CFAH

San Francisco Median Sales Price and Volume: April 2008 (www.SocketSite.com)
According to DataQuick, home sales volume in San Francisco climbed 6.5% on a year-over-year basis last month (605 recorded sales in April ’08 versus 568 sales in April ‘07) and increased 19.1% compared to the month prior (in part due to seasonaility, but also a significantly stronger gain than compared to the past couple of years).
That being said, do keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed (“sold”) many months or even years prior and are just now closing escrow (or being recorded).
The median sales price in April was $750,000, down 5.1% compared to April ’07 ($790,000) and down 0.7% compared to the month prior. We continue to see mix supporting the median in San Francisco proper.
For the greater Bay Area, recorded sales volume in April was down 15.3% on a year-over-year basis but increased 28.8% from the month prior (6,310 recorded sales in April ’08 versus 7,447 in April ’07 and 4,898 in March ’08). And the recorded median sales price fell 21.4% on a year-over-year basis (down 3.4% compared to the month prior).

Foreclosure property resales accounted for 25.7 percent of last month’s Bay Area market. The percentage is higher in outlying areas that absorbed spillover activity during the frenzy. While foreclosure properties were 5.9 percent of San Francisco’s resale market and 8.9 percent of Marin’s resale market last month, they were 44.7 percent in Contra Costa and 54.2 percent in Solano.

At the extremes, Marin recorded a 31.0% year-over-year reduction in sales volume (a loss of 97 transactions) and a 13.5% drop in median sales price, Santa Clara recorded a 28.3% reduction in sales volume (a loss of 569 transactions) and a 13.3% drop in median sales price, and Contra Costa recorded a 1.5% increase in sales volume (a gain of 19 transactions) and a 34.2% drop in median sales price.
CORRECTION: “Foreclosure resales” had previously been misidentified as “sales back to the bank.” For the purposes of the DataQuick sales report “foreclosure resales” only includes the sales of properties which had previously been recorded as foreclosures within the past twelve months.
Bay Area home sales edge up in April [DataQuick]
San Francisco Recorded Sales Activity In March: Down 20.6% YOY [SocketSite]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by REpornaddict

    Sales increasing YOY is pretty amazing.
    It’s claimed above that seasonality is part of the reason for the 19.1% increase from the month prior – BUT sales dropped 11% between March and April last year, so it seems to buck recent seasonal trends.
    Prices remain steady, albeit the heights of late spring last year will clearly not be reached.
    For the Bay Area as a whole, the sudden jump in sales I find staggering, the best March to April jump on record. A similar pattern emerged in Southern California numbers yesterday as well.
    [Editor’s Note: Sales volume typically climbs through the first six months of the year and peaks in May/June.]

  2. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    This looks like classic market economics. Lower prices induce more sales. I’m sure is welcome news for firms who’s revenue is directly based on RE transaction volume.

  3. Posted by Jay

    Interesting perspective REPornaddict. I see bargain hunters jumping in and people buying on the dip (and buying distressed properties). However, unless underwriting standards return to subprime levels or the bay area economy accelerates significantly this will be hard to maintain. We’re now 11% (85k) below the median price peak – wonder what May will bring?

  4. Posted by tipster

    May will bring a lot of Infinity and One Rincon closings.

  5. Posted by badlydrawnbear

    keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed (“sold”) many months or even years prior and are just now closing escrow (or being recorded).

    I assume this holds true for the prices as well. So doesn’t this mean that contracts sold at peak bubble prices years ago are just now being recorded and impacting the median, helping to keep it high.

  6. Posted by REpornaddict

    Not sure what May will bring..but back in Dec/jan lots of people were saying Spring would give a clearer picture of where we stand. Now coming towards the tail end of spring and I don’t think, for SF, the picture is actually that bad.
    I takethe point that volumes are being supported buying ‘distressed properties’ but this would have a nagative mix effect on the median price at the same time as it supports volumes.

  7. Posted by Foolio

    I know this is an SF blog, but the East Bay is starting to look significantly cheaper vis a vis SF…

  8. Posted by mrbogue

    I’ve been shopping for some time in the eastbay, and houses in most non-ghettofied areas are either grossly overpriced or subject to intense overbid. For deals, it appears the S.F. low-rise condo market is actually looking better than the SFH situation here.

