While the national average price for a new home did not quite double between 1999 and 2019, SF's home values have skyrocketed in that period thanks to two tech booms and a housing shortage.
This is, of course, not big news to anyone, but it's been informative today to look at data from the U.S. Census Bureau to see how the national median and average price of a new home has gone up over the past two decades compared to what's happened in San Francisco. This was inspired by this piece on ABC 7, which quotes a national median home price from Zillow of $227,000 in the mid-1990s.
According to the Census, the national median in 1995 was $133,900, going up to $161,000 — the average or mean price of a new home was $158,700 in 1995, and went up to $195,600 by the end of the decade.
Zillow pegs SF's mid-90s home price median at $300,000, so about double what the Census had for the national median and mean.
By 2018, the national average price of a new home had gone up to $385,000. And, as we learned a few weeks ago, the median home value in San Francisco has gone up to $1.36 million this year — double what it was in 2009, and more than quadruple that $300,000 figure cited by ABC 7 from the mid-90s. According to that story, the first dot-com boom lifted the average home price up to $500,000 by the year 2000. It's clear that the next boom, starting around 2010, boosted prices even faster.
Also, as Curbed recently reported, SF homebuyers have incomes that are double the national average, which is why the market is what it is.
What's great for homeowners and real estate agents around here is that prices never really go down by much, at least they haven't in several decades. That's not true in many other parts of the country, where prices often dip before increasing again.
A chart from Zillow shown here shows how the median price per square foot of a home dipped considerably in 2011, and has dipped multiple times in the years since, while still going up overall across the country.