If realtors and housing watchers obsess over anything more than price, it’s the inescapable metric of DOM–the number of days on the market.
In fact, some people can get downright superstitious about this figure, tormented by anxiety if a listing lingers for a few months without hooking a potential buyer. Or at least, they do most places.
In San Francisco, and particularly in the Richmond, there’s just not much call for that kind of stress these days: So far in 2022, the median number of days on the market for a publicly listed Richmond home was just 13–a very lucky number for certain sellers, as it turns out.
For context, the St. Louis Fed estimates that in 2021, the median DOM for all of the US varied from a low of 36 to a high of 71, depending on the month. For just California, the low was 30 and the high was 51.
In historic terms, that’s what we’d call an extremely fast market. Actually, if you go back far enough in history, the call would be more like, “Wait, what? Really? That can’t be right, check that again.”
Five years ago, the same metric never dipped below 61 all year. Just a couple years after that it was news when SF homes were selling in as much as 35 days on average. So to see the local median figure dipping so much lower than that–it’s like if you watched an Olympic-grade athlete run a four-minute mile, and then your next-door neighbor did it in two.
Now of course there are some caveats here, most obvious being that it’s still only February, and this median is based off just 26 sales. So for greater context we looked at the past 12 months instead of just the current calendar year, and the over 400 Richmond homes sold over that period, during which the median DOM was…
The other caveat is that, like all statistics, this one can be meddled with: An old listing will sometimes “duck out” of the market for a few months or even just a few weeks and then return with its clock reset to zero, just to avoid the perceived stigma of hanging around “too long.”
But of course, sellers and agents have been pulling those shenanigans for forever, so there’s no particular reason to imagine it’s more effective now than a year ago or five years ago.
For all of San Francisco, the median since last year is 15 days, and for 2022 so far a much more leisurely 25 days–which, again, is really just an insane number, but bizarrely looks almost sluggish in this context.
That’s the thing: We’ve been so hot for so long now that it’s actually easy to lose perspective on how wild numbers like this actually are. Now and then we need to slow down and take a breather to remind ourselves that none of this is normal–even though it is now technically normal.
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