Driven by a dramatic slowdown in sales while listing activity has since rebounded, the number of homes on the market in San Francisco has jumped 35 percent over the past two weeks to 830, which is 26 percent more than at the same time last year and a 9-year seasonal high, a move which shouldn’t catch any plugged-in readers by surprise.

At a more granular level, the number of single-family homes listed for sale in the city (260) is now running 14 percent higher than at the same time last year while the number of condos (570) is over 30 percent higher versus the same time last year.

Keep in mind that inventory levels in San Francisco had already hit a 9-year high earlier this year, prior to plummeting in a COVID-19 related hit. And as we noted last week, the percentage of listings which have undergone at least one official price reduction has been ticking up as well.

We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by frozentoast

    Yes the big question how bad will the Bay Area RE market get? Everyone can only speculate and my guess is not nearly as bad as 2009. My sense is 95% of people in the homeowner class has taken a financial hit but for most -who are not in the hospitality, retail, travel industry – in the Bay Area it’s been minor to moderate. So far. I’m assuming there won’t be another big spread this winter in which case all bets are off.

    • Posted by OMN

      I think most of the listings right now are from people who were intending to sell their homes sometime in the next few years and now (1) have the time to do it, (2) want to get out before a possible crash later this year.

    • Posted by jimbo

      the S&P is up YoY as of today

  2. Posted by Ian Berke

    Love your reportage but could you please either label the components of your graphs or provide a key? i.e. which bar is SFD’s, condos, TIC’s?? Thanks.

    • Posted by tipster

      Bars = months of the year for every type. It’s a seasonal market, with May as a big indicator, so the bars let you compare prior years of the same month. I think the dark blue dashed line is just for May of each year, with the lighter lines being for their respective months. Given that the April slowdown was due to other-than-market forces given the lack of showings, I don’t know that May being higher this year is meaningful or not.

      Uber stock for example, is way up today. Could be positive, particularly for the people working at Uber’s Pier 70 office.

      • Posted by markets_arent_a_panacea

        The same uber that just closed one of its sf offices and laid off 500 of its sf employees?

        • Posted by AY

          Pier 70 office closed, customer-support operations and recruiting team positions eliminated, dropping incentives and marketing campaigns, business partner operations workforce reduced by more than half and closing its Uber AI Labs and product incubator.

      • Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

        I get the sarcasm, but to be sincere for a minute: the fact is that Uber is a pretty despicable business, based on insanely large pools of capital allocated to creating an incredibly inefficient money-losing business model, which in turn will only “work” in a future in which it creates customer expectations which are obviously untenable.

        It rides on the ongoing exploitation of a “gig economy” workforce — the drivers — which are misclassified as “contractors” in order to illegitimately minimize genuine labor expenses (the average Uber driver makes less than the minimum wage). The reality is that if self-driving automobiles were perfected next year and became widely available for use on public roads, it would make Uber’s business model less viable, not more.

        Barring a pivot to using self-driving cars, the implicit endgame is a promise (to investors) of monopoly concentration and increased prices after customers have been habituated into not using public transit or owning and operating their own cars, but of course so-called “ride sharing” has low barriers to entry and Uber has quite-effective competition in its market right now.

        Meanwhile the founders have walked away from the company with their wildest dreams of avarice fulfilled, but almost everyone else around it, besides the current CEO, is left holding the bag. The white-collar people who won’t be returning to Uber’s Pier 70 office should have never gone to work for Uber.

        • Posted by Byron

          To be fair the article you reference says
          > After deducting mandatory Social Security and Medicare taxes, that figure goes down to $10.87 an hour.
          Taxes shouldn’t be deducted from the quoted wage and it doesn’t include tips.

          The article also quotes Uber as saying have its drivers work 10 or less hours a week, which means its mixing part time work with drivers working a full week.

          If Uber was effectively paying less than minimum wages why are drivers working for them?
          Plenty of drivers don’t want be employees, if you’re working 10 or less hours a week to supplement your income chances are you don’t want to be an employee and you don’t have the flexibility to work when Uber determines.

  3. Posted by hundo_p

    Atlanta Fed: GDP is down -42.8%

    I’d love to know how RE prices won’t decline, and the S&P 500 remains at current levels (QE∞?).

    • Posted by Notcom

      Simple: the two had little/no relation to GDP before it collapsed. What possible “rational” explanation was there for a nearly 1/3 rise in the S&P last year, for an economy that was widely – and correctly – seen as slowing down?

