A city known for its moderate weather, steep hills, and sweeping bay views, San Francisco is a small city (by land size…only 7X7 miles and flanked by water on three sides) jam packed with culture and coolness. If you’ve ever played tourist in SF, you’re likely aware of the city’s Victorian architecture, trademark fog (named Karl), cable cars, and awesome landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Prison, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Chinatown. Almost any visitor to San Francisco will tell you it’s an awesome place to visit, and even more awesome to call home.
If you are planning a move to San Francisco, it is important to familiarize yourself not only with its geography, attractions, and culture, but also with the cost of living, job opportunities, and other realities. To help you get acquainted with your new hometown, our friends at Great Guys have compiled the data you need to know in the super cool infographic below.
What does the data show? For starters, San Francisco proper is the fourth biggest city in the state of California, and the 14th largest in the U.S. with just over 840,000 residents. The larger metro area, which includes the areas of San Jose, Oakland, and Silicon Valley, has over 7.6 million inhabitants (another reason to live IN the city, and not have to commute). Though it seems job competition in such a populous area would be stiff, unemployment rates are surprisingly far below the national average. Several large corporations including GAP, Twitter, Levi’s, Mozilla, Dropbox, Uber, and Wells Fargo are all headquartered in SF proper, as well as a myriad of tech companies like Facebook, Apple, Intel, Tesla, and Google (to name a few), just a stone’s throw away in Silicon Valley. Not only do these companies employ many San Francisco residents, they also pay pretty well too. In fact, the median household income here is 46.6% higher than the median nationwide.
That said, living in San Francisco is pricey. Normal household costs such as foodstuffs, energy bills, gas, a visit to a doctor, movie tickets and a six-pack of beer are all above the national averages. And home prices? Jaw-dropping. The average price of real estate is over $1 million (If you want the nitty-gritty, read our March Market Report), and that $1 million dollar mark won’t get you much. The outrageous real estate prices could explain why over 60% of the population is still renting. Yet despite the expense, people just can’t resist living here.
Whether it’s the incredible weather, the cutting-edge tech scene, proximity to wine country, or the beautiful scenery around every corner, there are many reasons to love calling San Francisco home.
The San Francisco real estate market continues to experience strong buyer demand and an exceptionally low number of homes and condos for sale. The strong demand is supported by a clean sweep of positive economic indicators just posted by The Conference Board, which reported that consumer confidence is at a 15 year high, and the Leading Economic Index, CEO Confidence, Help-Wanted Online, and the Employment Trends Index all rose in February.
Following the incredibly strong Snap IPO, Mulesoft, a San Francisco unicorn, filed for its IPO in February. This San Francisco-based company has over 700 employees who will be armed with a lot of cash following its IPO, anticipated later this year, which could further add to the number of buyers competing for properties.
The Federal Reserve Bank has said it is likely to raise its federal funds rate in March, with a second increase anticipated later in the year. These anticipated rate increases have already triggered a jump in mortgage rates, which now stand at 4.24% according to Mortgage News Daily.
In the following Infographic we see that the San Francisco single family home market dipped in median sales price, down 8.2% year-on-year. The number of sales were up 3.9%. The number of new listings dropped sharply, 37.6% fewer than last February, leading to a 10% drop in inventory to just 1.5 months of supply, which IMHO is correlating precisely with the “in the trenches” real-time buyer demand and multiple offer activity that we agents are experiencing first hand, but is yet to be shown on this “historical” data. The median sales price of single family homes also continues to be bid up above list price, coming in at 113% for February.
The news in condo/lofts sales is the sharp decline in the number of new listings in February, down 26.9% compared to last year. Sales were also down, but just by 10.3%. Inventory stands at only 2.1 months of supply. Median sales prices are up 4.9% year-on-year with the median price going 1.6% above list price.
I say “mind-bending” mostly because it is still alarming our market works so incredibly efficiently by generally under-pricing properties to let buyers take it to market value, and it’s worked this way for the better part of a decade. By all accounts 99% of every overbid appraises at value when it comes time to get a loan. So don’t think every buyer is paying more than what a property is worth, just to win. They aren’t. They’re paying market value…in most cases. There are outliers, for sure, but for the most part, just because it’s an overbid, doesn’t mean it is overvalued.
I was in the process of compiling this week’s list of top 10 Overbids, but couldn’t help to just share this one nutty overbid with you instead…350 Jersey, in the heart-center of Noe Valley, is a “Spacious fixer-upper single-family home, circa 1941”
Only in San Francisco do those words get you damn near $1500 per square foot, and over $2,000,000 for a FIXER!
As you can see from the marketing remarks, not only did they get 17 offers (let that sink in), but this place went from a $1,295,000 list price to a $2,005,000 sales price. In case you need more numbers, that’s 54.83% over asking or $710,000 cherries on top. Cash, no less. I’m gonna say it again…for a fixer.
Well, it is San Francisco after all, and it’s pretty effing awesome living here, so get used to it.
Thinking the tide will turn? It will, at some point, but have a look at this “Maximum Overbid of the week” I shared on sfnewsletter (the precedent of theFrontSteps) September 24, 2004…yes I’ve been doing Overbids THAT long (let that sink in too).
64 Prentiss St. in Bernal Heights (Bud, pay attention!). 3 bed, 1 bath, 1 car parking fixer that apparently came with the adjacent lot. Probate sale as well. Asking $599,000, sold for $855,000. Here’s a link to the property description
As I sit here on a short lived break from showing my incredibly popular Outer Richmond listing, and consoling my buyers, who just lost out on 2319 47th Ave to an (apparently) $1,200,000 pre-emptive offer, I got to wondering…what’s it take to be the Maximum Overbid these days.
