Buyers are increasingly seeking to sell properties on Airbnb in the city, a new report says.
In San Francisco, listings for condos, townhomes and apartments have soared to more than 3,000 in just the last three months, with a median sale price of $2.4 million.
But the real estate experts warn buyers shouldn’t go to such extremes when shopping for a home.
“There is a level of sophistication with which they are willing to sell.
They are not going to get an ‘A’ rating from Airbnb,” said Anand Kishore, senior vice president at real estate brokerage CBRE.
Instead, they are looking for homes with good amenities and lots of character.
“We think it’s very important to understand what the market is going to look like before you commit to an offer,” he said.
“People want to be able to walk out of the door, get their stuff set up and be able take their kids to school,” said Mr Kishor.
The market for condos is “tight” and will remain tight for the next few years, he said, adding that a large percentage of buyers want to rent.
“The question is, will people want to move in?”
“The answer is that we do see a big increase in demand for rental properties.
We’re seeing a huge increase in rental property demand in the Bay Area,” he added.
According to data from the California Real Estate Association, there are over 2,600 listings for rental units in San Jose alone.
The average price of a rental unit in the region is now over $1 million, a jump of more than 50 per cent over the past year.
But those numbers may not be as good as they look in the first quarter of this year.
“This is not an anomaly, it’s indicative of the fact that demand for the rental market is still relatively strong,” said CBRE’s Kishors.
“However, we don’t know what it will look like in the second half of next year, and that is where you will see a lot of volatility in prices,” he told The Hindu.
He said he expects demand to pick up during the second quarter of the year, with “some of the more affordable properties in the market seeing an increase in listings”.
But the most popular type of apartment in San Mateo County is listed on Airbnb, according to data released by the firm.
“We are seeing more listings than we were previously,” said Airbnb spokesman Aaron Gartner.
“Our goal is to make sure our listings are up to date, but we’re also looking at new ways to make our listings more efficient, so they can be more relevant to our members,” he continued.
But he said the company has noticed a change in the housing market over the last few years.
“In the past, listings were going up because people were buying and people were leaving the city.
We don’t see that anymore,” he explained.
The company is also making it easier for people to book an apartment.
“Today, if you look at the app, you can use a simple tap to search for an apartment and see listings right in your browser,” he confirmed.
But some experts say this approach may not make much sense in the short term.
“For those who have a high standard for affordability, it may not serve them,” said Ms Kishores.
“And, for those who are not so fortunate, it will be more of a hassle.”