The West Portal/Inner Parkside Third Quarter Real Estate Market Update

By Eric Castongia, Zephyr Real Estate

It’s tough to turn on the news, or read a newspaper without getting pummeled with doom and gloom news about the real estate market.  Nationally the real estate market seems to having a tough time; the number of sales are down; usually indicating that sales prices going down are soon to follow.  Not surprisingly, San Francisco is moving to the beat of its own drum.  Historically, San Francisco has weathered downturns in the real estate market better than other areas.  The median price of a home in San Francisco is up.  The number of sales are steady in West Portal/Inner Parkside neighborhood.  Interest rates have gone down over the last month or so and Zephyr Real Estate’s in-house mortgage broker predicts that rates will stay even or go down a little more until sometime in the Spring; this should have the positive affect in keeping buyers in the marketplace.

The following analysis combines data from the San Francisco Multiple Listing Service and what I’m seeing in the market.  This is my best attempt at making sense of where real estate values are in the West Portal area.

  • The number of sales are steady at 14 properties in the third quarter of 2005 and second and third quarters of 2006.
  • The number of total listings went up from 16 in the third quarter of 2005 to 28 and 27 respectively in the second and third quarters of 2006.
  • The number of properties that failed to sell went up from two in the third quarter of 2005 to four and six respectively in the second and third quarters of 2006. 
  • Buyers in the marketplace are taking longer to make decisions; the market is not moving at fever pitch like we have seen in the past.  Properties with any question marks or quirkiness are taking longer to sell unless the price reflects the property condition.
  • In the last year, we have seen values appreciate, drop, appreciate and level.  The condition, location and desirability of a property being sold, is very important.  These factors determine if a property will sell for over asking with multiple offers, or wait on the market for the appropriate buyer.
  • Well-priced homes in desirable locations in good condition are still well-visited and may receive multiple offers over their asking price.
  • Getting good comparable properties quarter to quarter is always difficult since the available and sold properties vary so much-sale prices depend heavily on what the competition is at the time; these factors make it quite difficult to compare apples and apples.  Each quarter I compare available, similar property types and use them as indicators for the neighborhood.
  • Property values in the neighborhood on average went up between the first and second quarters of 2006.
  • Between the second and third quarters of 2006, I contend that property values for the most representative West Portal homes stayed level.
  • The real estate market in West Portal/Inner Parkside is quite stable compared to other neighborhoods.
  • In the January 2007 real estate update article, I hope to be able to calculate the average 2006 annual appreciation-I want to confirm my expectation of an average annual appreciation rate of three to five percent.
  • I think we’ll look back and see that this was a good time to buy real estate.
  • Don’t get caught up in the doom and gloom in newspapers and television.  If you are going to buy, select well; if you are going to sell, prepare your home for sale to make it desirable.  I anticipate that we can continue to expect a healthy and reasonable rate of appreciation over time.  The desirability of San Francisco, the bustling West Portal commercial strip and improvements in the economy all contribute to our expectation of steady growth in value.

Eric Castongia, Residential Sales Specialist at Zephyr Real Estate provided the information in this article.  Eric can be reached by e-mail at, or via mobile phone at (415)307-1700.