  9. Posted by Jay

    Also for deals, low rise TIC’s have declined at a much faster rate than low rise condo’s as far as I can tell.

  10. Posted by Dude

    The comparison to SoCal is indeed interesting: both areas saw marked declines in median price in EVERY SINGLE COUNTY. Wow. And this during the fabled ‘spring bounce.’ So much for the “we’re immune in coastal California/Bay Area/San Francisco/on my block” nonsense. Well, I guess we can still take solace that it’s not as bad here as it is in Stockton.
    Anyone know how many April sales there were per MLS?

  11. Posted by anono

    I have been looking in the East Bay in Albany (and similar areas) and I agree that most houses are way overpriced. Sellers do not appear to be giving in however and are instead taking properties off the market if they don’t sell at inflated prices. It’s actually been quite dissapointing.
    Agree that low rise S.F. condos are the best deals now.

  12. Posted by Trip

    Interesting stuff. DQ includes sales of new and MLS homes. April sales (SFRs, condos, TICs) off the MLS were down from 452 in 4/07 to 382 in 4/08 (according to rereport.com). Subtracting from the DQ numbers would give 116 sales of new units in 4/07 and 223 sales in 4/08. The DQ numbers are odd, so these figures will not be spot on.
    But it looks like what we’ve had is a pretty good uptick (~ 100%) in sales of new homes and a downturn in sales of existing homes. There has also been a large YOY build-up in inventory on the MLS, perhaps caused in part by people selling to buy the new condos coming on line. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the same trend in May as the Infinity, ORH, etc. closings continue. But with more inventory and fewer sales of existing homes, I don’t see how prices can do anything but continue downward. Who knows what will happen with medians given the impact of mix, but the apples-to-apples measurements (like Case-Schiller) will continue to show declines.

  13. Posted by fluj

    According to the MLS, April saw:
    195 SFRs sold
    232 condos & TICs sold
    35 2-4 units sold
    average $psqft for SFRs was 606
    average $psqft for condos was 741
    average $psqft for 2-4’s was 458
    If you remove areas 3 and 10, condos and 2-4s are barely affected. But SFRs lose 48 sales down to 147 and rise to 677 a foot.
    This time last year SFRs sold was 207. Ppsqft was 632 a foot. If you remove 3 and 10 from last year volume is 152 and ppsqft is 681 — nearly the same.

  14. Posted by "Dave"

    Under what scenario does it take years for a property to close escrow? I’m guessing that some condos in new developments may take that amount of time while the property is under construction, but why is that significant to point out? Seems like the bulk of properties in this report would be the standard 30-day close of escrow, but with a handful of outliers that take longer, no?

  15. Posted by Alfiejr

    would some please clarify use of the word “foreclosures” in the report? is the lender’s foreclosure on a property being recorded as a sale? with the price being the total debt? or … is the sale of a foreclosed property by the former lender to a new owner what is meant? or both?
    of course the distinction is very important. a jump in sales mainly as lender foreclosures means the situation is getting worse. a jump in sales mainly of previously foreclosed properties would be a sign of improvement. both happening at once would indicate the market is at least starting to bottom out.
    [Editor’s Note: An important distinction indeed. While previously identified as the former, it’s actually the latter (and not both).]

  16. Posted by Dude

    Thanks, fluj. So DQ numbers are roughly 150 sales higher than MLS. Regarding 3 and 10, even I’m amazed at how much and how quickly prices there have fallen. Slew of properties in Excelsior and Bayview now available in the $400K range, some in the $300K range. Unheard of 1-2 years ago.

  17. Posted by fluj

    “both happening at once would indicate the market is at least starting to bottom out.”
    I’m not sure about the methodology used here.
    But could you explain why this would indicate a bottoming out? I go to the auctions occasionally and follow foreclosures weekly and I do see both happening. Because to be honest it seems that this is something that always happens with foreclosures. If it actually makes it that far sometimes the bank gets it and sometimes people buy it at auction. But that’s nothing new, right?

