Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Real Estate & Development
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Published on April 10, 2024
SF Housing Market Dips with 20% of Sellers Bearing Losses, Outpacing National AveragePhoto by Kimson Doan on Unsplash

The San Francisco housing market is experiencing a significant downturn, with nearly one in five home sellers facing losses. According to a recent report by Redfin, approximately 20% of properties sold in the Bay Area metropolis have resulted in the sellers receiving less than their initial purchase price, a figure far beyond the national average.

The situation in San Francisco starkly contrasts the broader U.S. housing market, where just 4% of sellers are seeing red. Locally, those unlucky enough to sell at a loss are hemorrhaging an average of $155,500, dwarfing the median loss of $40,000 on the national stage. This data hails from when San Francisco's median home sale loss posted its 11-year peak.

Christine Chang, a Redfin Premier agent in the area, underscores the city's particular struggles, saying, "Home prices have fallen from their peak, especially when it comes to condos," in a statement obtained by Redfin. She attributes the slump to soaring mortgage rates and a broader disenchantment with San Francisco. Chang notes, "San Francisco has lost some of its appeal post-pandemic. A lot of tech employers and big-name retailers have moved out of the city, and some of my clients have reported they’re leaving the area because they don’t feel as safe as they used to."

Meanwhile, the woes aren't restricted to the West Coast. A glimpse at Detroit reveals that over 10% of home sellers are also ducking for financial cover, with losses trailing close behind San Francisco's. Cleveland, St. Louis, and Chicago also resonate with tumbling prices, each registering their chunk of sellers in the red.

The same report indicates that a resounding majority—more than 80%—of San Francisco's home sellers still managed to pocket profits, climbing to a $482,000 median gain. A similar positive note rings at the national level. Approximately 96% of American home sellers are laughing all the way to the bank, with a median gain of $196,016.

California leads the nation in housing market conquests, as San Jose sellers celebrate median gains of $695,000. Even Anaheim's market boasts substantial returns for the bulk of its sellers. On the flip side, homeowners in more affordable regions like Pittsburgh and Kansas City are contending with more modest wins, though many still hover around the six-figure mark.