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San Francisco Real Estate Market Report

Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Skyline
San Francisco skyline and the Golden Gate Bridge

Known for its beautiful scenery and rich history, San Francisco is home to one of the most expensive, and competitive, real estate markets in the country. The city itself is home to more than 800,000 people, and is the second most densely populated area in the country after New York City. When the surrounding metro area is added in to the population, that number rises above 4 million. One look around the amazing nature that the Bay Area provides and it is pretty easy to imagine why so many call this place home.

It should not be a surprise to learn that tourism is one of the main employment sectors within the San Francisco area. The city has countless attractions that are recognized the world around. Included in those are Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Bridge, the Marin Headlands, Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown, and more. San Francisco is the 4th busiest tourist attraction in the United States each year, receiving an estimated 16 million or more visitors to the city. As such, the hotel and restaurant industry in the city is thriving and many residents are employed in businesses related to this part of the economy. Other sectors that are important within San Francisco include banking, biotechnology, startup companies, and technology in nearby Silicon Valley.

As with all large cities, San Francisco is divided up into many smaller neighborhoods that all have their own personality. When starting a home search in this big city, many shoppers start by working through which communities they want to live in and start checking the listings for those areas. Some of the neighborhoods in San Francisco are incredibly expensive, with average listing prices exceeding $3 million. Those areas include Tenderloin, Panhandle, Sea Cliff, Pacific Heights, Cow Hollow, and Presidio Heights. While no neighborhood in San Francisco is ‘cheap’, there are a few that come in with an average price under $600,000. Diamond Heights, Silver Terrace, Ingleside, Oceanview, Bayview, and Visitacion Valley all fit that description. The majority of neighborhoods within San Francisco have an average listing price that starts at $1 million and goes up from there.

San Francisco Trolley
San Francisco trolley with a view of San Francisco
Bay and Alcatraz in the background

San Francisco has a long history of cultural diversity, and that continues today. There are several races that are well-represented in the city, including Whites, Asians, African Americans, Latinos, and Pacific Islanders. Thanks in large part to the high cost of living in San Francisco, the average age of a resident is higher than the national average, coming in at 38.5 years. There are about 2% more adult males in San Francisco than adult females. As seen in the neighborhood data, San Francisco has some of the most expensive real estate in the United States. The average listing price in the city is just under $1.5 million, while the median sales price is an incredible $851,000.

Renting housing is by far the most common path for those living within San Francisco. Almost two thirds of those living in the city are renting their housing, which is more than double the national average. Of those who do own their property, about half live in single family houses while the others are made up of condos and other properties. The most common size for a home in San Francisco is between 1,000 and 1,400 square feet, with less than 8% of the houses coming in at 3,600 square feet or more. Since the city is long established, the average home in San Francisco was built all the way back in 1935.

The real estate market in 2013 in San Francisco is a good representation of what is being seen all around the country. The prices of home sales are on a steady rise thanks to improved consumer confidence leading to more buyers in the market, yet the inventory of houses is still low. Within San Fran, the median sales price of a home has increased over 20% in year over year comparison. However, the number of sales has fallen 13%. The market remains tight for buyers, and most houses have competition during the bidding process because of the lack of options on the market. Buyers are becoming more aggressive as they learn how difficult it is to secure a home, so sellers have the advantage and are driving prices up significantly. In many cases, homes are selling for more than they have been originally listed for thanks to the competition that develops.

Most people in San Francisco enjoy an outdoor lifestyle and ample employment opportunities, but that comes at a price. Living within the city is highly expensive to own or rent, and the options might be limited within a specific budget and neighborhood area. Living outside of the city in surrounding Bay Area suburbs is an option, but the traffic in and out of San Francisco is notoriously challenging. Acting quickly when a property comes on the market is the best way to win a bid and own a piece of this beautiful and historic city.

Are You Having a Tough Time:

  • Finding competent Realtors that know the San Francisco Bay market?
  • Getting your home ready for sale?
  • Deciding where to buy a house or how much house you can afford?
  • Finding a real estate agent that knows the San Francisco Bay market inside and out?
  • Determining if a real estate agent is really any good, and if they're honest and trustworthy?
  • You need to meet the AgentHarvest® Elite™ Rated Agents we hand-picked and recommend in the San Francisco Bay Area.



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