  18. Posted by tipster

    fluj,
    You are pointing out a classic case of oversupply following a long period of pent up demand.
    The first thing that happens is the lesser areas get hit hard, as no one needs to take them as a second choice any longer, then, when the pent up demand has worked its way through, the core starts falling.
    Will the decline last long enough to allow the core to deflate? Who knows. As long as lending standards stay tighter than they were and the economy is doing less well than it was, the trend will continue.
    Anything people are saying about SF, people probably said about Contra Costa some time ago: “It’s only down 5%”, “holding up pretty well” (at the start of the downturn, compared to other worse areas: Stockton, etc.), “if you remove the worst areas it’s about the same”, etc. But now it’s down almost 35%.

  19. Posted by fluj

    Tipster,
    I just showed that for both years, minus 3 and 10, April 07 and April 08 are nearly identical. I know I know. “Real estate cycles move slowly” right?
    I then did another search, using the safer 3 areas, only GG Heights and the Inner Sunset in 2, and all of areas 4-9. I found $ppsqft price increases across the board. 2008 April SFRs were down by a grand total of 2, from 127 to 125. Condo/TIC volume down by 42, from 272 to 230, and and units were down by 5, from 36 to 31.
    I would argue that this is what much of the San Francisco buying populace has been encountering. I am using all of the safe, central and/or generally considered “more desirable” areas in the city. I bet if I took the Mission out or eliminated the southern part of Potrero Hill we’d seen an even greater ppsqft gain. But that would probably take me an hour.

  20. Posted by Foolio

    @fluj:
    I think it would be very interesting to see the ppsft numbers by district as compared to April 2007; would that be too much trouble?

  21. Posted by anon

    Love how when the price goes up, it is blamed on mix. And when price goes down it is not mix. Whatever.
    None of this is suprising if you talk to people who’ve been attending open houses regularly. We’ll have a few solid months this spring/summer. A lot of people are shopping for houses now and overbidding is still de rigeur in hot areas.
    I’m calling the SF bottom at Dec07/Jan08.
    [Editor’s Note: As written (but perhaps not read) above: “We continue to see mix supporting the median in San Francisco proper.”]

  22. Posted by Foolio

    @anon:
    Well, I disagree about the open house traffic, although I think most think it’s not the best metric. This Sunday, my GF and I visited a number of open houses in a nice nabe. Some “lookey-loo” neighbors, but very little of what I’d call actual shoppers.

  23. Posted by Trip

    Of course, the numbers look very different if you focus on listings rather than the small percentage of listings that actually sold in a particular month. Then you can plainly see steadily increasing inventories (esp. in condos, but also in SFRs), and steadily declining $/sf and prices of what is offered. Inventory is way up and sales are down. If you want to argue that does not translate into lower prices, feel free, but it means the laws of economics have been repealed and it contradicts the apples-to-apples analyses out there.
    Here are two sources:
    http://www.altosresearch.com/paragon/latest/paragon_market_update_zip_based_cmid_55_zipd_94114.html
    http://www.sfcondosales.com/condocount

  24. Posted by fluj

    “the numbers look very different if you focus on listings rather than the small percentage of listings that actually sold in a particular month.”
    No, because every single month has the same lag time phenomenon. Properties take a month, or six weeks, or what have you, monthi in and month out.
    This is like y’all’s point about square footage. It’s as if people started adding square footage to homes in 2005 or something. No, they didn’t. People have always been grabbing that extra square footage in an L-shaped inner parkside garage. Every year, the same thing. They didn’t all of a sudden get hip to it when the HGTV network debuted.

