Share-based Payment Arrangement [Abstract] Stock Option Plan Share-based Payment Arrangement [Text Block] SEC Schedule, 12-28, Real Estate Companies, Investment in Real Estate and Accumulated Depreciation Disclosure [Abstract] Real estate and accumulated depreciation SEC Schedule, 12-28, Real Estate Companies, Investment in Real Estate and Accumulated Depreciation Disclosure [Text Block] Segment Reporting [Abstract] Schedule of Segment Reporting Information, by Segment [Table] Schedule of Segment Reporting Information, by Segment [Table] Consolidation Items [Axis] Consolidation Items [Axis] Consolidation Items [Domain] Consolidation Items [Domain] Operating Segments Operating Segments [Member] Corporate Corporate, Non-Segment [Member] Business Segments [Axis] Segments [Axis] Segment [Domain] Segments [Domain] Shopping Centers Shopping Centers [Member] Shopping Centers [Member] Mixed-Use Properties Mixed Use Properties [Member] Mixed-Use Properties [Member] Segment Reporting Information [Line Items] Segment Reporting Information [Line Items] Revenue Revenues Expenses Cost of Goods and Services Sold Income from real estate Gross Profit Interest expense, net and amortization of deferred debt costs Noncash Interest Expense Accretion And Amortization Of Deferred Finance Fees Noncash Interest Expense Accretion And Amortization Of Deferred Finance Fees General and administrative General and Administrative Expense Depreciation and amortization of deferred leasing costs Depreciation, Depletion and Amortization Change in fair value of derivatives Derivative Instruments Not Designated as Hedging Instruments, Gain (Loss), Net Gain on sale of property Gain (Loss) on Sale of Properties, Net of Applicable Income Taxes Net income (loss) Net Income (Loss), Including Portion Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest Capital investment Payments to Acquire Property, Plant, and Equipment Total assets Assets Leases [Abstract] Long-Term Lease Obligations Lessee, Operating Leases [Text Block] Equity [Abstract] Distributions Distributions Disclosure [Text Block] Distributions Real estate investments for federal income tax SEC Schedule, 12-28, Real Estate Companies, Investment in Real Estate, Federal Income Tax Basis Debt Disclosure [Abstract] Schedule of Long-term Debt Instruments [Table] Schedule of Long-term Debt Instruments [Table] Statistical Measurement [Axis] Statistical Measurement [Axis] Statistical Measurement [Domain] Statistical Measurement [Domain] Minimum Minimum [Member] Maximum Maximum [Member] Real Estate Property Name [Axis] Real Estate Property Name [Axis] Real Estate Property Name [Axis] Real Estate Property Name [Domain] Real Estate Property Name [Domain] [Domain] for Real Estate Property Name [Axis] Park Van Ness Park Van Ness [Member] Park Van Ness [Member] Scenario [Axis] Scenario [Axis] Scenario [Domain] Scenario [Domain] Scenario, Forecast Forecast [Member] Debt Instrument [Axis] Debt Instrument [Axis] Debt Instrument, Name [Domain] Debt Instrument, Name [Domain] Fixed rate mortgage notes payable Fixed Rate Mortgage Notes Payable [Member] Fixed Rate Mortgage Notes Payable Variable rate loans payable Variable Rate Loans Payable [Member] Variable Rate Loans Payable [Member] New Facility New Facility [Member] New Facility [Member] Park Van Ness Loan Park Van Ness Loan [Member] Park Van Ness Loan [Member] Kentlands Square I Kentlands Square I [Member] Kentlands Square I [Member] Kentlands Square II Bank Loan Kentlands Square II Bank Loan [Member] Kentlands Square II Bank Loan [Member] Burtonsville Fixed Rate Mortgage Burtonsville Fixed Rate Mortgage [Member] Burtonsville Fixed Rate Mortgage [Member] Waycroft Construction Loan Waycroft Construction Loan [Member] Waycroft Construction Loan [Member] Washington Square 2017 Mortgage Washington Square 2017 Mortgage [Member] Washington Square 2017 Mortgage [Member] Broadlands Village Broadlands Village Mortgage [Member] Broadlands Village Mortgage [Member] Avenel Business Park Avenel Business Park [Member] Avenel Business Park [Member] The Glen Mortgage The Glen Mortgage [Member] The Glen Mortgage [Member] Countryside Countryside [Member] Countryside [Member] Olde Forte Village Olde Forte Village [Member] Olde Forte Village [Member] Briggs Chancy MarketPlace Briggs Chancy MarketPlace [Member] Briggs Chancy MarketPlace [Member] Shops at Monocacy Shops at Monocacy [Member] Shops at Monocacy [Member] Thruway Thruway [Member] Thruway [Member] Debt Covenant Debt Covenant [Member] Debt Covenant [Member] Credit Facility [Axis] Credit Facility [Axis] Credit Facility [Domain] Credit Facility [Domain] Revolving Credit Facility Revolving Credit Facility [Member] Term Facility Term Facility [Member] Term Facility [Member] Long-term Debt, Type [Axis] Long-term Debt, Type [Axis] Long-term Debt, Type [Domain] Long-term Debt, Type [Domain] Line of Credit Line of Credit [Member] 3.39% due January 2032 Three Point Three Nine Maturing February Twenty Thirty Two [Member] Three Point Three Nine Maturing February Twenty Thirty Two [Member] 4.67% Construction To Permanent Loan Due 2035 Four Point Six Seven Percent Construction To Permanent Loan Due Twenty Thirty Five [Member] Four Point Six Seven Percent Construction To Permanent Loan Due Twenty Thirty Five [Member] 4.88% due September 2032 Four Point Eight Eight Maturing September Twenty Thirty Two [Member] Four Point Eight Eight Maturing September Twenty Thirty Two [Member] 3.75% due December 2032 Three Point Seven Five Maturing December Twenty Thirty Two [Member] Three Point Seven Five Maturing December Twenty Thirty Two [Member] Mortgage Notes Payable Mortgage Notes Payable [Member] Mortgage Notes Payable [Member] 4.41% mortgage maturing 2033 Four Point Four One Maturing October Twenty Thirty Three [Member] Four Point Four One Maturing October Twenty Thirty Three [Member] 4.69% fixed rate loan maturing in 2034 Four Point Six Nine Percent Fixed Rate Loan Maturing In Twenty Thirty Four [Member] Four Point Six Nine Percent Fixed Rate Loan Maturing In Twenty Thirty Four [Member] Four Point Six Five Maturing January Twenty Thirty Four [Member] Four Point Six Five Maturing January Twenty Thirty Four [Member] Four Point Six Five Maturing January Twenty Thirty Four [Member] Name of Property [Axis] Name of Property [Axis] Name of Property [Domain] Name of Property [Domain] Washington Square Washington Square [Member] Washington Square [Member] Debt Instrument [Line Items] Debt Instrument [Line Items] Outstanding debt Secured Debt, Other Fixed rate mortgages Secured Debt Variable rate debt Loans Payable Principal amount Long-term Debt Repayments Of Principal And Balloon Payments Long-term Debt, Repayments of Principal and Balloon Payments Debt outstanding with fixed-rate Long-term Debt, Percentage Bearing Fixed Interest, Amount Debt outstanding with variable-rate Long-term Debt, Percentage Bearing Variable Interest, Amount Line of credit facility, maximum borrowing capacity Line of Credit Facility, Maximum Borrowing Capacity Extension in line of credit facility period Line Of Credit Facility Potential Term Extension Period Line of Credit Facility Potential Term Extension Period Available borrowing capacity Line of Credit Facility, Remaining Borrowing Capacity Outstanding line of credit Long-term Debt, Gross Letter of credit available borrowing capacity Letter Of Credit Facilities Maximum Borrowing Capacity Letter of Credit Facilities, Maximum Borrowing Capacity Interest rate spread on LIBOR Debt Instrument, Basis Spread on Variable Rate Guarantor obligations, maximum exposure Guarantor Obligations, Maximum Exposure, Undiscounted Remaining loan balance Long-term Debt Loan amount Debt Instrument, Face Amount Loan required periodic principal and interest payment Debt Instrument, Periodic Payment Loan term Debt Instrument, Term Loan fixed interest rate Debt Instrument, Interest Rate, Stated Percentage Amortization schedule Debt Instrument, Amortization Period Debt Instrument, Amortization Period Balloon payment to be paid Debt Instrument, Periodic Payment Terms, Balloon Payment to be Paid Carrying value of properties collateralized Pledged Assets, Not Separately Reported, Real Estate Credit agreement leverage ratio Credit Agreement Leverage Ratio Credit Agreement Leverage Ratio Interest coverage ratio required minimum Interest Coverage Ratio Required Minimum Interest Coverage Ratio Required Minimum Required fixed charge coverage ratio Required Fixed Charge Coverage Ratio