San Francisco (initials SF), officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the cultural, commercial, and financial center of Northern California. It covers an area of about 46.89 square miles (121.4 km2), mostly at the north end of the San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area. San Francisco is the fourth-most populous city in California and the 13th-most populous in the United States, with a 2017 census-estimated population of 884,363. The consolidated city-county is also the fifth most densely populated U.S. county, behind only four New York City boroughs. As of 2016, it was the 7th highest-income county in the United States, with a per capita personal income of $110,418.
San Francisco was founded on June 29, 1776, when colonists from Spain established Presidio of San Francisco at the Golden Gate and Mission San Francisco de Asís a few miles away, all named for St. Francis of Assisi. The California Gold Rush of 1849 brought rapid growth, making it the largest city on the West Coast at the time. San Francisco became a consolidated city-county in 1856. After three-quarters of the city was destroyed by the 1906 earthquake and fire, San Francisco was quickly rebuilt, hosting the Panama-Pacific International Exposition nine years later. In World War II, San Francisco was a major port of embarkation for service members shipping out to the Pacific Theater. It then became the birthplace of the United Nations in 1945. After the war, the confluence of returning servicemen, significant immigration, liberalizing attitudes, along with the rise of the "hippie" counterculture, the Sexual Revolution, the Peace Movement growing from opposition to United States involvement in the Vietnam War, and other factors led to the Summer of Love and the gay rights movement, cementing San Francisco as a center of liberal activism in the United States. Politically, the city votes strongly along liberal Democratic Party lines.
A popular tourist destination, San Francisco is known for its cool summers, fog, steep rolling hills, eclectic mix of architecture, and landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, the former Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, Fisherman's Wharf, and its Chinatown district. San Francisco is also the headquarters of five major banking institutions and various other companies such as Levi Strauss & Co., Gap Inc., Fitbit, Salesforce.com, Dropbox, Reddit, Square, Inc., Dolby, Airbnb, Weebly, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Yelp, Pinterest, Twitter, Uber, Lyft, Mozilla, Wikimedia Foundation, Craigslist, and Weather Underground. It is home to a number of educational and cultural institutions, such as the University of San Francisco (USF), University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), San Francisco State University (SFSU), the De Young Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the California Academy of Sciences.
San Francisco has several nicknames, including "The City by the Bay", "Golden Gate City", "Frisco", "SF", "San Fran", and "Fog City", as well as older ones like "The City that Knows How", "Baghdad by the Bay", "The Paris of the West", or, as locals call it, "The City". As of 2017, San Francisco is ranked high on world liveability rankings.
A total commission of 6.0% is typically asked for by “full service” Agents working for the big national real estate firms in San Francisco, Oakland, Hayward, California. 70% of Sellers list with the first Agent they speak to, and we find that most Sellers who agree to pay a full 6.0% commission do not realize that real estate commissions are NEGOTIABLE!
The national average total real estate commission in 2015 was 5.26% *
In San Francisco, Oakland, Hayward, California, you will find the following real estate commissions charged*:
Typical Asking Commission: 6.0%
Competitive Commission: 5.0-5.5%
Very Competitive Commission: 4.5-4.99%
The median existing single-family home price in the West rose 7.5%, to $372,400, in the second quarter of 2017 compared to the the second quarter of 2016. Median sales prices for existing homes in the state's Major Metropolitan Areas are as follows:
In the State of California, median home prices are as follows*:
|Metro Area||Median Sales Price||% of Annual Change|
|Anaheim, Santa Ana, Irvine||$788,000||6.5%|
|Los Angeles, Long Beach, Glendale||$514,200||7.1%|
|Riverside, San Bernadino, Ontario||$342,100||8.4%|
|Sacramento, Roseville, Arden, Arcade||$340,000||6.9%|
|San Diego, Carlsbad||$605,000||8.0%|
|San Francisco, Oakland, Hayward||$950,000||8.6%|
|San Jose, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara||$1,183,400||9.1%|
Real Estate Commissions are split between the listing Agent (who works for you to sell your home) and what will be offered on the MLS to any Agent that brings a Buyer to buy your home. In a typical 6% total commission, the listing Broker is paid 3% and 3% is offered on the MLS to all Agents working with Buyers (so they can see what they will earn if they bring their Buyer to your home and complete the sale).