  25. Posted by Tipster

    Nothing wrong with your stats, fluj, but the interpretation is where we differ.
    In hot markets, everything sells. Buyers pull back to their 2nd or 3rd choices. When you have an oversupply, buyers don’t need to pull back: they don’t buy the lesser areas unless the prices are really really good. Of course, prices fall in the good areas as well.
    As we transition from undersupply to oversupply, the pent up demand keeps prices high in the better areas, though the lower end starts to fall. So we’ve stopped seeing the trading down as the first impact. If the market conditions continue or get worse, you’ll start to see all prices fall as the pent up demand is worked through.
    That’s what happened in other counties already, and it is starting here.
    Your point is, excluding those other areas, there isn’t much difference. My point is, what is happening in those other areas is consistent with the initial stages of an oversupply condition, and thus it should not be dismissed as irrelevant. Or, just because the top deck is dry doesn’t mean the ship isn’t sinking, so it might be a good idea to pay equally close attention to the lower decks for signs of flooding and not focus exclusively on how dry the upper decks currently are.

  26. Posted by Trip

    “every single month has the same lag time phenomenon. Properties take a month, or six weeks, or what have you, month in and month out.”
    There’s the flaw in your analysis, fluj. This may be true in a hot market where pretty much everything sells and nothing sits too long. In such a market, there really isn’t that much difference between looking at what has sold and what is listed — because they are just about the same. But now we have properties being added to the MLS much faster than they are selling, and many more properties than before are not selling at all and are either being pulled or just sitting. Thus there are stark differences between the “sold” stats and the “listed” stats. The comparison of “sold” stats from the hot market of not too long ago and the colder market today does not reveal much of a difference because you are only looking at the small portion that happens to look the same in two very different, larger pictures.
    “Sold” stats are relevant, but you can’t ignore everything else (and you’re even trying to ignore a good chunk of the sold stats).
    My only point was you can’t disregard the very different picture of the 80% of listings that did not sell in the last month, but which are nevertheless available for the buyer at lower prices than the buyer had available recently.

  27. Posted by fluj

    Your point is essentially the same as Tipster’s. You’re calling it initial stages, but what about last April? It was the same for all intents and purposes. I think some of the things you say have merit.
    Don’t get me wrong. It is all related, and yes, there are more properties sitting longer. I’d argue that most of them are still selling for about the same amount of money though. They’re just taking longer.
    There’s more to it than that as well. There’s the mentality of only wanting something very good or something with great potential. It isn’t “OK, I’ll go with option number two.” It’s more like, “I’ll just wait till option one’s twin comes along.”

  28. Posted by fluj

    Trip,
    There is inventory, and there is inventory. I’d argue that nothing good that’s within historically acceptable $$psqft is staying on the market longer than two to three months. And the great stuff is still selling rapidly.

  29. Posted by forclosures

    if forclosures are being recorded as sales as the total debt, how exactly is mix supporting the median?

  30. Posted by Trip

    “And the great stuff is still selling rapidly.”
    Exactly — you are seeing it. The sales mix has changed, which is why the “sold” stats seem to show that things are rosier than they are. It is not apples-to-apples.
    Here is an illustration. I don’t have precise numbers, but if you look at http://www.sfcondosales.com/condocount you can see that SF now has about 1100 condos on the market compared to 800 a year ago — a huge difference. From rereport.com, 253 condos sold in 4/07 (about 1 in 3), and 176 sold in 4/07 (about 1 in 6). But the median selling price actually went up from $695k to $758k. The number of available units (i.e. the supply) was up considerably but the number that sold (i.e. the demand) was down considerably, which plainly drives prices lower (again, unless basic economics laws have been repealed). But the median went up! The explanation? The condos that sold were a different mix in ’08 than in ’07. Apples-to-oranges. It is dishonest to only quote sales statistics for this reason.
    Look at the supply — the listings — and it is crystal clear that prices are down in terms of $/sf or list prices. I.e. one can buy from the available supply for less than a year ago.

  31. Posted by Dude

    Well, regardless of perspective, we should all be very happy that home prices are falling fast across our entire state. This is truly good news, because affordability is now up across California, and more people than ever before can buy without over-levering themselves. Good for our economy and the state overall.
    This came out from the CAR today:
    “The minimum household income needed to purchase an entry-level home at $356,350 in California in the first quarter of 2008 was $67,830, based on an adjustable interest rate of 5.65 percent and assuming a 10 percent down payment. At $67,830, the minimum qualifying income was 30 percent lower than a year earlier when households needed $96,500 to qualify for a loan on an entry-level home. Recent decreases in home prices and mortgage rates have brought affordability into better alignment with income levels of the typical California household, where the median household income was $50,700.”
    Isn’t this great? San Francisco’s Affordability Index is up from 18 last year to 23 this year. And it’ll get even better as prices keep falling to reach equilibrium with fundamentals.

