Below are a variety of charts detailing overview conditions and trends in inventory, unit sales, median sales prices and average dollar per square foot figures in San Francisco and its neighborhoods. Generally speaking, monthly fluctuations up and own — especially of median price — are relatively meaningless unless continuing for extended periods of time: in real estate, the longer term trend contains the significance. Also, trends that are consistent across a variety of parameters: property type, neighborhood, days on market, units for sale and units going under contract, months’ supply of inventory, percent of listings accepting offers, and so on. It is when most or all these different trend lines in parallel substantiate a change in the market that the change can most relied upon.
The median price is that price at which half the sales were higher and half were lower — it can be, and often is, affected by other market factors besides changes in value. Other definitions can be found below the charts.
MEDIAN SALES PRICE is that price at which half the sales occur for more and half for less. It can be, and often is, affected by other factors besides changes in market values, such as short-term or seasonal changes in inventory or buying trends. If market values are truly changing, the median price will consistently rise or sink over a longer term than just 2 or 3 months. One would also expect to see changes in supply and demand underlying any significant changes in values.
DAYS ON MARKET (DOM) are the number of days between a listing going on market and accepting an offer. Averages can get pulled out of whack by a few sales where the days on market were very high, and also by agents who don’t report their accepted offers in a timely manner. What’s important is the trend. The lower the average DOM, the hotter the market.
MONTHS SUPPLY OF INVENTORY (MSI) reflects the number of months it would take to sell the existing inventory of homes for sale at current market conditions. The lower the MSI, the stronger the market. Typically, anything below 3-4 months of inventory would be considered a “Seller’s market”, 4-6 months a relatively balanced market, and 7 months and above, a “Buyer’s market.”
DOLLAR PER SQUARE FOOT ($/sq.ft.) is based upon the home’s interior living space and does not include garages, unfinished attics and basements, rooms built without permit, or exterior spaces (though all those can add value to a home). These figures are usually derived from appraisals or tax records, but are sometimes unreliable (especially for older homes) or unreported altogether. All things being equal a house will sell for a higher dollar per square foot than a condo, a condo higher than a TIC, and a TIC higher than a multi-unit building. All things being equal, a smaller home will sell for a higher $/sqft than a larger one. There are often surprisingly wide variations of value within neighborhoods and averages may be distorted by one or two sales substantially higher or lower than the norm (especially when the total number of sales is small). Location, condition, amenities, parking, views, lot size & outdoor space all affect $/sq.ft.
SAN FRANCISCO REALTOR DISTRICTS
District 1: Sea Cliff, Lake Street, Richmond (Inner, Central, Outer), Jordan Park/Laurel Heights, Lone Mountain
District 2: Sunset & Parkside (Inner, Central, Outer), Golden Gate Heights
District 3: Lake Shore, Lakeside, Merced Manor, Merced Heights, Ingleside, Ingleside Heights, Oceanview
District 4: St. Francis Wood, Forest Hill, West Portal, Forest Knolls, Diamond Heights, Midtown Terrace, Miraloma Park, Sunnyside, Balboa Terrace, Ingleside Terrace, Mt. Davidson Manor, Sherwood Forest, Monterey Heights, Westwood Highlands
District 5: Noe Valley, Eureka Valley (Castro), Cole Valley, Glen Park, Corona Heights, Clarendon Heights, Ashbury Heights, Buena Vista Park, Haight Ashbury, Duboce Triangle, Twin Peaks, Mission Dolores, Parnassus Heights
District 6: Hayes Valley, North of Panhandle (NOPA), Alamo Square, Western Addition, Lower Pacific Heights
District 7: Pacific Heights, Presidio Heights, Cow Hollow, Marina
District 8: Russian Hill, Nob Hill, Telegraph Hill, North Beach, Financial District, North Waterfront, Downtown, Van Ness/ Civic Center, Tenderloin
District 9: SOMA, South Beach, Mission Bay, Potrero Hill, Dogpatch, Bernal Heights, Inner Mission, Yerba Buena
District 10: Bayview, Bayview Heights, Excelsior, Portola, Visitacion Valley, Silver Terrace, Mission Terrace, Crocker Amazon, Outer Mission