San Francisco Recorded Sales Median and Volume: October 2009 (www.SocketSite.com)
According to DataQuick, recorded home sales volume in San Francisco jumped 33.6% on a year-over-year basis last month (553 recorded sales in October ’09 versus 414 sales in October ‘08) and rose 3.2% compared to the month prior.
San Francisco’s median sales price in October was $690,824, down 1.2% compared to October ’08 ($699,000) but up 6.3% compared to the month prior.
For the greater Bay Area, recorded sales volume in October was up 4.2% on a year-over-year basis and up 0.7% from the month prior (7,933 recorded sales in October ’09 versus 7,613 in October ’08 and 7,879 in September ’09), while the recorded median sales price rose 4.0% on a year-over-year basis, up 6.8% compared to the month prior. Think mix.

Sales in the region’s higher-cost counties – Marin, San Francisco, Santa Clara and San Mateo – represented 42.2 percent of October sales, up from 35.3 percent a year ago, when more sales were concentrated in the lower-cost inland areas rife with deeply discounted foreclosures. Sales over $500,000 made up 36 percent of all sales last month, up from 34.9 percent a year ago and a low this year of 22.7 percent in January.

At the extremes, San Francisco recorded the greatest year-over-year percentage increase in sales volume while Solano recorded a 8.6% year-over-year decrease in sales volume (a loss of 67 transactions) and a 18.8% drop in median sales price.
As always, 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).
UPDATE: We assumed it went without saying, but with respect to the magnitude of the year-over-year sales increase, keep in mind that October 2008 was a rather rough month for the markets. Recorded San Francisco county October sales figures over the past six years: 720 (2004), 670 (2005), 573 (2006), 526 (2007), 414 (2008), 553 (2009).
Bay Area median sale price tops year-ago level [DQnews]
San Francisco Recorded Sales Activity In September: Up 17% YOY [SocketSite]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by steve

    As always, 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).
    well, the SFRA has you covered. breaking news, pending properties (“sold”) are at all time highs.
    http://sfrao.com/sites/sfar/files/documents/rao/SF_Realtors-November2009.pdf

  2. Posted by eddy

    Shocking! Did anything happen this time last year that could have impacted the pace of homebuying during the months of October-January? I can’t remember that far back?
    [Editor’s Note: We’re assuming that’s sarcasm.]

  3. Posted by steve

    hmm, eddy, I was reading SS daily back then, and I don’t remember anyone suggesting that if you had or wanted to buy property for life reasons (wife, kids, etc), patriotic duty or general consumption, you better drive your best bargain soon because things would stabilize by late spring. rather, I remember reading conclusion after conclusion that the events of 9-12 months ago were just the beginning of an epic collapse that would accelerate throughout 2009.
    now, with the 2009 buying/selling season pretty much over, we will have all winter to debate what will happen next year. (and, for the record, I think prices will slip further but I am in the flat for the next 5+ years camp in general.) however, what seems no longer debatable is that the SF market at this very moment is more stable that anyone except anonn predicted. and that is shocking indeed.

  4. Posted by Poster415

    What steve said = so true.

  5. Posted by Legacy Dude

    Steve, I didn’t see you commenting on the other thread – the one about how FHA is 1/3 of the local market now, though 1/6 of FHA loans are past due. Yet magically, mortgage rates aren’t budging despite defaults at record levels – and still rising. Can you reconcile that one for me?
    You and anonn seem to endlessly harangue this board with your reminders of what people were saying this time last year. So the bears correctly predicted the collapse, but underestimated the extent of the bailout. Is that your point? Or are you just reminiscing?

  6. Posted by eddy

    Yes it was sarcastic. The SF market is somewhat stable, and I’m in the flat to moderate decline camp as well. But I do think that we’ve some major price adjustments broadly speaking. And we’ve seen some peak sales as well. But I’d argue that those peak sales would have sold for more at the ‘peak’; but I’m not going to get into that debate with anyone. What cannot be ignored is that 99.9% of the average joes were scared shitless in the 4th quarter of 2008 and the financial institutions were in total disarray and foreclosures, which are counted as sales, were suspended. So any comparison of YoY figures are worthless. Better to compare Oct 2009 with Oct 2007 figures. Oh, but I guess that wouldn’t be relevant either. It would, however, show roughly the same volume and a 15% price decline.
    At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what any of us “say” since we have no real impact on the market. Personally, I find it interesting to hear everyone’s point of view. But unless you’re actively buying or selling and actually creating a data point than your opinions don’t really matter. But they are interesting to read.
    [Editor’s Note: Recorded San Francisco county sales figures over the past six years: 720 (2004), 670 (2005), 573 (2006), 526 (2007), 414 (2008), 553 (2009). And with respect to these reports, a bank foreclosure isn’t counted as a sale until it’s resold.]