  32. Posted by fred

    It’s great unless you are losing your life’s savings.

  33. Posted by fluj

    But Trip, the OK stuff is selling too. It’s just taking a little longer than it has in the past.

  34. Posted by Linden

    Pretty impressive there’s been such a big rebound in sales activity, and median prices are still holding up at this level since the majority of homes sold are sub median levels.
    I wonder how long it will take for me to be able to afford a nice SFH or condo in a good part of SF?

  35. Posted by Alfiejr

    @fluj
    “”both happening at once would indicate the market is at least starting to bottom out.”
    I’m not sure about the methodology used here.”
    “bottom” will come when the last big flush of distress sales – foreclosures – find a more or less equal number of bargain hunting buyers who can get loans. it won’t be the end of foreclosures, but they will drop off a lot at some point. until that inventory is mostly cleared the market can’t pick up on the other side of the “bottom”.
    i think the worst in terms of foreclosures is happening now – unless the economy really tanks. so might hit “bottom” later this year. start a slow recovery next year.
    meanwhile, the rest of the economy seems headed for an era of “stagflation.” look at rents …

  36. Posted by paco

    @linden,
    you wrote
    “I wonder how long it will take for me to be able to afford a nice SFH or condo in a good part of SF?”
    buy in the fringe areas, meet your neighbors and create your desired outcome. good people make good parts of sf (or anywhere)

  37. Posted by FSBO

    As others have commented, the DQ numbers seem to be increasingly diverging in recent months from the MLS listed sales. Fluj pointed out that the MLS reports 427 sales in April (195 SFH + 232 condos) versus the DQ count of 605. (Actually the MLS count just jumped up to 233 condos sold in APRIL – thanks to yet another tardy updating of an MLS listing.) This is a huge discrepancy. Here are the numbers from each source:
    Apr 08: MLS – 428 sales, $830K median
    Apr 08: DQ – 605 sales, $750K median
    Apr 07: MLS – 490 sales, $799.5K median
    Apr 07: DQ – 568 sales, $790K median
    So in April 07, MLS and DQ were quite close (with DQ reporting slightly higher sales – as expected).
    [Editor’s Note: Once again, think the recording of new construction deeds. And to a lesser extent, unlisted transactions at the high end of the market (which have been having a run).]

  38. Posted by Linden

    The real comparison is between all the sub-750K stuff and the 751-1.2 mil stuff that most buyers can afford.
    The 2+mil looks super strong, but there is so much fewer sales in 2+ vs. 751-1.2mil. And still yet, there are way more sub 750K sales than 751-1.2mil sales b/c of financing and such, which leads me to believe SF is actually much much stronger than these statistics show.

  39. Posted by fluj

    Good point, Linden. 750K to 1.2M is right in the wheelhouse of a lot of SF buyers. For SFRs 750 to 1.2M is nearly the same since the first of the year as 750 and less, it’s like 242 to 245. That would seem to indicate decent balance to me as well.

  40. Posted by Trip

    Inventory is soaring at both these price levels. What this indicates is that the balance is tilting strongly toward a buyer’s market (i.e. downward price pressure). At the risk of beating a dead horse, noting sales figures while disregarding inventory levels provides a pretty meaningless picture of things.
    Currently, roughly 2 condos are coming onto the market for every one that is sold. For SFRs, it’s roughly 3 coming on for every 2 that are sold. This is a huge shift from a year ago when sales basically matched new listings. Look at every area that has seen huge price reductions (Sacramento, Stockton, San Diego, Miami, etc.). The big price reductions always came 6-12 months after large increases in inventory. That is exactly the trend SF is now starting to see. Prices will continue to fall until sales start to significantly outpace new listings (which will reduce built-up inventory levels), and we currently have an accelerating trend in exactly the opposite direction (just look at SS’s inventory graph).

