Tell me about the housing market in San Francisco...

I’m writing a novel and one of my characters is moving away from San Francisco, and selling his house there. He’s rich but wouldn’t have a huge house. It would be in an area of town with good night life (he’s a vampire). What would selling his house be like? Would it be on the market for a really long time or is it likely to sell in a few weeks or months? I know the market just about everywhere sucks right now.

Middle class houses run approximately $1 million, give or take. That’s a 3 BR, 2BA in Noe Valley or the Castro. Those are usually on the market for 2 to 4 months. An upper class house in Pacific Heights or Nob Hill is obviously more. It would depend on how motivated the seller is, but plan on it taking several months to a year. Mansions are on the market for a year or longer. SF’s market is down but not as depressed as other areas.

Thanks! That sounds perfect. I’ll give it three months then, for a middle class house.

I am not 100% sure if this is true in the city, but it sure is on the peninsula where I live. If he really wants to get out in some sort of hurry and is not under any kind of price pressure (like he owns it outright, not out of line for someone immortal)-- underpricing a house (like, say $750 for a $1M house), and suddenly you’ll have buyers fighting over it like it’s 2007.

Also of note: prices have been elevated here for a long time, incase that factors into your backstory somehow. We also have a somewhat crazy propertly tax law where your rate is based on the purchase price of your house, not it’s assessed value. You get scenarios where people are living in a $1M house and paying property taxes on the $60K they paid in 1974. It reduces the turnover which is why the market is so weird. For a lot of people it’s more profitable to rent rather than sell and take the capital gains bite.

Check out for current houses for sale. It includes historic prices on a lot of properties and lots of useful information.