Buyers tend to be scarcer in the early months of a given year, but once the holiday bills are paid off & Spring hits, buyers usually return to the market. This behavior continues through the summer and into Fall.
Homes tend to show better in the Spring & Fall, but really, in the more central & desirable parts of San Francisco, there is not a particularly optimum time. Why people buy and sell property at a given time has more to do with their individual circumstances than a season or month.
I'll echo this by saying that even in a down market, the Case-Shiller Home Price Index shows a peak in July or August. Bear in mind, this index averages the current month with the previous two, so it jibes nicely with Jason's comment.
The Spring traditionally has the highest prices of the year.... if highest price is your goal, in general you missed your window. Then again, if you are in Mission Bay I'd agree with Michael - the time is yesterday, today, now!!! There is tremendous price pressure in and around the Mission Bay area, and you probably should either sell right away because the "window" keeps getting worse, or hang onto your place for at least several years until the market stablizes again.
I'm also happy to discuss your situation with no obligation. You can also try my home valuation site http://www.Evaluate-My-Home.com for a free value estimate in today's market
Simple answer - NOW!
If you have a single family home - YESTERDAY!
If you have a condominium or a loft YESTERDAY may have also been a good time.
I've tracked inventory, sales and season for many many years. I noted seasonal variations and had my traditional favorite listing times, BUT this year as with last year is DIFFERENT and all bets are off. August used to be a bad month, so was November and December. Last year many of my properties in escrow closed in December which meant it defied the 'bad' season as we went into contract on those from mid-October through December. In a market like this one, years of experience in good and bad markets is more important than ever. Ask whomever you decide to allow to represent you how many markets they've experienced and how many clients have they successfully represented.
Right now - BUYERS are out there looking for good value, so in short - WELL PRICED properties are SELLING.
Everyone is extremely sensitive to changes in interest rates which seem to be creeping upwards these days. The market for well priced single family homes has gone into hyperdrive again, but only in certain price bands and neighborhoods. Last month we wrote offers for several clients in which there faced off with other buyers who wrote on the same properties. This week some very dear clients closed on a gorgeouse home in Bernal Heights where we were NOT the highest offer. It had more to do with representation and presentation than price. Ask me offline and I may share that story with you.
The appetite for condos and lofts also has appeared to pick up. On the horizon we will soon see a few changes many are not even aware. It will affect our marketplace several months from now. I'm currently working with a few clients who understand the time is NOW. If you'd like to talk to a market maker - give me a call, I'd be happy to spend a few minutes without obligation about any concerns you may have.
Below are a few of the properties my team and I have brought onto the market this week:
http://www.238Hartford.com - 1+ Bedroom 1 Bath Castro District Condominium - Short Sale
http://www.GarfieldSquareHomes.com - 7 TIC Units - 2 in escrow - and another went into contract today.
All my best,
Zephyr Real Estate - Noe Valley Office Top Producer 2008
Those numbers are closed transactions so it is typically assumed that they went into escrow 30 days previously.
So far this year our sales are growing each month and inventory is shrinking. In February 2009, for instance condos were at a 15 month supply and single family homes were at a 7 month supply. As of the first of July condos are now at 6 months and SFHs are at 3 months.
By the way on February 1, 2009 there were a little over 400 escrows open. On July 1, 2009 there were close to 900 open escrows. Sales are continuing ot grow and inventory is coming down.. Now is a good time to sell, but be sure to price correctly.
If you have questions about this data just click on my link and ask.
I agree with what Jason has written.
I notice you are in Mission Bay? If you are thinking of selling in Mission Bay, I would have to say this market is unpredictable when it comes to resale. The new construction/development projects have been negotiating some very sweet deals and as you can imagine that has cut into the sale prices of resale units. Of course it depends on your home and expectations.
Zephyr Real Estate-SOMA
Historically, our seasonal high months are May and June. However, this year has continued to improve through July as well. Generally speaking, though, total volume increases from March to June's peak. Things cool off in August, but generally swing back up a bit in September and October. As you probably know, market activity slows dramatically through the holidays.
Hope that helps!
McGuire Urban Bay