How does seasonality affect the San Francisco market?

Paragon has just issued a new report: “Seasonality in the San Francisco Homes Market”, which discusses the effect of seasonal changes on our local real estate market. As noted in the report, seasonality typically affects inventory levels, buyer demand and median home prices, often in very significant ways. That said, it’s worth remembering that seasonality is not the only factor that affects market conditions and trends. Other factors include the economy in general, financial market movements, new construction projects coming online, significant interst-rate changes, local stock market IPOs, natural and political events and other various factors.

In addition, new listings and new sales are always being inked, and it is sometimes the smart strategy – depending on prevailing market conditions and a specific property – to buy or sell during slower periods.

Typically, though, there are summer and winter slowdowns. The autumn market is the litmus test come mid-September with a typical surge of new listings; so is the spring market that begins in late February/early March. According to the typical ebb and flow in the higher-end market, which is usually more affected by seasonality than the general market, this means a higher median sales price during peak periods, and a lowered price during the slower ones.

The market has been rapidly appreciating since 2012, notwithstanding the shorter-term ups and downs that seasonality can bring throughout the year. Keep in mind that in an appreciating or depreciating market, other factors typically impact median sales prices as well. It’s valuable to know that what is meaningful is the longer-term trend in housing prices, rather than the short-term fluctuations.

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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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