  7. Posted by max

    I just talked to my real estate expert who has been doing SF Bay for 20+ years, he says this chart is a fluke, the market is still low. (or not going up yet)
    [Editor’s Note: It’s not really a fluke, but it is important to remember that a rising median isn’t the same thing as rising “prices” when a changing mix is in play.]

  8. Posted by tipster

    The median will go up for the next two years because the flood of low end subprime is over and next up is the higher end alt-a and prime. The mix will change.
    Number of sales is being influenced by government programs too much to predict.

  9. Posted by steve

    LD, to answer your questions:
    1) maybe because the same folks who decided to buy AIG assets at PAR are setting interest rates through monetary policy and guarantees?
    2) no, my point is not that you were wrong for whatever reason. rather, it is suprise that pretty much everyone was wrong, including me. I thought things would be much worse.
    the seasonal effects that drive Spring are powerful, but I would have expected this Fall to look a lot like last fall at least in inventory if not sales. that is hasn’t is the interesting story to me.

  10. Posted by Lance

    Geez Editor – the “think mix” comments are getting really old, and they only seem to come out when prices increase or stay flat. When prices were dropping like a rock, mix didn’t enter the picture. As soon as we get a small pop, the mix argument comes out again. I also love the bit about October being an easy comparison and the suggesting that you have to take the Dataquick numbers with a grain of salt. Anyone else see a bias in that?? Besides, I thought the upper end market was tanking and foreclosures were the flavor of the day….shouldn’t that mean mix is actually understating price increases.
    I really like this site, but the uber-negative bias is annoying. I used to think and appreciate the fact that this site was fairly objective, but lately it’s become more like one of those doomsday bubble blogs. That’s honestly why I rarely post here anymore. It would be great to see some DATA on this mix argument, as right now it just comes across as biased dribble without any supporting facts.
    By the way, I’m also in the flat camp to slightly down camp. Where I’m probably different is that I think prices will stabilize and possibly inch up starting in the next 24 months. In real terms, that still means declining values, but I don’t foresee sustained falls in nominal prices. Honestly though, I’m justspeculating like everyone else, so anything is possible.
    [Editor’s Note: The data for our “think mix” reference above is right in front of you:

    Sales in the region’s higher-cost counties – Marin, San Francisco, Santa Clara and San Mateo – represented 42.2 percent of October sales, up from 35.3 percent a year ago.

    But don’t let the facts get in the way of a regular “this site is biased!” rant. The numbers are what they are.
    In terms of data for San Francisco, try following the link: Medians Are Up, But Don’t Confuse That With Increasing “Prices”. When values are moving up but the median is moving down, we’ll be the first to note it. But when the two metrics are moving in the same direction, we really don’t need to make the point.]

  11. Posted by anonn

    the one about how FHA is 1/3 of the local market now, though 1/6 of FHA loans are past due
    One third of the local. One sixth of the national. You put them in the same sentence. Way to harangue me by grasping at straws. Typical.

  12. Posted by anonn

    and next up is the higher end alt-a and prime
    You’re flatly wrong about this. Banks are bending over backwards to work with people on rate adjustments. Pretty much everybody who got a Countrywide loan will be getting one. Stop speaking out of turn all the time, conspiracy boy.

  13. Posted by Tall Guy

    Lance: What about math are you not getting?

  14. Posted by REpornaddict

    Great set of figures. Sales back to 06/07 levels.
    What I REALLY don’t get re the mix argument, and I’ve asked this a few times, and still haven;t had a good answer from anyone…
    How is the fact that there is a claimed upward mix in the data reconciled with the much quoted claim thatthe higher end SF is dead on its feet, that nothing is moving at the higher end and the higher up the price scale you go, the worse things are…?

  15. Posted by PUAgent

    As a homeowner I too am pleasantly surprised by the resiliency of the SF market especially given the gloom and doom we were facing 1 year ago. It seems the supply side of the old fashioned supply and demand equation is keeping pricing stable. Sellers aren’t selling.
    As a Realtor, it seems to me that the trade-up buyer is out of the market for awhile. It used to be that if you owned a home in SF and wanted to move you would simply take a big second mortgage against the equity on your current home, use it as down payment on your new one and then sell the old house in two weeks with multiple offers over asking. That’s what I did in 2004. Obviously, those days are gone for so many reasons.
    Looking forward, I also think pricing will remain flat or slightly down for the next 2-3 years especially for homes in the $1M to $2M range. But, I will go out on a limb and predict a little bump in prices due to some panic buying when interest rates take their first jump sometime next spring. It’s something to consider if you need to sell within the next year.