      • Posted by hundo_p

        Remember a lot of the 2019 rise was making-up for Trump’s end of 2018 tirades. The S&P peak in 2018 to the end of 2019 showed a less than 10% increase. About the historical average. Never measure market performance by a single year.

        • Posted by Notcom

          Yes B followed A, but that’s kind of the point : why should it be “making up” anything ?? The same stable genius was still in office…the Market should have been discounting to account for the possibility – heck, the near certainty – of more such “stability” in the upcoming year.

          And again, you may be answering your own question: if the market can be utterly detached from reality for a year, then maybe that’s all it needs to do to sail over this. I’m not saying I’m buying that mind you: I think many arguing for V-shaped or U-shaped or elemennopee-shaped recoveries are ignoring that few of the conditions necessary for such seem likely, but it’s an argument that many will make.

          • Posted by Chalzer

            “stable genius”? It’s well understood that POTUS’s comments, actions, etc., have virtually nil correlation with US stock market performance; it’s random and these days, more dependent on Fed and other central bank monetary policies and their coordination with one another. President Trump can and does make ‘outrageous’ remarks and the market participants can and do go into a paroxysm for a day or so, then reverts back to its trend and momentum.

            Real estate, economically, is similarly situated and affected, but because of its unique market characteristics and uses, will be subject to Fed policy and global demand directed at strong financial/ tech-concentrated labor pools and money-velocity areas in safe-haven USA.

    • Posted by Gughjg

      To back up Notcom, a quick google search (name link) finds that the 30 year correlation of GDP growth and stock market is only 0.15

  4. Posted by hundo_p

    Multiples expand and contract. GDP and earnings are directly correlated. PEs will eventually revert to the mean. GDP? That now depends a lot on biology.

  5. Posted by hundo_p

    Markets will fluctuate. Measure them over cycles, not years or months.

    GDP and earnings remain inextricably tied. Based on a -42.8% GDP drop, any bets about asset values?

  6. Posted by ExSFLandlord

    Mean while those who live in a bubble usually miss what’s really going on…maybe looking through a difference lens might be helpful…a telling view from Seattle….or maybe insert San Francisco….either way, this Wuhan bug is having it’s effect on the young urban dwellers.

    From The Federalist….
    “But if local leaders prolong shelter-in-place rules with no end in sight, the ruinous social and economic consequences for individuals will inevitably harm American cities as suffering residents like me face little choice but to skip town in search of greener pastures.”

    “…….What I do know, however, is that in just two months, the state’s measures have already cost me a job, deeply fractured my community, and compromised my emotional well-being. This is something I’m not willing to endure indefinitely, and I know I’m not alone. Seattle, and America’s other major cities, must urgently re-evaluate their commitment to quarantine lest they drive away the very people who helped them flourish.”……

    • Posted by wilson

      The meme going around in the forward thinking subset of my social circle is: “When is the next time this happens?” For this COVID19 they may or may not be able to develop a vaccine in the next few years. But in this increasingly globalized world we live in, there are fewer degrees of separation between people living in disease breeding conditions such as cramped living, poor sanitation and wet markes/close animal contact and the more urbanized here in the USA. It seems likely that some other disease will flare up and become pandemic in the future. The trend away from density might be stronger and longer then many here realize.

      Another counter-intuitive point is traffic. From looking at NYC it is clear that mass transit was/is a key aggravating factor for the spread of COVID19. Many strangers in a confined space for extended periods of time spreading all across the city. Many also now view ride sharing as risky. There are predictions that even with all the people leaving denser cities, traffic may actually worsen due to people moving to single occupancy autos from public transit and ride share. This study predicts that SF will be the worst hit city in the US.

      WFH may mitigate that but as people have pointed out, if you are WFH people may well just move to cheaper areas where they can get more space.

      • Posted by ExSFLandlord

        Twitter is proving the point….just work from anywhere you can get a internet connection. I would look to wireless providers for investment opportunities as more and more workers will need high speed broadband connections in more remote parts of the U.S. if this Wuhan bug remains in our society for a extended period of time.

        I suspect this exit of young urban dwellers no doubt will have it’s impacts on both rent and sales prices in SF the longer this Wuhan bug remains in society and people remain on lock down. I expect to see a increase in inventory of homes listed for sale and downward pressure on pricing as the exodus picks up speed.

        Not to blow my horn …but I left SF several years ago because of it’s leftist politics and the ever increasing homeless and drug use issues that were being ignored by the pols at city hall. Actually the pols were making the issues worse and it was obvious to me that the problems were never going to get better and only going to get worse….and here we are today…..homeless in flux…tents everywhere…drugs everywhere….nut job DA….word spread on the homeless FB network that SF offers free hotels rooms and free food and free drugs.

