Looking back on 2018 San Francisco Real Estate, there were almost too many local, national and international political, economic, social and ecological factors impacting the 2018 market to count. In the first half of the year, market conditions were about as hot as they’ve ever been, and there were staggering year-over-year appreciation rates. Come summer/early autumn, real estate and financial markets began to shift distinctly cooler. Looking at 2019, there are many wild cards whose impacts are difficult to predict: extremely volatile financial markets, fluctuating interest rates, contentious national politics, international trade issues, spiraling debt levels, employment growth – and a dramatic surge of local high-tech unicorns that plan to go public, which could create a tsunami of new wealth in the Bay Area.
Year-over-Year Annual Appreciation
Comparing 2018 to 2017, the median house sales price jumped 13% or $185,000 to $1,600,000 – the largest annual dollar increase ever (not adjusted for inflation) – and the median condo price increased by $60,000 to $1,210,000
Year-over-Year Appreciation by Quarter
When one breaks 2018 down by quarter, it is clear that the big increases in price occurred in the first half of the year, after which the median house sales price declined. By the 4th quarter of 2018, the quarterly, year-over-year median house appreciation rate had basically dropped to zero. Condo prices were basically flat Q2 to Q4. This trend of high appreciation rates in the first half plunging during the second half was relatively common around the Bay Area.
Home Prices by San Francisco Neighborhood
The city has more than 70 neighborhoods, and our tables of median house and condo prices by bedroom count run 6 pages. Below the map are 4 tables of selected neighborhoods – let us know if you would like the full reports.
SF Home Sales by Price & Property Type
SF Housing: Era of Construction
Luxury Home Sales Trends – Short-Term & Long-Term
As seen in the next 2 charts, luxury home sales have, generally speaking, held up quite well in San Francisco, though there was an increase in high-end listings withdrawn from the market without selling (3rd chart below).
The number of luxury home listings that were pulled off the market without selling climbed at the end of 2018. Many will be re-listed in 2019.
Selected Market Indicators
The dramatic decline in house listings coming on market (red line) has been a major factor in the median house price appreciation rate since 2012. Condo listing inventory has been significantly impacted by new-condo construction during this period.
Price reductions and listings pulled off the market without selling both hit new highs since the recovery began in 2012.
Hiring has continued to fuel the SF and Bay Area economy. So far, it has continued to hold up.
After a big jump in autumn, interest rates saw a drop of similar magnitude through the first week of January, which is good news for real estate markets.
It is impossible to know how median and average value statistics apply to any particular home without a specific comparative market analysis.
These analyses were made in good faith with data from sources deemed reliable, but may contain errors and are subject to revision. It is not our intent to convince you of a particular position, but to attempt to provide straightforward data and analysis, so you can make your own informed decisions. Median and average statistics are enormous generalities: There are hundreds of different markets in San Francisco and the Bay Area, each with its own unique dynamics. Median prices and average dollar per square foot values can be and often are affected by other factors besides changes in fair market value. Longer term trends are much more meaningful than short-term.