Appreciation: the story of Paragon’s first quarter 2015 update

Paragon has just released its First Quarter 2015 Update, which among other things finds that median home prices are continuing to increase in San Francisco. With that said, drilling down further reveals that the median house sales price basically stayed flat from the fourth quarter 2014 to the first quarter 2015. However, the median sales price for condos jumped from $995,000 to $1,080,000 during that same time period. Another interesting factoid that we found: the median sales price for three-bedroom homes in San Francisco was $1,200,000 in the first quarter, while the median sales price for two-bedroom condos was basically the same at $1,199,000.

Why is this? Well, we’re finding the greatest number of houses in the city in the less expensive western and southern neighborhoods, while condos are mostly found in more expensive areas. In addition, new home construction in San Francisco for the last decade has been dominated by extremely high-end condo projects. For the first time, overall condo sales in San Francisco have hit an average of $1,000 per square foot, with much of this increase fueled by recently built condos selling for far higher amounts.

Last year, we saw the more affordable neighborhoods take the lead in terms of rapid home-price appreciation. This came from buyers fanning out from the more expensive greater Noe, Eureka and Cole Valleys as well as the Pacific Heights-Marina district, seeking less expensive options. This in turn created increased competition. This doesn’t mean the higher-end houses are languishing in the city, but generally speaking, the appreciation here has not been as robust as in less costly neighborhoods.

Keep in mind that statistics are just that: numbers. If you want the real story, particularly as it pertains to you, give me a call. Tomorrow we’ll continue our analysis of this report.

Dreaming of San Francisco? Cece Blase offers local advice to San Francisco buyers, sellers and owners– and feeds the dreams of those who wish they could live in Tony Bennett’s ‘City by the Bay.’ Call 415-577-0809 or email

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