From Pacific Union International Chief Economist Selma Hepp – Jan. 15, 2018
Fourth-quarter home sales in San Francisco picked up, bringing activity to a level 5 percent higher than last year’s fourth quarter and overall 2017 activity 2 percent above 2016. Renewed buyer enthusiasm was particularly notable in October and November across all price ranges (with the typical seasonal slowdown in December), but the same dismal for-sale inventory levels that characterized most of 2017 persisted -- especially for affordable homes. Buyer sentiment remained strong, and home shoppers faced stiffer competition than during the same period last year, pushing median property prices up solidly.
Condominium sales also outperformed last year’s fourth quarter and throughout 2017, especially for units priced between $2 million and $3 million. Strong buyer demand in the resale condominium market produced solid appreciation, and new condominium prices again likewise saw some upward momentum. As with single-family home inventory, there were fewer new and existing resale condominiums available in the fourth quarter of 2017 than in the last quarter of 2016.
Looking Forward: Strong housing fundamentals and the Bay Area's economic growth will continue to feed buyer demand. Early year’s homebuyer traffic reports suggest that the first quarter will carry over renewed momentum in San Francisco housing markets despite some trepidation over the impacts of the tax reform.