I've recently had the pleasure of selling a house in San Francisco. The long list of random fees in the transaction process encouraged me to dig up the documents from when we bought the house, in 2002, and looked at the random fees we paid then. All told buying and selling the same house in SF cost $3800 in pure administrative friction, or roughly 0.5% of the value of a typical SF home.
Buying: $3215Mind you, this isn't counting for the big stuff: 5-6% real estate agent fee, 1% county transfer tax, 0.3% title insurance policy, or 1-3% in points paid on the mortgage rate. This is just the little crap. You know, $50 to pay for the frickin wire transfer. Telegrams are expensive, I guess.