Why now is the time to buy a home in San Francisco

There is an incredible number of reasons to buy one of the homes for sale in San Francisco. The Bay Area is home to a vibrant culture, fantastic weather and hundreds of trendy restaurants and nightclubs.

However, brushing aside the aesthetic appeal of the city, why exactly should you consider a move to Northern California? The answer is simple - the flourishing national housing market, coupled with rising local rent and asking prices, shows that now is indeed the time to buy in the greater Bay Area.

National real estate situation
Experts continually state that the United States housing market is starting to recover from the housing bust of the mid 2000s, and although the Bay Area is ahead of the bell curve, the rest of the country is finally starting to catch up.

CNN Money reported that home prices nationwide experienced the largest increase seen in two years during the third quarter of 2012. The statistics shot up 3.6 percent in a year-over-year comparison, and the exponential rise is likely due to a reduced number of foreclosures, a much-improved job market and a lowering mortgage rate.

"Home price gains are becoming more widespread across cities, and some of the largest rebounds have been in areas that were most heavily affected during the initial housing slump," said Cooper Howes, an economist with Barclays Capital, according to the news source. "We expect this trend to persist into next year as part of a broad-based housing recovery that includes starts, sales and prices."

Rising rent in San Francisco
Although San Francisco has one of the most competitive housing markets in the United States, it unfortunately also has the most expensive unit rental rates. According to the Daily Record, as of September 2012, San Francisco and San Jose were at the top of the list for annual rent increases. San Francisco experienced a 7.5 percent rise in price compared with the national average of 3.3 percent and a historically-calculated average of 2.5 percent.

In addition, the news source cited real estate expert Greg Willett, who claimed that rising rents in San Francisco are causing more renters to search for single-family homes. This theory is reflected in a rise in home purchases in the greater Bay Area.

From a long-term cost perspective, although it might be expensive to place a down payment on a home, in the end it could save you a lot of money as opposed to renting an apartment. Plus, competition is about to get fierce as the new year approaches - search for a property today rather than resting on your laurels.

Home prices in San Francisco
Another indicator of a burgeoning housing market is a rise in home prices, and in San Francisco, prices increased during the third quarter of 2012 as well as over the course of the entire year.

The Wall Street Journal reported that San Francisco prices rose steadily by 0.5 percent in September 2012, and this added to the 7.5 percent total increase seen during the entirety of 2012. As the saying goes, slow and steady wins the race - a gradual gain like the one currently being seen in San Francisco homes is much more stable and advantageous than a choppy up-and-down arrow.

The previous three statistics strongly suggest that now is the time to buy if you are looking to relocate to the greater Bay Area. And, despite the resurgence of nearby cities like Oakland and San Jose, San Francisco remains the premier metro area in Northern California.