While it appears our projection as to when listed inventory levels would peak in San Francisco was off by a couple of hours, the net number of single-family homes and condos on the market has since ticked down 6 percent.

As such, while there are 7 percent fewer homes listed for sale in San Francisco than there were at the same time last year, there 38 percent more homes on the market than there were prior to the pandemic, over twice as many as there were in November of 2015, and 40 percent more than average over the past two decades, despite misreports of “record low inventory levels” and subsequent (mis)analyses of the market that appears to have led some seriously astray.

At the same time, the percentage of listings in San Francisco that have been reduced at least once has ticked up to 36 percent and is poised to continue to climb through the end of the year, with the pace of sales have dropped to a lower six-plus-year low and an uptick in unsold properties being withdrawn from the MLS, most of which are likely to return anew in the spring, none of which should catch any plugged-in readers, other than the most obstinate, by surprise.

2 thoughts on “Only 40 Percent More Homes on the Market in S.F. Than Usual”
  1. From The Chron’s Laura Waxmann, S.F.’s luxury condo market is cooling. Here’s why it might be a good time to buy, twelfth

    According to [San Francisco real estate broker Mike] Basham, the pre-pandemic influx of new luxury units in the San Francisco market was due to several factors: interest rates were at “all-time lows,” and international wealth was pouring into the city and other urban areas, he said.

    But a lot has changed since then…foreign investment also appears to have retreated from San Francisco to some degree. Across the country, the number of homes bought by international buyers in 2023 reached a 14-year low, according to data published by the National Association of Realtors. Patrick Carlisle, a chief market analyst with real estate firm Compass, said that, until recently, new condos had been very appealing to foreign investors.
    “In San Francisco, they liked the idea of having condos because that means they don’t have to live there, and they know the building’s being taken care of and there is security. They could rent it out and that sort of thing,” Carlisle said. “But, of course, that demographic has been hit very hard as far as demand: The pandemic happened, which was a huge discouragement. U.S.-China relations have been going down the tube for four years. And China has cracked down for years on allowing money to leave the country.”
    Compounding the retreat of foreign investment are the recent headlines on the challenges now facing San Francisco…a string of notable retailers have closed downtown locations, citing crime and worsening quality-of-life issues.
    “You can imagine that those issues probably impact foreign buyers more than they do local buyers,” Carlisle said.

    The whole thing is worth reading just for the specifics about vacancies in some of the city’s luxury, ultra luxury and über luxe condo towers, and how long those units have been vacant.

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