San Francisco remains one of the hottest real estate markets in the country and it grows increasingly competitive, especially as a new wave of tech IPOs hit Silicon Valley in 2019. Increased housing demand and rising prices have created difficult conditions for buyers looking to find their dream home. Despite all of this, there are still great homes to buy in San Francisco.

Many property seekers may wonder when is the best time to buy a house in San Francisco. The general advice for most markets is to buy when prices are low. Sounds simple, right? In such a bustling real estate market, you need to be smart about your purchase decision, especially if homes are in short supply but high demand. However, historical data shows the industry trends in terms of pricing, and it’s a valuable resource for buyers.

Let’s discuss the trends in San Francisco home buying, and identify when is the best time to buy a house in San Francisco. If you’re looking for your dream home at a great price, read on!

New Year Brings Fewer Homes, Higher Prices

As the year begins, the real estate market can be short of quality homes. Prospective buyers will likely find fewer properties for sale, meaning home prices can go up significantly due to demand. Average housing prices in Bay Area rose by 0.3 percent in January, increasing slightly in February. If looking for a home in San Francisco, buyers are better off waiting until the spring, when a fresh inventory of homes is available.

Buyers Buzz in Spring

Spring is the busiest time of year for the market. We know this thanks to the historical data of the last 25 years. The month of March sees the most activity and sales peak, then eventually fall off in the following months. March’s performance is consistent. Home sales in March 2019 dipped by 12 percent compared to last year; however, the housing price rose year-to-year by 5.3 percent. As we move into April, the average home price only dips by .2 percent month-to-month.

The spring home buying interest is driven largely by families with children who are eager to move into a new home before the start of the school year. Buyers will start bidding on homes during the spring and may drive up prices, especially if they want to move by August. If looking for a home, be warned you may pay higher prices in early spring.

Heading Into Fall with Falling Prices

Last year, housing prices in the Bay Area fell 6.6 percent, which sent many into a flurry. Many listings continued to sell for record prices. This fall may be different with the widely anticipated latest round of IPO down payments starting to slowly enter the market. and the same will likely happen this year.

Winter Means Motivated Sellers

Depending on your needs, you can consider the winter months as the best time to buy a house in San Francisco. While the housing stock won’t be as plentiful as the other months, sellers who list during this time are serious, and it’s possible to find value )if not an exact “deal” as this remains SF!) on a luxury home. Do note that unlike other real estate markets, the need to sell a house before the winter months isn’t an issue in San Francisco thanks to the beautiful weather year-round and the constant flow of residents moving in and out of the city.

In San Francisco, the best time to buy is usually 10 years ago or now. While taking into consideration differing market conditions, all of the data show that, over time, San Francisco’s real estate values are always on the rise.

The best way to find your next home in San Francisco is to work with a seasoned real estate agent! Danielle Lazier + Associates. We’ll navigate you through the price trends and help you find your best buy.


In 2018, Danielle Lazier + Associates sold over $104,000,000 in SF Bay Area residential real estate selling more homes than any other SF Realtor (per MLS). We specialize in listing marketing and home buyer representation and are proud to say we have sold millions of dollars worth of Bernal Heights real estate. We work with a diverse clientele in terms of budget, property type, and location, but one thing remains consistent: our clients have a clear goal to maximize their San Francisco real estate investment and want us to help them because we deliver both results and an enjoyable experience.

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