Despite the holiday weekend, the inventory of homes listed for sale in San Francisco increased 19 percent over the past week as new supply outpaced demand. Overall inventory levels are now running 17 percent higher versus the same time last year.

At a more granular level, the number of listed single-family homes on the market (164) is now 3 percent higher versus the same time last year, the first year-over-year increase for single-family homes in 2016, while the number of listed condos (245), which doesn’t include the vast majority of new construction units, is running 28 percent higher.

Expect the pace of new listings and overall inventory levels to continue to accelerate and steadily climb through June or July before retreating for the annual summer slowdown.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Fishchum

    I’m curious – where are you getting your numbers from? The SFAR numbers came out for January – they’re showing 213 active SFH listings (down 24.2% from January 2015) and 377 active condo listings (exactly the same as January 2015).

    • Posted by SocketSite

      We pull listing data directly from the MLS via a third-party tool.

      The SFAR report likely includes pending sales (which it shouldn’t) and doesn’t normalize for San Francisco’s weekly fluctuations in levels and listing patterns (which we do).

      • Posted by Fishchum

        OK, thanks for clarifying.

  2. Posted by soccermom

    This in the context of 124,000 single family homes in SF.

    • Posted by SocketSite

      That’s true but relatively irrelevant. At the end of 2011, when single-family home values neared their local nadir, there were a whopping 300 single-family homes on the market in San Francisco, down from 500 at the end of 2008 when the market was melting down, locked-up, and dropped over 20 percent.

      • Posted by curmudgeon

        Given this history, it would be lovely to see it in graph form to give more substance to the “year over year” comparisons.

      • Posted by soccermom

        How many homes were in foreclosure at these previous inventory peaks? I think the distressed sales have decreased far more dramatically than listed and the foreclosure pipeline is extremely low volume at present.

        The market remains very robust, even if there is an increase of 40 homes on the market. Out of 124,000 that is 0.03% of all homes.

      • Posted by JR "Bob" Dobbs

        I’m not sure the total number of homes has any significance. The two relevant factors are the numbers for sale (the supply) and the numbers being sold (the demand). This post addresses the first half of the equation.

        If there are 164 homes listed for sale in SF, and only 10 a month being sold, that is a good indicator of softening prices. OTOH, if there are 164 homes for sale, and 160/month being sold, that signals a sellers’ market and higher prices (and this is also why you need both “for sale” and “sold” numbers to get a sound picture of the market). Both of these conclusions would obtain independently of the total number of homes in existence in SF.

        • Posted by soccermom

          Do you know the answer to my question about the number of distressed sales (non mls listings) at prior inventory peaks and at present?

        • Posted by Ohlone Californio

          There is another relevant factor, perhaps the most important really. That is the number of buyers in any given sector of the marketplace. This one is impossible to track via data unfortunately, at least concurrently.

          • Posted by JR "Bob" Dobbs

            The number of buyers can be tracked by looking at the “sold” numbers (otherwise stated as the “bought” numbers).

            It is true that the number of potential buyers cannot be tracked. Nor can the number of potential sellers. Thus, while those might be “real” factors, they don’t really add anything to the analysis since they are not (to my knowledge) measured in any manner.

            Supply and demand can be charted, and they intersect at the price. At a lower price, there will be a higher demand (more buyers; also fewer sellers), and at a higher price there will be a lower demand (fewer buyers; also more sellers). Socketsite does a decent job trying to pull all this together, but the data in this market are not good for much other than broad and debatable indications.

  3. Posted by Confused renter

    There are a lot of new condos hitting the market which are directly competing with used condos, decreasing the demand for used units.

  4. Posted by BayviewSF

    A chart showing the historical inventory and sales volume would be more useful, just like the chart for office rent and jobs numbers.

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