State of the MarketAuthor:Philip Ferrato
San Francisco-based power agent Gregg Lynn provides perspective on the California real estate market
There’s a reason why, over the past two decades, Gregg Lynn has sold more than $2 billion worth of real estate throughout the Bay Area, primarily in San Francisco, and was the number one MLS agent in San Francisco in 2021. More than just your garden-variety realtor, he’s an impresario of luxury properties, an effortlessly charming man who is also amazingly direct and effective in launching properties to market and selling them for what are, to most of us, astonishing prices to a global clientele. Here he shares more about the current state of the luxury market in the Bay Area.
–Can you give us a snapshot of your segment of the Bay Area real estate market?
San Francisco is one of the world’s favorite cities. Bounded by water on three sides, the topography, landmarks and views of our city are amongst the most recognized in the world. By comparison with other cities, our real estate market is small and finite, yet many seek to move here—or move up or move down to here—within an even smaller and more desirable area. The principles of economics dictate what happens next. That’s where I come in.
–San Francisco is one of the loveliest cities in the world—in a peerless setting with access to great food and wine, culture and recreation opportunities. But in a world that’s going through some perilous times, would you say the city has retained its value to both local and global buyers? Every U.S. city has been significantly challenged during the pandemic and San Francisco is no exception. Our homelessness situation is chronicled in the media; however, all cities are experiencing similar challenges. As global buyers consider the post-Covid world, San Francisco remains a priority not just for the cultural, recreational and cuisine reasons you suggested, but also because we are the intersection of technology and finance. If the Bay Area were a nation, our economy would be ranked in the top 10 in the world—and no one is betting technology just goes away. Cities are dynamic, living organisms that experience depths and peaks. My husband and I have a combined 60 years in San Francisco and we’re optimistic about its future.
–One of your greatest assets is your team and its ability to bring a property to market in peak condition with an impressive online presence. But real estate is largely about personal relationships, referrals and increasingly, discretion. How effective is this online presence, and are there properties that are sold privately? Real estate is indeed all about every aspect you just mentioned, yet real estate at the highest level of luxury begins with an online experience. That breath-stealing first view of a photo, video or drone tour is that moment when a passion begins. We consider every digital view to be a showing; it’s just happening online. When a buyer’s heart races online, they’ll come to tour that property in person. And during those tours we orchestrate everything else you mentioned to come together. Many of our homes do sell privately, yet we still build marketing collateral to support them— they just don’t appear on public sites.
–How do you think the expected rise in interest rates will impact your section of the market? Any predictions for 2022? Rising interest rates do affect our market, especially first-and second-time homebuyers who are counting on a mortgage to help them finance their purchase. Sadly, this may dissuade some buyers from purchasing. That being said, San Francisco has continuously been an environment of sustained minimal inventory and rising interest rates won’t change that. Each week we meet with wonderful new homebuyers and homeowners excited to move forward. We have one goal: to get them what they want. We’re optimistic that 2022 will be another extraordinary year in San Francisco real estate.
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