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July 9, 2012

The Real Estate Boom is Back

It’s a good time to officially acknowledge what’s been going on in our local real estate market, now that we have the first half of 2012 in the bag.

The San Francisco market has intensified since earlier this year, with buyers experiencing multiple-offer situations and properties going into contract within days of hitting the market. Continued job growth in the tech sector and historically low interest rates are fueling this activity, and there’s a palpable optimism out there that didn’t exist in 2011. The competitive market is most suited to buyers who are consistently looking at properties and actively writing offers which are frequently above the list price.

The average price citywide for a single-family home in the second quarter of this year was $1,144,824, and for a condo, it was $822,129. So prices have clearly not toppled in the city. Centrally located neighborhoods have done particularly well, as buyers increasingly seek homes that are in walking distance of public transportation and retail areas.

I’m predicting that as competition continues to heat up for these areas, buyers will start considering less obvious neighborhoods. These would include neighborhoods such as Ingleside, Westwood Highlands and Midtown Terrace, for example. The holy grail in San Francisco is a single-family house, and there are only so many of them in prime neighborhoods.

Condo buyers are out in full force, especially when it comes to new developments. Both the Mission’s 299 Valencia and Dogpatch’s Millwheel South sold all of their units within weeks, prior to rolling out formal marketing programs. And Mission Bay’s Madrone has been rapidly selling condos while still under construction. Investors are out in full force, picking up units in these and other buildings to capitalize on the hot rental market, as well.

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