        I found a nice 3000 sqft home on 1-1/4 wooded acres in the Blue Ridge Mts of N.C. for just over $400K. The infection rate is (so far) low and once this Wuhan bug works it’s way through society my small town will reopen. My newly adopted small town (11K pop) has gone through a renascence and has more that a dozen restaurants that are on par with anything SF has to offer. And I’m only 40 mins from Asheville.

        My newly adopted rural neighborhood has one family per 2 acres of land. My old home in SF was zero lot line and had about 20-30+ families per acre. I have no bus system..no underground Muni….no wet markets….no over crowded sidewalks or streets. Just the sound of the wild birds, the wind blowing through my 100′ tall trees and the sight of the occasional brown bears strolling down my drive. Oh and if I need ammo I walk into my local gun store and walk out with a box…no ID …no waiting….just a big smile from the owner and a… ” thanks for coming in…have a nice day”.

        The longer this virus hangs around the worse it’s going to get in SF…. it’s sad to see such a beautiful city go down like this…. the warning signs were everywhere years ago and the pols just continued to kick the can down the road and now SF is screwed by it’s own doing.

        • Posted by Ohlone Californio

          “My newly adopted small town (11K pop) has gone through a renascence and has more that a dozen restaurants that are on par with anything SF has to offer”

          Really? A small town outside Asheville, 11K or so population? a dozen on par with the likes of Swan Oyster Depot, Beijing Restaurant, Seven Hills, Bellota, Tacos El Patron, Blue Plate, Kokkari, Pearl 6101, Rich Table, Lolo, Californios, Foreign Cinema, State Bird, Gary Danko, and on and on ?

          Doubt it.

          • Posted by Notcom

            Believe it or not, not everyone wants or needs $60 tacos, so “on par” might simply mean one of the menu options isn’t fried. To each their own; it seems Mr/Ms (sic) Renascence has found contentment in Mayberry and adapted to small town ways of hunting and fishing (or at least they know what bait works).

            Now if we may get back to the actual topic: housing in San Francisco…

          • Posted by ExSFLandlord

            I guess you’re assuming Swan Oyster Depot, Beijing Restaurant, Seven Hills, Bellota, Tacos El Patron, Blue Plate, Kokkari, Pearl 6101, Rich Table, Lolo, Californios, Foreign Cinema, State Bird, Gary Danko make it through the lock down…….don’t hold your breath.

            When did you say Swan Oyster Depot, Beijing Restaurant, Seven Hills, Bellota, Tacos El Patron, Blue Plate, Kokkari, Pearl 6101, Rich Table, Lolo, Californios, Foreign Cinema, State Bird, Gary Danko are reopening?

            Hows that new tent city next to your favored restaurant work out for ya these days?

            Back to the topic of falling SF real estate prices……Been there done that…..you’re most likely to young to remember 1994..or…2004.

          • Posted by Fishchum

            There isn’t a J/O motion great enough to make every time I read one of these “I’ve left SF and it’s SOOOO much better here” kinds of posts.

            I’m glad you’re happy. But there’s a reason you got what you did for $400K. If it works for you, fine. But the comparisons are a waste of time, as are extolling the virtues of your new community.

          • Posted by frozentoast

            We’re staying in SF thru this pandemic instead of running for the mountains mainly for the food. Still eating pizza from Delfina, bbq from saison smokehouse, dim sum from Dragon beaux, sushi from Wako. Yes lots of good places will close but others will take their place is there any doubt of that? I’m still bullish on SF real estate long term. In 20-30 years when most of the continent is sweating in 100 plus daily temps SF will finally get decently warm summers.

          • Posted by Notcom

            I wouldn’t count on that: what gives SF it’s summer weather pattern – strong convection in the Central Valley – is likely to only grow as the temps get higher (as has been the case in the past few years). What you’ll get is warmer…fog.

            But at least, like that warm fog drifting in, we’re slowly getting back on topic.

          • Posted by sockettome

            See what I mean – “you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave”

            ExSFLandlord and Dave aka Seattle Dave are still checking up on SF thanks to SocketSite. Those two seem old enough to get my humor. Younger posters…I don’t know.

