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There's a $2 Billion Dollar Real Estate Market You Can't See

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A study by PocketList, a local company that tracks the private real estate sales market, estimates that nearly 25 percent of the homes sold in San Francisco are sold privately, without ever hitting the multiple listing service (MLS) or being publicly marketed. The study, which is based on data from the City Assessor's Office, says that such sales generated about $2 billion in 2014 alone.

You might think that sellers would want to cast a big net when marketing a property, but many don't. "Some sellers look to market their properties privately for the convenience and privacy that goes along with an off-market transactions—no open houses, no staging, no looky-loos," says Tom MacLeod, CEO of PocketList. "Others may choose to test demand by pre-marketing their property before going out to the wider marketplace."

If the company's findings are correct, then private sales are often higher sales. According to the study, private sales generated prices that were 7.6 higher than average in 2014 and 1.5 percent higher in 2015.

The study also revealed that the highest prices for private sales were generated in the first part of the years, from January to April.

· PocketList [Official Site]