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S.F. homes for sale at 15-year high as listings outpace buyers

San Francisco’s residential real estate market saw brisk activity from July through September with a steep increase in both sales and inventory, as a significant jump in buyers was not enough to keep up with the deluge of new condos and homes flooding the marketplace, according to a new report from the brokerage Compass.



a large body of water with a city in the background


© Nick Otto / Special To The Chronicle


The number of sales rose 30.2% compared to the third quarter last year, climbing from 1,151 to 1,499 transactions. But the number of listings is at a 15-year high, with a 10-month inventory for condos in some neighborhoods. Comparing September to the same month last year, the number of price reductions was up 172% for houses and condos combined. Of the price reductions, 80% were of condos.

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“The issue the inventory is increasing so much faster than the sales rate,” said Patrick Carlisle, chief market analyst for Compass. “Any time you have this relatively huge overhang of supply, and demand is stable, you are going to see price reductions.”

The market was bifurcated: single-family homes did better than condos; large homes were more popular than smaller homes; and many downtown high-rise offerings languished while listings in more suburban neighborhoods tended to trade faster and slightly above asking price.

The contrast between the single-family homes and condos was apparent in price, how long a property sat on the market, and whether the asking price had to be cut to attract buyers. The median sales for single-family homes inched up year over year from $1.57 million to $1.66 million while condo prices lagged, dipping slightly from $1.275 million to $1.250 million. Single-family listings sold at an average of 102.5% of listing price while condos went for an average of 97.5% of listing price.

Even within the condo segment

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