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May 4, 2020

Home Prices Stable, Volume Down During SF SIP

The shelter in place (SIP) restrictions put San Francisco real estate on pause for a bit in mid March. But our local market is stable and sales are happening, despite the adversity. Prices are not declining, though volume is down by half. We now have six weeks’ worth of SIP market sales activity that will guide buyer and seller decisions in 2020.

The buyers and sellers doing business now are typically motivated by life situations—job relocation, financial situation, domestic changes, for example. Real estate is anything but recreational right now.

Properties in good locations are still seeing multiple offers and overbidding, though more for single-family homes than condos. Cash sales represent only a small portion of activity.

Here’s a SIP market snapshot [March 17th (first day of SIP) through April 30th]:

Single-Family Homes
# sold: 166
Average price: $2,030,728
# sold over list price: 111 (68%)
# sold 20%+ over list price: 43
# cash sales: 23
Neighborhood with highest overbids: Bernal Heights, Sunnyside, Miraloma Park, Outer/Central Richmond, Outer Parkside, Inner/Central Sunset

# sold: 188
Average price: $1,351,796
# sold over list price: 106 (56%)
# sold 20%+ over list price: 12
# cash sales: 24
No specific neighborhoods with high overbidding, just a few here and there.

There are still limitations on what properties are accessible for physical showings; for example, we are not allowed to show tenant-occupied homes. Showings are for serious, qualified buyers only and we likely won’t be resuming open houses anytime soon. Screening homes by viewing virtual tours, floor plans, disclosures and location is a must before you can physically see a property.

Many sellers are electing to price their homes transparently, meaning at a price they’ll accept. The smaller buyer pool is less likely to result in a heady, multiple-offer situation that will drive up the price.

Listing agents have gotten much more creative with respect to including homemade video walkthrough tours on Web sites, virtual staging and virtual open houses.

Mortgage companies and banks have tightened up their lending. It’s important for buyers to consult with their lender to verify whether anything has changed with their preapproved loan amount.

Consumers will have more access to “off-market” inventory while working with their real estate agent. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has officially banned the practice of promoting listings exclusively within agent networks, on Realtor Web sites or with For Sale signs. If an agent promotes a listing through these or other channels, he or she is required to enter that listing into the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) within 24 hours. However, many of these listings are now in a “Coming Soon” category in the MLS that doesn’t allow for public visibility. Your agent needs to be on top of the Coming Soon inventory so you don’t miss out on any opportunities.

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