  16. Posted by REpormaddict

    When values are moving up but the median is moving down, we’ll be the first to note it. But when the two metrics are moving in the same direction, we really don’t need to make the point.”
    But you have made the mix argument point before when the values and median prices have moved in the same direction.
    Here’s one example
    http://socketsite.com/archives/2008/05/san_francisco_recorded_sales_activity_in_april_up_65.html
    and another
    http://socketsite.com/archives/2008/03/san_francisco_reported_sales_activity_in_february_up_14.html
    and another
    http://socketsite.com/archives/2008/01/san_francisco_sales_activity_in_december_down_again_244.html
    So I am kinda not buying that line of reasoning.

  17. Posted by sparky-b

    Seems like the time to buy was last winter and it won’t be as good again for a few years.

  18. Posted by REpornaddict

    recorded home sales volume in San Francisco jumped 33.6% on a year-over-year basis last month (553 recorded sales in October ’09 versus 414 sales in October ‘08) and rose 3.2% compared to the month prior.
    When was the last time sales rose between September and October in SF???
    [Editor’s Note: That would be all the way back in 2007 for a 12% September to October increase. Also in 2006 and 2005 (but not nearly to the same extent).]

  19. Posted by weatherman

    I have to agree with one point that Lance makes which I will paraphrase: this site has become a Bear Den and this obvious bias is damaging its credibility as a source of real information on the SF real estate market. While mix shift will affect median prices, the fact remains that the trend is at least less negative than it in recent months. Maybe we are finally in a “bottoming process” if nothing else.

  20. Posted by Lance

    OK – In rereading my post, it was a bit of a rant, so my apologies if it came across a bit angry. I totally understand how the data supports SF and Marin skewing the total, and I should have read the original post more carefully. I saw “mix” again, and I think I kind of blew up. With that said, there is nothing in this dataset to suggest that prices WITHIN San Francisco are being inflated by mix. The fact is that prices in SF proper have increased for the past few months, and with everything that I’ve read here (i.e. – foreclosures up and high end sucks), mix should be understating prices. That was my point, but I obviously didn’t make it very well. REporn said it well I think.
    [Editor’s Note: See comment below (or re-read the last paragraph our note above).]

  21. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    “…this site has become a Bear Den…”
    I recall the same claim being made 18-24 months ago when “da Bearszzz” were positing that a pending mortgage blowup was going to halt appreciation and cause a price slide.
    That’s about when the bulls were countering that any price declines reported on SocketSite were not in “the real SF”. Hence all of the snide remarks you continue to see here about he ever shrinking real SF.
    How does one tell the difference between a bear and a rationalist in these times ?

  22. Posted by EBGuy

    Kudos to the relitter’s of high end sellers. When faced with starvation or getting your seller to lower their price, market dynamics eventually rule the day.

  23. Posted by anonn

    I recall the same claim being made 18-24 months ago when “da Bearszzz” were positing that a pending mortgage blowup was going to halt appreciation and cause a price slide.
    That’s about when the bulls were countering that any price declines reported on SocketSite were not in “the real SF”. Hence all of the snide remarks you continue to see here about he ever shrinking real SF.

    That’s the mild extent to which you characterize the gloom and doom prognostications, honestly? Come on.
    Also, “Real SF” sprang from a tacit acknowledgment by myself and others, of guess what? MIX. The same effect, albeit opposite, that Socketsite now routinely posits. And every bear now takes as given. “Real SF” sprang from routinely pointing out that areas 10 and parts of 3 had gotten hit much, much harder than the rest of San Francisco, particularly with regard to SFRs. Sorry. That’s a fact. It’s funny and a bit ironic how mix has been appropriated. And “Real SF” used snidely all the time … even though the same areas have held their value to this day better than any fallen doom and gloomer ever said.
    EB Guy, “re litter” “starvation” ? Sorry you’ve been so wrong. No need join the ranks of the jerks.

