Let's get an overview of the San Francisco real estate market. This article has been updated to reflect recent changes in the housing market of San Francisco due to the coronavirus pandemic. San Francisco 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. In June, eight of the San Francisco Bay Area’s nine counties still experienced a year-over-year drop in active listings.
Seven of them declined more than 23 percent from the prior year. San Francisco was the only county in the region with an increase in active listings. While the median house price has hit a new peak, the median condo price has declined from its 2019 high. In June, the median sold price of existing single-family homes in San Francisco increased by 2.4% to $1,805,000. More affluent buyers entered the market in June. High-end real estate sales that staged a particularly strong recovery is one of the factors behind median house sales prices hitting a new peak in June.
Home sales are still lagging begin 2019's stats. Closed sales saw a decline of 8.9% as compared to last year and an increase of 56.7% as compared to May 2020. In the San Francisco Bay Area, home sales declined by 7.8% from the prior year but there was a gain of 69.2% as compared to the previous month (May). The median sold price of existing single-family homes in the San Francisco Bay Area housing market was $1,000,000, a year-over-year rise of 4.2%.
The latest “SAN FRANCISCO HOUSING MARKET REPORT” is given below.
Let’s talk a bit about San Francisco and the surrounding bay area before we discuss what lies ahead for investors and homebuyers. 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. Keep on reading to find out more. 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 Francisco are failing to meet the regional housing needs. New construction permits in all cities often lag 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 Francisco. 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 Francisco 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. Despite Covid-19, in the latest quarter, the San Francisco real estate appreciation rate has been around 0.21%, which amounts to an annual rate of 0.84%.
Some experts feel that home prices may drop by 1 to 2% in the next twelve months. 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. Now let’s take a close look at the San Francisco real estate market trends and forecasts for 2020 & 2021.
BAY AREA Housing Market Prices And Trends 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 initiatives 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.
Despite the ongoing health and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the San Francisco housing market made a large recovery in sales from the steep declines in March and April. The median sold price hit a new monthly high in June ($1,800,000). As affluent buyers are least affected by the economic downturn, they are seen to have been jumping back into the market to a greater degree than other segments. The high-end luxury real estate has seen a very strong demand in virtually every housing market in the entire Bay Area.
Below is the latest monthly report of the Bay Area Housing Market. The source of this report is the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS. The report compares key housing metrics of the San Francisco Bay Area from June 2020 with June 2019.
The Bay Area housing market consists of all the nine counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma) and 101 municipalities. The region is home to three major cities: San Francisco, Oakland and, the largest, San Jose.
|Jun-20||Median Sold Price of Existing Single-Family Homes||Sales|
|S.F. Bay Area||Jun-20||May-20||Jun-19||Price MTM% Chg||Price YTY% Chg||Sales MTM% Chg||Sales YTY% Chg|
The Bay Area housing markets with the largest year-over-year increases in the number of listings accepting offers in June 2020 were the 4 outer Bay Area counties of Monterey (up 61%), Santa Cruz (58%), Sonoma (47%) and Napa (37%). They also have among the lowest population densities in the Bay Area. The more urban counties saw more modest year-over-year increases: San Francisco (6%) and Alameda (7%). Other factors may play a role in this: length/strictness of shelter-in-place rules, home price differences, second-home buying patterns, and so on.
San Francisco Housing Market Report
Home sales in May mostly reflect the huge impact of COVID-19 on the San Francisco housing market in late March and April. Median sales prices for both houses and condos dropped significantly in San Francisco in May, but those figures are based on a very low volume of closed sales in the month. An even bigger drop in higher-price home sales also put downward pressure on median prices.
The San Francisco housing market was more deeply affected by COVID-19 and shelter-in-place than other more suburban county markets, seeing larger initial drops in real estate activity. Even with the great rebound of buyer demand in May, its recovery is lagging from other counties of the Bay Area on a year-over-year basis.
Rent rates appear to be dropping quickly, after the enormous increase in unemployment – which typically impacts the rental market more rapidly and significantly than the for-sale market. Buyer demand has come surging back and home prices have so far been little affected.
