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March 3, 2016

Single-Family Home Market Soars in San Francisco


Houses are a hot ticket—especially for properties under $1,500,000 in neighborhoods with high Walk Scores and easy Muni/BART access.

The “fixer” market is ripe with contractors and developers looking to invest in their latest flip, and would-be owner occupiers looking to build sweat equity. Take the small home (see photo) at 626 Faxon in Westwood Park. Steps from Ocean Avenue’s Muni line to downtown and its array of shops, restaurants and of course, Whole Foods, 626 Faxon was listed for $699,000. The seller received 42 offers, and the property will close in the mid-$900,000s.

Buyers looking for homes for under $1,500,000 are repeatedly taken in by list prices just under $1,000,000 that are designed to attract many, many offers and/or very, very high selling prices. These situations also demand waiving contingencies and handing over your firstborn if you expect to “win” the property.

The reality is that the average year-to-date price of a single-family home in San Francisco is $1,621,201. The more popular the neighborhood, the higher the price and competition levels.

Here are the YTD average prices in some of the most popular single-family home neighborhoods (keeping in mind that prices are typically higher in the more desirable parts of a given neighborhood):
Bernal Heights: $1,400,000
Potrero Hill: $2,173,000
Sunnyside: $1,290,000
Outer Parkside/Sunset: $1,067,000
Noe/Eureka Valleys: $2,533,000
Central Parkside/Sunset: $1,270,000
Outer Richmond: $1,012,000
Central Richmond: $1,700,000
Inner Richmond: $2,850,000
Inner Sunset: $1,635,000

If your price range is below these averages—or you’re not cool with waiving appraisal, loan and inspection contingencies to compete—it may be a good idea to look at properties that are more realistically within your budget. That may mean a condo vs a house in a top neighborhood, and a great way to get on the homeownership path.

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