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June 8, 2023

SF House Market Report: May 2023

1432 Wawona

San Francisco single-family home sales continued on their upward trajectory in May, with volume and median price topping April’s numbers. This is good news when you consider that April, May and June activity represent the peak time of year for our market.

Home buyers are still grappling with higher interest rates, as well as uncertainty with obtaining home insurance. We’re seeing some insurers balking on covering older homes with outdated, knob-and-tube wiring, or rejecting applications for other reasons. And the SF Realtor Association is in the process of updating the purchase agreement to include a boilerplate contingency specifying that the buyer must be able to obtain insurance. But in general, buyers in areas outside of the city in more fire- or flood-prone zones are experiencing more issues.

Here’s the latest on how the house market did in May:

Volume check: May saw a 12% jump in sales over April, with 183 homes closing. That’s still 33% fewer year-over-year (YOY) sales. I don’t expect the YOY comparisons to end favorably for 2023 anytime soon.

Median price: May’s median price ($1,650,000) topped April’s ($1,575,000) by almost 5%. Same deal on the YOY front, though. That May median was still 17.5% less than that of May 2022 ($2M).

Overbidding was tempered. Buyers didn’t go big beyond the usual west side and southeastern neighborhoods, with a few exceptions here and there. The average citywide overbid was only 4%, and 40 of the 183 closed sales changed hands for 20% or more over the list price. There were one or two frenzies. I’m thinking of you, 1432 Wawona. This 4BR/3.5BA, 2417 sq ft home with 1970s-era kitchen and baths was listed for $1,395,000 and garnered 22 offers. Final sale price? $2,155,000—54% over asking. (Photo above courtesy Corcoran Icon Properties)

Luxury buyer activity is still in the doldrums. 24 houses closed for $3M+, with 10 selling for under asking. Noe Valley’s 729 Elizabeth managed to squeak by with a big overbid. The updated Victorian listed for $3,889,000 closed for $4.7M in an all-cash transaction.

Inventory check. There are 317 available single-family homes as of this writing, at a median price of $1,850,000. 166 of those homes have been on the market for 30 or more days at a median list price of $2,492,500, and roughly 155 homes are in contract.

Pro Tips
Follow the pricing/sale pattern for your type of house and neighborhood when you’re deciding on a list price. Remember that there are only certain pockets of the city where big overbidding is happening. If you’re not in those pockets, don’t shoot yourself in the foot by listing too low.

Buyers: If you’re making a competitive offer on a house, run the details past your insurance agent to see if there are any obvious red flags. If there are, you may want to make sure to include a contingency that getting insurance is a contingency of your contract.

[All data courtesy of the San Francisco Multiple Listing Service.]

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