The number of single-family homes and condos that traded hands in San Francisco dropped to a five-year low of 308 in February. That’s down 4 percent from a downwardly revised 322 sales in January (versus a typical 12 percent seasonal bump). And on a year-over-year basis, home sales in San Francisco were down over 27 percent last month.
The median price paid for those 308 homes ($1,120,000) was 2.0 percent lower than at the same time last year and 13.8 percent below the record $1.3 million median sale price recorded in April of 2016.
As we noted five months ago, the recorded sales volume in San Francisco was being goosed by contracts for condos in new developments that were signed (“sold”) many months prior but were closing escrow in bulk as the buildings came online in the middle of 2016. At the same time, signatures on new contracts were down 25 percent in 2016 despite an average of nearly 50 percent more inventory throughout the year and new condo sales dropped to a multi-year low in January.
And while many continue to finger a “lack of inventory” for the anemic sales trend, listed inventory in San Francisco is running at a five-year high.
In Alameda County, recorded homes sales in February (966) were 4.4 percent higher on a year-over-year basis with a recorded median sale price of $682,000, up 6.6 percent versus February 2016. But sales in Contra Costa County (984) were down 2.7 percent with a median price of $508,000, which was 6.9 percent higher versus the same time last year.
Home sales in Santa Clara County (1,067) were 7.1 percent higher versus the same time last year with a median price of $845,000 (up 9.0 percent) while sales in San Mateo County (384) were down 7.7 percent with a median price of $1,032,500, up 14.3 percent versus the same time last year.
And up north, recorded sales in Marin (164) were 9.9 percent lower versus the same time last year with a median price of $815,000 (down 4.7 percent), Sonoma County sales (355) were 6.1 lower versus the same time last year with a median price of $525,000 (up 10.5 percent) and sales in Napa (94) were 3.3 percent higher on a year-over-year basis with a median price of $555,250 (up 1.0 percent).
Overall, Bay Area home sales dropped 3.3 percent on a year-over-year basis to 4,767 – the lowest February tally in nine years – with a median price of $649,000, which is 4.6 percent higher versus the same time last year.
Keep in mind that while movements in the median sale price are a great measure of what’s selling, they’re not necessarily a great measure of appreciation or changes in value and are susceptible to changes in mix, as opposed to movements in the Case-Shiller Index.