Favorable Home Prices Provide Incentive to Buy Higher-Priced Properties Draw Multiple Offers

Posted by Cathy Harrington — August 10, 2011


1313019952Pleasanton, CA - August 10, 2011. Home sales in the City of San Francisco improved in the second quarter but were flat compared with a year ago as indecision among potential entry- and mid-level homebuyers countered a rally at the higher end of the price spectrum, where listings were scarce, according to an analysis of MLS data by the research division of Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie Real Estate.

In the City and County of San Francisco, 665 existing, single-family detached homes changed hands during this year’s second quarter – up 40 percent from 479 homes sold in the first quarter and on par with the 671 homes sold in last year’s second quarter. The number of sales likely would have been higher were it not for a lack of available listings in The City’s pricier neighborhoods, where homes above $1.5 million drew multiple offers and sold at a rapid pace. By contrast, entry- to mid-level buyers seemed to lack the enthusiasm that drove home sales higher during last year’s second quarter, when state and federal tax incentives lured them into making a purchase decision.

The result: Stronger sales on both a quarterly and annualized basis in five of The City’s 10 districts and rising prices at the high end. This trend was countered by softer median sales prices at the mid-level and below, where distressed properties continued to draw buyers and put downward pressure on prices.

In District 7 (Marina/Pacific Heights), a limited inventory of homes and strong demand resulted in a sharp increase in the median sales price, which rose 14 percent from $2,725,000 in the first quarter to $3,095,000 in the second quarter. District 1 (Richmond) also attracted increased attention from high-end homebuyers. Sales there were up 103 percent from the first quarter and 18 percent from a year ago, while the median sales price jumped 20 percent from $877,500 in the first quarter to $1,055,000 in the second quarter, up 6 percent from a year ago.

Buyers in more moderately priced neighborhoods continued to focus on properties in the low-to-middle price range. Seven communities registered lower median sales prices on either a quarter-over-quarter or year-over-year basis, while five experienced modest price declines over both periods.

Homes in all price ranges and neighborhoods continued to sell at a rapid pace. The average number of days a home was on the market from listing to receipt of a contracted offer

was 44 days in the second quarter, down from 51 days a year ago. Days on market ranged from a low of 31 days in District 5 (Noe Valley/Glen Park/Haight Ashbury) to a high of 63 days in Districts 3 (Stonestown/Ingleside/Oceanview) and 10 (Bayview/Excelsior/Visitacion Valley).

According to Mark Kelaidis, Regional Manager of Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie, “Looking ahead, home sales should hold steady, though prices will continue to seesaw as market conditions and buyer attitudes change.” San Franciscans can anticipate continued competition among homebuyers for properties in neighborhoods where there is a limited inventory of homes on the market. 

  San Francisco District Guide

San Francisco District Guide:

District 1 - Central Richmond, Inner Richmond, Jordan Park/Laurel Heights, Lake, Outer Richmond, Sea Cliff, Lone Mountain.

District 2 - Golden Gate Heights, Outer Parkside, Outer Sunset, Parkside, Central Sunset, Inner Sunset, Inner Parkside.

District 3 - Lake Shore, Merced Heights, Pine Lake Park, Stonestown, Lakeside, Merced Manor, Ingleside Heights, Ingleside, Oceanview.

District 4 - Balboa Terrace, Diamond Heights, Forest Hill, Forest Knolls, Ingleside Terrace, Midtown Terrace, St. Francis Wood, Miraloma Park, Forest Hill Extension, Sherwood Forest, Monterey Heights, Mount

Davidson Manor, Westwood Highlands, Westwood Park, Sunnyside, West Portal.

District 5 - Glen Park, Haight Ashbury, Noe Valley, Twin Peaks, Parnassus/Ashbury Heights, Buena Vista Park, Corona Heights, Clarendon Heights, Duboce Triangle, Eureka Valley/Dolores Heights, Mission Dolores.

District 6 - Anza Vista, Hayes Valley, Lower Pacific Heights, Western Addition, Alamo Square, North Panhandle.

District 7 - Marina, Pacific Heights, Presidio Heights, Cow Hollow.

District 8 - Downtown, Financial District, Nob Hill, North Beach, Russian Hill, Van Ness/Civic Center, Telegraph Hill, North Waterfront, Tenderloin.

District 9 - Bernal Heights, Inner Mission, Mission Bay, Potrero Hill, South of Market, South Beach, Central Waterfront.

District 10 - Bayview, Crocker Amazon, Excelsior, Outer Mission, Visitacion Valley, Portola, Silver Terrace, Mission Terrace, Hunters Point, Bayview Heights.


* Days on market is the number of days a property was listed on the market until it went under contract at its final listing price. This may not reflect previous listings.

**The median home price for the entire county is the mean of median home prices of districts within San Francisco County.

Data are sourced from multiple listing services and are deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All percentages rounded to nearest whole number.

Produced by the Research Division at Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie Real Estate.

About Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie Real Estate

Our heritage began with the founding of Mason-McDuffie Real Estate in 1887. In 2009, the company was named the 19th largest real estate services firm in the nation, and Number One in the San Francisco East Bay. The company provides comprehensive solutions to home buyers and sellers, and handled more than 7,300 transactions in 2010, generating $2.9 billion in sales. Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie Real Estate is independently owned and operated and includes joint ventures with partners J F Finnegan Realtors, Highland Partners in Piedmont and Montclair, Wine Country Group in the north bay, and Tri-Valley Realty in Pleasanton-Hopyard and Ruby Hill. The organization is comprised of more than 2,000 sales professionals in 40 offices. For more information, go to www.bhghome.com <http://www.bhghome.com/> .

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