The housing market in San Francisco continues to be a standout, where prices are concerned. According to the latest release of the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, house values in San Francisco rose 3.9% from February to March of this year. Prices have risen by a whopping 22% annually, when measured from March 2012 to March 2013. There is a two-month reporting lag with the Case-Shiller index, which is published on the last Tuesday of every month.
The chart below shows the 20 cities that make up the Case-Shiller 20-city composite. As you can see, the San Francisco real estate market experienced the second-largest annual gain in home prices, slightly behind Phoenix, Ariz.
San Francisco had the largest monthly gain of any metro in the 20-city index, and one of the largest monthly returns in the country. According to the Case-Shiller index, San Francisco property prices rose by 3.9% from February to March.
The Bay Area real estate market continues to rise a wave of recovery that has spread across the entire state. In the chart above, you’ll also notice strong annual returns for San Diego and Los Angeles. These returns are indicative of the positive housing trends throughout California.
In San Francisco’s real estate market, as in other metros across the Sunshine State, housing inventories have plummeted. According to Realtor.com’s monthly housing summary, the total number of homes listed for sale in San Francisco has dropped by 31.22% over the last year. This trend is being seen in other California cities as well, and often to a larger degree. Listing inventory is down 52% in Orange County, 46% in Oakland, and 45% in San Jose.
These are unprecedented statistics. Imagine half of a local real estate market disappearing in a single year. It’s no wonder home buyers are having trouble finding properties in these markets. The supply-and-demand picture has shifted considerably over the last couple of years, and it’s sending prices north. In short, more buyers are vying for fewer properties.
The median list price within the San Francisco housing market has climbed by more than 20% over the last year, according to Realtor.com.
According to DataQuick, a San Diego-based company that provides real estate market data, the median sale price in the nine-county Bay Area reached $519,000 in May. That was an increase of 1.8% from the previous month and 29.8% from the same time last year. The median for San Francisco County climbed to $870,000 last month — the highest of any county in the Bay Area.
Within the city proper, the median sale price is a cool million. According to the real estate firm Redfin, sellers within the city are getting 112% of their asking prices, on average. Clearly, it’s a good time to be selling a home within the San Francisco real estate market.
Home sales have slowed over the last year. In May 2012, a total of 8,899 sales were recorded across the Bay Area. Last month, 8,541 sales were recorded, 4% fewer than the same time last year. In San Francisco County, home sales have declined by 14% over the last year. But this is certainly not due to a lack of demand. It’s from a lack of inventory. If every buyer who wanted to buy a home in the Bay Area could actually find one, sales would probably be 20% to 30% higher this year.