Is the Outer Sunset a Zoom Town?

September 9, 2020
This is a good description of what’s going on now – with a cute name of it to boot.  
I have spent a bunch of my career pointing west/South west with buyers trying to get them to see the long-term value in SF’s more affordable single family homes versus condos in the center of the city.  Many buyers have embraced this but many have also rejected it as being too far because of minutes added to their commute each day.  Now that no one cares, going out past 25th avenue has become an easier sell for sure.
The pheonomenon of “Zoom Towns” affects SF in that the areas of the town to the west and south – anywhere there is an affordable single family home – have become the hot spots; the formerly competitive condo market in the center of the city, not so much.  Condos with their own front door near parks and recreational opportunities remain more desirable than those in massed buildings – especially those with an elevator or expensive shared amenities, but all condos are suffering at least a bit compared to where they would have been were there no COVID-19.
I am not concerned about the long term value of SF’s single family homes because of longer term trends that will outlast this Corona Virus boom (like millennials having kids, just to name one).  And obtaining one now, with the low interest rates the article mentions, is a good idea.  The price expansion in SF has been within sustainable limits of about 5 to 8%.  However, I would be concerned about buying a home in Truckee for 28% more than last year.  Just as the 20% plus decrease in some condos in SF will correct after Corona Virus is neutralized, that 28% uptick may also correct as people need to return to living full time closer to work.  This might leave some of today’s eager vacation village purchasers in uncomfortable positions 3 years from now.  Ultimately buying a better lifestyle that you can utilize long term, no matter what happens, is the better investment and safer choice even though it costs twice the price.  Just as masses of people have sought to obtain vacation homes, they might just as quickly divest of them when this is over.