Autumn Selling Season Begins & New Listings Surge in San Francisco
Coming out of the summer slowdown, the last big sales season of the year runs from early September to mid-November (when the market usually retreats into semi-hibernation until mid-January). September is typically the single month with the highest number of new listings and this year, it started out with a bang: 300 new listings hit the market in the first week after Labor Day. As a point of comparison, May, the biggest new-listing month YTD, had a total of 720.
A list of San Francisco's most recent listings can be found here, easily sortable by neighborhood, property type and price: New Home Listings
This year's summer slowdown was bigger than usual: Compared to 2013, the number of listings coming on market dropped 12% and the number of sales fell 16% - these are large drops. Median sales prices also declined significantly from the spring peak, but summer price drops are normal due to seasonal factors. We've found it difficult and risky to make confident assessments of market trends during the summer or winter holiday slowdowns: One really has to see what happens in spring and autumn when sellers and buyers jump back in.
This chart compares Months Supply of Inventory (MSI) – a measurement of buyer demand against the supply of homes for sale; median Days on Market (DOM) – how quickly new listings go into contract; and median home sales prices, for the city, state and country. Typically, an MSI under 3 to 4 months is considered a seller’s market; at an average of 1.5 months of inventory over the summer, San Francisco would typically be considered an extreme seller’s market (which puts upward pressure on prices). San Francisco’s median days-on-market figure is also extraordinarily low, and of course, our home prices are significantly higher than most places on the planet.
Not shown on the chart, but another dramatic indicator of market conditions: Over the last 3 months the average SF home sale closed for 7% over the original asking price. (It hit 10% in May at the height of the spring frenzy.)