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Which San Francisco neighborhoods were popular with home buyers in 2012?

December 31, 2012

San Francisco Association of Realtors reported on some interesting trends in the December 2012 edition of "Market Focus".  Rest assured, the San Francisco housing market isn't showing signs of slowing down during this holiday season.  The report also provides a few answers to the all-important question: Which San Francisco neighborhoods were popular with home buyers in 2012?

The districts where the number of home sales increased over the past year may be a bit surprising.  With the amount of media attention being paid to the hip areas of San Francisco -- Mission, Hayes Valley, Bernal Heights -- it's easy to forget about other neighborhoods that are also popular with buyers.  SFAR's market report highlights those parts of the City which have experienced an increase in single-family home and condominium sales over the past year.  The Richmond District, Twin Peaks West and the northern locales of the City (Marina, Cow Hollow, and Pacific and Presidio Heights) have proven themselves to be quite attractive to recent home-buyers.

Here's an excerpt from the December 2012 Market Focus report:

San Francisco Housing Market Remains Upbeat Throughout Holiday Season

Even though the city’s housing market has had to deal with month-after-month of low housing stock in 2012, it has not stopped a wave of motivated buyers from making San Francisco their home. Families have been rushing all year round to purchase and settle into their new homes, eager to take advantage of historically low interest rates, knowing that rental prices will only continue to rise....

Single-Family Home Sales

One region of the city that experienced a heightened boost of activity is in the northwestern section, more commonly referred to as the Richmond District, which includes such neighborhoods as Laurel Heights, Outer, Central and Inner Richmond and Sea Cliff. Since November 2011, the number of homes sold in this area jumped by as much as 64.3 percent, to a total of 23 properties sold.

The Northwest region of San Francisco

With its close proximity to Golden Gate Park, Ocean Beach and the shopping corridors of Geary Boulevard and Clement Street, there is a never a shortage of activities to do here. Growing families will find the neighborhood vibe of the Richmond District and its abundance of turn-of-the-century Edwardian homes and stucco houses alluring. The median price for a home here is $1,280,888, which is up by a dramatic 49.8 percent from this time last year.

Another area of the city which has seen strong sales activity is Twin Peaks West.

Twin Peaks region of San Francisco

Compared to this time last year, the number of homes under contract here moved ahead by 13.8 percent....Located in the mid-western part of the city, Twin Peaks West has a total of 16 neighborhoods, including the upscale and exclusive St. Francis Wood and Forest Hill, and the more approachable and family-friendly communities of Diamond Heights and West Portal. There is an array of architectural styles available for everybody here, from stately Spanish Mediterranean homes to charming craftsman bungalows. The median price for a home here is $950,000, which is up by 20.3 percent from November 2012.

Condominium Sales

Northern region of San Francisco

One area which saw a robust increase in condominium sales activity is in the Marina, Cow Hollow, and Pacific and Presidio Heights neighborhoods of the northernmost section of the city. Since November of last year, the number of condominiums under contract here increased by 43.5 percent, while the number of condominiums sold has also magnified by 54.5 percent to a total of 34 units sold. Successful professionals, both young and old, who prefer to live in what many consider to be “old San Francisco,” will find satisfaction in any of these four neighborhoods where luxury condominiums reside next to posh shopping destinations and unique restaurants. The median price for a condominium here is around $1,041,250, which is up by 12 percent from this time a year ago.

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