Sound Off

Appearing in the San Francisco Chronicle Real Estate Section

From time to time, the editors of the Real Estate section at the San Francisco Chronicle will ask leading area real estate agents their opinion and thoughts about various topics related to the Bay Area’s housing market. This is right up our alley given our track record, experience helping buyers and sellers in various parts of the Bay Area and given the fact that Kevin used to be a reporter and lawyer, so you know there‘s an opinion just waiting to get out.  

Excerpt of the San Francisco Chronicle

This Week‘s Question:

How will remote work impact demand and pricing of Bay Area housing?


The shift towards remote work has greatly influenced buyer preferences and led to changes in the housing market in San Francisco. Previously, those who were able to purchase a home in the city may have prioritized commuting to work. Home may have been just a place to sleep. As a result, denser, newer, mid- and high-rise condo buildings located close to downtown/South Beach/Dogpatch were in demand.

Rarely going into the office now means buyers want larger homes in walkable areas near parks, coffee shops, and other amenities instead of amenity-buildings or proximity to downtown, mass transit or freeways. For many, this means choosing a Victorian- or Edwardian-era condominium in the central parts of the city.

Sales data confirms this trend. While there’s been a 15% decline in the total number of condos sold in the first quarter in 2023 compared to 2020, pre-1979 condos actually experienced a slight uptick in median sale price of $9,000 to $1.4 million. Post-1979 condos, however, saw a decrease of approximately $140,000 in median sale price to $1.03 million, while also taking twice as long to sell in 2023 compared to 2020, which also means there’s opportunity out there for more people to buy than before.

This appeared in the Sunday, April 16, 2023 edition of the San Francisco Chronicle and on SFGate. 

Graphic showing migration of buyer preferences

For More Sound-Off Snippets...


SF Chronicle: All-Cash vs. Financed Offers in 2023

Cash vs. Mortgages in San Francisco — which is more popular in San Francisco’s housing market? Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry, top-ranked real estate agents at Vanguard Properties, explore showing that financed offers account for more than half of all reported purchases for the past 5 years.

SF Chronicle: MIMBYs instead YIMBYs and NIMBYs Maybe? Kevin and Jonathan Get Asked About Declines in New Construction Starts (March 4, 2023)

While acute market forces are curtailing new construction starts now, development here was already an uphill battle. Development timelines take years, so any non-NIMBY-related delays in adding new homes will keep housing prices high that much longer. But even for people who can afford to buy in the Bay Area, there’s a shortage of accessible destination homes for folks who are downsizing or ones who can no longer do the stairs in their 3-story Victorian.

SF Chronicle: Do the NFL Playoffs Impact Open Houses?

Rather than try to compete with the 49ers’ post-season run as very relevant contenders to be Super Bowl champions, many agents will treat this bit of hometown civic pride like a holiday and accommodate sports fans who are also trying to buy a small part of that hometown.

In SF Gate: Looking Past the Headlines - Sept 4, 2022

Conflicting news reports about the real estate ‘market’ are concerning because they gloss over the fact that the housing market is very nuanced as each property is unique. Folks can lose sight that buying a home not only serves the very basic purpose of shelter but is also the main way folks can build wealth.

Infographic: How Was 2021 in San Francisco?

2021 was a banner year for San Francisco’s housing market. See how houses, condos and TICs sold and how demand met increased inventory with prices still going up with Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry, Vanguard Properties, San Francisco.