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San Francisco Real Estate 2020

Our friends at Compass compiled dozens of in-depth graphs and charts into a revealing report on San Francisco real estate in 2020.

In this post, we’re sharing their incredible work as a supplement to our San Francisco 2020 Real Estate Market: Year-End Review. Together, these resources provide a comprehensive and granular view of what really went down in San Francisco real estate in 2020.

If you’re data-driven like so many of us here in San Francisco, you’re in for a treat!


2020 San Francisco Market Overview

By Patrick Carlisle, Compass Chief Market Analyst, San Francisco Bay Area | bayareamarketreports.com

Pandemic, shelter in place, mass unemployment, terrible financial hardships for many households and small businesses, new ways of working, office buildings empty, people move, rents plunge, dreadful fires, an anxious presidential election, interest rates to historic lows, stock markets to new highs, billionaires decamp to save taxes, IPO mania breaks out again, vaccines begin to arrive — and the real estate market in San Francisco saw complicated dynamics in supply and demand, with a strong recovery after an initial crash in activity. 2020: a year of extremes.

Quick background and disclaimer:

Many factors affect home values: quality of location within the city, architectural style and curb appeal, square footage, condition, views, amenities, extra rooms, parking, decks and yards, privacy, lot size, and so on. There is a vast variety of homes within the city, and how median sales prices apply to any particular property is unknown without a specific market analysis.

Median sales price is that price at which half the sales occurred for more and half for less. It is a very general statistic that often disguises a wide range of prices in the underlying individual sales. Median sales prices are often affected by factors besides changes in fair market value. Based upon sales reported to MLS — not all sales are reported. Data sources deemed reliable, but may contain errors and subject to revision. All numbers are approximate. Late reported sales may alter numbers, though typically only to a slight degree.

San Francisco Real Estate Year-Over-Year Comparisons, 2016–2020

San Francisco Real Estate Year-Over-Year Comparisons, 2016–2020
Single-family home prices continued their steady climb in 2020, while condo prices slipped back to 2018 levels from their 2019 high. Significantly more condos were listed in 2020 than in previous years.

San Francisco Home Price Appreciation, 1993–Present

San Francisco Home Price Appreciation, 1993–Present

San Francisco Median House Price Changes Since 1994

San Francisco Median House Price Changes Since 1994
San Francisco single-family home prices continued to rise in 2020. Growth was greater in 2020 than in 2019, but not as drastic as in some previous years.

San Francisco Median Condo Price Changes Since 1994

San Francisco Median Condo Price Changes Since 1994
Median condo price in San Francisco fell in 2020 for the first time since 2011.

San Francisco Home Sales Trends

Sales volume (the number of homes sold ) went up for higher-end homes and went down for lower-end homes.

San Francisco 2020 Home Sales by Price Segment & Bedroom Count

Active Listings on Market, Monthly Inventory Comparison 2020 vs 2019

An abrupt drop-off in the spring of 2020 was countered by a huge increase in listings in the summer, fall and winter.

Listings Accepting Offers (Going into Contract), 2020 vs 2019

December is always a slow month for real estate due to holidays and vacations, but December 2020 saw over twice as many contracts signed compared with December 2019.

Home Sales by Month Since 2018, Dynamics & Seasonality

San Francisco skipped its busy spring selling season in 2020, but it made up for lost time in the remaining months of the year.

San Francisco 2020 House Sales by Neighborhood

San Francisco 2020 Condo/Co-op/TIC Sales by Neighborhood

Median House Sales Price Trends Since 2012, Selected MLS Districts

Median Condo Sales Price Trends Since 2012, Selected MLS Districts

San Francisco Luxury Home Sales Since 2005

Luxury condos in San Francisco remained less popular after the spring slowdown, but luxury single-family homes regained lost ground and then some.

San Francisco Higher-Price Home Sales ($3 Million+), 2012–2020

Considerably more luxury single-family homes in the $4-5 million price range sold in 2020 than in previous years.

Average Sales Price to Original List Price (SP/OLP) Percentage Since 2014

During the COVID pandemic, there was a strong shift towards “transparent” pricing — meaning a list price that is more accurate to the value of the home. This is reflected in lower sales-to-list price ratios on average.

Months Supply of Inventory Since 2005

Contrary to popular opinion, San Francisco condos did sell in 2020. However, the historic surge in supply continued to outpace renewed demand.

Listings Expired or Withdrawn (No Sale), 2014–2020

With so many homes on the market, there were bound to be many expired or withdrawn listings by December. Expect to see many (but not all) of these unsold homes back on the market in 2021.

Bay Area Median Home Sales Price Changes by County, 2019–2020

Single-family homes rose in price throughout the Bay Area during 2020, particularly in counties with homes that feature abundant outdoor space and amenities.

Compass is a real estate broker licensed by the State of California, DRE 01527235. Equal Housing Opportunity. This report has been prepared solely for information purposes. The information herein is based on or derived from information generally available to the public and/or from sources believed to be reliable. No representation or warranty can be given with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the information. Compass disclaims any and all liability relating to this report, including without limitation any express or implied representations or warranties for statements contained in, and omissions from, the report. Nothing contained herein is intended to be or should be read as any regulatory, legal, tax, accounting or other advice and Compass does not provide such advice. All opinions are subject to change without notice. Compass makes no representation regarding the accuracy of any statements regarding any references to the laws, statutes or regulations of any state are those of the author(s). Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

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