San Francisco Housing Forecast 2019

San Francisco Housing Forecast 2019

Housing Forecast for San Francisco

San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose and the rest of the Bay Area continue to struggle in 2019 with high home and condo prices.  Even when prices abate, it seems a solution is 100 years away.

The latest home and condo sales reports just released show the Bay Area is back to its rank as the most expensive housing market in the US. And while the report focuses on year over year stats, the home price increases in San Francisco, San Jose, and Bay Area are eye popping.

The recent talk in SF media of more listings and more competition among sellers seems to be ludicrous. Buyers seem to be hungry for limited housing stock. Same old Bay Area situation.

Low interest rates, low mortgage payments, and new stock IPOs are fueling this dramatic rebound. Uber, Airbnb, Pinterest, Slack, Zoom IPOs are in the works and big IPO years mean big years for the Bay Areas housing market.

There’s lot going in America’s most interesting housing market, yet the receding mortgage rates have to be the key confidence factor for buyers in California. Buyers must believe the big rate increase juggernaut has ended, and the Fed will let the market fix itself. It will put big pressure on the NIMBYs who are adamant about stopping housing development.

Single family home prices jumped $73,000 in March to $940,000 from $867,000 in February. Condo prices averaged $714,000 up from $680,000, a rise of $34,000. Last year condo prices averaged $745,000 at this time. Rents in the Bay area have climbed fast so far this year.

This graphic courtesy of CAR, shows the amazing jump in home prices in the Bay Area.

Home Sales in March 2019 San Francisco Bay Area region. Screenshot courtesy of

In San Mateo, condo prices rose from $841,500 to  $957,500 (+116,000), city of San Franciso San Francisco up $75,000 to $1,275,000.  Condos in Napa fell over $100,000 yet single detached homes there rose $74,000. In San Mateo, condo prices rose $116,000 in March yet that is still down 19% from last year.

The year to year prices just tell us how far prices have come down and how buyers have avoided buying. But as the economy looks good, and stock markets soar, and as they weigh out the repercussions of the 2020 election, many are saying things look good.

Sales and Prices Rocket across the Bay Area



Screenshot courtesy of NAR

San Francisco Bay Area Forecast 2019

The difference one month can make.  Home prices as you can see in above graph, in the San Jose Santa Clara region are astonishing. Averaging $1.3 million which is up $170,000 or 11% from February.

According to, the average listing price for homes right now is $1.4 million dollars. 1306 homes are listed for sale.

Chart courtesy of

Zillow is forecasting a further increase in the average home price in 2019 of 1.45 million in San Franciso. That’s a rise of 7.4%. DOM in San Francisco County is down to 39 days.  The strength of demand is making many sellers hang on, or decide to sell their home or condo.

Zillow home prices San Francisco. Courtesy of

This chart showing listing prices over the last 10 years reveals a steep steady climb out of the recession to 100% more than in 2011. Since President Trump’s election, asking prices have risen $130,000 higher.

San Francisco Rental Market

This chart from Rentcafe, shows the lofty rent prices in San Francisco. Rents in Los Angeles aren’t even keeping up with Oaklands.

Average Rents California. Courtesy of Rentcafe

How big is the need for new affordable housing in the Bay Area? It’s a textbook case of supply and demand where demand is huge and development is stunted and where current homeowners have no intention of moving, even after retirement. This recent news about a Palo Alto commissioner quitting her job below, because it’s too expensive in Palo Alto, says it all for everyone in the Bay Area and City of San Francisco. This woman and her family are moving 40 miles away to Vera Cruz.

“We rent our current home with another couple for $6,200 a month,” she wrote. “If we wanted to buy the same home and share it with children and not roommates, it would cost $2.7 million and our monthly payment would be $12,177 a month in mortgage, taxes, and insurance. That’s $146,127 per year — an entire professional’s income before taxes.” – experpt from a news report in Bizjournal.

