On this page, you’ll learn about the latest San Franciso real estate market forecast, trends, and statistics to help you make a sound investment decision. San Franciso consistently ranks among the most expensive real estate markets in the world, and it is one of the most densely populated cities in the U.S. Why is housing so expensive in San Francisco? First of all, the entire state of California has a consistent housing shortage due to limited land.
Most of the cities including San Franciso are failing to meet the regional housing needs. New construction permits in all cities often lag behind due to community resistance which blocks new housing. Jobs are increasing and the economy is strongest in 50 years. But due to the tight supply of homes, San Francisco home prices have grown much faster than incomes.
The minimum annual income required for owning a house in the San Francisco bay area in 2019 was $197,970. That's an increase of 119.1% since 2012 when affordability was at its peak. Homeownership is not rebounding anytime soon in San Franciso. By 2025 more than 60% of the population is estimated to rent.
Housing affordability has been a consistent issue for first-time buyers over the last few years. They have limited options in the San Franciso housing market. Although mortgage rates have decreased, big down payments & all-time high home prices aren't spurring more sales. Many simply can’t afford to buy a house due to these factors.
San Francisco also rivals New York in terms of rental rates and the overall price of real estate. It seems to be making the news for all the wrong reasons. The homeless problem and associated public hygiene problem are so bad there is an app for that, the reporting of public defecation.
This is why the San Francisco housing market resembles New York City of the 1970s, a buying opportunity for those willing to take the chance that the market will soar once the region recovers, though that may require a change in leadership. San Francisco is home to nearly 900,000 people. It is the hub of the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland area; this larger metro area is home to nearly nine million people.
The city alternately makes the news for people paying incredibly high rents to live in boxes, the homeless problem, and the tech industry. This makes many wonders why or how anyone could live there. Others would think why you’d want to buy a property now in such an overvalued real estate market. Yet we can give you ten positive signs about the San Francisco housing market 2020.
The unemployment rate in the San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco MD was 1.8 percent in December 2019, down from a revised 1.9 percent in November 2019, and below the year-ago estimate of 2.1 percent. This compares with an unadjusted unemployment rate of 3.7 percent for California and 3.4 percent for the nation during the same period.
In the latest quarter, the San Francisco real estate appreciation rate has been around 0.5%, which amounts to an annual rate of 2%. However, due to the ongoing pandemic, home prices are expected to drop by 1 to 2%. This is a good sign for new homebuyers and investors as far as affordability is concerned as many of them can’t afford to buy a median-priced home in San Francisco.
In this article, we shall discuss some more important reasons why you may want to consider buying San Francisco real estate investment properties in 2020. Please note that many variables can potentially impact the value of a home in San Francisco (or any other market) and some of these variables are impossible to predict in advance.
San Francisco Housing Market Trends & Statistics 2020
We shall now discuss some of the most recent housing trends in the San Francisco area and compare it with the past couple of years. We shall mainly discuss median home prices, inventory, economy, growth, and neighborhoods, which will help you understand the way the local real estate market moves in this region. San Francisco is a fairly walkable city in San Francisco County.
In a report published by Google in June 2019, it announced one billion dollars of investment in housing across the Bay Area. A 10-year plan to add thousands of homes to the Bay Area. The company would be making this major investment in what it believes is the most important social issue in the bay area real estate market. This proposition by Google will add thousands of new homes to the Bay Area real estate market over the next ten years.
About $750 million would be used for repurposing Google's own commercial real estate for residential purposes. This will allow for 15,000 new homes at all income levels in the Bay area. Another $250 million investment fund would be utilized to provide incentives to enable developers to build at least 5,000 affordable housing units across the Bay area housing market.
As a move to support affordable housing initiative these investments will help Google plans to give $50 million in grants through Google.org to nonprofits focused on the issues of homelessness and displacement of citizens. The company also plans to fund community spaces that provide free access to co-working areas for nonprofits, improving transit options for the community and supporting programs for career development, education, and local businesses.