          • Posted by Ohlone Californio

            Wait a sec. I can only respond to the things you said. If you want to shift the goal posts and talk about who is going to reopen and whatnot, that’s a different thing entirely. You went really hyperbolic and you got called out on it. That’s all. Good for you. I hope you are happy in NC. That’s a cool area. But off the top of my head Beijing, Patron, Blue Plate, Pearl, remained open. Probably a few others. And yes notcom not everyone wants or needs $60 tacos. You are correct.

          • Posted by Ohlone Californio

            just checked Swan is open too …

          • Posted by frozentoast

            Not what I’m seeing. Less fog in general and even Ocean beach is looking a bit more like a southern California beach. The past few summers I don’t need a jacket in July. Well most of the time anyways.

          • Posted by Notcom

            Well if you can see anything, then I’d be tempted to believe you !! Nonetheless, I’ll defer to a greater authority (hint: go a few words beyond the headline)

          • Posted by scurvy

            I’ll just come out and say this, too. Swan Oyster Depot is tourist trash. They have zero love for and from locals. Ever try to order a simple crab louie salad to go over the phone? Lol. “Sorry, too busy taking tourist money for that pal.”

          • Posted by Ohlone Californio

            One man’s tourist trash is another man or woman’s unique treasure that has unfortunately been broadcast to the world, I say. YMMV.

            Also, the first guy disappeared with his nonsense “NC mountain town is as good as SF restaurant” kooky nonsense.

            So I won.

          • Posted by tipster

            >But there’s a reason you got what you did for $400K.

            Yes, the jobs supporting higher prices weren’t there and they were all concentrated in a few big cities to which people had to commute. That appears to be changing.

        • Posted by heynonnynonny

          No question about it, the rural southeast has major advantages if you’re a gun-toting white dude.

        • Posted by anon

          “Wuhan bug” Have fun in NC.

  7. Posted by Ohlone Californio

    Traffic will worsen if ride share cars get off the road, largely? Well, I truly doubt that. Ride share vehicles have been the chief driver, ahem, of traffic worsening in SF over the past decade or so. It’s been an insertion of thousands of vehicles, whose drivers don’t necessarily understand the city layout and the various traffic flow aspects. Think for a moment of how many times you’ve been in an uber or a Lyft and the driver failed to comprehend a simple right on red. Now multiply that by 1000, daily, and begin to realize what ride share has wrought upon traffic. Anyway, look, I think you make some fine points. But you can’t talk take away ride share plus insert local drivers and argue traffic worsening, in my book. Remember too that the average ride share customer is also riding alone in the first place ….

    • Posted by Alai

      Rideshare made traffic worse because it allowed more people to choose to travel by car, especially in dense/popular areas, as driving was no longer limited by parking.

      If all the people traveling by rideshare switch to cars they drive themselves, they’re going to find that parking is in short supply, and they’re going to be driving round, and round, and round, looking for it. And that’s going to cause a lot of traffic.

      • Posted by Ohlone Californio

        No, that’s not accurate. What you’re not doing there is you’re not taking the sheer volume of rideshare cars that came from out of town every single day, competing for rides. Let alone the aspect of many of these drivers not being conversant with SF street grid traffic pattern designs, which you didn’t address, and which was central to my point. But to the point you make, which is a seeming 1:1 switch out of ride shares to parking spaces? I don’t think so. There are parking garages. There are parking spaces in some areas. There are errands run at opportune times of day. It’s not so simple as to subtract the many rideshare cars and insert end users at any given time.

        • Posted by Ohlone Californio

          Also, what’s more disruptive to traffic flow? A rideshare driver double parking in traffic even though there’s a parallel parking spot nearby? or an end user driver parallel parking?

  8. Posted by ExSFLandlord

    Homelessness and street drug use in SF have been on the rise for years before the Wuhan flu began. It would be dishonest to not acknowledge that fact. The hospitality industry complained for years that the city was loosing convention/hotel/restaurant business from the presence of panhandlers, homeless, excrement and needles on the sidewalks in the hotel districts around Moscone. Now the city is providing free food, free hotel rooms, free drugs, free booze to anyone living on the streets of SF. The word is out and even the city acknowledges there is a influx of homeless into the city. The homeless numbers are on the rise. The tent camps are everywhere. The Tenderloin is worse that Calcutta or parts of Mexico city. I feel sorry for all those families with kids who are living this nightmare in the Tenderloin.

    So riddle me this folks…..now that the pols at city hall along with that nutjob DA have opened the flood gates to Americas homeless how are you going to put that cat back in the bag once this Wuhan bug is licked?

