San Francisco Real Estate Market Update February 2010

Posted by Leslie Bauer on Thursday, February 11th, 2010 at 9:15am.

For Buyers, interest rates remain near historic lows (with many pundits expecting a jump if the Fed stops buying mortgage bonds on March 31st as planned); the home-buyer tax credits have been extended through April 30th ($6500 to $8000, subject to various conditions); and we appear to be at, near or just past the bottom of the market (of this latest cycle) after general price declines in San Francisco of 15% - 25%. The buy versus rent equation is at its most appealing in years.

For Sellers, there is strong demand for well-priced properties; inventory levels are low; average-days-on-market (the time between going on market and accepting an offer) are declining; and the percentage of listings which have accepted offers has increased significantly. A good proportion of homes for sale are selling quickly, sometimes with multiple offers and sales prices over asking.

Without wishing to sound like an industry publicist, and without really knowing what the future holds regarding interest rates, government initiatives, and price appreciation or depreciation, still it appears to be a very good time to buy if one's personal and financial situation is favorable, and one plans to keep the home for at least 3 to 5 years (typically, the longer the better). Conversely, with demand high and inventory low, it also appears to be a good opportunity to sell -- if, and only if, one is realistic about existing pricing realities. (Plenty of listings still expire without selling.)

One doesn't often see such an odd mix of market circumstances, but there it is
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