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January 3, 2022

SF Real Estate Takes On Covid in 2021—And Wins

The Bay Cropped

Let’s face it, San Francisco real estate was all about Covid’s continued influence on various aspects of our lives. Here’s my 2021 wrap-up:

House and condo prices increased. The average single-family home price was $2,284,268 (June-Dec 2021), up 14% from the same timeframe in 2020. Condos saw more modest appreciation, with the average price in the second half of 2021 clocking in at $1,309,448—a five percent boost from the same time in 2020.

Sales volume jumped in 2021.  With remote work looking like a semi-permanent thing, home buying and selling picked up. Those seeking more accommodating space or more suitable neighborhoods for themselves bought and sold homes at a rapid pace. Sales volumes increased 18% for houses and a whopping 53% for condos last year in comparison to 2020.

Open houses made a comeback. Realtors, home sellers and buyers rejoiced when open houses returned. With safety guidelines in place, buyers could drop in to see homes without signing pre-showing paperwork, agent escort and appointment.

Remote work never stopped. Many were hopeful that they’d return to the office, but the Covid uncertainties kept things at bay. San Francisco workers reconciled with the reality that they’d be WFH indefinitely.

Western San Francisco ruled. Remote work also convinced buyers that they didn’t need to be as close to tech shuttles, freeways to the South Bay and downtown transit as they once did. The Sunset saw record high prices, and demand rose for quieter neighborhoods like Sherwood Forest, Balboa Terrace and Diamond Heights—areas where space and nature are prized features.

Overbidding reached record highs. Almost a dozen homes in the western part of San Francisco saw overbids ranging from $1M to $1,755,000 in 2021. These were all homes with multi-million dollar list prices, proving that the high end of the market remained strong.

Remodeled homes commanded top dollar. Sky-high labor and material costs in the construction industry helped convince buyers to pony up for already “done” homes. Newly renovated single-family homes flew off the shelves, and condos with recently remodeled kitchens and baths were big winners.

Buyers waived contract contingencies. Multiple offer scenarios were the norm, and buyers pulled out all the stops when it came to competing for a home. They waived inspection, appraisal, loan and any other contingencies, and most sellers could count on one or more contingency-free offers in the mix.

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