 1-9 selected in the lower left.

For Condos I've included Lofts and Coops, but excluded TIC's, and today there are 519 Condos/Lofts/Coops for sale.

I'll track For-Sale properties in the first 2 weeks of September when I expect a ton of new listings to hit the market. And then we'll track Pending and Sold properties thereafter. So what's your prediction - flat market, up market, or down market in San Francisco this Fall?

To help provide further data... Condos/Lofts/Coops there are 235 Pending or Contingent properties - those that are in contract... or what I'll refer to as "Summer sales" even though they will Close in September. Additionally, there were 144 Sold Condos that Closed From August 1st thru today, Sept 2nd. Funny enough there were also exactly 144 Single Family Home sales in San Francisco for the same 8/1 to 9/2 time period.

So... predictions anyone?

December 23rd update - the financial crisis hit days after this post, and still hasn't let up. By my estimates and research and "feet of the street" feel, most of the "better" neighborhoods are down 10% - losing all of their 2008 appreciation (many were up 10% believe it or not) and areas like SOMA are down 15% to 20% off of an already depreciated number, so 20% to 30% down for the year. Now for prediction for 2009? Maybe I shouldn't, but I'm still FAR more optimistic than most - see my most recent posts by clicking on this blog's header.

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