Apparently, all it takes is some plywood in the windows, and the most attractive of descriptions:
This home has no electricity and needs major work. All cash sale needed due to condition of property. No electrical…
There is a lot of talk of the San Francisco market having cooled. Maybe in some parts of town, but definitely not the Outer Avenues, and other parts of town where you can still get a single family under $1.5M. Buy those single family homes, charming condos, and well located multi-unit buildings while you can, because if the recent sales in San Francisco featured on The Goods are any indication, San Francisco is still firing on all cylinders.
Have a great weekend. Skiing should be very nice. Surf…not so much. In SF anyway.
“Outer Richmond Single Family Home Hits the Market, Buyers Everywhere Flock to See it”…so the headline could read. It’s been a long time since a home of this character, quality, and size has hit the market in the Outer Richmond, and you don’t want to miss it.
I’m pleased to announce the successful (off market) sale of 2117 Larkin in the quintessential San Francisco neighborhood, Russian Hill. This property is a top floor, one bedroom, one bathroom condominium with one car parking, hardwood floors, gas fireplace, high ceilings, and a large open floor plan great for entertaining.
We don’t have any pictures of it, as we sold it by way of my affiliation with Top Agent Network, and saved the sellers a mountain of renovations required to get it up to its full potential. In then end, we showed it to about eight parties, received multiple offers, and sold for a very handsome $1,025,000, which put it well over $1000 per square foot.
Congratulations to my clients, the sellers, as well as the buyer who surely got a great deal in an amazing location with little competition. A win, win, win, win.
If you are considering a sale of your property, there are many ways to skin that cat, so give us a shout if you’d like to discuss.
One of my preferred mortgage brokers (Tim Wood @ Terra Mortgage) just sent me his newsletter that dives into the question of whether interest rates will rise in 2017. It’s so full of interest rate chatter about Feds, Reserves, Trump, yada, yada…I figured you’d all love it. So here you go:
Are You Sure that Rates are Going Higher?
What if everyone thought we were going to see higher mortgage rates, and we didn’t? Remember that this is exactly what happened 13 months ago when the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee raised overnight Fed Funds in December of 2016, after which long term rates dropped and stayed low for the next ten months. Can an argument be made for the same thing happening in 2017? Perhaps.
After the presidential election, the financial markets pretty much began assuming long-term rates, including mortgage rates, would be higher in 2017. Donald Trump’s potential agenda, which include big tax cuts, infrastructure spending, and broad hiring, certainly seems to point toward higher rates. And the Fed raised rates again last month.
Trump’s stated goals during his campaign imply that rates will be higher in a couple years, especially with the pressures from wage increases nudging inflation higher. Any stimulative fiscal policy from the Trump administration could face an equal and opposite tightening of monetary policy by a Fed that raises short-term rates two or three times this year. (Remember that monetary policy involves changing the interest rate and influencing the money supply. Fiscal policy involves the government changing tax rates and levels of government spending to influence aggregate demand in the economy.)
Among other actions the Fed conducts “the nation’s monetary policy by influencing money and credit conditions in the economy in pursuit of full employment and stable prices.” The U.S. central bank will seek to prevent too much inflation from breaking out in an economy it believes is getting close to operating at its full potential, which means Mr. Trump’s stimulus might run up against the Fed chair Janet Yellen’s (and perhaps her successor’s) counter-stimulus. There are two vacancies on the Fed’s seven-member board of governors already, and Ms. Yellen’s term as chairwoman expires in February 2018, so Donald Trump will have an impact on the makeup of the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee.
The “smartest guys in the room” might be wrong with their forecasts, and that the era of low rates might stick around a bit longer. First, the Trump agenda might pack less of a growth punch than some have imagined. If so, you would expect the same cautious approach to rate increases from the Fed. The day after the election stocks rallied and bonds sold off/rates went up. Trump’s major tax cuts would tend to create a short-term boost in economic growth and higher interest rates. But there are some early signals that the Republican lawmakers who actually have to pass any changes to tax law, especially those in the Senate, are wary of tax cuts that would increase the budget deficit as much as Mr. Trump’s campaign plan would.
Regarding infrastructure spending, Trump has been short on details, and the details matter a great deal for how much an infrastructure plan could lift growth. For example, tax credits that make the finances of building toll roads more favorable are less likely to create a huge boost in activity than spending on upgrading physical infrastructure outright. So on both tax cuts and infrastructure, there’s no guarantee that the actual scale of stimulus will match some of the early post-election talk.
Second, even if the economy does start growing faster, future Trump administration appointees could change their tune on the desirability of higher interest rates. Politicians, once in office, tend to learn that they like low interest rates, and there is starting to be chatter that some in the Trump administration will push for cheaper money and the Fed attempting to hold the line to prevent inflation.
There is always the risk that some elements of Trump economic policy could end up being a drag on growth, like a trade war with China or Mexico, immigration restrictions that limit the supply of labor, or geopolitical disputes.
For the past few administrations presidents have stayed away from weighing in on monetary policy and let the Fed act independently. Mr. Trump has described himself as a “low interest rate person” but attacked Ms. Yellen by name during the campaign.
Looking ahead, even if the Fed kept its short-term interest rate targets low despite rising inflation, long-term interest rates, which are determined by the supply and demand of the bond market, would probably rise. Mr. Trump doesn’t feel bound by the traditions that have governed how recent presidents have acted. So, the future of United States interest rate policy is uncertain – like everything else in the future – but no one should be sure that long term rates are destined to move dramatically higher if at all.
-Rob Chrisman (STRATMOR Group)