SF’s Top Neighborhoods Are the Marina, Noe Valley, Richmond, and the Sunset…For Now

The spring quarter (April through June) in SF was an exercise in uncertainty, as everyone sat around waiting for a big drop in housing demand and prices…one that never quite came before June closed out.

Now, other housing resources will tell you which cities, counties, or districts sold the most or the most expensive homes.

But few will break the numbers down for you on a neighborhood level like we’re doing here–either because they don’t know SF neighborhoods or because they don’t have the patience.

Doing it this way is a lot of extra work. But it’s worth it, because who can resist pitting their own favorite neighborhood agains everything else?

But which neighborhoods are we talking about here? First things first, since we’re using Multiple Listings Service and SF Planning Department data, both of those bodies have to agree on what and where a neighborhood is for us to include it.

(That means no Central Richmond, and Lower Pac Heights is just part of Pac Heights proper for our purposes.)

We also wanted to avoid any shallow number pools skewing the data, so any neighborhood that didn’t see at least 15 home sales this quarter we threw out, which is why you don’t see the Tenderloin here for example.

That left us with 24 distinct SF neighborhoods to weigh. But the next big question was how?

(The Marina)

The Price

Economists and statisticians are always warning us that median price is not necessarily the best way to measure a housing market.

And indeed they are correct, but even so this is what most people really care about–and if you were in the market for a home you’d start caring a lot about it too.

For spring, the most expensive SF homes were all in–no surprise–the Marina, which averaged more than $2.31 million and just barely edged out Glen Park ($2.3M). Pac Heights, it turns out, didn’t even break $2 million this time around.

On the other end of the spectrum, only two SF neighborhoods slid in under $1 million on average, the cheapest being SoMa at $895K–that’s the proverbially softer condo market striking again, of course–and the Western Addition at $985K. Bayview came close, landing the needle at almost exactly $1 million even.

(Noe Valley. Jared Tarbell)

The Volume

It’s easy enough to see how many homes sold overall: The highest margin for the spring was 119 in the Outer Sunset.

But the Outer Sunset is enormous compare to some of these other districts, so what we really want to measure is how much of the overall housing stock sold.

This gives us some pretty wonky looking figures–119 Outer Sunset homes out of approximately 29,310 units is something a bit more than 0.406 percent–but at least the math is simple.

By this metric, the hottest neighborhood was Noe Valley, where 92 sales adds up to almost 0.97 percent of all the homes there. One percent is one of those remarkable figures that doesn’t sound like a lot on paper but in practice is just stunning sometimes.

This of course is not a perfect method either–it tends to favor smaller neighborhoods with fewer homes. But that is why we’re measuring this so many different ways.

Which brings us to…

Days On Market

Ah, the great equalizer: Just how fast do the keys change hands?

If you expected this to resolve all ambiguities then you’re going to be really annoyed, because for fastest selling neighborhood we have a tie: Both the Inner Sunset and Outer Richmond averaged just 11 days on the market since the beginning of April.

The slowest seller was SoMa at 40 days–a perfectly reasonable number for most cities but absolutely glacial by SF standards, again most likely reflecting the high volume of condos and basically nothing else there.

Expecting any place to come in below 11 days is probably not healthy–although it has happened in some neighborhoods already earlier this year.


Didn’t see your own neighborhood mentioned? Check out the full list in our notes here.

Curious about a neighborhood not included in the analyses? Drop us a line and we’ll tell you all about it–we’ll hardly be able able to help ourselves.

As always, if you have any questions you can contact us directly, or throw them in the comments below. Make sure to subscribe to this blog, or follow us on social media @theFrontSteps too. And please do consider giving us a chance to earn your business and trust when it’s time to buy or sell Bay Area property. People like working with us, and we think you will too.

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