  41. Posted by fluj

    Trip,
    And you are disregarding that things are actually selling albeit taking a little longer. You keep claiming inventory build up. But anybody who is in the market, really in the market, will tell you that there is not a whole lot of inventory.
    Every single day except Friday in the MLS new listings are grossly outweighed by act. cont, pending, and sold properties. Today it is 42 new listings 23 ratified, 28 pending, and 28 sold. That’s a difference of +37 to properties in contract or sold to new listings. This is typical of the last several months.

  42. Posted by tipster

    fluj, you are proving his point: 42 new listings, 28 sold. They are coming on faster than they are coming off. If you want to pick a different stage, fine. Compare 42 new listings with the 23 that got ratified. Or compare 42 new listings with 28 pending.
    What you can’t do is add them all up, because I’d tell you that 42 more are being prepped for sale this week, and 42 more people are getting ready to prep their properties for sale, and so your +37 is going to go way negative. See? You can’t take all stages and add them together. You just pick one stage.
    If I build widgets, and I make 42 a week, and they take three weeks to sell, and I am selling 20 a week, it isn’t exactly rocket science to figure that when my salesperson says, sure, we sold 20 this week, but I have 20 that are in week 2 of the sales process, 20 in week 1, and 20 prospects, if I keep adding the numbers up to 80, I’m going to end up with an awful lot of widgets if I keep building 42 a week.

  43. Posted by Trip

    Fluj, you know this is not “typical of the last several months.” Again, just look at SS’s inventory chart (among many other data sources). SS excludes listings in any stage of contract, and the active inventory has been increasing steadily for many months — 37% higher than last year as of May 12. You concede that even those places that are selling are taking longer to sell, but that is precisely one of the causes of the significant increases in inventory.
    And you only need to surf the MLS to see lots of very nice properties that are just not selling. Sorry, but I’m not going to buy the vague anecdotes of those who are “really in the market” when the verifiable information tells the complete opposite story.
    Come on now — I’ve always trusted and respected your input on the market, but you can’t give misleading snapshots of incomplete data to try to make a point.

  44. Posted by fluj

    I did not prove your point. It isn’t just sales versus new. And yeah, I can most certainly add them all up if we are talking “inventory.” You need to factor in what’s in the sales pipeline if you are talking “inventory.” What’s not relevant is the house getting prepped for sale. I could counter with another house about to get an offer in two days. I’m not making this up man. This is what I’ve been seeing on a daily basis for quite a while now. Probably since late January. I probably stare at the MLS more than any realtor in town.

  45. Posted by fluj

    If you don’t believe me, I could revisit this thread over the next few weeks and post new vs act. cont + pending + sold.
    Foolio,
    Which neighborhoods did you want to see specifically? I did a Sunset evaluation here the other day:
    http://thefrontsteps.com/2008/05/14/weekly-fluj-everybodys-redheaded-stepchildthe-sunset/

  46. Posted by theloanphd

    “And 5.9% of the transactions recorded in April were foreclosures (or a “sale” back to the bank)”
    “Once again…that being said (or rather reported), 25.7% of recorded Bay Area sales in April were “sales” back to the bank (i.e., foreclosures). In addition to the 5.9% of “sales” in San Francisco, that includes 8.9% of “sales” in Marin, 44.7% of “sales” in Contra Costa and 54.2% of “sales” in Solano.”
    The above statements appear to be incorrect and misleading.
    FROM DATAQUICK WEBSITE:
    To count as an “arm’s-length” sale for our sales counts, the logic we’ve used insisted that there be a seller, a buyer, and that money changed hands. We’ve now expanded this to include transactions where there was a purchase loan if no price was apparent.
    We’re also now including multiple sales transactions. If three homes were bought in the same transaction, we now count them as three home sales, not one sale. These changes increase monthly sales counts by an average of 10 percent. Intra-family transfers are not included, nor are foreclosures until a home is re-sold to a new buyer.
    We have decided to switch to a straight median sale price instead of a weighted median when combining home categories (resale detached houses, resale condos and new homes), and when combining counties into regions. The result: our monthly “all-home” median prices have changed by about one percent on average. Why the switch? We use the straight median most often, including in work sold to the real estate industry, and we decided it’s time to adhere to a single form of the median in all of our work. The difference between the two medians is usually slight, and the straight median – the point where half of the homes sold for more and half for less – is more easily explained and understood.
    [Editor’s Note: Not intentionally (misleading), but you are correct (that we weren’t). Since redacted and updated. And thank you for pointing it out.]

