California condo sells for about half its value as housing market rocked

Autor: Giulia Carbonaro

A condominium in downtown San Francisco, an area that’s been rocked by several problems in the past few years, was sold last week for about half of its purchase price in 2019, as shown on real estate marketplace Zillow.

The property, a two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo on 1075 Market St, a five-minute driving distance from Union Square and a three-minute driving distance from the troubled neighborhood of Tenderloin, was listed for sale on Zillow on January 18 for $695,000. After spending months on the market, it was sold on April 8 for $675,000—about half of the price commanded by the condo in late May 2019, when it was sold for $1,250,000.

Read more: How to Sell Your Home

This is hardly an isolated case in the Californian city. According to a recent Redfin report, nearly 20 percent of home sellers in San Francisco are taking a loss on their sale—over four times more than home sellers at the national level, at 4.3 percent.

San Francisco housing
A “for sale” sign in front of a home that is listed for over $1 million on April 29, 2022 in San Francisco, California. Home sellers in the city are losing more money on the… Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Some 17.8 percent of homes sold in San Francisco during the three months ending on February 29, 2024 sold at a loss, Redfin found. In the three months ending January 31, the share was at 17.9 percent—its highest level in 11 years and a higher share than any other metro.

On average, the typical homeowner sold their home for $155,500 less than they bought it for. That’s mainly because prices have gone back to normal after skyrocketing during the booming years of the pandemic, Redfin writes.

As of Monday, April 15, there were a total of 1,336 properties—including single- and multi-family homes, condos, apartments and lots—listed for sale on Zillow, 188 of which had a price reduction.

Home prices in San Francisco, one of the most overvalued metropolitan areas in the country, have dropped dramatically during the correction of the housing market of late summer 2022 and spring 2023. Downtown San Francisco has particularly suffered from the combination of a series of post-pandemic challenges, including a huge office vacancy rate and a rise in retail theft which has led to several companies shutting down their branches in the city center. And all this has contributed to properties losing value.

While prices modestly bounced back in the City by the Bay between summer and fall of last year, they started sliding down again in October 2023. As of March 31, according to Zillow, the average San Francisco home value was at $1,290,678, down by 7.5 percent compared to the year before.

Home prices have plummeted in all of California between 2023 and 2024: as of March 31, the average home value in the Golden State was $783,666, down 44.5 percent compared to a year before. At the national level, prices were similarly down by 44.4 percent year on year, for an average home value of $354,179—still significantly lower than in California and San Francisco.

Read more: Compare Top Mortgage Lenders

Despite this recent drop in prices, the cost of buying a home in California remains high due to a chronic lack of inventory keeping prices up, and San Francisco is still the most expensive real estate market in the nation.

Uncommon Knowledge

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