In a competitive commission structure, ranging from 5% to 5.5%, the listing Agent agrees to a listing commission of 2% to 2.5%, and they will recommend that they offer, on the MLS, a commission of 2.5% to 3.0% to the Buyer’s Agent. Your Agent will usually tell you that if they offer less than 2.5% on the MLS that your home “won’t be shown”. This makes sense, in that, all things being equal, the Buyer’s Agent will want as big a payday as possible when they find the right home for their client. This is also especially true if market conditions favor Buyers in a so-called “Buyer’s Market” (high inventory levels in a period of unstable prices).
When you meet with your listing Agent, also remember that, unless they are a “Broker/Owner”, they will have to split their commission with their employing Broker. High producing Agents can work up to getting 90% of the listing commission from their Broker, but typically less experienced Agents may only receive 50% of the listing commission.
At ListingBidder.com, we first negotiate on your behalf a competitive real estate commission structure with HIGHLY EXPERIENCED, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Agents who know your LOCAL market (even YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD); each ready to bid for your business. These Agents are not just ordinary Agents as many of them are broker/owners and they have the best ability to negotiate their commissions and be competitive, in part because they do not have to share their listing commission with the brokerage firm. This is a direct benefit to you and will save you thousands of dollars in real estate commission fees over the typical fees in California.
Sellers who are also buying a home in the same local market have a volume discount advantage. ListingBidder can use this opportunity to negotiate an even better real estate commission rate fee on the sale of your home because the Agent will be more willing to give a deeper discount (a very competitive rate) knowing there is additional commission being earned on the purchase of another home. Be sure to check the box that you are also buying a home locally to receive these better rates.
Click here to see your savings in just 24 hours…
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates San Francisco's population to be 870,887 as of July 1, 2016, with a population density of 18,573/sq mi. San Francisco is the second-most densely populated major American city behind only New York City (among cities greater than 200,000 population), and the fifth-most densely populated U.S. county.
San Francisco is the traditional focal point of the San Francisco Bay Area and forms part of the five-county San Francisco–Oakland–Hayward, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area, a region of 4.6 million people. It is also part of the greater 12-county San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area, whose population is over 8.7 million, making it the fifth-largest in the United States as of July 1, 2015.
San Francisco has a minority-majority population, as non-Hispanic whites comprise less than half of the population, 41.9%, down from 92.5% in 1940. As of the 2010 census, the ethnic makeup and population of San Francisco included: 390,387 whites (48%), 267,915 Asians (33%), 48,870 African Americans (6%), and others. There were 121,744 Hispanics or Latinos of any race (15%).
In 2010, residents of Chinese ethnicity constituted the largest single ethnic minority group in San Francisco at 21% of the population; the other Asian groups are Filipinos (5%) and Vietnamese (2%). The population of Chinese ancestry is most heavily concentrated in Chinatown, Sunset District, and Richmond District, whereas Filipinos are most concentrated in the Crocker-Amazon (which is contiguous with the Filipino community of Daly City, which has one of the highest concentrations of Filipinos in North America), as well as in SoMa. The Tenderloin District is home to a large portion of the city's Vietnamese population as well as businesses and restaurants, which is known as the city's Little Saigon.
The principal Hispanic groups in the city were those of Mexican (7%) and Salvadoran (2%) ancestry. The Hispanic population is most heavily concentrated in the Mission District, Tenderloin District, and Excelsior District. The city's percentage of Hispanic residents is less than half of that of the state. The population of African Americans in San Francisco has declined to 6% of the city's population. The percentage of African Americans in San Francisco is similar to that of California. The majority of the city's black population reside within the neighborhoods of Bayview-Hunters Point, Visitacion Valley, and in the Fillmore District.
According to a 2014 study by the Pew Research Center, the largest religious groupings in San Francisco's metropolitan area are Christians (48%), followed by those of no religion (35%), Hindus (5%), Jews (3%), Buddhists (2%), Muslims (1%) and a variety of other religions have smaller followings. According to the same study by the Pew Research Center, about 20% of residents in the area are Protestant, and 25% professing Roman Catholic beliefs. Meanwhile, 10% of the residents in metropolitan San Francisco identifies as agnostics, while 5% identifies as atheists.
