The Role of Perspective on San Francisco Real Estate

A few months ago, the web was abuzz with news about impending IPOs and the impact that these newly-minted millionaries would have on real estate in San Francisco. We wrote it about here and here and here and here, along with the rest of the Bay Area real estate microcosm and the country at large. It was all speculation, of course, because as far as I know no one has a crystal ball, and everyone pretty much repeated one another in an ever-expanding echo chamber. Now, a piece published by SFGate in mid-August takes a few numbers about multiple-offer bidding wars and runs away on a tangent that has been picked up and repeated over and over again, including by The New York Times. And that brings us to the role of perspective on San Francisco real estate.

Here’s the Thing

The article opens with a qualifier – San Francisco is still the country’s most competitive housing market – but in the same breath, it notes that bidding wars have calmed somewhat in comparison to twelve months prior. The article has charts and graphs and percentages and quotes, and it’s no surprise that this take blew up and spread like wildfire across the web. 

But here’s the thing.

These kinds of echo chambers have the very real ability to affect buyer confidence. Pair this with the reality that seasonality is a very real phenomenon in real estate, with fall traditionally a season that’s a bit flat. Last year, the market followed this tradition and come spring, the city was abuzz with news of those IPOs. Like clockwork, the market jumped up. You make the call – IPO buzz or the spring season?

Here’s another take. If history is any guide – and it usually is – the market will follow its usual course, regardless of these alarmist stories. If things heat up again come January, February, and March, that makes the next four months a particularly advantageous time to capitalize on a purchase, assuming that you find a home you both adore and can afford.

Perpective, in anything, really is everything. And that’s just as true when you’re talking about San Francisco real estate.

Interested in buying or selling in the next four months, or planning for spring? I’d love to help. 

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