Required Fixed Charge Coverage Ratio Unamortized deferred debt costs Debt Issuance Costs, Net Accumulated amortization Accumulated Amortization, Debt Issuance Costs Capitalization of debt issuance cost Debt Issuance Costs, Gross Statement of Financial Position [Abstract] Statement [Table] Statement [Table] Class of Stock [Axis] Class of Stock [Axis] Class of Stock [Domain] Class of Stock [Domain] Series C Cumulative Preferred Stock Series C Cumulative Preferred Stock [Member] Series C Cumulative Preferred Stock [Member] Series D Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock Series D Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock [Member] Series D Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock [Member] Series E Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock Series E Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock [Member] Series E Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock [Member] Statement [Line Items] Statement [Line Items] Preferred stock, shares authorized (in shares) Preferred Stock, Shares Authorized Cumulative redeemable preferred stock, shares issued (in shares) Preferred Stock, Shares Issued Cumulative redeemable preferred stock, shares outstanding (in shares) Preferred Stock, Shares Outstanding Common stock, par value (in usd per share) Common Stock, Par or Stated Value Per Share Common stock, shares authorized (in shares) Common Stock, Shares Authorized Common stock, shares issued (in shares) Common Stock, Shares, Issued Common stock, shares outstanding (in shares) Common Stock, Shares, Outstanding Dividends [Table] Dividends [Table] Dividends [Table] Subsequent Event Type [Axis] Subsequent Event Type [Axis] Subsequent Event Type [Domain] Subsequent Event Type [Domain] Subsequent Event Subsequent Event [Member] Series C Preferred Stock Series C Preferred Stock [Member] 6.125% Series D Preferred Stock, $0.01 Par Value Series D Preferred Stock [Member] 6.000% Series E Preferred Stock, $0.01 Par Value Series E Preferred Stock [Member] Dividends [Axis] Dividends [Axis] Dividends [Domain] Dividends [Domain] Dividend Income Ordinary Dividend Income [Member] Ordinary Dividend Income [Member] Return on Invested Capital Return On Invested Capital [Member] Return On Invested Capital [Member] Dividends [Line Items] Dividends [Line Items] Dividends [Line Items] Common stock issued, discount rate Percentage Of Discount On Common Stock Percentage Of Discount On Common Stock Common stock distributions (in usd per share) Common Stock, Dividends, Per Share, Cash Paid Preferred stock dividend (in usd per share) Preferred Stock, Dividends, Per Share, Cash Paid Return of capital (in usd per share) Partners' Capital, Distribution Amount Per Share Dividends declared per common share outstanding (in usd per share) Common Stock, Dividends, Per Share, Declared Common stock dividend paid Dividends, Common Stock, Cash Distribution to limited partnership unitholders Distributions To Noncontrolling Interest Distributions To Noncontrolling Interest Distributions partnership units (in usd per share) Distributions Per Limited Partnership Unit Outstanding, Basic Dividends declared per preferred share outstanding (in usd per share) Preferred Stock, Dividends Per Share, Declared Preferred stock distributions Dividends, Preferred Stock, Cash October 31 Dividend Payment One [Member] Dividend Payment 1st [Member] July 31 Dividend Payment Two [Member] Dividend Payment 2nd [Member] April 30 Dividend Payment Three [Member] Dividend Payment 3rd [Member] January 31 Dividend Payment Four [Member] Dividend Payment 4th [Member] Preferred Stockholders Payments of Ordinary Dividends, Preferred Stock and Preference Stock Common Stockholders Payments of Ordinary Dividends, Common Stock Limited Partnership Unitholders Dividends Paid To Noncontrolling Interests Dividends Paid To Noncontrolling Interests Common Stock Shares Issued (in shares) Stock Issued During Period, Shares, Dividend Reinvestment Plan Discounted Share Price (in usd per share) Dividends Reinvested In Common Stock Price Per Share Dividends Reinvested in Common Stock, Price Per Share Limited Partnership Units Issued (in shares) Limited Partner's Units Issued During Period, Units, Dividend Reinvestment Plan Limited Partner's Units Issued During Period, Units, Dividend Reinvestment Plan Average Unit Price (in usd per share) Limited Partner's Dividend Reinvestment Plan, Average Unit Price Limited Partner's Dividend Reinvestment Plan, Average Unit Price Real Estate [Abstract] Schedule of Finite-Lived Intangible Assets [Table] Schedule of Finite-Lived Intangible Assets [Table] Finite-Lived Intangible Assets by Major Class [Axis] Finite-Lived Intangible Assets by Major Class [Axis] Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Major Class Name [Domain] Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Major Class Name [Domain] Lease acquisition costs Lease Acquisition Costs [Member] Lease Acquisition Costs [Member] Above market leases Above Market Leases [Member] Finite-Lived Intangible Assets [Line Items] Finite-Lived Intangible Assets [Line Items] 2020 Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Amortization Expense, Next Twelve Months 2021 Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Amortization Expense, Year Two 2022 Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Amortization Expense, Year Three 2023 Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Amortization Expense, Year Four 2024 Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Amortization Expense, Year Five Thereafter Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Amortization Expense, after Year Five Total Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Net Below market leases Below Market Lease, Net, Amortization Income, Fiscal Year Maturity [Abstract] 2020 Below Market Lease, Amortization Income, Next Twelve Months 2021 Below Market Lease, Amortization Income, Year Two 2022 Below Market Lease, Amortization Income, Year Three 2023 Below Market Lease, Amortization Income, Year Four 2024 Below Market Lease, Amortization Income, Year Five Thereafter Below Market Lease, Amortization Income, after Year Five Total Below Market Lease, Net Schedule of Real Estate Properties [Table] Schedule of Real Estate Properties [Table] Related Party [Axis] Related Party [Axis] Related Party [Domain] Related Party [Domain] BF Saul Real Estate Investment Trust BF Saul Real Estate Investment Trust [Member] BF Saul Real Estate Investment Trust [Member] Ashbrook Marketplace Ashbrook Marketplace [Member] Ashbrook Marketplace [Member] 7316 Wisconsin Avenue 7316 Wisconsin Avenue [Member] 7316 Wisconsin Avenue [Member] Parcel Adjacent to 7316 Wisconsin Avenue Parcel Adjacent To 7316 Wisconsin Avenue [Member] Parcel Adjacent To 7316 Wisconsin Avenue [Member] Real Estate Property Ownership [Axis] Real Estate Property Ownership [Axis] Real Estate Properties [Domain] Real Estate Properties [Domain] Burtonsville Town Square Burtonsville Town Square [Member] Burtonsville Town Square [Member] Olney Olney [Member] Olney [Member] 2018 Acquisitions 2018 Acquisitions [Member] 2018 Acquisitions [Member] In-place Leases Leases, Acquired-in-Place [Member] Above Market Rent Below Market Rent Below Market Leases [Member] Below Market Leases [Member] Real Estate Properties [Line Items] Real Estate Properties [Line Items] Payments to acquire real estate Payments to Acquire Real Estate Rent expense Operating Leases, Rent Expense, Net Limited partnership units issued (in shares) Noncash or Part Noncash Acquisition, Noncash Financial or Equity Instrument Consideration, Shares Issued Area of land Area of Land Limited partnership units issued Noncash or Part Noncash Acquisition, Value of Assets Acquired Acquisition costs Real Estate Inventory, Acquisition Costs Real Estate Inventory, Acquisition Costs Number of tenants Real Estate, Number Of Tenants Real Estate, Number Of Tenants Development in process Development in Process Total purchase price Real Estate Investment Property, at Cost Number of properties acquired Real Estate, Number of Properties Acquired Real Estate, Number Of Properties Acquired Purchase price allocated to land Land and Land Improvements Purchase price allocated to buildings Buildings and Improvements, Gross Intangible assets Real Estate Investments, Other Intangible assets gross carrying amount Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Gross Intangible assets, accumulated