  24. Posted by sfrenegade

    “As a Realtor, it seems to me that the trade-up buyer is out of the market for awhile. It used to be that if you owned a home in SF and wanted to move you would simply take a big second mortgage against the equity on your current home, use it as down payment on your new one and then sell the old house in two weeks with multiple offers over asking. That’s what I did in 2004. Obviously, those days are gone for so many reasons.”
    This is an important factor in what will happen with prices in the longer-than-short-term. Right now, what PUAgent said is consistent with the last stats I saw, and we are seeing that the number of “move-up” buyers is much much lower than normal. We won’t be back to a “normal” housing market until a larger percentage of purchases are move-up.

  25. Posted by anonn

    And sorry, not just doom and glooom prognostications, but outright glee? coupled with “hee hees” and “hahahahah” and “money heaven” and whatever? Hee hee + panic in the streets + no bread on the shelves. That’s what was really being said.

  26. Posted by weatherman

    Reason can be as easily hijacked by irrational negativity as it can irrational exhuberance. Hence the reason why contrarian indicators are so popular I guess. I am not sure if the pendulum has swing too far toward the doom and gloom scenarios yet, but when “average Joe” is fearful (as he is now) and when sentiment is largely negative/bearish (as it is now), it is worth stepping back and assessing whether the worst may be behind us.

  27. Posted by ex SF-er

    interesting data.
    I wonder if the first time homebuyer tax credit affected SF much?
    my initial thought would be that it wouldn’t affect SF too much given the income of SF buyers and the mere $8k credit… but you never know. I haven’t looked for or seen any data about the affects of the first time homebuyer credit on high COL markets. It clearly had a big role in the cheaper markets.
    IMO increased sales and decreasing inventory is always a “good thing,” so I’m happy to see some movement in the SF RE market. not sure I’d go so far as some and say RE is healthy when the national RE market is on Governmental life support, but it’s at least chugging on.
    On a side note: I disagree that anonn was the only person who saw today as a possibility. For instance, I have for YEARS said that the SF RE downturn would take many years to play out, and much of the loss in value would be due to inflation. (so small to no nominal losses, but larger real losses over a long period of time).
    but then again, I like to think of myself as more than an uber bear, rather a rational thinker that saw (and sees) grim times ahead. but I’m sure all uber bears think that.
    ===
    For instance, here’s what I wrote in 2007, before people even acknowledged there would be a recession and even before some people were acknowledging there was even a RE bubble. it was also when I constantly heard “it can’t happen here in SF” and “SF is special” on socketsite:
    SF will drop eventually in price, but IMO it will be a combination of nominal price drops and inflation… but mostly inflation losses
    I foresee a total drop of maybe 30-35%, BUT most will be due to inflation (like the last downturn in 1988-92). So perhaps 10% nominal price drop combined with 3-4% inflation per year for 5 years. e.g.; an $800,000 house will go for $720,000 in 2012 but the dollar will be worth 20% less than it is today.
    The downturn will take an agonizingly long time… I’d guess 5 years or so… like watching paint dry.
    this would go much quicker, but governmental interference will soon commence.
    Posted by: ex SF-er at August 16, 2007 5:46 AM

  28. Posted by sfrenegade

    FWIW, I’ve only been at SocketSite for several months, but agree with ex SF-er on how this will go. As I mentioned earlier this week, you can look at 1989-1991 and 1996 as guidance for how this went before — some nominal drop, but mostly flat nominally, with a real drop because of inflation from there on out. Lived in another bubble city prior, and that was how it went there from 1991 to 1996 as well.
    That time around, I don’t think there was nearly as much government stimulus to prop up housing prices. As a result, 30 year-fixed interest rates were much closer to a market rate than now (fluctuations between 7% and 9%) We’ll see what happens when some of this stimulus for banksters goes away, I guess. We might actually see another round of nominal drops if interest rates climb, but I agree with ex SF-er that these things take a long time to work through the system and usually work through nominally flat over a long period of time.

  29. Posted by anonn

    It has already been an appreciable amount of time. Not a “long” time. But it’s been over two years since many, many US markets got creamed, and it’s also well over two years since the first big markets scare around Labor Day 2007.

  30. Posted by eddy

    The resilience of the sf market can be attributed to the fact that there are throngs of price elastic buyers here. As prices drop, a whole new tier of buyer is ready to pounce on the new low pricing. I don’t think it would be accurate to assume that because there are buyers who are buying at these price levels, that the price levels make economic sense. Fact is, home prices here in SF still have large diversions from standard RE ratios. Maybe the imbalance lasts forever. Maybe it doesn’t.

