Having closed the gap in the fourth quarter of 2013, the number of single-family homes and condominiums listed for sale in San Francisco (389) is back to being lower on a year-over-year basis, down 21 percent and a new low in the absolute for the Ides of March.
In fact, the number of homes currently listed for sale in San Francisco is roughly a quarter the number which were listed at the same time in 2009 (1,648), the year in which spring inventory levels last peaked.
That being said, the number of new listings has outpaced the number of sales over the past two months, inventory levels are ticking up, and the number of new listings last week was nearly three times the number listed over the same week a year before. Inventory levels in San Francisco will typically build from the beginning of the year through June or July.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by REpornaddict

    wait..so inventory is down 21% yet sales were most recently up 27% despite this?
    That seems very extreme, and recipe for further rapidly rising prices, surely..?

  2. Posted by EBGuy

    Alameda County is seeing a slight uptick in inventory (year to year for Feb.), but its hard to get excited as the pickings are slim.

  3. Posted by EBGuy

    Inventory is also down (Redfin year to year for Feb) in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. No joy on the Peninsula.

  4. Posted by anon2

    Bloomberg just ran a piece about bubbly behavior in the DC market. I think their inventory is also down around 70% from peak.
    Aparently their version of tech IPO money is government contract money. It’s funny to read the comments on the blog referenced in the artice and see the same types of comments about inventory, flippers and all cash offers as you see here.

  5. Posted by Young Tech Guy

    You want to call government contract money and hundreds of bug tech payouts and IPOs all the same thing? They’re not. And that’s funny. I bet half million dollar overbidding, and up, isn’t a regular feature of DC real estate.

  6. Posted by Young Tech Guy

    Big

  7. Posted by REpornaddict

    Take your point about tech money vs govt contract, bit it’s all relative in some ways.
    Without looking into it too much, the median price for DC appears around 1/2 of SF – so I can see how something like extra govt contract money swiling around could be having something of a comparable effect.
    Not the same, and clearly smaller, but still comparable nevertheless.

  8. Posted by Young Tech Guy

    Comparable is comparable. “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day” springs to mind … Comparing a human being to a mutable 24 hour period. So does an apple and an orange. But I concede that how people might talk about capital injections might appear similar on a blog. What I object simply out is the uneducated IPO thing. Why don’t people understand that that is only a small part of the vast wealth being created? It’s comical to see the logic routes being taken in order to arrive at a point from which to scoff at “it’s different here.”

  9. Posted by parklife

    @Young Tech Guy
    It’s not so much the actual government contract money, it’s the amount paid to lobbyists, attorneys and consultants to access this money that is driving up costs. Like Tom Wolfe’s description in Bonfire of the Vanities, it’s the “Golden Crumbs” associated with the contracts.
    And don’t discount tech in the DC area. On a drive through northern VA you will see plenty of tech names all looking for their own access to some of that government largess.

  10. Posted by Young Tech Guy

    OK, point taken about the DC machinery. What of my point that the IPO meme has got to go? People keep saying it on here. Why don’t people understand that that is only a small part of the vast wealth being created locally. And that for every big company they read about, there are 40 smaller ones they never heard of making 3-20, let’s say, people piles of money right here in SF? Every quarter? (Let alone the 300 they never heard of that think they’re going to make big bucks, and won’t.)

  11. Posted by the wolf

    another small biotech company. Ultragenyx IPO’d in Jan.
    19 to 40 on day 1. now at 60+
    50+ newly minted millionaires with lockup in July. happening virtually every quarter in Bay Area

  12. Posted by parklife

    @Young Tech Guy
    That is very true. And much like DC, there are plenty of others in the SF metro area making money servicing these same companies whether that is Finance, Law or consulting.

  13. Posted by anon2

    “”So does an apple and an orange”
    A common factor can affect two things without turing one into the other. If it’s raining, both an apple tree and an orange tree will get wet, but apples won’t turn into oranges. However the reason the orange is wet isn’t because oranges have a unique ability to attract water, it’s due to the common factor of the rain.
    SF isn’t and won’t be DC, but the SF area has been home to tech and it’s money for a while and yet has seen very pronounced price changes.
    On an absolute scale DC prices are lower and might not be seeing $500k overbids regularly (And even in SF, this probably isn’t a regular occurrence), but look at this portion of the Bloomberg piece:
    “These seekers are not alone; I’ve heard this from a lot of people who want to buy a house. The bidding wars, which were common enough when we were looking, are now frantic: People are waiving inspections and practically any other contingency the bank will let them get away with, and also paying 20 percent to 50 percent above the asking price. “
    And it’s also interesting to see that the Bloomberg piece is talking about frenzies in transitional, out of the way neighborhoods just as we here are talking about potential changes in Bayview, Crocker-Amazon, Excelsior.

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