CFAH

San Francisco Active Listed Housing Inventory: 2/18/08 (www.SocketSite.com)
Despite some reports to the contrary, new listings continue to outpace new contracts in San Francisco as the inventory of Active listed single-family homes, condos, and TICs in San Francisco increased slightly (4.6%) over the past couple of weeks and is currently up 37% on a year-over-year basis.
SocketSite’s San Francisco Listed Housing Inventory Update: 2/04/08 [SocketSite]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by garrett

    314 listings more than last year, that’s it? with all the foreclosures, loans about to reset and people panicking, 314 more listings is hardly anything city wide. frankly, i still feel like we are lacking inventory. i welcome more inventory! i would imagine buyers welcome more inventory. here is to more choice and lower prices!

  2. Posted by eddy

    Lots of ppl siting on sidelines holding off on placing homes on market. Also, what are the “reports to the contrary”?

  3. Posted by Foolio

    “314 more listings is hardly anything city wide.”
    Depends on your perspective. Only 293 sales closed city wide in the entire month of January.

  4. Posted by mike

    Garrett – Uh, inventory rose 37% YOY. I think most people would consider that a lot (except maybe for fluj?). For example, inventory in Contra Costa County (which everyone would agree has fared worse than SF) rose only 28% YOY during approximately the same period (from 1,095 to 1,404).
    I too welcome more inventory, but this is hardly anything to sneeze at!

  5. Posted by mike

    I should note that the CoCo inventory figures only include SFHs. Including Condos reduces CoCo inventory growth to 24% YOY (from 1753 to 2167).
    Since Jan 2006, CoCo inventory has grown at about 40% per year, but prices only really started responding this year.

  6. Posted by ex SF-er

    the problem as always is that so little of the inventory show up here.
    regardless, jumping from 845 to 1159 is quite signficant. over 37% higher than last year…
    I’ll be interested to see what happens with the spring bounce.
    As I’ve said often here, I expect late spring to be when we see some stress, as ORH and Infinity start their closings…
    we’ll also hopefully know by late spring/early summer if the new Jumbo mortgage limits have their desired effect.
    but it will take years before we really know how things turn out. it’s like watching a the paint dry on a painting of grass growing

  7. Posted by mike

    One final comparison: in terms of normalized levels – days of inventory – we’re around 120, which puts us very close to CoCo in winter 2007, but substantially better than CoCo winter 2008 (which has been averaging in the low 200s). I guess the real question is whether SF in winter 2009 will look closer to CoCo winter 2007 or CoCo winter 2008…

  8. Posted by SanFanon

    I agree with Mike – logically, and by the example of other counties, it could take another 1.5-2 years before the prices in SF start reflecting an increase in inventory. I am holding off on buying for the few years now, and, despite, all the data supporting my decision to postpone the purchase, starting to lose my patience, as it turns out that SF may indeed by “special” and not like “everywhere else”. That is probably the reason I am not jumping to buy in Contra Costa.

  9. Posted by REpornaddict

    Well prices have been falling in the wider Bay area since about May 06 (so was surprised to hear Mikes claim that Coco prices only started to respond in 08..).
    But SF prices (at least for SFHs) are at worse even since then – in fact are up 5.8% YOY, so yeah prices are appearing to be remarkebly resilient!

  10. Posted by anon

    REpornaddict, dream on.

  11. Posted by REpornaddict

    actually I wasn’t dreaming when I saw this data
    http://www.dqnews.com/RRBay0208.shtm
    shows 0.8% down YOY but as per Chronicle SFGate on Friday (I think)
    “San Francisco resale home transactions declined 32.1 percent year-over-year to 152, another 20-year low, while the median price increased by 5.8 percent to $820,000. When new homes and condos are included, the median price fell 0.8 percent to $744,000. The median means that half the homes sold for more than that amount and half for less. ” as condos price falls are dragging down the overall figure this is hidden in the ‘mix’.

  12. Posted by Dude

    The MLS inventory as of today is at 1,280. Movoto shows 1,333 (with pocket listings thrown in). So that’s a 57% increase over last year, adding almost 2 months of supply at January consumption rates. And this doesn’t include new condo supply.
    Regarding prices going up, can somebody please corroborate this with evidence? Because Case-Shiller continues to show declines for the MSA, and Dataquick shows San Francisco medians down 10.8% from the peak.

  13. Posted by mike

    REpa – Here are the annual median prices for CoCo County SFHs and Condos:
    SFHs (approximately 2/3rds of the mkt)
    2004 – $483k
    2005 – $598k
    2006 – $600k
    2007 – $620k
    Condos (approximately 1/3rd of the mkt):
    2004 – $330k
    2005 – $412k
    2006 – $418k
    2007 – $406k
    For Jan 2008, SFH median price is down 13.7% from last year’s average and Condo median price is down 5.5%.
    So through Jan 2007 Contra Costa prices were also “remarkably resilient” (to use your words) – this only seems to reinforce my point that Winter 2008 SF inventory looks comparable to Winter 2007 Contra Costa inventory.
    Again, NOBODY here disputes that SF will fare better than CoCo County – it had less run-up, it will have less deflation. But it’s equally crazy to think that these markets are totally disconnected. I’m no fan of CoCo County (grew up there – definitely prefer SF or even Berkeley/Oakland), but if prices fell there by 50% and stayed unchanged in SF, heck, even I’d buy a nice place in Walnut Creek over a crappy hole-in-the-wall in SF. At the end of the day, some people will respond to prices, and in the long run that’s all you need to get one market to affect another.

  14. Posted by anon

    REpornaddict, OK I see. So you’re looking at median sale prices. No need to discuss the near total irrelevance of that yet again.

