San Francisco Property Market and Real Estate Guide

(San Francisco, California - CA, USA)

Picture showing view across San FranciscoWith around 800,000 residents, San Francisco is the fourth-largest city in California, and serves as the cultural, economic, and transportation centre of the Bay area. Known for its temperate Mediterranean climate and seasonable weather throughout the year, San Francisco attracts many visitors and tourists, who enjoy spending time surrounded by beaches on the beautiful Pacific coast.

San Francisco is the second-most densely populated city in the US, and there are many diverse neighborhoods, each with its own distinct style and flair. The average income in the area is higher than the national average, mainly due to the strong economy in the city and its proximity to the Silicon Valley. Therefore the cost of living, including housing, is much higher than in other major cities around the country.

The recent economic downturn seen in the US has resulted in stagnant sales of houses and property, and the San Francisco area is no exception. Expats who are planning to stay in the Bay area usually find it much more economically feasible to rent rather than buy.

Renting Serviced Apartments

Serviced apartments are available throughout the city and surrounding areas, and run the gamut of prices, depending on location, needs, and amenities. The cost is determined by the length of stay, and while most landlords encourage the signing of a one-year lease, shorter options are available, albeit for a higher fee. You should expect to pay the equivalent of at least three months' rent prior to moving in, which includes a security deposit and first and last months' rent.

Since the Bay area is second only to New York City in population density, the average rental cost for serviced apartments is much higher than the national average. There are plenty of great neighborhoods to choose from, such as Union Square, Russian Hill, Haight-Ashbury, and the Avenues, although there are some areas in the southeast, such as Bayview-Hunters Point, that are considered not as safe as the rest of the city.

Buying Apartments and Houses

Purchasing an apartment, condo, or home in San Francisco is of course, possible, but the cost of such an investment may outweigh any future returns, particularly due to the fluctuating real estate market in the US during the past decade. Expats can buy here, but are subject to limited borrowing and a large down payment.

If you decide to purchase property, the areas outside of the city borders are the most attractive financial options. Locations to the south, such as both Santa Clara and San Jose, are much more affordable and provide for a better investment, as do those across the bay to the east, in and around Oakland.

Real Estate Agents

Finding affordable property in California can be a difficult proposition for many visitors to the US. Fortunately, there are many real estate agencies with capable staff that have diverse knowledge of the areas and markets to help you find the best living situation available.

Check out the following San Francisco realtors and real estate agents:

Zephyr Real Estate
Address: 4200 17th Street, San Francisco, 94114, California, USA
Tel: +1 415 552 9500
Perhaps the most recognised name in California real estate, Zephyr can help you find any home in the area.

Trinity Management Services
Address: 333 Bay Street, San Francisco, 94113, California, USA
Tel: +1 415 433 3333
This agency can help you find the serviced apartment you are looking for in the neighborhood best suited to accommodate your needs.

Re / Max
Address: 5059 Geary Boulevard, San Francisco, 94118, California, USA
Tel: +1 415 221 5588
A national agency, this company has the resources to find living accommodation throughout the Bay Area.