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Competition for homes across the Bay Area remains high, with median sale prices far above list and homes spending few days on the market. The pandemic-induced gap between condo inventory and sales has nearly closed, with a whopping 166% jump in pending San Francisco condos year over year.
- Median sale prices are up. Across the region, sale prices for single family homes increased month over month, by as much as 8% in San Francisco. Year over year, we see increases ranging from 16% on the Peninsula to 37% in the East Bay, given that May 2020 was a low point due to the pandemic. Sale prices for San Francisco condos have rebounded above pre-pandemic levels.
- Homes are selling very, very quickly. Median days on market can’t get much lower, holding steady at 11 for San Francisco and East Bay single family homes, and only 7 days for South Bay and Peninsula single family homes.
- Competition remains high. Sale prices for single family homes came in at 109%-124% across the region, marking small changes from last month. The number of single family homes listed and going pending are nearly equivalent, avoiding a severe increase in competition for the month. Last year, condo supply far outpaced demand; we’ve seen that gap nearly close.
Competition for homes across the Bay Area continues to be very high, and San Francisco is seeing a return to a seller’s market after softening during 2020. Across the region, sale-to-list price ratio for single-family homes is at a multi-year high, indicating that buyers are consistently paying well over list price.
- Condos in San Francisco are almost back to pre-pandemic numbers. Condos are spending only 19 days on the market, a -47% decrease from last year and -48% from the pre-pandemic number of 37 in April 2019. Median sale price is down -6% year over year at $1.21 million, but has increased consistently over the past four months and is just 2% shy of the April 2019 number of $1.23 million. Likewise, sale-to-list price ratio has increased over the past four months and is gaining on pre-pandemic numbers. The number of condos pending dipped slightly as a course correction after months of condo listings outpacing the number going pending.
- The East Bay is super hot. The sale-to-list price ratio for East Bay single family homes in April landed at 122.6%, rocketing 4% month over month and 8% year over year (note that the pandemic played little to no role in this figure in April 2020). Median sale price is up 12% for the month and 26% for the year.
- The Peninsula has picked up steam. With a sale-to-list price ratio of 110.2% for single family homes, up 3% month over month and 5% year over year, buyers are clearly setting sights on the Peninsula. Days on market are down to 7, on par with last year and down 43% from 10 in April 2019, pre-pandemic.
With the news that a Berkeley home sold for $1MM over list price in March (and that being only one extreme example of the current market trend), it’ll come as no surprise that the Bay Area market remains very competitive for buyers.
- San Francisco list prices haven’t closed the pandemic gap. In San Francisco, median list price has been trending downward since mid-2020 and is still down 9% year-over-year for single family homes. We expect prices to be on par with where they would have been without the pandemic’s effect by this year’s peak season.
- Homes are selling quickly. Median days on market for single family homes are down or steady year-over-year across the region, except in San Francisco, owing to the lag in catching up to pre-pandemic activity (though homes in the city are still selling in a median of 32 days, down 23% from February).
- More homes are selling. The number of single family homes pending and listed rose across the region month-over-month and year-over-year, again with the exception of month-over-month decreases in San Francisco.
- The gap between list price and sale price is growing. In San Francisco, sale-to-list price ratio for single family homes is trending behind 2020, but is up 3% month-over-month. This measure is likewise trending upward for single family homes across the region and reaching multi-year highs in the East Bay, South Bay, and Peninsula.
The always-competitive Bay Area market ended 2020 on a high note that’s continued at the start of this year.
- San Francisco is no longer the most competitive area in the Bay. The East Bay currently takes that title, followed by the South Bay, and San Francisco is seeing the least competition (though it’s still very competitive). Hotness in the East Bay is likely due to homebuyers who were inspired by working from home because of the pandemic, and who want more space than they’d find in San Francisco.
- Homes are selling for higher prices across the region. Median sale price for single family homes is up year over year by 13% in the East Bay, 9% in the South Bay, 23% on the Peninsula, and 5% in San Francisco. Each area also saw an increase month over month.
- List prices outside of San Francisco are rising. Median list price for single family homes is up year over year in all areas except for San Francisco,where it dropped 19%. Bear in mind that sellers across the Bay Area often underprice homes to drive up competition.
- Sellers continue to list homes significantly under market value. Sale-to-list price ratio for single family homes is between 105% and 114% across the region. San Francisco saw a slight dip year over year from 111% to 110%, but that 110% is a strong showing given that February 2020 was active pre-pandemic. The Peninsula also saw a year over year dip due to a spike last February.
- Homes are selling very quickly. Median days on market for single family homes dropped across the region year over year, except in the South Bay, where they stayed flat. Current numbers between 8 and 25 days across the region reinforce the high levels of competition as local strategy is typically to accept offers for 30 days or more.
Most of the region shows a continuation of activity from December, particularly the condo market in San Francisco. The East Bay, however, saw more activity than typical.
- December’s competitiveness carried over to January. Across the Bay Area, we saw little change in median sale price month over month, showing a continuation of activity from December. Year over year, prices jumped, indicating that 2021 is off to a competitive start thanks to the same momentum from the end of 2020. The Peninsula is an exception with year over year flatness.
- The San Francisco condo market is still slow. Year over year, list price for condos is down 11.20%. List price usually decreases for one of two reasons: the market slowing or increased competition encouraging sellers to under-list expecting bidding wars. In this case, days on market remained flat month-over-month, indicating that competition is not increasing. Falling list prices are likely a holdover from the covid impact of increased condo listings in 2020. Likewise, the sale-to-list price ratio for both condos and single-family homes in San Francisco is down month over month, indicating a slow decrease in competition.
- Expect multiple offers in the East Bay. This area heated up the most from the pandemic and continues to see decreasing days on market paired with year-over-year increases in sale-to-list price ratio as the area sees a shortage of inventory for the number of active buyers.
- February will be telling. Across the region, we saw mostly flat month-over-month numbers of properties pending and days on market while numbers of properties listed rose. February will tell us if this extra inventory will be absorbed by increased demand or if the market will slow slightly, which is unlikely with spring fast approaching.