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September 7, 2010

Strong Summer for San Francisco House, Condo Markets

The economy is chugging along, and the downward trend continues to affect the national housing market. San Francisco has its share of foreclosures, short sales, and limited ability for buyers to get loans in what’s considered a very expensive geographical area. Despite these issues, however, the summer real estate market was surprisingly resilient.

A total of 616 single-family homes sold in San Francisco from June-August 2010, for an average of $1,044,790. Of those 616 homes, 93 were sold for more than $1.5M—including one eight-bedroom home on Pacific that sold in June for $11.5M in an all-cash transaction after spending 278 days on the market. These stats are an improvement over last summer; the average then was $997,132. However, it’s interesting that more homes managed to sell in 2009’s decidedly worse market.

The condo market saw a jump in volume this summer; 509 units sold from June-August 2010, in comparison to only 447 last year. Average prices were very similar ($748,716 in 2010, and $755,128 in 2009). Of the 509 condos reported sold this past summer, 21 units sold for more than $1.5M, and six sold for more than $2M. Buyers are clearly continuing to invest in luxury condo properties, most specifically in Noe Valley; Pacific Heights; Russian Hill; and in buildings such as the St. Regis and Four Seasons. (These numbers don’t include data from new development sales offices such as One Rincon, The Infinity, One Hawthorne and more.)

Prices over the past three months across San Francisco zip codes remained fairly stable for condos, but dropped off for single-family homes. Heading into the Fall, there are 637 single-family homes currently on the market, as well as 663 condos. That’s a lot of inventory that will be topped off by all the new properties I’m expecting to hit the market in mid September. Those are also the properties that may represent the best opportunities for negotiation; I find that the homes that fall off the radar can end up being the hidden gems buyers have been seeking, and are connected to increasingly motivated sellers.

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