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Number of SF homes for sale up 20 percent, but there’s a catch

As always, good news is annoyingly relative

Real estate site Trulia calculates that although the number of homes for sale nationwide declined over six percent year over year in the third quarter, San Francisco is bucking the trend.

In fact, we’re throwing the trend right off of our backs, then galloping half a mile before the trend even gets up and dusts itself off.

This time last year, the city had 1,063 houses sat on offer. Today, it’s 1,269, a spike of 19.3 percent. So, yay for growth.

But assuming that’s an accurate figure, it amounts to 0.33 percent of the 382,500 homes estimated in the most recent Housing Inventory Report. (Or 0.32 percent of the slightly larger 390,000 plus figure the census estimates.)

A third of a percent doesn’t sound like very much. But surely it’s a robust figure relative to what we’d expect looking at other cities, right? Well, maybe not, if we do a little extra math.

Trulia estimates over 1.25 million homes for sale coast to coast right now. And the Federal Reserve estimates there are over 135 million housing units altogether in the entire country. That’s a for-sale rate of 0.92 percent nationwide.

To take a case study with some similar local problems (out of control prices, profound density), the number of homes for sale in New York City declined 7.7 percent since 2015, according to Trulia.

But if we look at New York’s most recent housing inventory report, we see that the 42,000 plus New York homes up for sale right now make up nearly 1.25 percent of the 3.4 million units in the city.

Yes, San Francisco’s housing market can just never give good news without taking a little bit back.

Still, it’s always nice when a trend line (that isn’t median price) points out. Earlier in the week, SocketSite noted that the number of homes priced under a million has gone up noticeably lately as well.