The latest San Francisco Housing Market Report from the “California Association of Realtors.” In this report, all the housing metrics have been compared with the same month from the prior year. It shows that inventory remained tight in June as well. There's a big rebound in buyer demand, as the number of listings accepting offers in June 2020 rose slightly higher on a year-over-year basis. Home sales (closed) are still lagging behind the prior year's numbers.
|Existing SFR sales in June 2020 were 163, down 8.9% from a year ago.|
|Existing SFR Median Price was $1.80M, up 2.2% from a year ago.|
|Active Listings at the end of June 2020 were 328, up 63.2% from a year ago.|
|Median Days on Market equaled 19.|
|Sales-to-List Price Ratio: 101.3%|
|Active Listings with price reduction: 23.8%|
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 Francisco 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.
The Zillow Buyer-Seller Index (BSI) shows that San Francisco is currently a cool buyer’s real estate market. This is computed monthly. According to their index, there exists a general lack of demand in San Francisco, and homes can linger on the market longer and ultimately sell for less, putting negotiating power in the hands of buyers. In other words, based on the last month’s key housing market indicators, current supply is exceeding the demand, giving buyers an advantage over sellers in price negotiations. There are more homes for sale than there are active buyers in the marketplace.
San Francisco's median home values have gone up 3% over the past year and are currently holding at $1,447,191 (Zillow Home Value Index). The latest San Francisco real estate market forecast is that the home prices may decrease by 2.3% – in the next twelve months. It may be perhaps due to COVID-10 that has led to a situation in which supply exceeds demand, giving purchasers an advantage over sellers in price negotiations. That's how the prices remain flat or drop.
Here is the visual representation of historical San Francisco home prices and the latest forecast 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.
The change in home prices for San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA are shown below for the three-time periods by LittleBigHomes.com. The San Francisco Home Price Index has increased for the last 26 consecutive quarters. The all-time high in the San Francisco Home Price Index was 489.9 in the 3rd Quarter, of 2018. The Home Price Index indicates that the San Francisco Market is up 81% over the last 10 years. Home prices in the San Francisco Real Estate Market have gained 14.23% over the last 12 months. Over the last thirty years, it is up 435%.
The highest annual change in the value of houses in the San Francisco Real Estate Market was 28% in the twelve months ended with the 4th Quarter of 1979. The worst annual change in home values in the San Francisco Market was -12% in the twelve months ended with the 3rd Quarter of 2008.
|Time Period||San Francisco Real Estate Appreciation|
|Last 5 Years||68%|
|Last 10 Years||81%|
|Last 20 Years||289%|
The question now is what happens moving forward. These housing market trends and statistics can be positive or negative depending on which side of the fence you are — Buyer or Seller? While many have lost jobs, making them ineligible for a home mortgage, some sellers have taken their homes off the market. With the re-opening of the economy, the demand is rising again. While buyer activity continues to be robust, the decrease in the number of active listings indicates that new sellers are still not willing to put their homes on the market until the pandemic or its threat is completely over.
There has been a short term impact of Coronavirus pandemic on the Bay Area Housing Market—buyers withdrawing offers and sellers 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. The buyer demand has significantly rebounded as is reflected in June's housing data. The high-end buyer activity has pushed the median price to an all-time high in June.
Many housing experts believe sellers remain reluctant to list their homes due to continued concerns over COVID-19, which was beginning to see a resurgence in June. At the same time, the industry is adapting to the current environment by conducting business using technologies such as virtual showings and e-signing to help buyers and sellers with their housing needs in the face of these challenges. Nationally, June showing activity was up notably from the COVID-19 depressed levels in recent months but was also up from June 2019, reflecting pent-up demand by prospective home buyers.
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.
In a balanced real estate market, it would take about five to six months for the supply to dwindle to zero. In terms of months of supply, San Francisco, or the entire Bay Area housing market can become a buyer’s real estate market if the supply increases to more than five months of inventory. And that’s not going to happen. This region (and entire Minnesota) is very much skewed to sellers due to persistent imbalance in supply and demand. In June, the month's supply of inventory for the twin cities dropped by -33.3% to 1.8. Until sellers regain confidence, housing inventory will continue to be constrained during what is expected to be an active summer selling season. This will push the home prices up even though at a slower pace.
For buyers in San Francisco and the entire Bay Area, mortgage rates are at their lowest. Therefore, this is a good time for them to enter the market and scoop up their favorite deals. If buyer demand eases, we could see a positive influence on the low inventory of Twin Cities region while at the same time seeing a negative impact on sales. Also, if listings linger on the market for longer, buyers have a special edge in negotiating sales prices.