San Francisco home prices are $1 million above the above the average detached home price of a home sold across the US. The forecast for San Francisco is an extreme version of the Los Angeles forecast.

More Development Forecast?

The Trump government is shining the light on local governments and associations who may be deliberately thwarting housing development. This might be the biggest news in real estate in 2019 to 2020.  Is exposure of municipal and state government restrictions and management of land and development going to a major break for new home investors and builders? Should the 2020 forecast be about a renewed building boom or about resignation to NIMBY resistance?

Here’s the source of the problem in California communities:

The Legislative Analyst’s Office found that California’s coastal metros take about two and a half months longer, on average, to issue a building permit than in a typical California inland community or the typical U.S. metro,” the report admits. The result is housing gridlock.  From a post in

Will the Hot Economy in the Bay area Continue?

Reports on San Francisco’s jobs and income growth look excellent. And if you’re a Trump believer, and supporter of bringing back American jobs, you have to feel pretty good about the jobs outlook, unless you’re a renter.


The San Francisco Metropolitan District (MD) continues to lead the state in job growth, and with an annual 4% increase in employment as of March 2016, is expanding its workforce at one and a half times the pace of California as a whole (2.65%). The San Francisco MD added 41,900 new nonfarm positions to its jobs base from March 2015 to March 2016. — from Beacon Economics report on the San Francisco economy.

Forecasts available at

And another report has it that tech in San Francisco Silicon Valley is strong and invulnerable to drops:

The Bay Area and California are in for slower job growth this year and next, but the Bay Area, powered by its high-tech economic engine, will outpace the state in job creation, according to two new economic forecasts released Wednesday.  

This year and next, the technology sector will add jobs at a brisk clip, propelling the Bay Area employment market and economy at a healthy pace, according to Christopher Thornberg, director of the Center for Economic Forecasting and Development at UC Riverside’s School of Business. “Tech is hot and will keep pushing the Bay Area forward,” Thornberg said.  – exerpt from news report in Mercury News

Housing Affordability Sucks in California

Why? The housing affordability rate has dropped 21% in 6 years.  Key drivers of unaffordability are immigration, high tech business success, and development bottlenecks. In San Francisco, people have to pay whatever the market demands. And renters haven’t been looking really to buy. Only 16% bother to contact a realtor.

Screen Capture courtesy of CAR

Screen Capture courtesy of CAR


Homes in the San Francisco Bay Area, lead in selling above asking in 2016 (67%). And just south in San Jose, homes sold for a whopping 68% above their purchase prices. These areas are rated as the top cities in the US to invest in real estateSan Jose and San Francisco led California in home price gains, followed by Sacramento and Los Angeles.  San Diego’s not far behind.

Now in 2017, we’ve seen prices fall in most areas of the SF Bay, except San Francisco and Santa Clara. I’m getting calls from Realtors north of SF so it looks like those areas are becoming more affordable options compared to SF which just keeps heating up.

And with home prices staying or rising, the forecast for apartment rentals is high demand and high prices — great news for rental income property investors. Accommodation costs are a significant personal and professional problem for Californians which may never go away.

New Home/Condo Development in SF from Paragon Realty

Looks like developers are gearing up for even greater supply.

Infographic courtesy of Paragon Real Estate Group


Overall, the US homes forecast and the Los Angeles housing predictions and outlook are positive. The introduction of Donald Trump and republican government policies to loosen up restrictions on mortgages and perhaps development land could ease prices, but it may take quite a while. If the economy improves, there could be an additional rush of new workers to the area. Employment outlook: SF now has 547,000 employed people compared to 448,000 during the dot com boom era an increase of 99,000. Lots of high earning renters and buyers.

Need a home loan? Use the mortgage calculator to find out how much you should borrow.