amortization Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Accumulated Amortization Amortization expense Amortization of Intangible Assets Below market lease, carrying amount Below Market Lease, Gross Below market lease, accumulated amortization Below Market Lease, Accumulated Amortization Accretion income, intangible liabilities Amortization of Below Market Lease Weighted-average amortization period Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Remaining Amortization Period Fair Value Disclosures [Abstract] Fair Value of Financial Instruments [Table] Fair Value Of Financial Instruments [Table] Fair Value of Financial Instruments [Table] Fair Value of Financial Instruments [Line Items] Fair Value Of Financial Instruments [Line Items] Fair Value of Financial Instruments [Line Items] Interest rate Debt Instrument, Interest Rate, Effective Percentage Notes payable, fair value Notes Payable, Fair Value Disclosure Number of reportable business segments Number of Reportable Segments Noncontrolling Interest [Abstract] Noncontrolling Interest [Table] Noncontrolling Interest [Table] Ownership [Axis] Ownership [Axis] Ownership [Domain] Ownership [Domain] Saul Holdings Limited Partnership Saul Holdings Limited Partnership [Member] Saul Holdings Limited Partnership [Member] Equity Components [Axis] Equity Components [Axis] Equity Component [Domain] Equity Component [Domain] Noncontrolling Interests Noncontrolling Interest [Member] Noncontrolling Interest [Line Items] Noncontrolling Interest [Line Items] Percentage of ownership in operating partnership Limited Liability Company (LLC) or Limited Partnership (LP), Managing Member or General Partner, Ownership Interest Percentage of ownership interest of noncontrolling interest Noncontrolling Interest, Ownership Percentage by Noncontrolling Owners Limited partnership units (in shares) Limited Partners' Capital Account, Units Outstanding Limited partnership units, conversion ratio Limited Partners Capital Account Convertible Units Conversion Ratio Limited Partners' Capital Account, Convertible Units, Conversion Ratio Outstanding stock percent that should be acquired for rights to be exercised Minimum Outstanding Stock Percentage That Should Be Acquired For Rights Issued To Become Exercisable Minimum Outstanding Stock Percentage That Should be Acquired for Rights Issued to Become Exercisable Limited partnership units convertible to shares of common stock, eligible for conversion (in shares) Limited Partners Capital Account Convertible Units Eligible For Conversion Limited Partners' Capital Account, Convertible Units, Eligible for Conversion Fully converted partnership units and diluted weighted average shares outstanding (in shares) Partners Capital Account Units Converted And Weighted Average Shares Outstanding Diluted Partners' Capital Account, Units, Converted and Weighted Average Shares Outstanding, Diluted Future contractual payments under noncancelable leases Lessor, Operating Lease, Payments to be Received, Maturity [Table Text Block] Accounting Policies [Abstract] Significant Accounting Policies [Table] Significant Accounting Policies [Table] Significant Accounting Policies [Table] Real Estate and Accumulated Depreciation Schedule [Axis] Real Estate and Accumulated Depreciation Schedule [Axis] Real Estate and Accumulated Depreciation Schedule [Axis] Real Estate and Accumulated Depreciation Schedule [Domain] Real Estate and Accumulated Depreciation Schedule [Domain] [Domain] for Real Estate and Accumulated Depreciation Schedule [Axis] Corporate Headquarters Corporate Headquarters [Member] Corporate Headquarters [Member] Long Lived Assets Held-for-sale by Asset Type [Axis] Long Lived Assets Held-for-sale by Asset Type [Axis] Long Lived Assets Held-for-sale, Name [Domain] Long Lived Assets Held-for-sale, Name [Domain] Building Building [Member] Building Improvements Building Improvements [Member] Significant Accounting Policies [Line Items] Significant Accounting Policies [Line Items] Significant Accounting Policies [Line Items] Estimated useful life Property, Plant and Equipment, Useful Life Depreciation and amortization of deferred leasing costs SEC Schedule, 12-28, Real Estate Companies, Investment in Real Estate, Accumulated Depreciation, Depreciation Expense Repairs and maintenance expense Cost of Property Repairs and Maintenance Allowance for doubtful accounts receivables Accounts Receivable, Allowance for Credit Loss Accounts receivable, net representing rental income accrued Accrued Fees and Other Revenue Receivable Allowance for doubtful accounts receivables representing rental income accrued Allowance for Doubtful Accounts, Premiums and Other Receivables Deferred leasing costs, net Deferred Costs, Leasing, Net Accumulated amortization deferred leasing cost Deferred Costs, Leasing, Accumulated Amortization Amortization expense deferred leasing cost Amortization of Deferred Leasing Fees Accrued penalties and interest Unrecognized Tax Benefits, Income Tax Penalties and Interest Accrued Tax basis of the company's real estate investments Operating lease term of contract Lessor, Operating Lease, Term of Contract Number of options to extend lease Lessee, Operating Lease, Option To Extend, Number Of Options Lessee, Operating Lease, Option To Extend, Number Of Options Lease renewal term Lessee, Operating Lease, Renewal Term Right-of-use asset Operating Lease, Right-of-Use Asset Operating lease liability Operating Lease, Liability Quarterly Financial Information Disclosure [Abstract] Net Income Operating Income (Loss) Net income attributable to Saul Centers, Inc. Net Income (Loss) Attributable to Parent Net income available to common stockholders Net Income (Loss) Available to Common Stockholders, Basic Net income available to common stockholders per diluted share (in usd per share) Earnings Per Share, Diluted Summary of results of operations for quarterly periods Quarterly Financial Information [Table Text Block] Organization, Consolidation and Presentation of Financial Statements [Abstract] Organization, Basis of Presentation Organization, Consolidation and Presentation of Financial Statements Disclosure [Text Block] Schedule of Stock by Class [Table] Schedule of Stock by Class [Table] Antidilutive Securities [Axis] Antidilutive Securities [Axis] Antidilutive Securities, Name [Domain] Antidilutive Securities, Name [Domain] Options Equity Option [Member] Class of Stock [Line Items] Class of Stock [Line Items] Weighted average common shares outstanding - basic (in shares) Weighted Average Number of Shares Outstanding, Basic Effect of dilutive options (in shares) Weighted Average Number Diluted Shares Outstanding Adjustment Weighted average common shares outstanding - diluted (in shares) Weighted Average Number of Shares Outstanding, Diluted Average share price (in usd per share) Average Price Per Common Share Average Price Per Common Share Non-dilutive options (in shares) Antidilutive Securities Excluded from Computation of Earnings Per Share, Amount Statement of Stockholders' Equity [Abstract] Preferred Stock Preferred Stock [Member] Common Stock Common Stock [Member] Additional Paid-in Capital Additional Paid-in Capital [Member] Distributions in Excess of Accumulated Earnings Retained Earnings [Member] Accumulated Other Comprehensive (Loss) AOCI Attributable to Parent [Member] Total Saul Centers, Inc. Parent [Member] Dividend paid Dividend Paid [Member] Dividend declared Dividend Declared [Member] Increase (Decrease) in Stockholders' Equity [Roll Forward] Increase (Decrease) in Stockholders' Equity [Roll Forward] Beginning balance Stockholders' Equity, Including Portion Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest Issuance of cumulative preferred stock Stock Issued During Period, Value, New Issues Redemption of Series of Series C Cumulative preferred stock Stock Redeemed or Called During Period, Value Issuance of common stock: Common Stock Transactions [Abstract] Common Stock Transactions [Abstract] Shares issued pursuant to dividend reinvestment plan Stock Issued During Period, Value, Dividend Reinvestment Plan Shares issued due to exercise of employee stock options and issuance of directors' deferred stock Shares Issued, Value, Share-based Payment Arrangement, after Forfeiture Issuance of partnership units Limited Partner's Units Issued During Period, Value, Dividend Reinvestment Plan Limited Partner's Units Issued During Period, Value, Dividend Reinvestment Plan Net income Change in