The first question should be what type of property are we talking about. This chart shows the average days on market for TIC (Tenancy in Common), Condominiums (this is actually condos, co-ops, and lofts), and Single Family Homes from April 2011 through March 2012.
We would expect TIC’s to have the longest Days on Market (DOM) because on any given day there are less buyers for this type of property than for the other property types and there is more risk associated with purchasing a TIC. When I say less buyers I don’t mean people that would like to buy a TIC, but buyers that are ready (have the desire to move), willing (have the desire to spend the money), and able (actually have the money, or are able to borrow the money).
In April of 2011 the chart looks like I would expect it to look: TIC’s 80 Average Days on Market, Condos 72 Average Days on Market, Single Family Homes 58 Average Days on Market.
In March of 2012 the chart has compressed to amazing levels: Condos 41 Days on Market, Single Family homes 36 Days on Market, and TIC’s, incredibly, have the same Average Days on Market of 36 days.
What is happening to the market?!?
My read would be that citywide Average DOM is extremely low due to an over all lack of inventory. My explanation for TIC’s being on market a shorter time than Condos would be that realtors are better understanding the difficulty in selling TIC’s (and sellers are agreeing) and are therefore pricing them more accurately to reflect demand.
In the San Francisco market pricing is everything. With inventory as low as it is there is an amazing number of buyers out there. Two weeks on the market is a long time and makes a property appear to be priced incorrectly, and makes it seem stale; in most other parts of the country that statement would be ridiculous.
Welcome to San Francisco real estate! As an example of what we are seeing in the trenches, Mike and I put our listing at 300 3rd Street #1208 into contract yesterday having received 8 offers after just 6 days on the market, two of which were all cash, and the property closes escrow in 10 days!