Can home buyers in San Francisco finally be optimistic? These stats say yes

February 27, 2018 - 2 min read

San Fran out-bests in building

Home buyers in San Francisco may be in luck. According to a new ranking, the city saw the most growth in new construction last year – and rates are still climbing.

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Outbuilding the rest

According to data from Trulia, San Francisco out-built every other major housing market in the U.S. last year – at least compared to its historical average. In fact, in 2017 the city nearly doubled its historical average number of new permits.

“It’s a shift that signals that the city is becoming more aggressive in its efforts to combat its affordability crisis,” Trulia reported. “What’s more, a large share of its new units are multifamily units, which should help rents continue to cool this year.”

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All in all, San Francisco built 94.6 percent more new properties in 2017 than its 1980 to 2016 annual average.

Other cities to see a big boost in building last year included Austin and Dallas, Texas; Boston; Nashville, Tennessee; Philadelphia; Charleston, South Carolina; San Jose, California; Denver; and Portland, Oregon. Austin built 79.5 percent more than its historical average, while Boston built 72.4 percent more.

Dallas built the most homes out of all major markets, adding 47,000 new homes in 2017. Houston came in second, with nearly 43,000 new homes.

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A positive sign

For these big U.S. markets, growing construction could be a reason for optimism among local home buyers.

“Home building rates matter because newly built homes are a source of new home inventory as well as construction jobs,” Trulia reported. “ They also help increase existing inventory through a chain-reaction effect: buyers of new homes often sell their existing one, which frees up a home for someone else, who in turn decides to buy it and sell their home, which then becomes a home for a first-time home buyer.”

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The markets best poised to enjoy continued growth in construction and inventory? According to Trulia, it’s cities with job growth, income growth and home price growth. High-density cities are also more likely to see increased construction.

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Aly J. Yale
Authored By: Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor
Aly J. Yale is a mortgage and real estate writer based in Houston who has contributed to Forbes and worked for organizations such as The Dallas Morning News, PBS, NBC, and Radio Disney.