San Francisco: A Hot Market Getting Hotter
1st Quarter 2013 Market Report
In 2012, the market turned with a vengeance and grew very hot very quickly. Now in 2013 it has grown even hotter. Recent deal-making stories almost make the seemingly crazy, multiple-offer tales of last year appear sedate. The supply of listings is drastically low against buyer demand, and the pace of price appreciation looks to be accelerating. Some city neighborhoods appear to be surpassing the previous peak values reached in 2007-2008. As seen below, the first quarter’s numbers reveal big increases in home values year over year. And the month of March alone saw a particularly big jump of almost 9% above February’s median price.
March sales prices reflect the heat of the market 4-8 weeks earlier, when the offers were actually negotiated. Much of the first quarter’s sales data reflects offers negotiated in late 2012. In a rapidly changing market, we’re always looking in the rearview mirror.
How Does Supply & Demand Affect Prices?
The past 18 months give a text book example of how the supply and demand dynamic affects home values. Months supply of inventory (MSI) measures the strength of buyer demand against the available inventory of homes to purchase: the lower the MSI, the hotter the market. The hotter the market, the greater the upward pressure on prices.
This link shows the details of the recent increases in median sales price:
SF Median Home Price by Month
Sales Prices Over & Under List Price
As the market has strengthened, the percentage of SF homes selling for over — and sometimes far over — list price, has soared to almost unbelievable levels. In the last 2 months, 30% of SF house sales have sold for 15% or more above asking price.
This link shows the huge decline in inventory since the market turnaround began. Typically, we see a surge in early spring. Not this year, at least not so far:
Inventory of Listings for Sale
Percentage of Listings Accepting Offers
This is another excellent indicator of demand vs. supply, and it is now at the highest levels in memory for virtually all property types.
This link goes to our chart on average days on market. Generally speaking, the hotter the market, the faster listings go into contract and that is what we are indeed seeing now:
Average Days on Market