According to DataQuick sales volume plunged last month in Southern California “to the lowest level in more than two decades, as financing with “jumbo” mortgages dropped by half.” And when we (or they) say plunged, we (or they) mean down 29.9% month-over-month, and down 48.5% year-over-year.
And while we’ll have DataQuick’s official September tally for San Francisco (and the greater Bay Area) in the morning, and one plugged-in reader’s calculations would suggest that September’s transaction volume dropped close to 30% year-over-year, we’re giving you 24 21 hours to go on record with a forecast of your own.
UPDATE (10/17): It looks as though DataQuick won’t be releasing their Bay Area numbers until tomorrow (and you have another 18 hours to go on record with your forecasts).
SocketSite’s San Francisco Listed Housing Inventory Update: 10/15 [SocketSite]
San Francisco Sales Activity: Reported Sales Volume Takes A Little Hit [SocketSite]
September Southland home sales lowest in more than 20 years [DQNews]

12 thoughts on “Foreshadowing A Fall For Northern California? Or Forecasting Folly?”
  1. ok, as a ‘bear’, I will take a crack at it. The Nor Cal report has traditionally done better then So Cal report so I will go with …
    Sale Vol for SF -30% and -40% for the Bay Area
    Median +3-5% for SF and -1-2% for the Bay Area

  2. Whoo, boy, this reminds me of my days as a salesman.
    Haha, I remember the folly of my manager’s feeble attempts at forecasting what my numbers would be, when, in reality, I was managing that number severely.
    Let’s say, hypothetically of course, that I was having a bad September. Figuring it was a lost cause, I’d just take everything that was supposed to close in late September and come up with whatever excuse I could to push it into October. I’d stall the delivery one way or the other so that nothing hit in the end of September.
    That would goose my numbers like CRAZY in October, at which point I could state that I was ON FIRE!! Then the attention would turn away from me to some other hapless salesperson who would have two bad months in a row because he couldn’t manage his closings well enough like I did.
    If my manager had bothered to look, he’d see that September started badly, then the end of September dropped like a rock, and yet the first week in October shot up like crazy (actually, the first DAY in October shot up like crazy), and then settled down.
    Boy, those were the days! Nothing like that happened to SF real estate, did it? I wonder what the ratio was of closings in the last 10 days of September compared with the first 10 days of October? Should be somewhere near 1:1.
    But if real estate sales is like sales of other products and services, it wasn’t anywhere near 1:1, and, in spite of a single down month of September, sales in October (especially the first few days) will be ON FIRE!!
    If that’s the case, anyone drawing any conclusions from September sales OR October sales will be a dumb as my former manager.

  3. For year-over-year (Sep 07 v Sep 06):
    Sale volume in SF: down 29%
    Change in median price: up 1.2% (from Sep 06 but down from recent months)

  4. Sales down 89%, median price up 135% to $2 million.
    But seriously….is it possible we may finally see the median price down YOY?…..

  5. Remember that the DQ numbers will be for the SF MSA, not SF. I’ll guess that volume is down 20% and median price is up 5% YoY.
    In the inventory thread I posted some data gleaned from Looking at SF city/county sales from the Septemberish weeks in 2006 and 2007 I’m seeing:

    Date       Vol Average   Median
    ---------- --- -------   ------
    2006_09_03  77  884954   780000
    2006_09_10 105  934085   810000
    2006_09_17 100  907690   775000
    2006_09_24  88  996068   770000
    2006_10_01  77  882577   835000
    2007_09_09  94  929893   825000
    2007_09_16  98 1028239   925000
    2007_09_23 100  872395   780000
    2007_09_30 121  903888   765000
    2007_10_07 101  923396   800000

    (Caveats/discalimers apply on the above data). So if we were just placing bets on SF city/county I’d say YoY volume would be flat and median price about 5% higher.
    As Tipster says, drawing conclusions from any of this is not recommended.
    [Editor’s Note: The DataQuick numbers are actually are broken down by county (which we report) and then rolled up into the greater Bay Area (which we report as well). It’s the S&P/Case-Shiller Index which reflects activity across the greater MSA.]

  6. I changed my mind. Sales will be down from ’06 the same percentage as last month, prices flat.
    sales -13% yoy
    price 0% yoy

  7. Tipster: You’re assuming that RE sales is like selling large volumes of computers, or even cars.
    It’s not.
    Individual salespeople make only a few sales a year, and aren’t generally on monthly quotas.
    So while your story is a great illustration of how a business owner should watch is sales team like a hawk, it’s not really relevant to the discussion.

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