As a result, buyers who enter the market at this should have more options than usual when it comes to choosing a property. So they should take advantage of scooping up their favorite deals which otherwise are taken away by seasoned investors in the bidding wars. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell, timing your local market is an important part of real estate investment.
Nationally, the real estate market is heating up with an increase in home buying despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The real estate sector has been one of the most resilient areas of the economy during the severe economic shutdown. The latest housing market trend to be seen is that the lack of supply is leading to a decline in existing home sales even though new home sales have jumped nearly 13% year over year.
Real estate market forecasts given in this article are just an educated guess and should not be considered financial advice. Real estate prices are deeply cyclical and much of it is dependent on factors you can’t control. Many variables could potentially impact the value of a home in San Francisco in 2020 (or any other market) such as big changes in the distressed, new-construction, or luxury home segments. There are also a wide variety of economic and political factors that can and do impact real estate markets. Most of these variables are difficult to predict in advance.
San Francisco Real Estate Market: Where To Find 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.
Single-family detached homes account for roughly 20% of San Francisco's housing units. 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.
As we write this, there are 352 homes for sale in San Francisco, CA on Zillow. Additionally, there are 284 homes for rent. Under potential listings, there are about 3 Foreclosed and 79 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, which indicates that homes are selling near or slightly above their asking prices.
- 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 1961 homes for sale and 1946 homes for rent in San Francisco, CA on Realtor.com, a real estate listings website. As we write this, the newly listed homes are 256. According to their statistics, in June 2020, San Francisco was a balanced real estate market, which means there was a healthy balance of buyers and sellers in the market. The median list price of homes in San Francisco, CA was $1.5M, flat year-over-year. The median listing price per square foot was $1.1K. The median sale price was $1.6M.
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 100% of the asking price. A seller would always prefer scenarios that can yield a ratio of 100% or higher.
San Francisco Housing Market: Foreclosure Statistics 2020
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 134 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 526. In June, the number of properties that received a foreclosure filing in San Francisco, CA was 25% higher than the previous month and 26% lower than the same time last year.
|Potential Foreclosures in San Francisco||134 (RealtyTrac)|
|Homes for Sale in San Francisco||526|
|Median List Price||$1,475,000 (1% drop vs May 2019)|
According to RealtyTrac, in San Francisco, the zip code with the highest foreclosure rate is 94112, where 1 in every 4880 housing units is foreclosed. So, you’d find a lot of distressed sellers in this area and get some discounted off-market deals. 94107 zip code has the lowest foreclosure rate, where 1 in every 7884 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 evidence-based positive things for those who are keen to invest in the San Francisco real estate market. We shall discuss some more important reasons why you may want to consider buying San Francisco investment properties for the long term buy and hold.
San Francisco's Strong Economy & 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. San Francisco is turning into a major international city. It is a white-collar city, with fully 90.74% of the workforce employed in white-collar jobs, well above the national average.
Overall, San Francisco is a city of professionals, managers, and sales and office workers. Also of interest is that San Francisco has more people living here who work in computers and math than 95% of the places in the US. 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.
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.
San Francisco Rental Market
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.
California, on the whole, is 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.
SF Rental Statistics: The percentage of people renting in San Francisco is more than owners. Around 52% of the households in San Francisco, CA are renter-occupied while 47% are owner-occupied. The average rent for an apartment in San Francisco is $3,629, a change amounting to approximately 0% compared to the previous year, according to RENTCafé. More than 90% of the apartments can be rented for $2,000 or more while less than 2% can fall in the rent price of less than $1,500.
The average size for a San Francisco, CA apartment is 747 square feet, but this number varies greatly depending on unit type, with cheap and luxury alternatives for houses and apartments alike. Studio apartments are the smallest and most affordable, 1-bedroom apartments are closer to the average, while 2-bedroom apartments and 3-bedroom apartments offer more generous square footage.
According to RentJungle.com, as of June 2020, the average rent for an apartment in San Francisco, CA is $3715 which is a 0.59% increase from last year when the average rent was $3693, and a 1.97% decrease from last month when the average rent was $3788.
- One-bedroom apartments in San Francisco rent for $3384 a month on average (a 2.36% increase from last year).
- Two-bedroom apartment rents average $4417 (a 1.74% decrease from last year).
- The average apartment rent over the prior 6 months in San Francisco has decreased by $92 (-2.4%).
- One-bedroom units have decreased by $84 (-2.4%) and two-bedroom apartments have decreased by $193 (-4.2%).