unrealized loss on cash flow hedge Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Net of Tax Preferred stock distributions: Dividends, Preferred Stock [Abstract] Preferred stock distributions Common stock distributions Distributions payable common stock and distributions payable partnership units Dividends, Common Stock Ending balance Stock Options Issued Share-based Payment Arrangement, Option, Activity [Table Text Block] Summary of Option Activity Schedule of Stock Options Roll Forward [Table Text Block] Equity and Noncontrolling Interest Stockholders' Equity Note Disclosure [Text Block] Interim Results (Unaudited) Quarterly Financial Information [Text Block] Leases Disclosure [Table] Leases Disclosure [Table] Leases Disclosure [Table] Flagship Center Flagship Center [Member] Flagship Center [Member] Capitalized Cost By Type [Axis] Capitalized Cost By Type [Axis] Capitalized Cost By Type [Axis] Capitalized Cost By Type [Domain] Capitalized Cost By Type [Domain] Capitalized Cost By Type [Domain] 90-year Ground Leasehold Interest Ninety Year Ground Lease [Member] Ninety Year Ground Lease [Member] 99-year Ground Lease Ninety Nine Year Ground Lease [Member] Ninety Nine Year Ground Lease [Member] Leases Disclosure [Line Items] Leases Disclosure [Line Items] Leases Disclosure [Line Items] Number of properties subject to noncancelable long-term lease Lessee Leasing Arrangements, Number of Properties Under Lease Lessee Leasing Arrangements, Number of Properties Under Lease Number of developed parcels Number of Developed Parcels Number of Developed Parcels Ground leasehold interest period Lease Expiration Period Lease Expiration Period Minimum annual lease rent over lease term Annual Rental Payments Over Lease Term Annual Rental Payments Over Lease Term Percent of underlying land held under a 99-year ground lease Percentage Of Lease Commitment Percentage of Lease Commitment Rent expense Operating Lease, Cost 2020 Lessor, Operating Lease, Payments to be Received, Next Twelve Months 2021 Lessor, Operating Lease, Payments to be Received, Two Years 2022 Lessor, Operating Lease, Payments to be Received, Three Years 2023 Lessor, Operating Lease, Payments to be Received, Four Years 2024 Lessor, Operating Lease, Payments to be Received, Five Years Thereafter Lessor, Operating Lease, Payments to be Received, Thereafter Total future contractual payments Lessor, Operating Lease, Payments to be Received Fair Value of Financial Instruments Fair Value Disclosures [Text Block] Scheduled maturities of all debt, including scheduled principal amortization Schedule of Maturities of Long-term Debt [Table Text Block] Components of interest expense Schedule Of Interest Costs Incurred Table [Table Text Block] Schedule of Interest Costs Incurred Summary of distributions paid including activity in plan as well as limited partnership units issued from reinvestment of unit distributions Dividends Paid [Table Text Block] Dividends Paid Property Plant and Equipment Estimated Useful Lives [Table] Property Plant And Equipment Estimated Useful Lives [Table] Property Plant and Equipment Estimated Useful Lives [Table] Property, Plant and Equipment, Type [Axis] Property, Plant and Equipment, Type [Axis] Property, Plant and Equipment, Type [Domain] Property, Plant and Equipment, Type [Domain] Base building Building components Building Components [Member] Building Components [Member] Property Plant and Equipment Estimated Useful Lives [Line Items] Property Plant And Equipment Estimated Useful Lives [Line Items] Property Plant and Equipment Estimated Useful Lives [Line Items] Summary of Significant Accounting Policies Significant Accounting Policies [Text Block] Organization, Consolidation and Presentation of Financial Statements Disclosure [Table] Organization Consolidation And Presentation Of Financial Statements Disclosure [Table] Organization, Consolidation and Presentation of Financial Statements Disclosure [Table] Concentration Risk Benchmark [Axis] Concentration Risk Benchmark [Axis] Concentration Risk Benchmark [Domain] Concentration Risk Benchmark [Domain] Revenue Benchmark Revenue Benchmark [Member] Non-operating Development Properties Nonoperating Development Properties [Member] Nonoperating Development Properties [Member] Customer [Axis] Customer [Axis] Customer [Domain] Customer [Domain] Giant Food Giant Food [Member] Giant Food [Member] Organization, Consolidation and Presentation of Financial Statements Disclosure [Line Items] Organization Consolidation And Presentation Of Financial Statements Disclosure [Line Items] Organization, Consolidation and Presentation of Financial Statements Disclosure [Line Items] Distribution of REIT taxable income (excluding net capital gains) to its stockholders Minimum Percentage Of Taxable Income Distribution To Shareholders Minimum Percentage of Taxable Income Distribution to Shareholders Number of partnerships Number of Partnerships Number of Partnerships Number of stores Number of Stores Number of tenants Number Of Tenants Number of Tenants Percentage of total revenue Percentage Of Total Revenue Percentage of Total Revenue Number of real estate properties Number of Real Estate Properties Schedule of Share-based Compensation Arrangements by Share-based Payment Award [Table] Schedule of Share-based Compensation Arrangements by Share-based Payment Award [Table] Title of Individual [Axis] Title of Individual [Axis] Title of Individual with Relationship to Entity [Domain] Title of Individual [Domain] Directors Director [Member] Officers Officer [Member] Award Date [Axis] Award Date [Axis] Award Date [Domain] Award Date [Domain] May 5, 2017 May 5, 2017 [Member] May 5, 2017 [Member] May 11, 2018 May 11, 2018 [Member] May 11, 2018 [Member] May 3, 2019 May32019 [Member] May32019 [Member] Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award [Line Items] Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award [Line Items] Exercise price (in usd per share) Share-based Compensation Arrangements by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Exercises in Period, Weighted Average Exercise Price Volatility Share Based Compensation Arrangement By Share Based Payment Award Fair Value Assumptions Volatility Share Based Compensation Arrangement by Share Based Payment Award, Fair Value Assumptions, Volatility Expected life (years) Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Fair Value Assumptions, Expected Term Assumed yield Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Fair Value Assumptions, Expected Dividend Rate Risk-free rate Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Fair Value Assumptions, Risk Free Interest Rate Balloon Payments Longterm Debt Maturities Balloon Payments [Abstract] Long-term Debt, Maturities, Balloon Payments [Abstract] 2020 Long Term Debt Maturities Balloon Payments In Next Twelve Months Long-Term Debt, Maturities, Balloon Payments in Next Twelve Months 2021 Long-term Debt, Maturities, Balloon Payments In Year Two Long-term Debt, Maturities, Balloon Payments in Year Two 2022 Long-term Debt, Maturities, Balloon Payments In Year Three Long-term Debt, Maturities, Balloon Payments in Year Three 2023 Long-term Debt, Maturities, Balloon Payments in Year Four Long-term Debt Maturities Balloon Payments in Year Four 2024 Long-term Debt, Maturities, Balloon Payments In Year Five Long-term Debt, Maturities, Balloon Payments in Year Five Thereafter Long Term Debt Maturities Balloon Payments After Year Five Long-Term Debt, Maturities, Balloon Payments after Year Five Balloon Payments Long Term Debt Balloon Payments Long-Term Debt, Balloon Payments Scheduled Principal Amortization Long-term Debt, Fiscal Year Maturity [Abstract] 2020 Long-term Debt, Maturities, Repayments of Principal in Next Twelve Months 2021 Long-term Debt, Maturities, Repayments of Principal in Year Two 2022 Long-term Debt, Maturities, Repayments of Principal in Year Three 2023 Long-term Debt, Maturities, Repayments of Principal in Year Four 2024 Long-term Debt, Maturities, Repayments of Principal in Year Five Thereafter Long-term Debt, Maturities, Repayments of Principal after Year Five Scheduled Principal Amortization Total Long Term Debt Maturities Repayments Of Principal And Balloon Payments [Abstract] Long-Term Debt, Maturities, Repayments of Principal and Balloon Payments [Abstract] 2020 Long Term Debt Maturities Repayments Of Principal And Balloon Payments In Next Twelve Months Long-Term Debt, Maturities, Repayments of Principal and