From my experience there is a quite a bit of demand for SOMA and Mission Bay. I know quite a few buyers that are young professionals who think that this is the area to be. However, most of them are terrified to buy write now because they think the market is going to continue to drop. So, yes right now the inventory to demand ratio is high because potential buyers are afraid to get into the market. Honestly, I would expect this trend to continue for the near term. I think that the major turning point will be when banks report their second quarter earnings. If people feel that they have sufficiently wrote off a lot of their subprime exposure then we could potentially see the market turnaround. There are a lot of qualified buyers who are waiting to jump into the market, they just want to be assured that the economy has turned around first.
So, if you need to sell within the next year, now might not actually be a bad time because there is a chance the market will get worse. However, if you are in a position where you can hold off for the long term (years) I think their is potential that you will have some good appreciation.
There are currently many condos and lofts for sale in Mission Bay-Central Waterfront-SOMA-South Beach. Those that are over-priced are sitting. Those that are priced for today's market are selling, albeit some are selling slower than in the past. Recent articles have shown that sales are down all over San Francisco around 30% in NUMBER of sales. Property is shown to have appreciated .1 percent... which is miniscule but still a plus in a time where all other areas around us are in negative numbers.
It truly depends on the economy and the "R" word - recession. The subprime debacle has not hurt San Francisco and in fact, foreclosures in our city are up just a tiny percentage (around 1% I believe) over past years. Wll we see the double digit apperciation of yesteryear? Doubtful....and frankly it is much better for Buyers and Sellers to be in a more equitable market.
We realtors have an expression - Buyers who buy, buy and Sellers who sell, sell. In other words there are real Buyers out there. Where is your unit? What is the condition of it? If you are planning to purchase another unit in San Francisco, then the time to do it is now. It is better to "lose" 10% (just tossing out a number that is easy to compute) on a sale and be able to buy a more expensive unit that is also 10% less.
Something to think about.