San Francisco (County) Housing Market Report from the “California Association of Realtors” shows that inventory remained tight in the month of March as well.
- Existing SFR sales in the month of March 2020 were 157, down 7.6% from a year ago.
- Existing SFR Median Price was $1.65M, up 1.1% from a year ago.
- Active Listings at the end of March 2020: 128, down 36% from a year ago.
- Median Days on Market: 14
- Sales-to-List Price Ratio: 115.8%
- Active Listings with price reduction: 21.1%
- Unsold Inventory Index: 1.5
On Movoto.com, San Francisco's current home resale inventory number is 613, which has increased by 8% from a year ago. The median list price per square foot in San Francisco is $1,135. Distressed properties such as foreclosures and short sales remained the same as a percentage of the total market in May 2020.
|Today||1 Month Ago||1 Year Ago|
|Median List Price||$1,495,000||$1,549,000-3%||$1,580,000-5%|
|Median Days on Movoto||67||64+4%||40+67%|
|Median Home Size||1,401||1,435-2%||1,485-5%|
Market Snapshot Courtesy of Movoto.com
There has been some short term impact of Coronavirus pandemic on the Housing Market. The buyers are still withdrawing offers and sellers are still removing their homes from the market. The general uncertainty is playing a smaller role in recent weeks. There have been delays in closings due to financing issues as loan funding has slowed down. Sales were down 28% from early March, statewide. According to the California Association of Realtors, there has been the biggest drop in housing starts in 1984. The pandemic, however, has not had much impact on prices yet.
Short-run estimates of COVID-19 on California Housing Market (Data by California Association of Realtors)
- The economy will shrink by 30-40% in Q2.
- Unemployment expected to exceed 20%.
- Double-digit declines for California home sales.
- Declines expected to persist for April & May (maybe June).
- Price impacts expected to remain in single-digits.
- Mortgage credit remains difficult to obtain.
- The big wildcard is the virus—the second wave means worse.
- Expect ongoing challenges at least through May/June.
- Starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel.
More info on the California COVID-19 Economic/Market Update is given here.
San Francisco Real Estate Market Forecast 2020 – 2021
San Francisco real estate market is shaping up to continue the trend of the last few years as one of the hottest markets in California. What are the San Francisco real estate market predictions for 2020? According to Zillow, a real estate database company, the median home price in San Francisco has been pretty much flat since Aug 2018.
As you can see in the graph given below, the San Franciso home values increased consistently, starting in 2017 and continuing through 2018. After that, it marked the beginning of a flattening out of prices which lasted for over a year.
In the past year, San Francisco's real estate prices have gone up by 3%. The latest San Francisco real estate market forecast is that home prices will drop by 2.3% in the next twelve months. According to many industry experts, you shouldn’t expect any sizable or significant gains based on the current situation stemming from the viral outbreak.
The current median home value in San Franciso is $1,447,191. San Franciso is currently a buyer’s real estate market – which refers to a situation in which supply exceeds demand, giving purchasers an advantage over sellers in price negotiations. There are less no. of qualified buyers and more homes for sale in the market. The inventory of homes is increasing month-over-month due to ongoing pandemic.
Here is the San Francisco, CA real estate price appreciation graph by Zillow. It shows us the current home price appreciation forecast of -2.3% until March 2021.
Here is a short and crisp San Francisco housing market forecast for the 3 years ending with the 3rd Quarter of 2021. The accuracy of this forecast for San Francisco is 77% and it is predicting a positive trend. LittleBigHomes.com estimates that the probability of rising home prices in San Francisco is 77% during this period. If this price forecast is correct, the San Francisco home values will be higher in the 3rd Quarter of 2021 than they were in the 3rd Quarter of 2018.
Check this page each quarter for updates to the San Francisco Housing Market Forecast.
San Francisco Real Estate – San Francisco CA Homes For Sale
San Francisco has a mixture of owner-occupied and renter-occupied housing. According to Neighborhoodscout.com, a real estate data provider, one and two-bedroom large apartment complexes are the most common housing units in the San Francisco real estate market. Other types of housing that are prevalent in the market include single-family detached homes, duplexes, rowhouses, and homes converted to apartments.
