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San Francisco Real Estate Market Update – September 2017

Single Family Homes:
August’s median sales price continued its predictable seasonal backing off from its Spring peak, dropping 6.4% to $1,380,000 from May’s $1,475,000. However, in the same time frame last year prices dipped 7.4%. Prices are still up 10.4% above August, 2016.

Since August, 2012, the median sold price in San Francisco is up 81%.

Inventory continues to be at its lowest level, 1.6 months, since last December. This is the ongoing result of fewer homes coming on the market while sales stay fairly constant. The number of new listings on the market year-to-date is down 7% from 2016 while the number of sales is up 3.3%.

The incredibly tight supply coupled with strong demand kept the level of overbids high as well, down a bit from July but still at 114%, and 79% of single family homes sold above the list price, up from 75.9% last August.

Condo/Loft/TIC’s:
Median sold prices are up 10.8%, to $1,175,000, compared to August 2016. And, while not as great a rise as with single family homes, the median sold price is up 62.5% compared to August 2012’s $723,000.

In August, 63.4% sold above list price and the median bid was 3.2% above list price.

The number of Condo/Loft/TIC listings are also down year-to-date compared to 2016, by 10.7%. And, like single family homes, sales are up, by 2.6%. Current inventory stands at a 2 months supply.

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San Francisco Real Estate Market Update – August 2017

July’s median sales price for single family in San Francisco followed its seasonal backing off of its May peak, dropping to $1,431,000 from May’s $1,500,838.

Single family home inventory continues to be at its lowest level, 1.6 months, since last December, and its lowest July level in a decade. This continues to be caused by fewer homes coming on the market, while sales stay fairly constant. The number of new listings on the market in 2017 is down 10% from 2016 while the number of sales is up 1.4%.

The incredibly tight supply coupled with strong demand pushed overbids up as well, to 117%, the highest since September, 2015.

Condo listings are also down year-to-date compared to 2016, by 12.7%. And, like homes, sales are up, by 4.3%, leading to a 2 months supply. And, like single family homes, condos were bid up above list price to a median overbid of 107%.

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The Keller Williams playbook for surviving real estate disruption

I can’t wait to enrich my client experience with the new tools they are building!


SAN FRANCISCO – With $1.75 million in two years, Uber “completely changed the rules of strangers, internet, vehicle safety and meeting people,” noted Josh Team, Keller Williams’ chief information officer, on stage at Inman Connect San Francisco.

This year, $3.5 billion will be invested in real estate technology. “The idea that disruption is amidst us is very real, and we need to understand how to close the consumer gap,” he explained – the gap between what consumers want and what the industry provides.

If that gap isn’t closed, it’s a good bet that someone (sooner or later) is going to find a way to fill it. And that won’t be good for the traditional real estate industry.

Team announced that Keller Williams is taking steps to protect the agent and the brokerage, setting aside $1 billion for technology development in the near future and encouraging others in the industry – franchise-based and independent brokers alike – to follow their lead by working to elevate real estate agents.

Founder Gary Keller and CEO John Davis “realized that the next 12 to 18 months will be the most important months in real estate,” Team told Inman. “That was a soul-defining moment where they said, ‘We can’t let money be a deterrent.’ So they’ve committed a fund so that if and when we need to accelerate and make aggressive moves, money isn’t a factor.”

Disruption is real?

The home sale pie isn’t getting bigger, but there are more companies today that want to take a bigger slice of that pie.

Team mentioned Redfin’s IPO (initial public offering) and noted how the company’s stock rose. “Redfin’s valuation has shown that the market thinks they have a chance,” he explained.

In other words, investors think there’s an opportunity to close that gap in real estate – and they’re willing to put money down to back a potential winner.

“The only way our industry stays protected is if the other big franchises and brokers enter the platform wars,” Team told Inman. “If they don’t get involved, then all these non-traditional players will – and that’s not good for the industry.”

The disruptors’ playbook

“Our playbook is pretty simple,” Team said. “We wake up and ask: How do we provide more value around the agent?”

He said that Keller Williams dug into the metrics around traffic with Zillow and whether consumers were using agents more frequently (or less) – they found that independent of what happens with the planet’s biggest real estate portal, consumers are still using agents in their transactions.

“Consumers want a professional to take them through this complicated, scary, risky transaction,” he explained.

3 steps to success

Brokerages and franchisors won’t get anywhere if they don’t prioritize empowering the individual agent, Team opined. That’s the first step.

“The best technologies don’t commoditize agent offerings; they capture that experience and make it more real,” Team said.

And technology can’t compete with the agent as a local expert. “This is something that technology has a really hard time doing,” Team said. “Be the local expert, and you can defend yourself. And brokers like us should be investing back into the agent to make it easier for them to be that expert.”

After empowering agents, the industry needs to focus on elevating consumer experience, he said.

“The big ‘aha’ we had at the end of 2015 was, ‘We are impossible to partner with,'” Team explained. “If you wanted to log into our environment, it was a six-to-twelve-month project.

“What you just told the market was, if you’re a startup with a great idea, don’t come to Keller Williams because you don’t have the funds to cover the expenditure to onboard that project,” he added. After launching the Keller Cloud, now those startups can use three lines of code to link into the database and other Keller Williams products.

And get prepared to start working collectively with people who you might consider competitors. “Stop thinking that NAR [National Association of Realtors] and the MLS will protect you,” Team said. “They won’t. We need to help ourselves collectively.”

“If we don’t come together to create value and experiences through technology for the agents, then whatever happens is going to happen to us and not with us,” Team told Inman. “Redfin’s stock valuation should be a slap in the face.”

