San Francisco Housing Market: Why to Choose for Investing in Real Estate

November 6, 2023

San Francisco Housing Market

The San Francisco real estate scene is distinctively different from the rest of California, and its uniqueness is evident on a global scale. It’s rare to find places that have experienced such a remarkable increase in value while still retaining robust demand. 

The San Francisco housing market holds the esteemed title of being the priciest in an already high-priced state. Boasting a staggering median home value of $1,380,000, the typical San Francisco home’s worth exceeds the U.S. median by over a million dollars. It’s crucial to recognize that this present-day valuation is the fruit of almost a decade of steady growth. Indeed, home prices have soared, more than doubling since the gloomiest days of the prior economic slump.

A mere decade ago, in the initial quarter of 2012, as the vestiges of economic downturn were fading away, San Francisco’s housing prices loomed around the $718,000 mark. This figure, if placed into perspective, still surpasses the current median home value in California, a state renowned for its consistently elevated real estate prices. Nevertheless, the real estate market in San Francisco rode a wave of unyielding economic growth and sanguine optimism for a remarkable span of nine years, resulting in a mind-boggling appreciation rate of 92.2%.

San Francisco Housing Market Forecast 2023 

San Francisco Housing Market

Median Sale Price

In August 2023, San Francisco’s domiciliary values witnessed an ascension of 6.2% juxtaposed with the prior annum, fetching a median monetary sum of a staggering $1.4M.

Graph of the median sale price in San Francisco, CA

Number of Homes Sold

In August, the San Francisco real estate market has experienced a notable drop in home sales, falling from 434 last year to 336 this year. This sharp difference indicates a significant reduction of about 22.6%.

Graph of the number of homes sold in San Francisco, CA

Median Days on Market

The duration a residential property graces the market with its presence is quantified at an 38 days. 

This current average duration represents an increment when juxtaposed with the figures from the antecedent year. A comparative analysis showcases that, during that time frame, homes within the San Francisco real estate market were subject to a shorter stint on the market, with an average listing duration of merely 32 days.

Graph of the median days a home is on the market in San Francisco, CA

Is It Advisable to Invest in San Francisco Housing Market  in 2023?

While 2023 might present certain opportunities or challenges for buying a home in San Francisco, it’s essential to evaluate main factors in the context of your personal situation and goals:

  • Market Conditions: Analyze the current real estate market in San Francisco. Are home prices rising, stable, or declining? A rising market might indicate that it’s better to buy sooner rather than later, while a declining market might suggest waiting for prices to drop further.
  • Interest Rates: Mortgage interest rates play a significant role in the affordability of a home. If rates are low, it might be a good time to lock in a mortgage. Conversely, if rates are expected to decrease, waiting might be beneficial.
  • Personal Financial Health: Assess your financial situation. Do you have a stable income, good credit, and enough savings for a down payment and closing costs? If not, it might be wise to wait and improve your financial standing.
  • Rent vs. Buy Analysis: Compare the costs of renting versus buying in San Francisco. Sometimes, renting can be more cost-effective in the short term, especially if home prices are high.
  • Future Development Plans: Research any upcoming infrastructure or development projects in San Francisco. Such projects can influence property values. A new transit line or a major employer moving to the area can boost property values.
  • Economic Outlook: The broader economic situation can impact the real estate market. If the economy is strong, it might drive up demand and prices. On the other hand, economic downturns can lead to decreased demand and lower prices.
  • Inventory Levels: Check the number of homes available for sale in your desired neighborhoods. Low inventory can lead to increased competition and higher prices, while high inventory might give buyers more negotiating power.

San Francisco Housing Market Predictions

Remember that the “Bay Area,” encompassing counties such as San Jose, Solano, Alameda, San Francisco, and more, continues to be one of the priciest housing markets, making broad predictions somewhat more complex than in other regions.

Specifically discussing San Francisco, it’s plausible that housing prices will continue their descent into 2024, given that the market is still stabilizing from the intense competition experienced in recent years.

Furthermore, while some experts assert that prices might decrease even more, there are no apparent indicators of an imminent market crash.

Best San Francisco Neighborhoods

San Francisco residents often have spirited discussions about the exact number of neighborhoods, but there’s a general consensus on around 20 notable ones to consider.

Every neighborhood boasts its own unique charm, making the decision-making process quite a challenge. To guide you through, we’ve gathered some quick insights on several of the city’s most celebrated districts.

Buena Vista

The illustrious Buena Vista neighborhood, positioned atop one of San Francisco’s legendary mountainside retreats, lavishes its esteemed inhabitants with a visually stunning spectacle to behold.

This esteemed community, known for its idyllic charm, serves as a tranquil haven from the tumultuous hubbub of the cityscape. Acutely mindful of the need for tranquility, Buena Vista boasts an enviable absence of incessant commercial thoroughfare, opting instead for an abundant fusion of serene greenery that soothes the weary soul.

Pacific Heights

Pacific Heights is often hailed as San Francisco’s crown jewel, epitomizing both sophistication and elegance. Esteemed by many, this distinguished neighborhood is embellished with stately Victorian homes that radiate both charm and grandeur. Beyond its architectural allure, Pacific Heights offers its residents and visitors mesmerizing views of the glistening bay and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.


Haight-Ashbury, a name that may stir memories, was the heart of the counterculture revolution in the 1960s. Today, as you wander through its lively streets, you’ll encounter echoes of that unique era in the form of tie-dye and peace signs, which serve as enduring reminders of a time gone by. Furthermore, delve into a world of upscale experiences, where boutiques filled with meticulously selected vintage clothing and delightful restaurants await, tantalizing your senses and captivating your taste buds.


San Francisco’s Chinatown, boasting the oldest and most significant Chinese community in the US, is often referred to as a ‘mini-city’ due to its abundance of Chinese-centric establishments, from shops and markets to eateries and temples, catering to the needs of its residents.

For visitors, some must-do activities include a tour of the fortune cookie factory, indulging in authentic dim sum, and scouting for deals.

Conveniently located, Chinatown is sandwiched between the renowned Union Square shopping district to its south and North Beach, San Francisco’s version of Little Italy, to its north.

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