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It takes just 19 days on average for a San Francisco home to sell

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An aerial view of many homes and a city skyline with high-rises. Photo via Shutterstock

In the past 12 months, a San Francisco home took on average just 19 days to sell. And in some of the city’s most in-demand neighborhoods, sales averaged only two weeks from initial listing to singing a contract.

Those figures come from Compass’ latest assessment of the SF market, released on Wednesday. According to Compass economist Patrick Carlisle, a home in the combined Noe Valley, Cole Valley, Haight, and Glen Park region (dubbed “district five” by realtors, not to be confused with the city’s supervisoral district five) sells on average in 14 days.

The combined Russian Hill, North Beach, Nob Hill, and Financial District area (district eight) took the longest to net sales this year, averaging 32 days on the market.

The Richmond/Sea Cliff area slips in just below average with 18 days, while Bayview, Excelsior, and Crocker-Amazon barely tipped over it with 20 days.

For further comparison, Compass (then called Paragon) estimated in early 2018 that a house in SF took 23 days to sell and a condo at only 36 days.

Putting Compass’ numbers side by side with other figures, real estate site Redfin estimates SF homes sell in about 21 days. Redfin’s national median is 44 days.

But that stat only covers homes on Redfin, while the previously cited report spans all Multiple Listing Service (MLS) homes.

The competing site Realtor.com calculates a 35 day clock on combined sales across the Bay Area, ranging from 29 days in SF to 40 in Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties.

At this same time last year, the SF figure on the Realtor site was 37, and the year before that 51. Again, these figures apply only to homes listed on the one service.

Zillow indicates that on that site the averages in SF is a comparably whopping 38 days, although that’s still speedy considering that the site’s U.S. is 68 days.

Although some housing metrics—notably the number of homes sold—has softened in SF in 2019, buyers remain hot for the city’s limited housing supply.

It is worth considering these numbers with some caution; like almost all statistics, they’re vulnerable to manipulation.

“Studies have shown that the longer a home is on the market, the less likely the owner is to get their asking price,” finance site the Balance points out. Which is to say that sometimes sellers will let an offer lapse and then re-list later just to reset the clock.

The SF-based real estate company Homelight is of the opinion that there are no good studies that “explicitly state a house that sits longer on the market sells for less” and that trends change so much from one market to the next that comparing them is next to impossible.