How KW plans to defend its territory

The franchisor is launching a “labs” product on August 15 that will help it move from ideas to field testing technology in less than two weeks, and it is also supportive of Project Upstream.

But it also thinks that investment into the agent is investment into the future of real estate, and so it’s going to put money where it’s mouth is in that respect.

“We no longer want to have budget conversations around our future,” Team said, and so the company has created a $1 billion technology fund to help it move on technology needs – everything from customer development to strategic acquisitions.

“We don’t understand the operational cost for every single component yet,” he added in a conversation with Inman. “We want to be prepared, and at the same time, there are some operational costs – when you’re building the first spaceship, you don’t know how much it’s going to cost and how long it’ll take. Some of the things we want to do have never been done before in the industry.”

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San Francisco Real Estate Market Update – July 2017

June’s median sales price for single family in San Francisco backed off a bit from its all-time high in May, dropping from $1,502,675 to $1,465,989. At the same time, single family home inventory was at the lowest level, 1.6 months, for June in 10 years. This is largely due to the fact that the number of new listings on the market in 2017 is down 8.8% from 2016 while the number of sales is up 1.3%.

The incredibly tight supply coupled with strong demand pushed overbids up as well, to 115%, the highest since October, 2015.

Condo listings are also down from 2016, by 13.3%. And, like homes, sales are up, by 6.6%, leading to a 2.2 months supply. So, like single family homes, condos sold at a median overbid of 102.5%, off just slightly from May’s 102.7%.

The exceptionally strong San Francisco economy continues to be behind these numbers. Unemployment stands at just 3.0%, down from 2016’s 3.4%. There are more jobs filled in every category tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in June, 2017 than there were in June, 2016. And while the increase in the number of new jobs is slowing, jobs are still being added.

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San Francisco Is Burning

A series of strange and unsettling fires in the Mission District have people wondering: Are the city’s landlords using arson to drive out low-income tenants? And is this the deadly endgame of gentrification and tech-boom greed? Jon Ronson investigates the mystery.

I’m sitting by the fireplace, as I told him I would be. This is in a café near the Mission District in San Francisco. I spot him straightaway because he looks so jumpy. He’s never talked to a journalist before. We give each other surreptitious nods. He sits down. He’s nice-looking, in his early 50s, with shaggy hair and tinted glasses.

“Don’t screw me over,” he says.

It’s about the first thing he says to me.

He stirs his coffee. “I don’t lead a life of crime, just so you know,” he says. “You probably don’t realize that.”

Then he tells me why he plotted to burn down the apartment building he owned.

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Film Night in the Park

I think you might find us watching the *old* Beauty and the Beast on Saturday, July 15th at Union Square. This is always great fun!

2017 Film Night in the Park Schedule Presented by Monterey Bay Aquarium with the S.F. Neighborhood Theater Foundation.

All films begin at dusk.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (1991), Saturday, Julu 15th, Union Square
FOOTLOOSE (1984), Saturday, August 5th, Dolores Park
LA LA LAND (2016), Saturday, August 26th, Wash. Sq. Park
THE GRADUATE (1967), Saturday, September 9th, Union Square
THE BREAKFAST CLUB (1985), Saturday, Sept. 23rd, Dolores Park

About Film night in the Park:

Film Night in the Park is San Francisco’s premiere outdoor film series. Over 125,000 people have attended Film Night in San Francisco since 2003. Films are presented free of charge on a giant outdoor screen in beautiful park settings. Attendees are encouraged to picnic before screenings and are discouraged from bringing chairs.

Become a Sponsor of Film Night in the Park!

Sponsorships are still available for Film Night in the Park 2017. Join the generous family of corporate and neighborhood sponsors who make Film Night possible. For more information click here or call (415)465-3456.

Getting to Film Night:

Guests are encouraged to walk, bicycle or take public transportation to all Film Night in the Park screenings.

Dolores Park
Dolores Park is bounded by Dolores, Church, 18th and 20th Streets and the film will be screened in the park at Dolores and 19th Streets. Dolores Park is served by the MUNI Metro J-Line and by MUNI’s 33-Ashbury. The 16th Street BART/MUNI station on Mission Street is a 15-minute walk from Dolores Park.

Washington Square Park
Washington Square is located at the intersection of Columbus and Union Streets in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood. The Park is served by MUNI bus lines 30, 45 and 39. The Powell/Mason Cable Car line stops one block from the Park (at Union).

Union Square Union Square is bounded by Powell, Post, Stockton and Geary Streets in San Francisco. It is served by all MUNI Metro lines (Powell Street Station), by BART (Powell Street Station), and by multiple MUNI bus and cable car lines. read more →

San Francisco Real Estate Market Update – June 2017

The median sales price hit an all-time high for both single family houses and condo/loft/TIC’s in May. The incredibly tight supply coupled with strong demand pushed the prices up and the overbids as well. Single family homes sold at a median overbid of 114.7%, the highest since October, 2015. Condos sold at a median of 103% of list price, the highest overbid percentage since May 2016.

As we discussed last month, the number of new single family home listings coming on the market was down sharply in April, 25.5%, and we saw that repeated again in May with a 12% year-on-year drop.

Likewise, the precipitous decline, 33.5%, in new condo/loft/TIC listings coming on the market in April, was followed by a 23% drop year-on-year for May. This is the third double-digit monthly year-on-year decline for new condo/loft/TIC listings this year.

The total number of single family homes sold was up 5.5% in May while condo/loft/TIC sales were unchanged.
Inventory stands at 1.8 months for single family homes, down 25% year-on-year, and 2.3 months for condo/loft/TICs, also down 25%.

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