As of 2010, 55% (411,728) of San Francisco residents spoke English at home as a primary language, while 19% (140,302) spoke a variety of Chinese (mostly Taishanese and Cantonese), 12% (88,147) Spanish, 3% (25,767) Tagalog, and 2% (14,017) Russian. In total, 45% (342,693) of San Francisco's population spoke a mother language other than English.
San Francisco has a diversified service economy, with employment spread across a wide range of professional services, including financial services, tourism, and (increasingly) high technology. In 2016, approximately 27% of workers were employed in professional business services; 14% in leisure and hospitality; 13% in government services; 12% in education and health care; 11% in trade, transportation, and utilities; and 8% in financial activities. In 2016, GDP in the five-county San Francisco metropolitan area grew 5.4% to $470.5 billion. Additionally, in 2016 the 12-county San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland combined statistical area had a GDP of $820.9 billion, ranking 3rd among CSAs, and ahead of all but 17 countries. As of 2016, San Francisco County was the 7th highest-income county in the United States (among over 3,000), with a per capita personal income of $110,418. Marin County, directly to the north over the Golden Gate Bridge, and San Mateo County, directly to the south on the Peninsula, were 5th and 11th highest-income counties respectively.
The legacy of the California Gold Rush turned San Francisco into the principal banking and finance center of the West Coast in the early twentieth century. Montgomery Street in the Financial District became known as the "Wall Street of the West", home to the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the Wells Fargo corporate headquarters, and the site of the now-defunct Pacific Coast Stock Exchange. Bank of America, a pioneer in making banking services accessible to the middle class, was founded in San Francisco and in the 1960s, built the landmark modern skyscraper at 555 California Street for its corporate headquarters. Many large financial institutions, multinational banks, and venture capital firms are based in or have regional headquarters in the city. With over 30 international financial institutions, six Fortune 500 companies, and a large support infrastructure of professional services—including law, public relations, architecture and design—San Francisco is designated as an Alpha(-) World City. The 2017 Global Financial Centres Index ranked San Francisco as the sixth most competitive financial center in the world.
Since the 1990s, San Francisco's economy has diversified away from finance and tourism towards the growing fields of high tech, biotechnology, and medical research. Technology jobs accounted for just 1 percent of San Francisco's economy in 1990, growing to 4 percent in 2010 and an estimated 8 percent by the end of 2013. San Francisco became an epicenter of Internet start-up companies during the dot-com bubble of the 1990s and the subsequent social media boom of the late 2000s (decade). Since 2010, San Francisco proper has attracted an increasing share of venture capital investments as compared to nearby Silicon Valley, attracting 423 financings worth US$4.58 billion in 2013. In 2004, the city approved a payroll tax exemption for biotechnology companies to foster growth in the Mission Bay neighborhood, site of a second campus and hospital of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Mission Bay hosts the UCSF Medical Center, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences, and Gladstone Institutes, as well as more than 40 private-sector life sciences companies.
The top employer in the city is the city government itself, employing 5.3% (25,000+ people) of the city's population, followed by UCSF with over 22,000 employees. Third—at 1.8% (8,500+ people)—is California Pacific Medical Center, the largest private-sector employer. Small businesses with fewer than 10 employees and self-employed firms make up 85% of city establishments, and the number of San Franciscans employed by firms of more than 1,000 employees has fallen by half since 1977. The growth of national big box and formula retail chains into the city has been made intentionally difficult by political and civic consensus. In an effort to buoy small privately owned businesses in San Francisco and preserve the unique retail personality of the city, the Small Business Commission started a publicity campaign in 2004 to keep a larger share of retail dollars in the local economy, and the Board of Supervisors has used the planning code to limit the neighborhoods where formula retail establishments can set up shop, an effort affirmed by San Francisco voters. However, by 2016, San Francisco was rated low by small businesses in a Business Friendliness Survey.
Like many U.S. cities, San Francisco once had a significant manufacturing sector employing nearly 60,000 workers in 1969, but nearly all production left for cheaper locations by the 1980s. As of 2014, San Francisco has seen a small resurgence in manufacturing, with more than 4,000 manufacturing jobs across 500 companies, doubling since 2011. The city's largest manufacturing employer is Anchor Brewing Company, and the largest by revenue is Timbuk2.