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San Francisco Home Sellers Losing Most Money in the Nation, Report Says

Written by Lydia YouPublished Sep. 07, 2023 • 1:21pm
Historic Victorian-style homes, built in the late 1880s, stand at the corner of Steiner and Fulton streets, in the Alamo Square neighborhood in San Francisco. | Source: Philip Pacheco/AFP/Getty Images

San Franciscans lead the nation in home sales losses and are four times as likely to lose money when selling a home as the national average, according to a Redfin report.

Roughly one in eight, or 12.3%, of home sellers in San Francisco lost money on home sales in the three-month period ending July 31, according to the report. 

Detroit, Chicago, New York and Cleveland round out the list of metro areas where the highest share of homeowners lost money on home sales.

READ MORE: Insurance Crisis: Another Major Home Insurer To Limit Business in California

Homes line the streets in the upscale Dolores Heights neighborhood of San Francisco. | Source: Camille Cohen/The Standard

But not everyone is losing out in the City by the Bay. Most San Francisco homeowners still make money after selling, with the median home selling for 70.5% more than it was bought for, or $625,500, the report states. If the home seller took a loss, it was typically around $100,000, which was the same loss the average New Yorker suffered when selling a home for less than they bought it for.

The proportion of homes selling for a loss is a big jump from last year, in which just 5% of San Francisco homes lost money. The total value of San Francisco homes has fallen $60 billion since last summer, according to a Redfin study published in August.

Housing markets nationwide are taking a hit due to factors such as high mortgage rates–which has many homeowners feeling locked in to homes they bought when rates were low–and national home price declines, but the Bay Area has experienced outsize drops due to layoffs in the tech sector this year and remote work allowing people to relocate to more affordable areas.

READ MORE: These San Francisco Neighborhoods Boom as Rents Skyrocket

While the housing market has taken a dip nationally due to high mortgage rates, the rental markets in Bay Area metro areas like Mountain View, Palo Alto and Cupertino are still hot right now, according to a spokesperson from rental platform Zumper. One-bedrooms in these areas are renting between $3,160 and $3,660 on average, ahead of San Francisco, and are in demand due to return-to-office policies.

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