Some of the most affordable neighborhoods for renting in San Francisco are:
- Treasure Island, where the average rent goes for $2,616/month.
- Tenderloin, where renters pay $2,944/mo on average.
- Van Ness – Civic Center, where the average rent goes for $2,944/mo.
- Downtown District 8 – North East where the average rent goes for $2,956.
- Marina where the average rent goes for $2,974.
- Outer Sunset where the average rent goes for $3,117.
- Outer Richmond where the average rent goes for $3,117.
San Francisco's Geography & Zoning Restrictions
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.
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.
San Francisco's Environmental Movement & Redevelopment Opportunities
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.
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.
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.
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.
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'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 Investment Properties: Where To Invest?
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. 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. According to Realtor.com, Dolores Heights has a median listing price of $2.5M, making it the most expensive neighborhood.
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.
According to Financialsamurai.com, the best neighborhood to buy property in San Francisco is Golden Gate Heights. This neighborhood has many homes with ocean view properties (under $1,000/Sq Ft), and some of the best schools in SF. Golden Gate Heights consists of mainly single-family homes instead of condos. As a result, the neighborhood is family-friendly and much less dense than other areas of San Francisco. The neighborhood is relatively inexpensive. At an average price per square foot of $850 – $980, Golden Gate Heights is an absolute steal compared to other neighborhoods in San Francisco.
Other best neighborhoods to buy investment properties in San Francisco are:
- Inner Parkside, Parkside
- Inner Sunset, Outer Sunset
- Inner Richmond, Outer Richmond
- Diamond Heights
All of these neighborhoods are safe, relatively inexpensive, and offer single-family homes for working-class people in the SF Bay Area. Single-family homes are defensive during downturns and tend to outperform during upturns.
Tenderloin is an affordable neighborhood for those who can afford to buy a home in the median price range of $570K. As on June 2020, the Tenderloin was a balanced real estate market, which means there was a healthy balance of buyers and sellers in the market. When housing supply meets housing demand, real estate investors should not miss the opportunity since entry prices of homes remain affordable.
Bayview is one of the most affordable neighborhoods, with a median listing price of $944K (on Realtor.com). Bayview saw an astounding 136% appreciation from 2000 to 2006, followed by a huge 50% drop from 2006 to 2010/2011. From 2012 onward the recovery has been consistent. From Jan 2012 ($428,000) to June 2020 ($1.01M), the median home price has appreciated by a whopping 133% (As on Zillow's home price index). Bayview home values have gone up 4.7% over the past year alone.
The markets in the Bayview and nearby neighborhoods are quite strong because they contain the most affordable houses in the city. It has one of the highest appreciation rates in the SF Bay Area region. During the downturn, its housing market became dominated by distressed sales and it fell so far that now, with the disappearance of the subprime effect, its recovery has been equally dramatic.
Stoneridge Park is a neighborhood in Pleasanton, California. It lies in Alameda County—one of the nine counties of the Bay Area region. According to Niche.com, it is a family-friendly neighborhood and one of the best places to live in California. Living in Stoneridge Park offers residents an urban-suburban mix feel and most residents own their homes. In Stoneridge Park, there are a lot of restaurants, coffee shops, and parks. The public schools in Stoneridge Park are highly rated (A+). The median home value is $911,000 and the median rent is $2,572.
Parkside receives an overall grade of A from Niche.com. It is a neighborhood in San Francisco County and is also considered as one of the best places to live in California. Living here offers residents an urban-suburban mix feel and most residents own their homes. The public schools in Parkside are highly rated. It is an expensive neighborhood with a median home value of $1,010,820. The median rent is $2,322. Parkside home values have gone up 4.9% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will fall -2.1% within the next year.
Here are top neighborhoods in San Francisco having the highest real estate appreciation rates since 2000—List by Neigborhoodscout.com.
- Garces Dr / Vidal Dr
- San Francisco State U / 19th Ave
- American Conservatory Theater / Bush St
- Golden Gate Ave / Leavenworth St
- Geary St / Taylor St
- Kearny St / California St
- Turk St / Taylor St
- Ofarrell St / Taylor St
- Montgomery St / Jackson St
- Golden Gate Ave / Market St
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.
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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.
San Francisco | 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.
Please do not make any real estate or financial decisions based solely on the information found within this article. 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.
Market Data, Reports & Forecasts
Best Neighborhoods to invest in SF property for appreciation
Rental Market Statistics (Apartments)
Exodus of families