January 2021 Market Update: Bay Area

photo of cityscape during daytime

Key takeaways for the month

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.

Competition snapshot

Our Research Team looked into sales in a select area for a snapshot of competitiveness in the local market.

Sale Price

List Price

Sale Price Compared to List Price

Days on Market

Number of Properties Listed

Number of Properties Pending Sale

Based on the date the property went pending, except when sold date is earlier than pending (then based on date sold).

Number of Properties Sold

Based on date the property sold.

San Francisco includes data for the city of San Francisco.

East Bay includes data for Oakland and Berkeley.

South Bay includes data for San Jose, Santa Clara, and Sunnyvale.

Peninsula includes data for San Mateo, Foster City, Belmont, and San Carlos.

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