Sales volume for listed single-family homes in San Francisco fell 5% on a year-over-year basis in August (206 transactions in 2008 versus 196 in 2009), down 12% versus July and versus a 6% drop fom July to August in 2008 according to San Francisco Schtuff.
The most significant drop in listed single-family home sales volume occurred in District 5, down 56% on a year-over-year basis (from 36 in 2008 to 16 in 2009) but with a 3% increase in median sales price (think mix of what’s selling).
On the other hand, listed single-family home sales volume in District 1 doubled from 8 to 16 on a year-over-year basis on a 22% drop in the median sales and sales volume in Distruct 7 was flat at ten transactions on a 32% drop in median price.
Single Family Homes August ‘04, ‘06, ‘08, ‘09 []
Listed San Francisco Single-Family Home Sales In July: Up 2% YOY [SocketSite]
San Francisco Real Estate Districts: Maps And Neighborhoods [SocketSite]

21 thoughts on “Listed San Francisco Single-Family Home Sales In August: Down 5%”
  1. Combined with the inventory numbers, shows a stronger SFH market than a year ago.
    Interesting results for d5, last month sales were up, and median down. now sales down, median up.
    Just shows can’t read too much into sales for one district for one month – but interesting that it suggests the higher end did better in this district than the lower stuff.

  2. Speaking of D5, I’m pretty interested to see what happens with the one on I believe the 900 block of Clayton @ 2.5M or so. They’re asking 1000 a foot for a 3 br 2 1/2 ba, with a terraced backyard, lower rooms that a 5’9″ person will bang his/her head getting to, and only a westward view from one bedroom.

  3. Sales are down YOY from a quite anemic 2008 — basically flat. It’ll be interesting to see the YOY numbers through the Fall when 2008 really saw sales plummet. So far, SF seems not to be seeing the uptick the rest of the state is experiencing, although I admit I expected sales to fall even further. An $8000 cash credit and record-low rates have clearly helped prop up the low end. The low end SFR market is not terrible, especially D10, although prices continue to fall, somewhat surprisingly, even there.
    This small dataset appears to validate FSBO’s 5 Fridays theory. I see 29 SFR solds on 7/31/09 — the fifth Friday of July — I think the biggest single day for either July or August. July 2008 only had 4 Fridays. Hence, the 2009 jump in YOY July sales. By contrast, August 2008 had 5 Fridays and 2009 only had 4. Hence, the YOY dropoff.
    Thanks again to Garrett for putting out this info so quickly.

  4. I said last time there would be a month to month 60% drop in median price in D7, and there almost was, but, again, the sample size is ridiculously small in some neighborhoods.
    What I find really interesting is how comparatively well D10 has held up over the years… Down just 23% from 06 and only 3% YOY?

  5. “a stronger market than a year ago”
    I’m not sure. Fewer sales AND lower inventory? Seems like more people on the sidelines – both buyers and sellers. What that means for overall market strength is unclear to me.

  6. And, the rumor mill has it that the SFUSD schools have seen a surge in its k-1 enrollment (heard that there are schools that never had a wait-list, with a wait-list this year)…and, the elite private schools have not seen a drop in enrollment….
    Personally, I think it is connected to real estate…just a guess…

  7. ^^^ Or maybe parents are cutting corners by not enrolling in private schools. How’s the private school k-1 stats doing ?

  8. Trip’s “5 Fridays” anomaly makes the most sense to explain the July 09/Aug 09 vs. July 08/Aug 08 fluctuations.

  9. “Fewer sales AND lower inventory”
    What I seem to see the most in D4/D5 is listings pulled without a sale. One major reason for this is that many places list at around their loan amount and don’t sell so they are withdrawn because the owners can’t afford to sell for less than their loan (or wisely choose not to bring their own cash to the closing). Many of these hosues seem to be offered for rent, many with a hefty owner subsidy based on the loan payment/rent ratio >> 1.
    This accounts for both lower sales and lower inventory. Eventually these sellers will need to sell (unless they can ride it out for the long run) or more likely, eventually the banks will be selling these same houses for less than the loan amounts when the “owners” decide that they are too far underwater to keep making payments…
    Stay tuned.
    [Editor’s Note: Jumping on the Inglorious Bastards bandwagon that’s already started rolling, “That’s a bingo!” with respect to what’s happening with listed inventory.]

  10. Many of these hosues seem to be offered for rent, many with a hefty owner subsidy based on the loan payment/rent ratio >> 1.
    For some historical perspective on this, here is a chart of value to rent multiples, from 1930-2007.
    Keep in mind that this chart is a ratio of median value to median annual contract rent paid, not a ratio of median transaction prices to median asking rents. Moreover, no adjustment is made for quality differences in the housing and rental stock. Having said that, San Francisco was always a city of 2/3 renters, even going back to 1930.
    Just focusing on the relative performance of San Francisco, here is a graph of the ratio of median house prices in SF county to those in all of California, from 1930-2007. The universe here is urban owner-occupied houses in CA, not just new construction. You can see a spike in 2001 as the housing market advanced locally well before CA caught up with it. It will be interesting to see this graph unfold over time, as we know prices in CA have fallen quite a bit since 2007.
    Here is another chart, this time it tracks the median rent paid in several selected cities as a ration of the median rent paid in all of (urban) California. This should track things median income of the inhabitants.
    Finally, the the following chart tracks per-capita personal income in San Francisco County as a percentage of per capita personal income in the U.S. Per-Capita income is just the “GDP” of an area divided by the number of people, and does not necessarily track median incomes due to distributional effects, however, this ratio is remarkably stable, except for some interesting outlines at the end — is the shape at the end familiar to anyone?
    Just wanted to throw some more data out there, as we can only spend so much time talking about 10 fewer houses sold this month than in August ’08 🙂

  11. Is there any way to get #s on how many listings have been withdrawn each month?
    I know in my neighborhood (Potrero) I’ve seen a significant number of SFHs go on and off the market. There have been some great houses sold here – when they were priced well, they sold immediately, sometimes even over asking. But there are lots of owners that are still wishful and won’t lower their prices. You can find those listings languishing for months.

