SAN FRANCISCO, CA, May 17, 2010 – Healthy sales activity, driven by low mortgage rates, tax
incentives, and attractive pricing continued to reduce the market’s for-sale housing inventory in
San Francisco in April, according to the most recent Market Focus report issued jointly by Rosen
Consulting Group and the San Francisco Association of REALTORS®.
The report indicates that the median sales price for both single-family homes and
condominiums trended upward in April, driven by increasing price stability at the low-end of
the market and a rise in the number of completed transactions for higher-priced properties.
But, while increased competition for some homes allowed sellers to achieve more than the
asking price, the report observes, prices in today’s market are still significantly less than prices
seen at the height of the housing boom.
Economic factors are cited as the principal reason for the improvement in San Francisco’s
housing market: “Despite fluctuations in the stock market and growing uncertainty surrounding
the financial solvency of some European nations and the potential effect on global credit
markets, as well as U.S. exports, the national and regional economy continues to gradually
recover from the most recent recession. The pace of job losses has retracted in recent months
and should continue, driving expectations for eventual job growth by the end of the year. The
more positive outlook on the economy and the housing market among consumers and
potential homebuyers, particularly in comparison to one year ago, should sustain home buying
activity going forward.”
According to John Lee, president of the San Francisco Association of REALTORS®, “The pent up
demand for single-family homes and condominiums in San Francisco and a general
improvement in the local economy has driven buyers back into the housing market. And, the
increased competition for housing has brought the return of a phenomenon not seen for
awhile—multiple offers, at least for the more desirable properties.”
“As sellers gain more leverage in negotiations,” Lee believes, ”sellers who have been waiting for
more favorable market conditions will be prompted to place their homes on the market.”
In April 2010, the median single-family home price rose to $788,750, increasing by 11.6% from
the same month the previous year. During the month, 188 single family home sales were
completed, a 27% increase from April 2009, while pending home sales reached 284 sales, a 33%
increase during the period.
The median condominium sales price rose 3.0% from April 2009, rising to $680,000. While sales
activity has increased across all price points, condominium buying activity is still heavily
concentrated in more moderately-priced segments of the market.
Lee believes that while rising interest rates may test the market’s resilience later this year, “The
more positive outlook for the economy, as well as the housing market, should sustain home
buying activity going forward.”
Real estate data in Market Focus is provided by Terradatum. Market Focus is written by the
Rosen Consulting Group.