Just how big (or small) is San Francisco real estate?February 3, 2009
You may be wondering what on earth we’re talking about with a question like that. What we are referring to is the total dollar amount of real estate sales during a given year.
For example, did you know that there was $5.196 billion in real estate sales last year in San Francisco (per MLS)? Add to that a few for-sale-by-owners, a couple private sales, and a decent number of developer sales that are not reflected in MLS, and you’ve got yourself a decent-sized industry. Or do you?
In order to put things in perspective, we’ve compared last year’s total (we’ll just call it around $5.5 to $6 billion) to ten other entities and the results make good food for thought (not to mention great cocktail party conversation).
1. Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company (yes, the chewing gum company that owns brands such as Lifesavers and Orbit): 2007 Total Sales = $5.4 billion. That’s some serious candy.
2. Major League Baseball: Total revenues in 2007 = $6.07 billion. Hot dog and beer revenues = $20 billion. Just kidding about that last part.
3. Ford Motor Company: LOST $5.9 billion in cash reserves during Q4 of 2008. Ouch.
4. Bill Gates net worth 2008: $58 billion. That would equal TEN and a HALF years of all of San Francisco’s real estate agents and brokers working at today’s pace to generate that amount of money. How’s that for putting into perspective how wealthy Gates is, and for that matter, how little we are? FYI – there are an estimated 2,500 to 3,000 agents that do business in San Francisco.
5. Bail-outs anyone? How about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which could tap the the US Treasury for $51 billion in the coming weeks. Again, that’s about 10 years worth of every agent and broker’s efforts (at today’s levels).
6. RIM (they manufacture Blackberry phones): Hit $6.01 billion in revenue for 2008. Who would’ve thought the phones we agents use outdo all of us? Hehe…
7. Bay Area video games company Electronic Arts predicts revenue of $6 billion by 2011.
8. Levi Strauss & Company: $4.4 billion annual revenue in 2007. Who’s wearing the pants now, Levi’s?
9. Amazon.com: $6.7 billion in Q4 of 2008. So us agents and brokers are producing less than a quarter of what Amazon does annually. Anyone else humbled by this?
10. The total value of Notre Dame’s endowment fund: $6 billion. I wish I had a little endowment fund…
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