No mention of San Francisco in today’s New York Time’s article about the impact of speculators exiting the condo market (“Farewell, Condo Cash-Outs“), but it’s still relevant. And worth a quick read.
While investors made up only 9.5 percent of residential mortgages nationally in the 10 months through October, according to First American Corporation’s LoanPerformance, a San Francisco mortgage data firm, the numbers are much higher in places like San Diego, where investors represented 13.5 percent of residential mortgages, and Miami, where they were 16 percent.
Hans Nordby, research strategist at Property and Portfolio Research in Boston, said those numbers underreport the real level of speculation in those markets because many buyers disguise their intentions when they get their mortgages. As those speculators flood the market, he said, they will put pressure on other sellers to cut prices, too. “A rising or sinking tide affects all boats,” Mr. Nordby said.
Still, a sell-off in speculative condos is unlikely to start a widespread housing crash, because condos were more overbuilt than single-family homes during the recent boom, said Joseph Gyourko, professor of real estate and finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. But weakness in the condo market, he said, “is a consistent indicator that the great boom has really ended.”
Perhaps now would be a good time to familiarize yourself with SocketSite’s growing New Developments archive.
∙ Farewell, Condo Cash-Outs [NYT]
∙ San Francisco Perspective: Condominium Developments [SocketSite]
∙ QuickLinks: New Condos On The Market (Or In The Works) [SocketSite]