  15. Posted by REpornaddict

    what kind of sales prices are you looking at then?
    and actually on Friday I made numerous posts showing that the mix of sales by district for SFHs hasn’t changed significantly yet, so I believe that the median sales price does in fact have relevance still.and no, I dont think I dreamt up the data for that either….
    thanks for your data mike, interesting and slightly surprising, although it appears anon believes it to be of ‘near total irrelevance’ as it uses median prices 🙁

  16. Posted by Dude

    The aggregate city median is still down over 10% from the peak, though. Combine that with rising inventories and record-low sales, and the outlook is hardly positive regardless of the angle.
    If we really want to spin it, though, look at the SF Chronicle chart by zip code. For the month of January, sales in 94123 were up 40% and the median price was up 300%! Wow!!! But have home prices in the Marina really tripled?

  17. Posted by sanfrantim

    I am perplexed by the reports of significantly increased inventories. Why is the increase not reflected in the weekly “Open Houses” section of the Chron?
    For years I have been counting pages of open house listings in the Sunday Chron as an unscientific way of gauging supply in the market. Last Sunday, there were about 8 pages – not very many. I can recall times when there regularly were 12 – 15 pages of listings.
    Does anyone know what’s going on here?

  18. Posted by Dude

    sanfrantim, my guess is that Chronicle advertisements cost money, and local agents may not be able to afford such luxuries given the steep drop in sales.
    This is also unscientific, but last January, the median price was $750K and 402 homes sold. 6% of that was $18.1 million in commission.
    This January, the median price was $744K and 293 homes sold. 6% of that was $13.1 million in commission.
    So either every agent in the city took a 27% pay cut, or there are 27% less agents. Either way, $5 million less into broker coffer this January vs. last January. This may also help explain the increasing frequency of pocket listings, as putting property on the MLS isn’t free, either.

  19. Posted by joe shmoe

    Well, let’s see what happens if we have a few dry weekends. Nobody wants to go trodding from open house to open house in a downpour. It’ll take several weeks of good weather for buyers to get acquainted with the inventory and make their decisions. Open houses, at least in my neighborhood, have had good traffic on the dry days we’ve had.
    I am not sure I buy into district by district slicing for analysis because unless you go to subdistricts, most SF districts include such a diverse collection of neighborhoods that it is just a reflection of the whole– you can’t really judge Sea Cliff by the overall inventory situation in District 1. If anybody has subdistrict analysis, that might be more interesting and informative.

  20. Posted by Foolio

    Chronicle pages are a fairly poor measure of open house activity, for many reasons, not the least of which is that they don’t actually measure anything. Now, if you counted the ads themselves, that might be a bit better (although still likely not too accurate given the host of other explantions).

  21. Posted by Rillion

    Dude, as has been noted many times before median != mean. Your calculations of brokerage commissions are meaningless in both senses of the word.

  22. Posted by fluj

    hahahah. Median is meaningless. Until it shows a dip. Then you will trumpet it from the rooftops, anon.

  23. Posted by Dude

    Rillion, the calculation was admittedly unscientific, as I noted above. But isn’t the conclusion still valid? If prices are down slightly while volumes are down materially, how can aggregate commissions be up? I may have the dollar/percentage amounts wrong, but less property selling at lower (or even flat) prices = lower brokerage revenues.

  24. Posted by fluj

    Dude, are you talking about brokerages or individual realtors?

  25. Posted by Dude

    Brokerages in general. Obviously, as has been stated many times, good salespeople can make money in both rising and falling markets, right? But revenues have to be down for the industry overall.

  26. Posted by Rillion

    I wholeheartedly agree that across the board almost all real estate related industries are seeing declines in revenue in the aggregate except maybe those companies that specialize in services related to dealing with foreclosures (ie the auctioneers of foreclosed houses). But it just does not that seem all that useful to try to quantify the amount brokerages are losing out by using the median times the number of sales.

  27. Posted by fluj

    I agree for the most part. But I remember being at a large brokerage a few years ago and competition was so fierce, and inventory so low, that the bottom line couldn’t have been that great. There were so many realtors at so many brokerages competing for so little inventory tha perhaps things weren’t that great? I really don’t know. I haven’t been an office manager or principal broker anywhere. But there has to be a real sweet spot for larger brokerages somewhere between superhot and buyer’s market.

  28. Posted by urban_feel

    It would be most fascinating to see the inventory changes at the District level rather than the City level.
    My guess is that the vast majority of this rising inventory is in SOMA and District 10. I just checked and there are currently 1,280 SFH/CONDO/TIC’s listing in all 10 districts. 138 of them (11%) are in SOMA/South Beach and 217 of them (17%) are in District 10.

  29. Posted by Dude

    I agree with your comment, urban_feel, but let’s also not forget that districts 9 and 10 are the largest two in the city in terms of geography. Additionally, 9 is the only district where highrises are getting built. So it makes sense to have 1/3 of the inventory there since these 2 districts are probably close to one third of the city’s inhabitable land:
    http://www.sfarmls.com/docs/areamaps.htm

  30. Posted by Homeless_guy

    Median Price is not a valid tool to reflect the RE market, since all data are came from different grade and level of properties, from different region and area of the city.
    Only Newbie still rely on Median price for a reference to do their pricing…

  31. Posted by REpornaddict

    So, homeless guy, what do you suggest we use as an alternative measure to reflect the RE market within SF?
    Or does any valid tool exist??

  32. Posted by Homeless_guy

    “So, homeless guy, what do you suggest we use as an alternative measure to reflect the RE market within SF?
    Or does any valid tool exist??”
    Tow basic analysis tools
    Fundamental Factors and your common sense

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