US Real Estate Report: San Francisco

US Real Estate Report: San Francisco

US Real Estate Report: San Francisco

While San Francisco is a common home search among those who don’t live there, many locals are searching elsewhere.

– Homes in San Francisco and Austin receive a high number of page views from outsiders, but half of San Francisco and Austin-based views are of homes outside the area.

– Both outsiders and locals are shopping for homes in the Seattle and Portland areas. Similarly, homes in Minneapolis, New York and Pittsburgh are attractive to residents, but aren’t as popular with outsiders.

– Few outsiders are shopping in New Orleans, Miami and Detroit – and many of those who already live there are looking for homes in other places.

San Francisco is one of the most popular housing markets searched by non-resident home shoppers on Zillow, yet many locals are searching for homes outside of the area, according to a new Zillow® study that analyzed search data in the largest U.S. marketsi.

On average, a home in the San Francisco area gets more page views from afar than 92 percent of other markets. However, 50 percent of San Francisco-based views are of homes outside the area.

The analysis sheds light on search trends among residents in large U.S. housing markets. The promise of success in hot job markets attracts people to places like San Francisco, but affordability may be a barrier to staying there long term. In the San Francisco metro, the median home value is just over $800,000 and the median rental payment is $3,400 a month.

The reverse is happening in booming Portland and Seattle markets. Both are highly desirable among outsiders and places where residents don’t seem to want to leave. Homes in Portland get more page views from outside the area than 94 percent of other markets, while just 29 percent of views originating in Portland are of homes outside of the area.

“We look at home searches to get a read on people’s housing aspirations and how they feel about housing and quality of life in their city, as well as their actual intentions to move into or out of a given area,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell. “If someone lives in an expensive area, they may look for another place to live that is less expensive but offers a similar quality of life. Home shoppers in less expensive markets may weigh sacrificing space or cost in favor of a better job in a more expensive locale. Home search trends, in time, translate into actual moves and migration, which will have a lasting impact on the economy and landscape.”

Search patterns in Austin are similar to those of San Francisco. On average, a home in Austin gets more page views from outside searches than 86 percent of other destinations, but over half of Austin-based views are of homes outside the area. Home value growth in Austin is outpacing San Francisco’s, up 9 percent over the past year.

Those who live in New Orleans, Miami and Detroit are looking for homes in other places, and few outsiders are looking to move in.

In Minneapolis, New York and Pittsburgh, most home shoppers are from within the area — just 29 percent of current Minneapolis-area shoppers are looking elsewhere for homes.

Many Incoming Views, Many Outgoing Views

Many Incoming Views, Few Outgoing Views

San Francisco




San Diego


San Antonio


Palm Springs


Few Incoming Views, Many Outgoing Views

Few Incoming Views, Few Outgoing Views

Washington, DC

New York

New Orleans







St. Louis


Zillow® is the leading real estate and rental marketplace dedicated to empowering consumers with data, inspiration and knowledge around the place they call home, and connecting them with the best local professionals who can help. In addition, Zillow operates an industry-leading economics and analytics bureau led by Zillow’s Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell. Dr. Gudell and her team of economists and data analysts produce extensive housing data and research covering more than 450 markets at Zillow Real Estate Research. Zillow also sponsors the quarterly Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey, which asks more than 100 leading economists, real estate experts and investment and market strategists to predict the path of the Zillow Home Value Index over the next five years. Zillow also sponsors the bi-annual Zillow Housing Confidence Index (ZHCI) which measures consumer confidence in local housing markets, both currently and over time. Launched in 2006, Zillow is owned and operated by Zillow Group (NASDAQ: Z and ZG), and headquartered in Seattle.

san francisco photo

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Shayne Heffernan Funds Manager at HEFFX holds a Ph.D. in Economics and brings with him over 25 years of trading experience in Asia and hands on experience in Venture Capital, he has been involved in several start ups that have seen market capitalization over $500m and 1 that reach a peak market cap of $15b. He has managed and overseen start ups in Mining, Shipping, Technology and Financial Services.

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