  31. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    eddy’s “tiers of buyers” theory makes sense solely from the market perspective. Of course there is a spectrum of “perceived value” across the buying market not to mention simply ability to buy at a certain price point.
    But there’s another aspect to this WRT government manipulation. As others have said, the government is trying to engineer a soft landing that avoids mass walkouts. Every month that an owner mails another mortgage check, it cements them in place more firmly. To further soften the impact, round after round of tiered buyers arrive to distribute the loss to a wider population.
    Someone who puts 20% down on a $1M home and then has to sell four years later at $800K would be financially devastated. But if an intervening party buys at $900K on the second year, the impact for the original buyer is halved. The second buyer might not even feel the pain if they hold long enough for the market to recover back to $900k.
    It is pretty clear that the government is trying to spread the pain around as wide as possible to avoid a panic. It would be more fair if those who took the greatest and poorly planned risks to bear the stark brunt of this problem. Would that (massive and sudden bank failures) have been a better outcome ? I’m really not sure.

  32. Posted by SocketSite

    When was the last time sales rose between September and October in SF???
    That would be all the way back in 2007 for a 12% September to October increase. Also in 2006 and 2005 (but not nearly to the same extent).
    With that said, there is nothing in this dataset to suggest that prices WITHIN San Francisco are being inflated by mix.
    Nor did we ever say there was with respect to the level of detail published in this DataQuick report. We did, however, provide a link to our recent breakdown for the changing mix within San Francisco when so politely asked for the DATA to support our “biased dribble (sic) without any…facts.”

  33. Posted by sparky-b

    Here is something I said:
    I’m calling bottom!
    Posted by: sparky-c at March 16, 2009 5:09 PM

  34. Posted by J

    Man who picks bottom, get’s sticky finger!

  35. Posted by ed

    ^^^OK, that’s kinda funny.

  36. Posted by ex SF-er

    The resilience of the sf market can be attributed to the fact that there are throngs of price elastic buyers here.
    Perhaps. Or another way to look at it is that this same scenario is playing out across many local RE markets in America.
    Most of them boomed together. Most of them busted together. And now most of them have stabilized together in large part due to govt assistance.
    I have my eye on a couple of different local markets. As many of you know, I’m very aware of what’s been going on in San Diego and Chicago as example. And many of the markets are looking pretty good right now, at least in comparison to the armaggeddon months.
    clearly, there are a very few numbers of markets that are getting really creamed and haven’t improved over the last few months… but most of the markets have shown resilience.
    and every single market has its own micro markets. Even in San Diego for example, years from when they started their bust (which was basically in 2005) you still have some well priced choice SFH properties doing very well, while other areas (specifically overbuilt condos or places in marginal areas) are getting slaughtered. sound familiar?
    SF will likely continue to show some form of resilience as long as the national markets show the same.

  37. Posted by FormerAptBroker

    weatherman wrote:
    > I have to agree with one point that Lance makes which I
    > will paraphrase: “this site has become a Bear Den and this
    > obvious bias is damaging its credibility as a source of real
    > information on the SF real estate market. “
    I can’t think of a single person that posts on this site that fits my description of a bear (that is someone that thinks things will get worse for no logical reason).
    I own a lot of real estate (and my parents own a whole lot more real estate) so it does not make me happy that values are down.
    I grew up here and know a lot of people that bought (as their Realtors ® told them so they would not be “priced out forever) at the peak with creative financing (IO, Option ARM, etc.) that will soon be in a world of hurt (see the graph below):
    http://www.resorttowork.com/iClubbin/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/1244805678-arm20reset20schedule.png
    I’m also worried that with the state of California (and almost every city including SF) in such deep financial trouble that the politicians will end up raising taxes that will result in even more business closing down and even more unemployment.
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_pMscxxELHEg/SwXYrI5HDzI/AAAAAAAAG1U/7mfHA5HUVeA/s1600/StateDelinquentUnemployment.jpg
    If weatherman or anyone else can find something bullish in the data on the two graphs I’m happy to look at it and hear it…

  38. Posted by tipster

    This isn’t over by a long shot. The government just borrowed money and spread it around. The bill hasn’t come due. When it does, we’ll be in for more pain.
    Many homeowners are dead men walking. They have no real way of paying back their loans. King obama tells the bankers to stop foreclosing and pretend there is a solution using “trial modifications” and every one does it, but the bankers know how this is going to end.
    Here’s all you really need to know: prices stabilized as unemployment rose. Think that makes any sense? Neither do I. Think it’s sustainable? Neither do I. The political will to keep throwing more and more money at the problem is waning, king obama’s approval numbers are plummeting, and congress is running out of the will to spend immense amounts of money to stop this. Can they CON-vince the buying public that it’s over and happy days are here again so that the public picks up where the congress leaves off? That’s the more interesting question. Every business owner I know says business is down, way down, and even people with jobs are too scared to spend. When the givernment finally runs out of give, that will be the real test.
    So it will trend up a bit until February. Then, I think robbing peter to pay paul will start to get old. All those people not paying their mortgages but keeping their homes means the lender has less money to spend, and the markets are being severely distorted by money tied up in zombie homeowners.

