August 2015 - Special Report: Where to Buy at What Price
Where to Buy a Home in San Francisco for the Money You Want to Spend
August 2015 Special Report
A city neighborhood map is provided at the bottom of this analysis.
The charts below are based upon 2015 transactions reported to MLS by July 24, breaking out the neighborhoods with the most sales within given price points. However, other neighborhoods not listed did have smaller numbers of home sales within given price segments.
Where to Buy a HOUSE for under $1 million in San Francisco
The overall median HOUSE price in the city in the 2nd quarter of 2015 was about $1,350,000, so the under million-dollar house is becoming increasingly less common. The vast majority of house sales in this price segment now occur in a large swath of neighborhoods running across the southern border of the city, which are by far its most affordable house markets: from Bayview through Portola, Excelsior, Visitacion Valley and Crocker Amazon, to Oceanview and Ingleside. Neighborhoods that a few years ago had numerous sales in this price range – such as Central Sunset and Parkside, Outer Richmond, Bernal Heights and Miraloma Park – have appreciated over the last 3 years to the point where such sales are increasingly rare.
The chart’s horizontal columns reflect the number of sales under $1 million in 2015 YTD for each area, while the median sales prices noted are for all house sales during the period. Median price is that price at which half the sales occurred for more and half for less, so it provides a good idea of overall neighborhood house prices.
Where to Buy a CONDO, CO-OP OR TIC for under $1 million
The overall SF median condo price in the 2nd quarter of 2015 was about $1,125,000, and sales under $1m still occur in almost every area of the city that features these property types – but a studio unit in Russian Hill may cost the same as a 2-bedroom in Diamond Heights. Of these property types, condos make up about 90% of sales, stock co-op apartments 1 to 2%, with TICs making up the balance. TICs typically sell at a significant discount (10% – 20%) to similar condos. The horizontal columns reflect the number of sales under $1m in 2015 YTD broken down by sales of 1-bedroom units and sales of 2+ bedroom units.
Spending $1 Million to $1.5 Million in San Francisco
In this price point for houses, one starts moving into a different group of neighborhoods on the west side and in the central-south areas of the city. Within this collection of neighborhoods, one will typically get more house for one’s money in the Central Sunset or Outer Richmond than in Bernal Heights or Potrero Hill. In the greater Noe, Eureka and Cole Valleys district, houses in this price range are now challenging to find.
The horizontal columns reflect the number of sales, with the average dollar per square foot values for the homes in this price range noted alongside.
Condo and co-op sales in this price range are mostly concentrated in those areas where newer condo developments have come on market – and continue to arrive in increasing numbers – over the last 10 -15 years, as well as in high-end neighborhoods such as Pacific Heights, Russian Hill and Noe Valley.
Buying a HOUSE for $1.5 million to $2 million
Buying a LUXURY HOME in San Francisco
For the sake of this report, houses selling for $2 million and above, and condos, co-ops and TICs selling for $1.5 million and above are designated (somewhat arbitrarily) as luxury home sales. What you get in different neighborhoods for $2 million or $3 million or $5 million will vary widely. Over the past 15 years – and accelerating in the current market recovery – there have occurred some very large shifts in this market segment, with districts other than the old-prestige, northern neighborhoods becoming major destinations for (very) high-end homebuyers.
The charts below are broken out by increasingly higher price segments within the overall “luxury” price range.
Luxury CONDO, CO-OP & TIC Sales
Luxury HOUSE Sales
30+ Years of San Francisco Real Estate Cycles: Just updated, this is by far the most popular article on our website – for 3 years running.
San Francisco Market Overview Analytics: Interactive charts for all the standard real estate statistics – median sales price, average dollar per square foot, days on market, months supply of inventory, listings for sale, and so on.
San Francisco District Sales Overview: A breakdown of sales by price segment for 14 different sections of the city.
10 Big Factors behind the San Francisco Real Estate Market: A review of the major economic, political and demographic issues underlying the city’s current market.
For prevailing SF median house and condo prices, our interactive map of neighborhood values can be found here: SF Neighborhood Home-Price Map
As always, the quality of the specific location and the range of amenities of the property; its curb appeal, condition, size and graciousness; and the existence and quality of parking, views and outside space can all significantly impact unit values.
These analyses were made in good faith with data from sources deemed reliable, but they may contain errors and are subject to revision. Statistics are generalities and how they apply to any specific property is unknown without a tailored comparative market analysis. Sales statistics of one month generally reflect offers negotiated 4 – 6 weeks earlier. Median sales prices often change with even the smallest change in the period of time or parameters of the analysis. All numbers should be considered approximate.