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April 10, 2013

Seller’s Market Continues in San Francisco

The real estate market in San Francisco has been bouncing off the walls since late 2012, and we’re officially in a seller’s market. Buyers are pulling their hair out in multiple-offer situations, and sellers are wondering if prices will increase as 2013 wears on.

We now have three months’ worth of sales to analyze, and that data indicates that prices are up as much as 6% over the past 180 days, particularly in the single-family home and condo markets. Indeed, the average price for a house in the city was $1,163,261 in the first quarter of 2013, and $897,278 for a condo. TICs sold at an average of $758,244 per interest.

Cash sales are continually popping up, especially in extreme multiple-offer situations. It’s gotten to the point at which buyers with loans, contract contingencies and reasonable offer prices don’t have much of a chance in a 10+-offer scenario.

But fortunately for buyers, Spring will bring with it more inventory. I’ve been selling real estate for more than ten years, and it never fails that inventory rises when the weather gets nicer. Homeowners who are wary of making a move without knowing where they’ll go next are considering short-term, furnished rentals as pit stops, or consulting a lender to see if they can qualify for what’s called a “bridge” loan that will allow them to buy first and sell second.

We’ll also be seeing many new condo developments start to sell their units this year, which will appeal to those looking for housing in prime, centrally located and transit-rich neighborhoods. (However, buyers can expect pricing for these units in the $900-$1,000/sq foot range, and only half the units in a given building will typically have a deeded parking space.)

If you’re an intrepid buyer heading out into San Francisco real estate waters, make sure you complete a solid preapproval so you’ll be ready when you unexpectedly see the home that you’re meant to buy. And if you’re a seller who’d thinking of putting your home on the market later this year, now is a good time to start consulting with your Realtor so you can put your plan in motion.

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