SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Rents are falling and the number of homes for sale is rising – all signs that the COVID 19 exodus from San Francisco has not lost momentum six months after the pandemic.
With many of the region’s top employers still under work-at-home mandates, or having hired or cut back staff, the once glowing real estate market has stalled.
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According to a report from Apartmentlist.com – a San Francisco-based online listing service – rents in the city fell 5.2% in September from the previous month and fell 17.8% since the pandemic began in March – the fastest Decline among the 100 largest cities in the country.
Medium two bedrooms were rented for $ 2,592 while one bedroom was on sale for $ 2,240. It was a very different snapshot of the local market earlier in the year before the COVID outbreak sparked layoffs, vacation days and employees forced to work from home.
During the San Francisco retreat, moving trucks have become a common sight. Among those who have left the city is William Hauser, who originally came to San Francisco to pursue his digital dreams.
Hauser spoke to KPIX 5 in late August when he was loading a moving truck ready to begin its exodus to his hometown in Ohio.
“In all honesty, I started to be a software engineer and got into computers because it was convenient to be able to work remotely,” he said. “Now that everyone has worked remotely and the guidelines won’t be in place until next year, there is no reason to stay here when I can get back to the family and work remotely.”
The same cold pervades the domestic market. According to the San Francisco Association of Realtors and Multiple Listing Service, the number of properties for sale in the city rose 44 percent in the third quarter of 2020 compared to 2019. In the case of condominiums, the number rose by 34.4 percent.
In terms of prices, Compass – a San Francisco-based high-end real estate agent – released numbers showing a dramatic decline in the selling price of properties in Pacific Heights, Presidio Heights, Cow Hollow, and the Marina. Average sales prices in September 2019 were $ 4.95 million, compared to falling to $ 4.4 million in September 2020.
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In the other districts of San Francisco, prices rose slightly or remained unchanged from September 2019 to September 2020. This was a very different picture than the steady increases since 2012.
“COVID is forcing people to think about what they need in a home,” said Frank Nolan, president of Vanguard Properties. “That’s the main reason people buy or sell.
The San Francisco condominium market was hardest hit, according to a report by Compass.
“The number of price cuts – again heavily focused on the condominium market – has reached its highest level in many years,” Compass said in its report. “In certain segments, sellers are now competing for buyers rather than buyers for listings.”
Aside from the work-related impact of the COVID pandemic, San Francisco residents Joe Imbriani and Anne Hocquet believe that city life has lost some of its luster as well.
Imbriani cited the unkempt condition of the city’s streets.
“They (the ones who go) think the city has just turned into a big trash can,” he said.
Hocquet, who bought a house in San Francisco two years ago, believed the forced OVID-19 shutdowns by local businesses also fueled the exodus.
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“The city has lost a bit of its appeal as everything has been closed,” she said. “It’s not like you’re missing anything.”