  12. As the parent of a SFUSD kindergartener, I can say that enrollment is definitely up in the district at the grade school level. Private school spots seemed hard to come by this year – at least public is obligated to take you (just perhaps someplace that you’d rather not be!). The number of births nationwide has outpaced the baby boomers since 2006, I don’t know how much real estate has to do with increased enrollment. It could be simple demographics.
    BTW – the SF K Files is the spot for scuttlebutt on SFUSD.

  13. “Fewer sales AND lower inventory”
    What I seem to see the most in D4/D5 is listings pulled without a sale. One major reason for this is that many places list at around their loan amount and don’t sell so they are withdrawn because the owners can’t afford to sell for less than their loan (or wisely choose not to bring their own cash to the closing). Many of these hosues seem to be offered for rent, many with a hefty owner subsidy based on the loan payment/rent ratio >> 1.
    This accounts for both lower sales and lower inventory.”
    I don’t know..maybe. But there must be a long period before these places are withdrawn when they do form part of the inventory.
    And the inventory is down almost 20% for SFHs YOY. Which you wouldn’t expect if there were a bunch of people suddenly trying to get their loan amount back (and, yes, ultimately withdrawing them). A great deal more people than last year, it’s implied in the claim.
    any data to back up this claim..sounds a little anecdotal to me.

  14. It certainly agree that it is anecdotal for the most part. In my spreadsheet where I track open housed I have visited and houses I am tracking, sligtly more than half have expired or been withdrawn without a sale, and several I know of also were posted to CL afterwards and went rental. I alo remember quite a few SS featured listings that were withdrawn without a sale. Unfortunately I know no good way to measure this relative to prvious years, and I am sure there is a selection bias based on the places I am tracking.
    I have never seen long term data for expired/withdrawn listings which were not relisted. I vaguly recall FSBO posting a short term time series of something like this a while ago, but it is not anything tha I would imagine realtors would want us to be able to track easily. I haven’t seen a post from FSBO for a long time so I am not sure if he is still around.

  15. REpornaddict,
    Another thing to keep in mind is that many of these places (at least based on my small sample)are vacant. If you have a vacant house bleeding ~6-8k a month, how long will you be willing to have it sit on the MLS at your loan amount before you decide to pull the listing and rent it for 3-4k a month? So I think depending on individual pain thresholds, the “long period” that these places sit in the inventory is not as long as you might think.

  16. See the thread:
    “Count me in with those who are surprised by the decreasing available inventory. Regardless of the underlying factors, I think it may portend an increase in actual sales in the near term (at least above the recent depressed levels). But any increase in actual closed sales in not really evident in the MLS sales data (yet). Total sales for March 2009 (SFH + condos in SF) stand at 237 compared with 339 in 2008, 494 in 2007 and 538 in 2006. At this moment through Apr 13, there have been just 68 April sales. But there are 664 total listings in Active-Contingent/Pending status (136 of these have gone Active-Contingent since Apr 1). On the other hand, 379 listings have gone to Expired/Withdrawn status since March 1 – so there are still many discretionary (and discouraged) sellers pulling their listings.
    I think we’ll see a bump in sales soon when (if?) these listings under contract start to close.
    Posted by: FSBO at April 13, 2009 6:05 PM”

  17. And one more post from FSBO in the same thread showing the increasing trend of withdrawn listings over the past few years:
    “steve – the 379 listings that have gone Expired/Withdrawn since Mar 1 definitely represent a higher pace than in recent years. For the same period (Mar – Apr MTD) in 2008, the count was 233 and for 2007 it was 175. As we discussed in a previous thread, there appears to be significantly more recent expired and withdrawn listings.”
    FSBO, Is there any way to get the YTD withdrawn stats to Sep 1 for all 3 years?

  18. This is all back in April though – much has happened since then.
    certainly inventory is alot lower now than it was then – both in absolute terms and YOY comparison with 2008.
    Inventory was way higher back then..I would have expected the number of withdrawn properties to be greater too.
    But now?
    well, maybe. Certainly sales aren’t that much different to last year. But also may be fewer completely new listings coming on.
    either way, YTD withdrawn won’t be that useful in my opinion, as that covers a period where, on average, SFH inventory was higher YOY. But it isn’t higher now.
    Oh, and those stats from FSBO were SFs and condos combined. we are just talking SFHs here.

  19. There are no seats in the private schools as well…
    And, a friend in Palo Alto says enrollment is a bit down there…they delayed opening another school…

  20. I don’t know about the other real estate companies out there in San Francisco, but mine generated 318 escrows in August. This reportedly marks the best month of new escrows for Pacific Union since July 2007. We’ll see how many of them close, but I’m thinking things are finally starting to pick up.

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