Balloon Payments in Next Twelve Months 2021 Long-term Debt, Maturities, Repayments Of Principal And Balloon Payments In Year Two Long-term Debt, Maturities, Repayments of Principal and Balloon Payments in Year Two 2022 Long-term Debt, Maturities, Repayments Of Principal And Balloon Payments In Year Three Long-term Debt, Maturities, Repayments of Principal and Balloon Payments in Year Three 2023 Long-term Debt, Maturities, Repayments Of Principal And Balloon Payments In Year Four Long-term Debt, Maturities, Repayments of Principal and Balloon Payments in Year Four 2024 Long-term Debt, Maturities, Repayments Of Principal And Balloon Payments In Year Five Long-term Debt, Maturities, Repayments of Principal and Balloon Payments in Year Five Thereafter Long Term Debt Maturities Repayments Of Principal And Balloon Payments After Year Five Long-Term Debt, Maturities, Repayments of Principal and Balloon Payments after Year Five Principal amount Net Long-term Repayments of Principal and Balloon Payments, Net of Debt Issuance Costs Long-term Repayments of Principal and Balloon Payments, Net of Debt Issuance Costs Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract] Commitments and Contingencies Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Text Block] Related Party Transactions [Abstract] Schedule of Related Party Transactions, by Related Party [Table] Schedule of Related Party Transactions, by Related Party [Table] Related Party Transaction [Axis] Related Party Transaction [Axis] Related Party Transaction [Domain] Related Party Transaction [Domain] Land Contributed in Contribution Agreement Land Contributed In Contribution Agreement [Member] Land Contributed In Contribution Agreement [Member] Leasehold Interest Contributed in Contribution Agreement Leasehold Interest Contributed In Contribution Agreement [Member] Leasehold Interest Contributed In Contribution Agreement [Member] Sale of Stock [Axis] Sale of Stock [Axis] Sale of Stock [Domain] Sale of Stock [Domain] Contribution Agreement Contribution Agreement [Member] Contribution Agreement [Member] Related Party Transaction [Line Items] Related Party Transaction [Line Items] Company contribution to a multi employer 401K plan at discretionary amount of employee's cash compensation, maximum percentage Defined Contribution Plan, Maximum Annual Contributions Per Employee, Percent Company contribution to a multi employer 401K plan at discretionary amount of employee's cash compensation, amount Defined Contribution Plan, Employer Discretionary Contribution Amount Deferred compensation, employee contribution, percentage Deferred Compensation Arrangement With Individual Contributions By Plan Participants Percentage Of Salary Maximum Deferred Compensation Arrangement with Individual, Contributions by Plan Participants, Percentage of Salary, Maximum Deferred compensation, employer contribution, percentage Deferred Compensation Arrangement with Individual, Employer Contribution, Percentage Deferred Compensation Deferred Compensation Arrangement with Individual, Employer Contribution, Percentage Deferred Compensation Deferred compensation, company contribution, amount Deferred Compensation Arrangement with Individual, Contributions by Employer Deferred compensation, cumulative unfunded liability Deferred Compensation Arrangement with Individual, Recorded Liability Ancillary costs and expenses Ancillary Costs And Expenses Ancillary Costs and Expenses Liability due to the Saul Organization for the company's share of these ancillary costs and expenses Due to Related Parties Automatic renewal period Related Party Transactions, Automatic Renewal Period Related Party Transactions, Automatic Renewal Period Number of partnership units issued in transaction (in shares) Real Estate, Equity Interests Issued or Issuable, Number of Shares Real Estate, Equity Interests Issued or Issuable, Number of Shares Value of units issued (in dollars per share) Real Estate, Equity Interests Issued Or Issuable, Value Assigned Per Share Real Estate, Equity Interests Issued Or Issuable, Value Assigned Per Share Value assigned to units issued Real Estate, Equity Interests Issued Or Issuable, Value Assigned Real Estate, Equity Interests Issued Or Issuable, Value Assigned Insurance commissions and fees expense Operating Insurance and Claims Costs, Production Area of real estate property (in square feet) Related Party Transaction, Area of Real Estate Acquired Related Party Transaction, Area of Real Estate Acquired Assets Assets [Abstract] Real estate investments Real Estate Investments, Net [Abstract] Land Land Buildings and equipment Investment Building and Building Improvements Construction in progress Total Purchase Price Accumulated depreciation Real Estate Investment Property, Accumulated Depreciation Book Value Real Estate Investment Property, Net Cash and cash equivalents Cash and Cash Equivalents, at Carrying Value Accounts receivable and accrued income, net Accounts and Financing Receivable, after Allowance for Credit Loss Prepaid expenses, net Prepaid Expense Other assets Other Assets Total assets Liabilities Liabilities [Abstract] Mortgage notes payable Term loan facility payable Revolving credit facility payable Long-term Line of Credit Construction loan payable Construction Loan Dividends and distributions payable Dividends Payable Accounts payable, accrued expenses and other liabilities Accounts Payable Accrued Expenses And Other Liabilities Accounts payable, accrued expenses and other liabilities Deferred income Deferred Lease Income, after Accumulated Amortization Total liabilities Liabilities Equity Stockholders' Equity, Including Portion Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest [Abstract] Preferred stock, 1,000,000 shares authorized, Series C Cumulative Redeemable, 0 and 42,000 shares issued and outstanding respectively, Series D Cumulative Redeemable, 30,000 shares issued and outstanding, Series E Cumulative Redeemable, 44,000 and 0 shares issued and outstanding respectively Preferred Stock, Value, Issued Common stock, $0.01 par value, 40,000,000 shares authorized, 23,231,240 and 22,739,207 shares issued and outstanding, respectively Common Stock, Value, Issued Additional paid-in capital Additional Paid in Capital Distributions in excess of accumulated earnings Retained Earnings (Accumulated Deficit) Accumulated other comprehensive loss Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Net of Tax Total Saul Centers, Inc. equity Stockholders' Equity Attributable to Parent Noncontrolling interests Stockholders' Equity Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest Total equity Total liabilities and equity Liabilities and Equity Shares issued pursuant to dividend reinvestment plan (in shares) Shares due to exercise of employee stock options and issuance of directors' deferred stock (in shares) Shares Issued, Shares, Share-based Payment Arrangement, after Forfeiture Issuance of partnership units pursuant to dividend reinvestment plan (in shares) Issuance of partnership units (in shares) Limited Partner's Units Issued During Period, Units Limited Partner's Units Issued During Period, Units Distributions payable on preferred stock (in usd per share) Distributions payable common stock and partnership units (in usd per share) Issuance of Series D Cumulative preferred stock (in shares) Stock Issued During Period, Shares, New Issues Redemption of Series C Cumulative preferred stock (in shares) Stock Redeemed or Called During Period, Shares Total real estate investments: SEC Schedule, 12-28, Real Estate Companies, Investment in Real Estate [Roll Forward] Balance, beginning of year Acquisitions SEC Schedule, 12-28, Real Estate Companies, Investment in Real Estate, Other Acquisition Improvements SEC Schedule, 12-28, Real Estate Companies, Investment in Real Estate, Improvements Retirements SEC Schedule, 12-28, Real Estate Companies, Investment in Real Estate, Other Deduction Balance, end of year Total accumulated depreciation: SEC Schedule, 12-28, Real Estate Companies, Investment in Real Estate, Accumulated Depreciation [Roll Forward] Balance, beginning of year Depreciation expense Retirements SEC Schedule, 12-28, Real Estate Companies, Investment in Real Estate, Accumulated Depreciation, Other Deduction Balance, end of year Business Segments Schedule of Segment Reporting Information, by Segment [Table Text Block] Real Estate Real Estate Owned [Text Block] Business Segments Segment Reporting Disclosure [Text Block] Base rent Operating Lease, Lease Income, Lease Payments Base rent (including straight-line rent) Operating Leases, Income Statement, Minimum Lease Revenue Expense recoveries Operating Leases, Income Statement, Tenant Reimbursements Operating Leases, Income Statement, Tenant Reimbursements Variable lease income Operating Lease, Variable Lease Income Percentage rent Operating Leases, Income Statement, Percentage Revenue Noncontrolling Interests - Holders of Convertible Limited Partnership Units in the Operating Partnership Noncontrolling Interest Disclosure [Text Block] Subsequent Events [Abstract] Subsequent Events Subsequent Events [Text Block] Shares Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Outstanding [Roll Forward] Outstanding at January 1 (in shares) Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Outstanding, Number Granted (in shares) Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Grants in Period, Gross Exercised (in shares) Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Exercises in Period Expired/Forfeited (in shares) Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Forfeitures and Expirations in Period Outstanding December 31 (in shares) Options exercisable (in shares) Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Exercisable, Number Weighted Average Exercise Price Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Outstanding, Weighted Average Exercise Price [Abstract] Outstanding at January 1 (in usd per share) Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Outstanding, Weighted Average Exercise Price Granted (in usd per share) Share-based Compensation Arrangements by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Grants in Period, Weighted Average Exercise Price Exercised (in usd per share) Expired/Forfeited (in usd per share) Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Forfeitures and Expirations in Period, Weighted Average Exercise Price Outstanding December 31 (in usd per share) Exercisable at December 31 (in usd per share) Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Exercisable, Weighted Average Exercise Price Intrinsic value of options exercised Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Exercises in Period, Intrinsic Value Intrinsic value of options outstanding Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Outstanding, Intrinsic Value Intrinsic value of options exercisable Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Exercisable, Intrinsic Value Closing price (in usd per share) Share Price Weighted average remaining life of options exercisable Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Exercisable, Weighted Average Remaining Contractual Term Weighted average remaining life of options outstanding Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Outstanding, Weighted Average Remaining Contractual Term Statement of Comprehensive Income [Abstract] Other comprehensive income Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Net of Tax [Abstract] Unrealized gain on cash flow hedge Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Cash Flow Hedge, Gain (Loss), before Reclassification, after Tax Unrealized gain on cash flow hedge Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Unrealized Gain (Loss) on Derivatives Arising During Period, Net of Tax Total comprehensive income Comprehensive Income (Loss), Net of Tax, Including Portion Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest Comprehensive income attributable to noncontrolling interests Comprehensive Income (Loss), Net of Tax, Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest Total comprehensive income attributable to Saul Centers, Inc. Comprehensive Income (Loss), Net of Tax, Attributable to Parent Preferred stock dividends Preferred Stock Dividends, Income Statement Impact Extinguishment of issuance costs upon redemption of preferred shares Preferred Stock Redemption Premium Total comprehensive income available to common stockholders Total Comprehensive Income Loss Available To Common Stockholders Total Comprehensive Income (Loss) Available To Common Stockholders Share-based Payment Arrangement, Option, Exercise Price Range [Table] Share-based Payment Arrangement, Option, Exercise Price Range [Table] Plan Name [Axis] Plan Name [Axis] Plan Name [Domain] Plan Name [Domain] Amended 2004 Plan Amended Stock Option Plan Twenty Zero Four [Member] Amended Stock Option Plan Twenty Zero Four [Member] 2017 Options 2017 Options [Member] 2017 Options [Member] 2018 Options 2018 Options [Member] 2018 Options [Member] 2019 Options 2019Options [Member] 2019Options [Member] Award Type [Axis] Award Type [Axis] Award Type [Domain] Award Type [Domain] Stock options Share-based Payment Arrangement, Option [Member] Incentive stock option Incentive Stock Option [Member] Incentive Stock Option [Member] Nonqualified stock options Nonqualified Stock Options [Member] Nonqualified Stock Options [Member] Officer Director Share-based Payment Arrangement, Option, Exercise Price Range [Line Items] Share-based Payment Arrangement, Option, Exercise Price Range [Line Items] Expiration period Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Expiration Period Option vesting period Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Award Vesting Period Deferred compensation (in shares) Deferred Compensation Arrangement with Individual, Shares Issued Shares due to exercise of employee stock options and issuance of directors' deferred stock (in shares) Shares Issued, Shares, Share-based Payment Arrangement, Forfeited Authorized shares for a grant (in shares) Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Number of Shares Authorized Options granted to purchase stocks (in shares) Share-based Compensation Arrangement by Share-based Payment Award, Options, Grants in Period, Net of Forfeitures Number of individuals granted options Share Based Compensation Arrangement By Share Based Payment Award Number Of Employees Granted Awards Share Based Compensation Arrangement By Share Based Payment Award Number Of Employees Granted Awards Exercise price of options (in usd per share) Options vested Share Based Compensation Arrangement By Share Based Payment Award Options Vested Percentage Share Based Compensation Arrangement By Share Based Payment Award Options Vested Percentage Fair value stock option grant Share Based Compensation Arrangement By Share Based Payment Award Options Grants In Period Fair Value Share based Compensation Arrangement by Share based Payment Award, Options, Grants in Period, Fair Value Allocated share based compensation Share-based Payment Arrangement, Expense Future expense Share-based Payment Arrangement, Nonvested Award, Option, Cost Not yet Recognized, Amount Mortgage Notes Payable, Revolving Credit Facility, Interest Expense and Amortization of Deferred Debt Costs Debt Disclosure [Text Block] Use of Estimates Use of Estimates, Policy [Policy Text Block] Real Estate Investment Properties Real Estate, Policy [Policy Text Block] Assets Held for Sale Assets Held For Sale [Policy Text Block] Assets Held for Sale, Policy Revenue Recognition Revenue Recognition, Leases [Policy Text Block] Accounts Receivable, Accrued Income, and Allowance for Doubtful Accounts Receivable [Policy Text Block] Deferred Leasing Costs Deferred Charges, Policy [Policy Text Block] Cash and Cash Equivalents Cash and Cash Equivalents, Policy [Policy Text Block] Deferred Income Deferred Revenue Policy [Policy Text Block] Deferred Revenue, Policy Derivative Financial Instruments Derivatives, Policy [Policy Text Block] Income Taxes Income Tax, Policy [Policy Text Block] Legal Contingencies Commitments and Contingencies, Policy [Policy Text Block] Recently Issued Accounting Standards New Accounting Pronouncements, Policy [Policy Text Block] Reclassifications Reclassification, Policy [Policy Text Block] Land Buildings Intangible assets Interest incurred Interest Expense, Debt Amortization of deferred debt costs Amortization of Debt Issuance Costs and Discounts Capitalized interest Interest Costs Capitalized Adjustment Interest expense Interest Expense Less: Interest income Interest Income, Operating Interest expense, net and amortization of deferred debt costs Schedule of Weighted Average Number of Shares Schedule of Weighted Average Number of Shares [Table Text Block] Major Property Class [Axis] Major Property Class [Axis] Major Property Class [Domain] Major Property Class [Domain] Development Land Development