At the national level, the single-family rental homes have grown up to 30% within the last three years. Almost all the housing demand in the US in recent years has been filled by single-family rental units. With 2020 being, theoretically, in the middle of a boom, there are still 4 years for residential construction to surge. Most likely, a housing shortage will remain in 2020, keeping home prices high.
Currently, there are 217 homes for sale in San Francisco on Zillow. Additionally, there are 362 homes for rent. Under potential listings, there are about 2 Foreclosed and 84 Pre-Foreclosure homes. These are the delinquent properties that may be coming to the market soon but are not yet found on a multiple listing service (MLS).
- The median list price per square foot in San Francisco is $1,108, which is higher than the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward Metro average of $499.
- The median price of homes for sale is $1,310,500.
- The median price of homes that were sold is $1,364,300 (Feb 2020).
- The median rent price in San Francisco is $4,500, which is higher than the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward Metro median of $3,300.
There are currently 1022 homes for sale and 1184 homes for rent in San Francisco on Realtor.com, a real estate listings website. The newly listed homes are 133. According to their statistics, in April 2020, the San Francisco housing market was a balanced market, which means there was a healthy balance of buyers and sellers in the market.
Ideally, a buyer would prefer a sale to asking price ratio that’s closer to 90%. The sellers in San Francisco have managed to hold good leverage in these negotiations in the past month. On average, they could sell homes for 103.26% of the asking price. A seller would always prefer scenarios that can yield a ratio of 100% or higher.
In April 2020, the median list price of homes in San Francisco, CA was $1.5M, trending up 7.3% year-over-year. The median listing price per square foot was $1K. The median sale price was $1.5M.
San Francisco Real Estate Foreclosure Statistics
Here are some foreclosure statistics of the San Francisco real estate market. As per the foreclosure data by Zillow, in San Francisco 0.1 homes are foreclosed (per 10,000). This is the same as the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward Metro value of 0.1 and also lower than the national value of 1.2. The percent of delinquent mortgages in San Francisco is 0.2%, which is lower than the national value of 1.1%. The percent of San Francisco homeowners underwater on their mortgage is 2.6%, which is lower than San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward Metro at 2.7%.
There are currently 158 properties in San Francisco, CA that are in some stage of foreclosure (default, auction or bank-owned) while the number of homes listed for sale on RealtyTrac is 251. In March 2020, the number of properties that received a foreclosure filing in San Francisco, CA was 4% lower than the previous month and 13% higher than the same time last year.
|Potential Foreclosures in San Francisco||158 (RealtyTrac)|
|Homes for Sale in San Francisco||251|
|Median List Price||$1,349,000 (4% rise vs Feb 2019)|
In San Francisco, the zip code with the highest foreclosure rate is 94134, where 1 in every 3185 housing units is foreclosed. 94116 zip code has the lowest foreclosure rate, where 1 in every 5575 housing units becomes delinquent.
San Francisco Real Estate Market: Is It A Good Place For Investment?
Should you consider San Francisco real estate investment? Now that you know where San Francisco is, you probably want to know why we’re recommending it to real estate investors. Investing in real estate is touted as a great way to become wealthy. Many real estate investors have asked themselves if buying a property in San Francisco is a good investment? You need to drill deeper into local trends if you want to know what the market holds for the year ahead.
Although this article alone is not a comprehensive source to make a final investment decision for San Francisco, we have collected ten evidence-based positive things for those who are keen to invest in the San Francisco real estate in 2020. Let’s take a look at some other factors that could make 2020 a good year to invest or buy a home in the San Francisco real estate market.
