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Is San Francisco Real Estate Done For Due to COVID-19? Not Yet.

June 12, 2020

Hello friends,

Where to begin?

First things first: We stand with the Black community, the Black Lives Matter community, and all those who work for social justice and dismantling the systems of structural and institutional racism in our country and throughout the world.

Despite San Francisco’s reputation for openness, it is not immune to inequity. In San Francisco real estate, our city's history of discrimination dates all the way back to its founding. For a detailed account, check out this 2019 report on housing inequality in SF [PDF] by the Haas Institute at UC Berkeley. If you want to help the current movement, visit SURJ Bay Area to learn how.

This month, we also recognize the 50th anniversary of San Francisco Pride. The 2020 Pride Parade is cancelled due to COVID-19, but we eagerly anticipate the online events slated for June 27th and 28th.

All the while, a global pandemic rages. Two weeks ago, did you think that the coronavirus wouldn’t be the biggest story today? This is not to say that there is not still plenty to know, wonder and worry about when it comes to the pandemic.

new report from Bloomberg describes a “mad rush” of homebuyers fleeing San Francisco real estate for less-congested areas. While we have no reason to doubt the article (and we may have contributed slightly with our Second Home Buying Workshop), we can happily report that homes in San Francisco remain in high demand. The months of supply rose slightly year-over-year from 2.6 to 3.0, still solidly in the bounds of a “seller’s market.”

As top San Francisco Realtors®, we have a broad network of professional contacts. We asked our friend Tracy Ballard, Co-Founder & Leasing Director at SF City Rents, for her perspective on the rental market. Here's what she said:

We’re getting about 3x the number of vacancies we normally see, much of that due to already planned moves that were delayed for the last 3 months because of the lockdown. There are still plenty of tenants looking for quality SFR and small building condo rentals, and it’s the typical mix of locals looking to upgrade as well as new arrivals to SF. 

What our team is experiencing, "boots on the ground" in the sales market, is that the single family home and smaller condo/TIC building market remains robust at all price points. Our buyer competed against 8 other offers last week for a TIC in NoPa, and an $18m home sold in under a week with multiple offers!It’s a bit premature to assess any long-term impact of the coronavirus and any permanent demographic shifts. SF still remains under stricter shelter in place rules than most other Bay Area counties.

Who remembers last year’s crazy hype about IPO money paving the streets with gold and flooding them with newly minted millionaires? They said the San Francisco luxury real estate market would become a feeding frenzy. It was all the rage in cocktail party conversations. It feels like a million years ago now.

There are many unknowns regarding the virus and the economy. We will have to wait and see what’s coming up over the next few months. But today we can say that serious Buyers and Sellers are making it happen!

Reporting from the home office,

[This blog was part of our June 2020 newsletter. To get twice-monthly updates and insights delivered to your inbox, sign up here.]

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