Market Tightens in San Francisco but Median Home Sale Price Dips


Contact: Jim Fabris

San Francisco Association of


301 Grove Street

San Francisco, CA 94102

415-431-8500 x132

Market Tightens in San Francisco but Median Home Sale Price Dips

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, March 16, 2010 – A jump in residential real property sales in San Francisco

in February 2010 has led to a significant decline in for-sale inventory levels and a tight real

estate market in the city, according to the latest Market Focus report, issued jointly by the

Rosen Consulting Group of Berkeley and the San Francisco Association of REALTORS®. For the

month of February, the months of supply inventory now stands at the lowest level in more than

a year.

The median home sale price for the month, however, declined 2.5 percent to $695,000 for both

single-family homes and condominiums after increasing 18.4 percent in January. During the

month, 113 sales were closed, nearly matching sale activity in the same month the previous

year. But 217 units went into contract, a 65 percent increase over last year. With only 571

single-family homes on the market at the end of February, the jump in pending sale activity

reduced the months of supply inventory to 2.6 in February, compared to 5.3 months of supply

for the same month last year.

With longer lag times between contract signing and closing in the current environment, the

median sales price figure is more likely to reflect contracts signed in late 2009.

Condominium sales continue at a rapid pace, though much of the sale activity has come at the

cost of reductions in asking price and increasingly attractive concessions. Completed sales

totaled 137 units in February 2010 up from 90 units in February 2009, while pending sales

reached 228 units from 116 units during the same time period last year.

The jump in sales activity for condominiums brought down the for-sale condominium inventory

to 848 units from more than 1,000 the same month last year. The condominium median sales

price was $650,000, an increase from recent months, but 8.9 percent less than the median sale

price in February 2009.

“The problem for buyers right now is that there is an absence of choice in the marketplace. It’s

a shame because the months of March, April and May are traditionally strong months for real

estate sales. If a greater variety of properties were available, the likelihood is that they would

find buyers in less time than any other part of the year,” says John Lee, president of the San

Francisco of REALTORS®.

Going forward, the Rosen Consulting Group believes that, despite anticipated bumps in the

road, the San Francisco housing market has turned a corner and should continue to improve

through 2010. The reasons it cites for its positive outlook are rising household net worth,

improving—though limited—job prospects, and a potential extension of some governmentfacilitated

home-buying programs.

“As companies begin rehiring after severely cutting payrolls through 2009,” the group says, “the

net increase in jobs across the metropolitan area in 2010, and more so into 2011, should

accelerate the housing market’s recovery. While the market will surely face hurdles in the form

of continued job cuts, higher mortgage rates, and distressed property sales during its path to

recovery, 2010 is still expected to be a positive year for the San Francisco housing market.”


Real estate data in Market Focus is provided by Terradatum. Market Focus is written by the

Rosen Consulting Group. For additional information on the real estate market or Market Focus,

please contact:

San Francisco Association of REALTORS®

301 Grove Street

San Francisco, CA 94102

415-431-8500 x132

Rosen Consulting Group

1995 University Ave., Ste. 550

Berkeley, CA 94707