  47. Posted by tipster

    But fluj,
    if you count that way, every house that sells gets counted as a reduction in inventory three times: once when it goes pending, once when it gets ratified, and once when it gets sold. So every house that comes on gets counted once, and every house that gets sold gets counted three times.
    You’ll say, “I’m not counting the SAME house three times” and that’s true this week, but next week, you’ll count one you already counted when it was ratified as sold, and so that house gets counted again. It only got counted once when it came on, but you can see how you are counting it twice when it came off.
    You only count how many are on, and how many are off. If you want to use a different stage of off to show, for example, that contingent offers have gone higher than solds so that means things are picking up, you can legitimately do that. What you can’t do is count everything that comes off three times, and everything that goes on once and tell yourself that inventory isn’t increasing.
    No one is questioning how much you know about the MLS, but your interpretation of the numbers we all agree you know so well is wrong. Count once. On and off.

  48. Posted by fluj

    You know what, Tipster, Trip, you’re right. My bad. I can’t count it that way. It gets much grayer than me “counting” it three times. Houses that are ostensibly still being marketed get shown. Something that got an offer months ago finally gets sold. Accepted offers fall out of contract and get withdrawn. But you guys are right.

  49. Posted by tipster

    You’re a good guy, fluj.

  50. Posted by Alfiejr

    thanks, theloanphd. Editor, please note. so foreclosures are not listed as sales until they find a new buyer. and as the DataQuick press release said: “Foreclosure property resales accounted for 25.7 percent of last month’s Bay Area market.”
    So basically, the bump in sales we are seeing is largely well capitalized bargain hunters entering the market in significant numbers compared to the few previous months – which makes sense sense due to the modest easing by mortgage lenders. and they are probably cherry picking the better stuff first.
    the chart i’d like to see is tracking Bay Area counties lender foreclosures month by month. is it still going up? or flat? until it starts going down the market can’t hit bottom. and how long does it take until a foreclosure resale? 6 months? longer?
    [Editor’s Note: Noted, confirmed, and corrected.]

  51. Posted by Kevin Montreuil

    Kudos to the user analysis here — more comprehensive than anything I’ve seen elsewhere on this topic.

  52. Posted by Foolio

    @Fluj:
    Thanks for the link to the Sunset analysis. Fascinating. It certainly seems like volume’s off, and yet, for sold properties, price per square foot is holding steady (although tipster/Trip would probably note rising inventories). I did note that the average square footage of sold properties has gone up since 2004-2006, although it’s the same so far in 2008 that it was in 2007.
    I’d really like to see a similar 5-year breakdown for the Richmond, if it isn’t too much trouble. And in the Richmond, where there are more condos/TICs, would it be possible to include those (or perhaps do a separate data spread with those)? My feel is that the condo/TIC market over there is really struggling, but I’d be interested in seeing if the sales data reflects that. Thanks in advance…

  53. Posted by fluj

    foolio,
    I’ll take a look at that. That is something I am curious about myself. Related, I have taken note of one peculiar Richmond development recently. The part of the Inner Richmond between Cabrillo and Fulton, and 3rd and Funston has grown exponentially expensive over the last year and a half.

  54. Posted by SocketSite

    CORRECTION: “Foreclosure property resales” had previously been misidentified as “sales back to the bank.” For the purposes of the DataQuick sales report “foreclosure resales” only includes the sales of properties which had previously been recorded as foreclosures within the past twelve months.

  55. Posted by REpornaddict

    What is interesting, from
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/05/21/MNJI10PJMV.DTL
    is that the median price for SFHs has stayed constant YOY. This means that condos/TICS would have fallen by around 8-10% YOY to give the 5% overall price fall.
    Which is what I think people anecdotally say is happening, and certainly backed up by the numbers now.

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