1. San Francisco's Job Market
Why doesn’t everyone just move out of the San Francisco housing market? Some do move, but they have a one and a half to two-hour commute each way to work because they still want to work there. They just can’t afford to live there. Moreover, it is the high tech job market that draws so many people to San Francisco and leaves many others struggling to pay the bills. The predicted 2020 job market slowdown won’t result in layoffs, just a drop in job growth to 1.5 to 2 percent a year. Note that the area already has an unemployment rate of 1.2 percent below the national average.
2. San Francisco's Geography
San Francisco sits on a peninsula, surrounded on three sides by water. They cannot build-out to meet housing demand. The surrounding cities are densely built up, as well. The only way the San Francisco real estate market could meet demand is by ripping out large swaths of two and three-story buildings to build condo towers, but that’s almost impossible given local regulations. The ability to build up is limited in the surrounding suburbs because of the mountains.
3. The Zoning Restrictions in San Francisco
The San Francisco real estate market is, for better or for worse, beholden to several competing interest groups. For those with money that own their homes and have the most influence, “not in my backyard” or NIMBY means that voters fight any proposal to replace a 2 or 3 story warehouse with a 20 story apartment or condo building. They want to protect the look and feel of the community, through high rise construction could start to relieve the overcrowding in the San Francisco real estate market.
The horrific stories of developers going through four years of red tape to build multi-family San Francisco rental properties deter others from even trying. Ironically, this creates significant returns for those who buy up San Francisco rental properties and can convert them to multi-family housing.
4. San Francisco's Environmental Movement
The environmentalist movement and California are intertwined in the public’s mind and for good reason. This is the best demonstration of its impact is Marin County. An estimated 85 percent of the county is off-limits to development. This doesn’t mean there are no homes here. It means that there are large estates that cannot be turned into tract homes. Neighbors fight any such project.
This is why George Lucas had to threaten to build hundreds of homes on Skywalker Ranch when they wouldn’t let him expand his studios there. This also explains why the San Francisco real estate market cannot solve its affordable housing crisis by building in the relatively open lands in Marin County.
5. Redevelopment Opportunities in San Francisco
Warehouses and factories have been converted to lofts in large, established cities around the world. They offer open spaces, high ceilings, and proximity to public transit and downtown amenities. San Francisco is no exception to this trend. The difference is the growth in high-density San Francisco rental properties as can only be found in co-living spaces. These can be considered high-end dorms.
People may rent a bunk bed and storage space for their possessions, gaining access to laundry, kitchen, and workout facilities. Several people may share a bedroom that rivals a cramped college dorm room. These facilities are booming because they cater to the new college graduates already used to living this way and willing to continue to do so to work for Big Tech firms in San Francisco.
6. The Opportunity in the Exodus
The high cost of real estate in San Francisco is impossible for most families to manage. The only reason the housing market hasn’t collapsed due to their exodus is due to all the singles and couples moving in. This provides San Francisco real estate investors the opportunity to buy up single-family homes by people leaving the city or the state altogether to rent out to groups of individuals instead. Convert a three-bedroom home into three efficiency apartments and charge comparable rents.
7. The Smaller, Secondary Opportunities
The “Yes in My Backyard” faction is advocating for more granny flats, mother-in-law suites, and other add-ons to existing housing that could bring tens of thousands of new units to the market. Hunt for properties where this could be built when the regulations change, and you could build and rent out such a unit immediately.
8. San Francisco's Landlord Unfriendliness
California is on the whole unfriendly to landlords. It is challenging to evict people. It can take a long time to evict someone who occasionally pays the rent. Taxes are high. What does this do to the San Francisco housing market? It leaves open the possibility that you could snap up San Francisco rental properties at a relative bargain price by people who just want to quit, whether they want to sell the properties or leave the state. For example, the laws governing the San Francisco real estate market allow you to buy San Francisco rental properties and evict the tenants to turn the units into condos for sale.
9. Better Area For Owning Rental Properties
You may read about the growth of Portland and other Pacific Northwest cities as talent and businesses flea the expensive San Francisco real estate market. That’s hardly impacted the San Francisco housing market, though. However, San Francisco has several advantages over its Oregon rivals, and that’s the fact that you aren’t in Oregon. Oregon passed a state-wide rent control law in 2019. This is in addition to many city regulations regarding affordable housing. In Oregon, your ability to raise rents is limited by the state.