This recently published chart from Zillow reveals the California cities of San Diego, Los Angeles, San Jose, Sacramento, and San Francisco are the most expensive and least affordable places to buy a home.  Combine the stressful commute times in LA, and the Bay Area, and you have a population feeling on edge, uncertain of their long term future. The word rent is one of the foremost ones in the vocabulary of Californians. Only 30% own their own home.

Fueling the frenzied demand for San Francisco apartment rentals is a growing affluent and young population whose incomes are rising. San Francisco has the highest apartment rentals prices in the US.

The national Apartment rental index chart from Apartment list shows how prices have jumped this year across the country.

And the rental apartment rates in San Francisco, San Jose and Los Angeles are in the top ten most expensive. An average apartment for rent in San Francisco will set you back a whopping $4700 per month.

The San Francisco Housing Forecast

See this excerpt from with quote by California Association of Realtors president Pat Zicarelli:

The C.A.R. forecast sees a modest increase in existing home sales of 1.4 % next year to reach 413,000 units, up slightly from the projected 2016 sales figure of 407,300 homes sold. Sales in 2016 also will be virtually flat at 407,300 existing, single-family home sales, compared with the 408,800 pace of homes sold in 2015.

“Next year, California’s housing market will be driven by tight housing supplies and the lowest housing affordability in six years,” said C.A.R. President Pat “Ziggy” Zicarelli. “The market will experience regional differences, with more affordable areas, such as the Inland Empire and Central Valley, outperforming the urban coastal centers, where high home prices and a limited availability of homes on the market will hamper sales.

As a result, the Southern California and Central Valley regions will see moderate sales increases, while the San Francisco Bay Area will experience a decline as home buyers migrate to peripheral cities with more affordable options.”

The Exodus of Buyers and Renters

Renters used to stay in town, but they are forced ever more into the surrounding countryside along with those who can buy, to search for cheaper places. The commute times for renters and buyers will get much longer and automobile insurance, maintenance and fuel costs will add to their cost of living. Despite a rise in condo developments, buyers are looking far outside San Francisco for a new home.

Where to buy Homes in San Francisco?

Wondering what is being developed in San Francisco? SF Curbed has a listing of 26 proposed high rise developments in the works. Check them out in the link at right.

The new developments on Fremont St perhaps carry the most weight for renters with hundreds of units coming available

The Rincon Hill development is the first neighborhood plan adopted by the SF Planning Commission in more than 10 years. Combined with the Transbay area development, it is a major housing development estimated to create housing for as many as 20,000 new residents. High rise towers in San Francisco? Yes, the Rincon development is for construction of 4 to 8 story buildings, and slender residential towers ranging in heights of 250 to 550 feet. The tallest towers are slated for the top of Rincon Hill, where they will form a distinctive new element on the City’s skyline.

San Francisco Real Estate Forecast

You’ve read the stats – record high and continuing job growth, huge multinational high tech firms with boatloads of cash, a changing mood toward land and housing development, and a new US president who may be biased toward real estate development.

The investment opportunity in SF looks to be as strong as it is anywhere, with the potential of extreme profits on investment. Home flippers, new construction developers, and small builders should find plenty of room for profit if they can get property owners to sell their land.

Bookmark this page and return for further forecasts, predictions and market data for most major US cities including  Los Angeles, Manhattan Real Estate, San Diego, San Francisco, Houston, Miami, Dallas, Phoenix, Denver, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, Tampa, Charlotte, Orlando, Anaheim, Beverly Hills, Malibu, San Jose, Fresno, Santa Clara, Mountainview, Palo Alto, Portland, PhiladelphiaSacramento, Washington, Atlanta, Myrtle Beach, Kansas City, St Louis, Minneapolis, St Paul, Madison, Sioux City, Rapid City, Fargo, Green Bay, Rockford, Oklahoma City, New Orleans, Austin, San Antonio, Oceanside Carlsbad,  Riverside,Las Vegas, Colorado Springs, Reno, and Charleston. For data on Canadian real estate, see the Toronto real estate, and  Vancouver housing report.


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