More than 61 percent of San Francisco home shoppers want to move to South San Francisco.
Or so it would appear from a report from Trulia, which breaks down where local shoppers in major U.S. cities are most likely to search for listings on the sight. Careful consideration of the data suggests it’s not so simple as that.
The report released this week (“Local By Locals”) says that, while out of towners perusing Bay Area homes on the Trulia site concentrate on San Francisco itself, actual San Franciscans cast their eyes south:
In San Francisco, which has an unemployment rate of 3%, the fourth-lowest in the country, demand for homes is at record highs. Locals, as opposed to outsiders, look more to places such as South San Francisco [...] as well as nearby Daly City, Brisbane, and San Bruno. [...] These neighborhoods offer median listing prices roughly $300,000 cheaper than the metro median.
Trulia reports that 61.7 percent of San Francisco-based searches on its site concern South San Francisco, with 61.1 percent focused in San Bruno. Brisbane, Westlake, and Daly City were only slightly less popular at 60.8, 60.5, and 60.4 percent, respectively.
To put these numbers in proper context, remember that this only reflects Trulia browsers, which may or may not parallel what browsers on other sites do or where eventual homebuyers actually buy.
In fact, the latest U.S. Census estimates suggest that South San Francisco’s population is in decline. The latest figures peg it at 66,989 people, down from 67,271 a year prior and 67,011 the year before.
South City’s overall population is still up since 2012, when it was 65,565. But that’s growth of less than 2.18 percent, compared to more than 5.45 percent in San Francisco itself, 2.7 percent in Daly City, and 3.1 percent in San Bruno.
Even Brisbane grew faster in the same period at 5.3 percent. Although admittedly in the case of Brisbane that’s a difference of fewer than 300 people.
Despite its popularity on Trulia, South San Francisco actually seems to be one of the slowest growing communities on the peninsula.
But that doesn’t mean that a significant number of San Franciscans might not decamp there soon, or indeed that they haven’t already. Either way, having this many local eyes on South City homes can’t hurt the prospects of sellers immediately south.