Making matters worse, there are many more renters than property owners, so they’ll tighten the allowable rental increases and continue to hamper owners until they’re losing money. And then there is California. You can find a variety of rent control laws in the San Francisco housing market because every city takes its approach to the problem. This means that you can find suburban San Francisco rental properties where you could raise rental rates to match the market. Furthermore, rent control laws typically don’t apply to newer single-family homes.
10. San Francisco's Luxury Real Estate Market
New units are being built in the San Francisco housing market. They mostly consist of luxury condos and mega-mansions built for the elite of the Big Tech workforce. Another unintended side effect of regulations on San Francisco rental properties is that it incentivizes the construction of high-end units. Investors could invest in these projects or buy properties in the hopes that they are torn down and redeveloped. This is why burned-out husks can sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars and ones with demolition permits can sell for a million or more.
San Francisco Real Estate Market: How To Find San Francisco Investment Properties?
Are you looking for an investment property in the San Francisco real estate market? Maybe you have done a bit of real estate investing in San Francisco but want to take things further and make it into more than a hobby on the side. It’s only wise to think about how you can and should be investing your money. In any property investment, cash flow is gold. California has the 6th largest economy in the entire world. This is largely driven by its innovative production, the heavy tech sectors in the state, and more.
San Francisco market is expensive, but that doesn’t mean it is overpriced. There are opportunities, though they come with risks. If the city had better leadership and more people willing to allow redevelopment on a large scale, the city could blossom. Good cash flow from San Francisco investment property means the investment is, needless to say, profitable. A bad cash flow, on the other hand, means you won’t have money on hand to repay your debt.
Therefore, finding the best investment property in San Francisco in a growing neighborhood would be key to your success. If you invest wisely in San Francisco real estate, you could secure your future. If you are a beginner in the business of cash flow real estate investing, it very important to read good books on real estate. The less expensive the San Francisco investment property is, the lower your ongoing expenses will be.
When looking for the best real estate investments in San Francisco, you should focus on neighborhoods with relatively high population density and employment growth. Both of them translate into high demand for housing. Some of the popular neighborhoods in and around San Francisco are South Beach, Pacific Heights, Mission District, Presidio Heights, Excelsior, St. Francis Wood, North Beach, West Portal, Outer Sunset, Hayes Valley, Portola, Dogpatch, Bernal Heights, Noe Valley, and Russian Hill.
The asking price of single-family homes for sale in San Francisco (on Realtor.com) starts from $135,510 for a 1-bedroom house and can go up to $25.8M for a luxury 8-bedroom house located in Northwest San Francisco neighborhood. This is a very expensive neighborhood of San Francisco, with a median price range of $1.8M. There are currently 17 new construction houses available for sale in the San Francisco housing market. You can get a 2-bedroom new construction single-family house for around $259,000 located in Northwest San Francisco.
San Francisco home prices are not only among the most expensive in the state of California but they are also some of the most expensive in all of the United States. Noe Valley has a median listing price of $3M, making it the most expensive neighborhood. Excelsior is the most affordable neighborhood in San Francisco, with a median listing price of $1.1M.
Here is a snapshot that shows the median home values in some of the neighborhoods of San Francisco.
If housing supply meets housing demand, real estate investors should not miss the opportunity since entry prices of homes remain affordable. You can also collaborate and learn from savvy real estate investors who have retired early on in their lives by investing in some of the hottest real estate markets like San Francisco. You should also join real estate investment clubs in San Francisco and try to make connections with fellow investors.
NORADA REAL ESTATE INVESTMENTS has extensive experience investing in turnkey real estate and cash-flow properties. We strive to set the standard for our industry and inspire others by raising the bar on providing exceptional real estate investment opportunities in many other growth markets in the United States. We can help you succeed by minimizing risk and maximizing the profitability of your investment property in San Francisco.
