While I was doing some research about how many sales in San Francisco have been cash this year, I ended up on a tangent, which led to the graph below. As you can see, there have been more sales of condos year-to-date than there have been sales of single family homes in San Francisco.
The chart above is based on data reported to the San Francisco Multiple Listing Service, with the property closing escrow on or after January 1, 2013.
So far this year there have been:
- 796 sales of single family homes
- 128 sales of tenancy-in-common shares
- 72 sales of lofts (which are technically condos, for those of you keeping score at home)
- 26 sales of stock cooperatives (coops)
I have to say that the graph doesn’t really surprise me. While condos are often considered the red-headed stepchild of real estate in other parts of the country, many buyers in San Francisco prefer to purchase a condo over a single family. Usually, it is for one of two reasons: security or convenience.
We work with plenty of single buyers who travel a fair amount, and don’t want to have to continually be worried about coming home late at night after a trip only to be worried about the safety of their home. For any buyer with concerns about security, a condo building with attended front-desk and/or security staff on duty is often strongly preferred over a single family house.
Some buyers also prefer the convenience of having a homeowner’s association to worry about all the “un-sexy” parts of home ownership, like maintenance, replacement planning, long-range budgeting, and all of the other tasks traditionally associated with ownership of a single family home. They’d much prefer to spend their free time enjoying their neighborhood instead of cleaning gutters or washing windows.
Are you surprised that condos are as popular as they are in San Francisco? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.