Land [Member] Development Land [Member] Ashbrook Marketplace, Ashburn, VA Ashbrook Marketplace Phase I, Ashburn, VA [Member] Ashbrook Marketplace Phase I, Ashburn, VA [Member] Ashburn Village, Ashburn, VA Real Estate Property One [Member] Real Estate Property One [Member] Ashland Square Phase I, Dumfries, VA Real Estate Property Two [Member] Real Estate Property Two [Member] Beacon Center, Alexandria, VA Real Estate Property Three [Member] Real Estate Property Three [Member] BJ’s Wholesale Club, Alexandria, VA Real Estate Property Four [Member] Real Estate Property Four [Member] Boca Valley Plaza, Boca Raton, FL Real Estate Property Five [Member] Real Estate Property Five [Member] Boulevard, Fairfax, VA Real Estate Property Six [Member] Real Estate Property Six Briggs Chaney MarketPlace, Silver Spring, MD Real Estate Property Seven [Member] Real Estate Property Seven [Member] Broadlands Village, Ashburn, VA Real Estate Property Eight [Member] Real Estate Property Eight [Member] Burtonsville Town Square, Burtonsville, MD Real Estate Property Nine [Member] Real Estate Property Nine [Member] Countryside Marketplace, Sterling, VA Real Estate Property Ten [Member] Real Estate Property Ten [Member] Cranberry Square, Westminster, MD Real Estate Property Eleven [Member] Real Estate Property Eleven [Member] Cruse MarketPlace, Cumming, GA Real Estate Property Twelve [Member] Real Estate Property Twelve [Member] Flagship Center, Rockville, MD Real Estate Property Thirteen [Member] Real Estate Property Thirteen [Member] French Market, Oklahoma City, OK Real Estate Property Fourteen [Member] Real Estate Property Fourteen [Member] Germantown, Germantown, MD Real Estate Property Fifteen [Member] Real Estate Property Fifteen [Member] The Glen, Woodbridge, VA Real Estate Property Sixteen [Member] Real Estate Property Sixteen [Member] Great Falls Center, Great Falls, VA Real Estate Property Eighteen [Member] Real Estate Property Eighteen [Member] Hampshire Langley, Takoma, MD Real Estate Property Nineteen [Member] Real Estate Property Nineteen [Member] Hunt Club Corners, Apopka, FL Real Estate Property Twenty [Member] Real Estate Property Twenty [Member] Jamestown Place, Altamonte Springs, FL Real Estate Property Twenty One [Member] Real Estate Property Twenty One [Member] Kentlands Square I, Gaithersburg, MD Real Estate Property Twenty Two [Member] Real Estate Property Twenty Two [Member] Kentlands Square II, Gaithersburg, MD Real Estate Property Twenty Three [Member] Real Estate Property Twenty Three [Member] Kentlands Place, Gaithersburg, MD Real Estate Property Twenty Four [Member] Real Estate Property Twenty Four [Member] Lansdowne Town Center, Leesburg, VA Real Estate Property Twenty Five [Member] Real Estate Property Twenty Five [Member] Leesburg Pike Plaza, Baileys Crossroads, VA Real Estate Property Twenty Six [Member] Real Estate Property Twenty Six [Member] Lumberton Plaza, Lumberton, NJ Real Estate Property Twenty Seven [Member] Real Estate Property Twenty Seven [Member] Metro Pike Center, Rockville, MD Real Estate Property Twenty Eight [Member] Real Estate Property Twenty Eight [Member] Shops at Monocacy, Frederick, MD Real Estate Property Twenty Nine [Member] Real Estate Property Twenty Nine [Member] Northrock, Warrenton, VA Real Estate Property Thirty [Member] Real Estate Property Thirty [Member] Olde Forte Village, Ft. Washington, MD Real Estate Property Thirty One [Member] Real Estate Property Thirty One [Member] Olney, Olney, MD Real Estate Property Thirty Two [Member] Real Estate Property Thirty Two [Member] Orchard Park, Dunwoody, GA Real Estate Property Thirty Three [Member] Real Estate Property Thirty Three [Member] Palm Springs Center, Altamonte Springs, FL Real Estate Property Thirty Four [Member] Real Estate Property Thirty Four [Member] Ravenwood, Baltimore, MD Real Estate Property Thirty Five [Member] Real Estate Property Thirty Five [Member] 11503 Rockville Pike/5541 Nicholson Lane, Rockville, MD Real Estate Property Thirty Six [Member] Real Estate Property Thirty Six [Member] 1500/1580/1582/1584 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD Real Estate Property Thirty Seven [Member] Real Estate Property Thirty Seven [Member] Seabreeze Plaza, Palm Harbor, FL Real Estate Property Thirty Eight [Member] Real Estate Property Thirty Eight [Member] Market Place at Sea Colony, Bethany Beach, DE Real Estate Property Thirty Nine [Member] Real Estate Property Thirty Nine [Member] Seven Corners, Falls Church, VA Real Estate Property Forty [Member] Real Estate Property Forty [Member] Severna Park Marketplace, Severna Park, MD Real Estate Property Forty One [Member] Real Estate Property Forty One [Member] Shops at Fairfax, Fairfax, VA Real Estate Property Forty Two [Member] Real Estate Property Forty Two [Member] Smallwood Village Center, Waldorf, MD Real Estate Property Forty Three [Member] Real Estate Property Forty Three [Member] Southdale, Glen Burnie, MD Real Estate Property Forty Four [Member] Real Estate Property Forty Four [Member] Southside Plaza, Richmond, VA Real Estate Property Forty Five [Member] Real Estate Property Forty Five [Member] South Dekalb Plaza, Atlanta, GA Real Estate Property Forty Six [Member] Real Estate Property Forty Six [Member] Thruway, Winston-Salem, NC Real Estate Property Forty Seven [Member] Real Estate Property Forty Seven [Member] Village Center, Centreville, VA Real Estate Property Forty Eight [Member] Real Estate Property Forty Eight [Member] Westview Village, Frederick, MD Real Estate Property Forty Nine [Member] Real Estate Property Forty Nine [Member] White Oak, Silver Spring, MD Real Estate Property Fifty [Member] Real Estate Property Fifty [Member] Other Buildings / Improvements Other Real Estate [Member] Other Real Estate [Member] Avenel Business Park, Gaithersburg, MD Real Estate Property Fifty One [Member] Real Estate Property Fifty One [Member] Clarendon Center, Arlington, VA (1) Real Estate Property Fifty Two [Member] Real Estate Property Fifty Two [Member] Park Van Ness, Washington, DC 601 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, DC Real Estate Property Fifty Four [Member] Real Estate Property Fifty Four [Member] Washington Square, Alexandria, VA Real Estate Property Fifty Six [Member] Real Estate Property Fifty Six [Member] Ashland Square Phase II, Manassas, VA Real Estate Property Fifty Seven [Member] Real Estate Property Fifty Seven [Member] New Market, New Market, MD Real Estate Property Fifty Eight [Member] Real Estate Property Fifty Eight [Member] The Waycroft, Arlington, VA The Waycroft [Member] The Waycroft [Member] 7316 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD Real Estate Property Fifty Nine [Member] Real Estate Property Fifty Nine [Member] Acquisition Date One Acquisition Date One [Member] Acquisition Date One [Member] Acquisition Date Two Acquisition Date Two [Member] Acquisition Date Two [Member] Acquisition Date Three Acquisition Date Three [Member] Acquisition Date Three [Member] Acquisition Date Four Acquisition Date Four [Member] Acquisition Date Four [Member] Initial Basis Real Estate Investment Property Cost Initial Basis Real Estate Investment Property Cost, Initial Basis Cost capitalized subsequent to acquisition Real Estate Investment Property Cost Capitalized Subsequent To Acquisition Real Estate Investment Property Cost, Capitalized Subsequent To Acquisition Accumulated Depreciation Related Debt Development land, related debt Total, related debt Secured Debt, Including Construction Loan Secured Debt, Including Construction Loan Buildings and Improvements Depreciable Lives in Years Schedule of Construction in Progress Schedule of Construction in Progress [Table Text Block] Schedule of Construction in Progress [Table Text Block] Schedule of Recognized Identified Assets Acquired and Liabilities Assumed Schedule of Recognized Identified Assets Acquired and Liabilities Assumed [Table Text Block] Amortization of intangible assets and deferred income related to in place leases Schedule of Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Future Amortization Expense [Table Text Block] Related Party Transactions Related Party Transactions Disclosure [Text Block] Statement of Cash Flows [Abstract] Great Eastern Shopping Center Great Eastern Shopping Center [Member] Great Eastern Shopping Center [Member] Cash flows from operating activities: Net Cash Provided by (Used in) Operating Activities [Abstract] Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities: Adjustments to Reconcile Net Income (Loss) to Cash Provided by (Used in) Operating Activities [Abstract] Change in fair value of derivatives Gain on sale of property Gain (Loss) on Sale of Properties Depreciation and amortization of deferred leasing costs Non cash compensation costs of stock grants and options Share-based Payment Arrangement, Noncash Expense Provision for credit losses Provision for Loan, Lease, and Other Losses (Increase) decrease in accounts receivable and accrued income Increase (Decrease) in Accounts and Notes Receivable Additions to deferred leasing costs Increase (Decrease) in Deferred Leasing Fees (Increase) decrease in prepaid expenses Increase (Decrease) in Prepaid Expense Decrease in other assets Increase (Decrease) in Other Operating Assets Increase in accounts payable, accrued expenses and other liabilities Increase Decrease In Accounts Payable Accrued Expenses And Other Liabilities The net change during the reporting period in the aggregate amount of accounts payable accrued expenses and other liabilities incurred but not paid. Increase (decrease) in deferred income Increase (Decrease) in Deferred Income Taxes Net cash provided by operating activities Net Cash Provided by (Used in) Operating Activities Cash flows from investing activities: Net Cash Provided by (Used in) Investing Activities [Abstract] Acquisitions of real estate investments Payments to Acquire Other Real Estate Additions to real estate investments Payments to Acquire Commercial Real Estate Additions to development and redevelopment projects Payments to Develop Real Estate Assets Proceeds from sale of properties Proceeds from Sale of Real Estate Held-for-investment Net cash used in investing activities Net Cash Provided by (Used in) Investing Activities Cash flows from financing activities: Net Cash Provided by (Used in) Financing Activities [Abstract] Proceeds from mortgage notes payable Proceeds from Issuance of Secured Debt Repayments on mortgage notes payable Repayments of Secured Debt Proceeds from term loan facility Proceeds from Issuance of Medium-term Notes Proceeds from revolving credit facility Proceeds from Lines of Credit Repayments on revolving credit facility Repayments of Lines of Credit Proceeds from construction loans payable Proceeds from Construction Loans Payable Additions to deferred debt costs Payments of Debt Issuance Costs Proceeds from the issuance of: Proceeds from Issuance or Sale of Equity [Abstract] Common stock Proceeds from Issuance of Common Stock Partnership units Proceeds from Sale of Interest in Partnership Unit Preferred stock Proceeds from Issuance of Preferred Stock and Preference Stock Series C preferred stock redemption Payments for Repurchase of Redeemable Preferred Stock Preferred stock redemption costs Payment For Preferred Stock Redemption Costs Payment For Preferred Stock Redemption Costs Distributions to: Payments of Dividends [Abstract] Distributions to preferred stockholders Common stockholders Noncontrolling interests Net cash provided by financing activities Net Cash Provided by (Used in) Financing Activities Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents Cash, Cash Equivalents, Restricted Cash and Restricted Cash Equivalents, Period Increase (Decrease), Including Exchange Rate Effect Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of year Cash, Cash Equivalents, Restricted Cash and Restricted Cash Equivalents Cash and cash equivalents, end of year Supplemental disclosure of cash flow information: Supplemental Cash Flow Information [Abstract] Cash paid for interest Interest Paid, Excluding Capitalized Interest, Operating Activities Increase (decrease) in accrued real estate investments and development costs Noncash or Part Noncash Increase (Decrease) In Accrued Real Estate Investments And Development Costs Noncash or Part Noncash Increase (Decrease) in Real Estate Investments and Development Costs Seller financing SEC Schedule, 12-29, Real Estate Companies, Investment in Mortgage Loans on Real Estate Interest income Proceeds from Interest Received Cover page. Document Information [Table] Document Information [Table] Common Stock, $0.01 Par Value Document Information [Line Items] Document Information [Line Items] Document type Document Type Document Annual Report Document Annual Report Document period end date Document Period End Date Document Transition Report Document Transition Report Entity File Number Entity File Number Entity registrant name Entity Registrant Name Entity Incorporation, State or Country Code Entity Incorporation, State or Country Code Entity Tax Identification Number Entity Tax Identification Number Entity Address, Address Line One Entity Address, Address Line One Entity Address, Address Line Two Entity Address, Address Line Two Entity Address, City or Town Entity Address, City or Town Entity Address, State or Province Entity Address, State or Province Entity Address, Postal Zip Code Entity Address, Postal Zip Code City Area Code City Area Code Local Phone Number Local Phone Number Title of 12(b) Security Title of 12(b) Security Security Exchange Name Security Exchange Name Trading symbol Trading Symbol Entity well-known seasoned issuer Entity Well-known Seasoned Issuer Entity voluntary filers Entity Voluntary Filers Entity current reporting status Entity Current Reporting Status Entity Interactive Data Current Entity Interactive Data Current Entity filer category Entity Filer Category Entity Small Business Entity Small Business Entity Emerging Growth Company Entity Emerging Growth Company Entity Shell Company Entity Shell Company Entity common stock, shares outstanding Entity Common Stock, Shares Outstanding Entity public float Entity Public Float Documents Incorporated by Reference Documents Incorporated by Reference [Text Block] Amendment flag Amendment Flag Document fiscal year focus Document Fiscal Year Focus Document fiscal period focus Document Fiscal Period Focus Entity central index key Entity Central Index Key Current fiscal year end date Current Fiscal Year End Date Income Statement [Abstract] Revenue Revenues [Abstract] Rental revenue Operating Lease, Lease Income Other Other Operating Income Total revenue Expenses Costs and Expenses [Abstract] Property operating expenses Direct Costs of Leased and Rented Property or Equipment Real estate taxes Real Estate Tax Expense Interest expense, net and amortization of deferred debt costs Depreciation and amortization of deferred leasing costs General and administrative Total expenses Operating Expenses Gains on sale of property Gain (Loss) on Disposition of Property Plant Equipment Income attributable to noncontrolling interests Net Income (Loss) Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest Net income attributable to Saul Centers, Inc. Preferred stock dividends Extinguishment of issuance costs upon redemption of preferred shares Net income available to common stockholders Per share net income available to common stockholders Earnings Per Share [Abstract] Basic (in usd per share) Earnings Per Share, Basic Diluted (in usd per share) Lease Agreements Lessor, Operating Leases [Text Block] Income attributable to noncontrolling interests Depositary shares outstanding (in shares) Preferred Stock, Depositary Shares Outstanding Preferred Stock, Depositary Shares Outstanding Liquidation preference (in usd per share) Preferred Stock, Liquidation Preference Per Share Annual dividend on depositary shares (in usd per share) Depository Shares Dividends Per Share Depository Shares Dividends per Share Preferred stock gross redemption price (in dollars per share) Preferred Stock, Base Redemption Price Per Share Preferred Stock, Base Redemption Price Per Share Preferred stock net redemption price (in dollars per share) Preferred Stock, Redemption Price Per Share Percentage of redeemable preferred stock Preferred Stock Redemption Percentage Of Originally Issued Shares Preferred Stock Redemption, Percentage of Originally Issued Shares Proceeds from shares sold Proceeds From Shares Sold Proceeds From Shares Sold Depository shares to cumulative redeemable preferred stock ratio Depository Shares To Redeemable Preferred Stock Ratio Depository Shares to Redeemable Preferred Stock Ratio Dividend rate on preferred stock Preferred Stock, Dividend Rate, Percentage Real Estate [Table] Real Estate [Table] The Waycroft 7316 Wisconsin Avenue Other Other Property [Member] Real Estate [Line Items] Real Estate [Line Items]