Consult with one of the investment counselors who can help build you a custom portfolio of San Francisco turnkey investment properties in some of the best neighborhoods. All you have to do is fill up this form and schedule a consultation at your convenience. We’re standing by to help you take the guesswork out of real estate investing. By researching and structuring complete San Francisco turnkey real estate investments, we help you succeed by minimizing risk and maximizing profitability.
Buying or selling real estate, for a majority of investors, is one of the most important decisions they will make. Choosing a real estate professional/counselor continues to be a vital part of this process. They are well-informed about critical factors that affect your specific market areas, such as changes in market conditions, market forecasts, consumer attitudes, best locations, timing, and interest rates.
California Real Estate Investment Opportunities
Apart from San Francisco, you can also invest in many other real estate markets in California. California's real estate market is the focus of many U.S. and foreign real estate investors. Apart from the Los Angeles real estate market, you can also invest in multiple cities in California.
Another market to buy rental properties in California is San Jose. San Jose is part of Silicon Valley, a place where $100,000 a year or higher salaries from competing for tech firms has driven up the cost of real estate. But what about the San Jose housing market itself? San Jose is the third-largest city in California, home to roughly a million people.
It has the highest cost of living in any area in the U.S., and it is one of the most expensive housing markets in the country. If you want to invest in the San Jose rental properties, you may not need to buy and renovate. Instead, if you know of industrial or commercial properties near major employers they may need to convert to employee housing, you could buy now and hold until it sells. If that doesn’t happen, you could still turn it into a co-working space.
The San Diego real estate market offers an ideal mix of limited supply, high demand, and excellent income potential. If you’re going to invest in California, it needs to be in San Diego. The San Diego real estate market has been ranked among the ten most expensive real estate markets in the country, though it ranks below several other West Coast cities. This creates massive demand for San Diego rental properties by those who simply cannot afford to buy homes. The rental market will continue to grow as the city grows an estimated 500,000 by 2050, adding tens of thousands each year.
Another expensive market like San Francisco is LA. The numbers may not make sense for many investors but if you ask savvy investors based in LA they would like to bet anytime on this expensive real estate market. The Los Angeles real estate market has many points in its favor beyond its sheer size. The strong market fundamentals make the Los Angeles housing market a good place to invest if you’re looking at buying real estate in California.
Los Angeles has an unemployment rate of around 4%. What makes Los Angeles unique is the employment market. Want to work in Hollywood? Move to L.A. Want to work for a production company or in fashion? Come to L.A. If rent is too high, share an apartment or single-family home with friends. The Los Angeles housing market has seen a bump in residential construction. This has helped to satisfy some demand from renters. However, due to increasing demand, the new supply hasn’t brought prices down.
The Oakland real estate market is a cheaper version of the San Francisco real estate market with similar rental rates and a slightly friendly legal climate. It presents a good opportunity for real estate investors. The Oakland real estate market is second only to San Francisco in terms of rental rates. It is rivaling New York City, Boston, and San Francisco in terms of rental prices. One-bedroom apartments are averaging $2400 a month. Yet Oakland housing units remain two hundred to five hundred thousand dollars cheaper than San Francisco properties. This means you’ll see far better ROI on Oakland rental properties than San Francisco properties.
*Remember, caveat emptor still applies when buying a property anywhere. Some of the information contained in this article was pulled from third party sites mentioned under references. Although the information is believed to be reliable, Norada Real Estate Investments makes no representations, warranties, or guarantees, either express or implied, as to whether the information presented is accurate, reliable, or current. All information presented should be independently verified through the references given below. As a general policy, the Norada Real Estate Investments makes no claims or assertions about the future housing market conditions across the US.
- Latest Market Data, Trends, and Statistics
- City details
- Environmental / zoning
- Zoning restrictions
- Job market
- Landlord unfriendliness
- Rent control /Not Oregon
- Exodus of families
- Secondary opportunities
- Luxury market