    Back to SF Real Estate……On a similar note I’m not much concerned about the commercial office sector tanking in SF as some are. I see this Wuhan flu as a business opportunity for smart building owners to refurbish their office buildings with smart UV lighting and HVAC filtration systems that kill bacteria and virus. The technology is there for those who know where to look. I assume that lighting designers and Architects read SS and understand what I’m saying.

    As for leaving SF….I’ve spend better than a quarter century in SF and I agree, “you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave”

    We still have investment there, unfortunately the city left us…cities change and SF has really changed….too many haters who got to hate now…too many with TDS…actually quite shocking to hear some of the things that sprout from the heaters. Too many with victim syndrome who hate Landlords who provide housing or successful people who create jobs for others to enjoy what life has to offer. We will miss all the good things that make SF unique….like Tu Lan on 6th and the old South Park cafe`, Pizzia on 3rd, Moshi Moshi on 3rd, the Ferry building, PPQ on Clement…..and I could go on and on. I hope the all restaurants survive this Black Swan crisis…if not, sure as there is fog in SF there will be new restaurants to replace those that fail. Keep on Truckin…..Trucking my blues away………

    • Posted by heynonnynonny

      The rural southeast is also a good place to live if you want to use terms like “Wuhan flu” and be taken seriously.

      • Posted by Chalzer

        Wuhan flu is as legitimate as Spanish flu, MERS, Ebola, etc., as that is the uncontested origin of this virus; politically correct BS of “Covid19” is named such so as to deflect attention away from those responsible for dissemination of a pathogen that the overlords have decided to exploit, resulting in highly propagandized MSM messaging (24/7 coverage with some irrelevant ‘news’). Other organizations (WHO, CDC, FDA, et al) are complicit in the consequences of this misinformation and the exploitation of the lemming audience will have far-reaching socio-economic effects.

        For a reasoned understanding of the salient features of the Wuhan Flu and the consequent actions taken by the ‘authorities’, consider the following source as a more enlightened, science-based discussion of the overblown threat perpetrated by the MSM propaganda machine (24/7 coverage with some irrelevant ‘news’). Then ask yourself, am I seeking an easy, mainstream-accepted version of reality so I don’t have to think critically about how my life has and will be changed for the worse. The phenomenon is referred to as ‘confirmation bias’ and is one of several that we humans are subject to without our awareness.

        Remember that population control is on the agenda for the power-hungry, the US Constitution be damned…. Deprivation of Rights under Color of Law, Section 242, Title 18 is instructive.

        Consider this, if you will, with an open mind.

        • Posted by heynonnynonny

          Indulge your conspiracy theories all you like, it’s still not a flu.
          Maybe learn some biology before spewing your hate politics.

        • Posted by sparky-b

          “Covid19”
          Co= Corona, the type of virus it is
          Vi= Virus, to make it real clear
          D= disease
          19= the year.

          What is there to complain about with the abbreviation? You just used BS, MSM, WHO, CDC, FDA, and I am sure you use MAGA and POTUS as well.

          Also, you left AMERICAN PIG FLU off your list

          Finally please enlighten me; Is the threat over blown or is it a plan for population control? I feel like those two theories are at odd.

        • Posted by Ohlone Californio

          The term “Spanish flu” did not stem from the virus’s uncontested origin location, libertarian ignoramus.

  9. Posted by anon

    Swine flu was alternatingly thought to be from the US and from Mexico. Is it the American swine flu or the Mexican swine flu? This is not current precedent and is intended to be inflammatory. I read a wide wide variety of sources of information.

    Let’s talk facts and not assign blame. Despite all of the advanced warning, the CDC managed to get 472 tests done total between the first confirmed case (tested on Jan 19 and confirmed on Jan 21) and Feb 29 when they stopped publishing testing numbers. We missed our shot not only to save many many lives but also many jobs and businesses. Blame anyone you want, but our response was the worst of any developed country by orders of magnitude. Japan was in second place but was dramatically better.

    • Posted by anon

      China’s cover-ups and screw-ups have been well documented by legitimate media. There is a lot to talk about there in a factual way- missed opportunities to avoid this leading up to the record-setting banquet that would have covered generations of the virus. Where have the biggest screw-ups been? China and the US might have been the biggest but now there is competition; China – through CCP policy and the US through incompetence. If you want to make a point, there is plenty to work from there factually vs talking about “overlords… propaganda … lemmings”. It’s a weak fall back because someone doesn’t agree with you about calling it the “Wuhan virus”. If the virus originated in Tulsa, scientists would not call it the Tulsa virus.

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