Despite a number of misreports making the rounds about record low inventory levels, the number of properties listed for sale in San Francisco has been ticking up since the beginning of the year and is currently running eleven (11) percent higher versus the same time last year, with the number of single-family homes on the market twenty-one (21) percent higher on a year-over-year basis, four (4) percent higher for listed condos.

On a year-over-year basis, the number of listed properties for sale in San Francisco hasn’t been higher by double digits since 2011.  And of the 180 or so single-family homes currently on the market, half are listed for under a million dollars.

In terms of unlisted inventory in new developments about town, there are over 700 units on the market, twice as many as six months ago but roughly half the number at the same time of the year in 2008.  And yes, that inventory includes the potential $49 million penthouse atop Lumina.

Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by BayviewSF

    How do you define the “inventory of homes for sale”? Do you count the active listings available for purpose as of today and compare against the same day last year?

    Or do you count all the new listings came to market since 01/01/2015 and compare with last year?

    I think that the number of currently active listings available for purchase is more important. Curiously everyone I know says that inventory of active listings is very low, I have not heard of any single complaint about inventory increase except socket media.

    [Editor’s Note: So do we, which is why we track active listings and compare the counts versus the same day of the week, which is an important distinction, versus the year(s) before.]

  2. Posted by eddy

    Can we get the raw numbers? 11% higher is somewhat subjective. We talking 100 or 1000 homes?

    [Editor’s Note: There are roughly 400 existing homes on the market in San Francisco, up from 350 at the same time last year. That’s certainly not a lot, but it is more, and the first time it’s been more that a few points higher on a year-over-year basis, especially with respect to single-family homes.]

  3. Posted by REpornaddict

    Redfins main page has an inventory of 342 for Jan ’15, down 21.4% from prior year.

    Is there an obvious explanation why this shows a different picture?

    [Editor’s Note: For starters, it’s no longer January. But on a more serious note, were guessing Redfin’s number is an average versus point in time comparison. Our approach takes into account the local listing cycle and fluctuations due to the day of the week as well.]

  4. Posted by Absolut

    MLS showed 360 active SFHs as of a few minutes ago (many new listings get added on mondays)

  5. Posted by Double Checking

    As of 5 minutes ago, MLS shows 186 Single Family Homes, 226 Condos/TIC’s/COOPs/Lofts and 66 2-4 Unit buildings (excluding mixed use). Not sure where the 360 Absolut mentioned is coming from nor do I see 400 existing homes on the market unless where rounding up or down and including multi units. This includes all of districts 1-10.

    [Editor’s Note: 186 + 226 = 412. As broken down above, “homes” (the listings for which are up 11% YOY) include both single-family homes (or houses), the listings for which are up 21% YOY, and condos (up 4% YOY). Listings for multi-family units are currently running about 10% lower on a year-over-year basis, a sharp drop from over 30% higher when Prop G was in play.]

    • Posted by woolie

      You need to use some kind of moving average, otherwise we’re just talking about noise.

  6. Posted by inclinejj

    I was just talking to a real estate broker in Pacifica. He said Pacifica had 8 houses listed.

    Normal is about 30-40. Prices are going insane.

    • Posted by anon

      Redfin shows 34 listing in Pacifica, Zillow shows 39

  7. Posted by youknowwhatImean?

    Even as we quibble about +/- 10-15 homes, this is all good news for buyers and the city in general. Bring on more inventory, esp for sfhs.

    This is a great time for older homeowners (retirees, etc.) to downshift to lower maintenance apartments or even leave the city and receive a windfall on the homes they’ve owned for the past 20-40 years. Good for them!

  8. Posted by no_ vally

    No surprise, but compared to other even healthy markets of similar population, SF inventory remains insanely low. Using Redfin stats on total SFH available for sale vs population, some SF comps from this morning:

    Austin: 885k population, 1534 SFH listed
    Seattle: 652k, 508 SFH
    SF: 837k, 169 SFH

    So even a 20-30% uptick in inventory still has available stock at silly low levels.

    On a related note, a huge portion of the new inventory (as noted by SS) is <$1mm. And in a neat (or sad?) twist on demographics/price patterns, if you pull up the map of SFH's in SF <$1mm, you can draw a bisecting line from the NW to SE corner of the city (roughly Seacliff to Hunters Point) and not a single property will show above the line.

  9. Posted by BayviewSF

    We need more high income residents in Bayview to make the area economically and commercially more vibrant. This is a segregation by wealth.

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