With the holiday slowdown and market seasonality in full swing, the number of homes actively listed for sale in San Francisco has dropped to 715, which is down 25 percent from this past October’s 7-year high in the absolute but 60 percent more than there were at the same time last year and pending sales remain down.

At a more granular level, the number of single-family homes currently listed for sale in the city (255) is now running 66 percent higher on a year-over-year basis while the number of listed condominiums (460) is up 57 percent, not including the vast majority of new construction condos still for sale across the city.

At the same time, the number of homes on the market priced at under a million dollars in San Francisco is now running 49 percent higher on a year-over-year basis. And 27 percent of all the homes currently listed for sale in the city have undergone at least one price reduction, which is now one percentage point higher than at the same time last year.

Expect inventory levels to continue to decline though the end of this month and the percentage of listings with a price cut, which topped out at 27 percent in San Francisco last year, and 32 percent the year before that, to continue to tick up.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by aerl

    Socketsite, do you have data on these trends for the different price segments of the market? That would be interesting to see…

    • Posted by SocketSite

      As noted above, the number of homes on the market priced at under a million dollars in San Francisco is now running 49 percent higher on a year-over-year basis, representing 34 percent of all listings versus 33 percent at the same time last year.

  2. Posted by Johnny Cage

    Inventory is up from an unnaturally low supply environment last year. Common sense: around 700 listings is still REALLY low for a population of 850,000 people thats growing fast…Socketsite needs to publish the supply story in context rather than just scary headlines…

    • Posted by SocketSite

      In terms of context, inventory levels actually remain at a 7-year seasonal high having bottomed circa 2015, while sales – both pending and closed over the past quarter – are down despite the increase in supply.

      And for the record, we find numbers useful and actionable, not scary.

      • Posted by ConfusedRenter

        What particular action is recommended?

        • Posted by Richard

          One can infer that a buyer’s market (at least relative to the nonsense of the last few years) is afoot. That is not good or bad, just depends on where you sit.

    • Posted by Sabbie

      “Growing fast” is in reality about 1% annually, but that’s also the birth rate. Which means babies are replacing people who actually work for a living, and babies don’t usually buy houses.

  3. Posted by ConfusedRenter

    There are about 600 transactions/month in SF. That puts us at just over 1.2 months of inventory. During the great recession, we’ve seen areas reach 6 months across the country.

    • Posted by SocketSite

      A few things to keep in mind in terms of actually understanding the market, metrics and trends at hand:

      1. While frequently misapplied to the local market, the “six months” of inventory metric is based on national trends and is actually considered a “balanced market,” at least on a national basis and ignoring local trends.

      2. Total sales have actually averaged closer to 470 a month over the past year in San Francisco, but with significant seasonality, compounding the misapplication of the aforementioned metric as inventory is seasonal as well.

      3. We’d certainly agree that none of the applicable metrics would suggest that we’re currently in the middle of another great recession, but the supply of new homes in the US has just crossed the 7 months of inventory mark for the first time since 2011, having averaged 4.5 months (and never crossing the 7 month mark) from 1995 to 2006 and then peaking around 12 months in early 2009.

      • Posted by heynonnynonny

        On (2), I thought part of the advantage of tracking the listings/sales ratio is that the seasonality effects in listings and sales should be partially cancelled, not compounded.

      • Posted by ConfusedRenter

        Is there a reason why one cannot look at months of supply on a local level?

        Just looking back to at great recession — I see articles quote 5.8 months and 3.8 months of supply for 2009 and 2010, respectively.

        1.2 months still seems like we are in a short supply by those comparisons.

  4. Posted by Plugger

    And prices are?

    Yep, still up

    • Posted by Pablito

      And volume is?
      Yep, still moving down.

      So fewer more expensive places are selling.

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