  39. Posted by anonn

    This isn’t over by a long shot. The government just borrowed money and spread it around. The bill hasn’t come due. When it does, we’ll be in for more pain
    Yeah, um, no. You need to start picking your spots. Or change your name. It might not be over, true, but your credibility + the name “Tipster” is shot.

  40. Posted by FormerAptBroker

    anonn wrote:
    > your credibility + the name “Tipster” is shot.
    Other than pointing out some things that will make it harder to make a living as a Realtor ®, what has tipster said that “shots his credibility”?
    Has the government not borrowed money to spread around?
    Have they government paid the money back?
    Will it be easy for the government to pay the money back?
    Are any homeowners in trouble?
    Can you run down the following (and the many other) items in tipsters list and point out a single specific item that “shots his credibility”?

  41. Posted by tipster

    Nice ad hominem attack, anonn. That means you got nothin’.
    No fun to win by forfeit.

  42. Posted by anonn

    “Ad hominem” — the last salvo of the overposter. With regard to yourself? This blog is searchable, man. Anybody, at any time, could spend an afternoon and expose your innumerable litanies of wishful nonsense. Mind your manners.

  43. Posted by REpornaddict

    So what is going on in SF then…trying again as I didn’t get an answer above….
    a)Is there an upward mix in the median signifying that the higher end has really picked up and is shifting proportionately (and absolutely) more units.
    b) Or is the higher end of SF (“real SF?”) surviving on fumes, dying on its feet etc, and gets worse the higher up you go..
    Because it can’t be both, they are mutually exclusive- yet both arguments are often quoted here to explain movements in median price,inventory etc to suit a certain position when convenient.

  44. Posted by Embarcadero

    “My, the annon noise machine has really been cranking this week.”
    Open houses are a bit slow. I overheard three estate agents at lunch today, bragging about how they found stuff on other blogs to put on their blogs, including videos. It was okay, one said, so long as you provided attribution.
    RE meltdown. Estate agents taking two hour lunches to talk about how they re-post their own spam on the blogs they have that no one reads.
    I can only guess that this is not one of those blogs.

  45. Posted by anonnBeGone

    Wow, anonn is just such a tiring read. Give it up already, post something of substance (you have done in the past) or stop screaming from that small soapbox and saying others are creating noise. A lot more salt is needed to read your posts than most here, and you have tipster beat by volume for sure.
    I for one have almost opted to NOT buy here any time soon because of your posts and the tone and (often lack of) logic you tend to use.

  46. Posted by ex SF-er

    The political will to keep throwing more and more money at the problem is waning, king obama’s approval numbers are plummeting, and congress is running out of the will to spend immense amounts of money to stop this.
    I disagree. The political will is very strong to continue throwing money around. The political will for direct obvious bank bailouts is waning. But I’m quite sure there is tons of political will for things like tax cuts to the (cough) middle classes, or other “home affordability” products. Luckily they will figure out a way to have discrete bank bailouts disguised as Joe-6-Pack bailouts.
    [Editor’s Note: The second part of this comment has been moved to: It’s Deja Vu All Over Again (This Time Thanks To The FHA).]

  47. Posted by diemos

    “Luckily they will figure out a way to have discrete bank bailouts disguised as Joe-6-Pack bailouts.”
    I would have preferred a “rip-off-the-bandage” approach rather than this endless string of kludges. Print up 10T, pay off everyone’s mortgage (thus reliquifying the financial system) and then impose financial reform and regulation.

  48. Posted by tipster

    “So what is going on in SF then…trying again as I didn’t get an answer above..”
    REPA,
    2007 was the year of the subprime seller. Lots of investors dumped property, lots of owneroccupieds got foreclosed. The high end held, so…
    2008 was the year of the smug high end seller. Lots of listings at peak prices, few sales. Medians dropped because the low end had fallen far enough for buyers to find it attractive again, but now…
    2009 is the year that fear has snuck into the high end market. “This house is sucking us dry and if one of us loses our job, we’re screwed. Prices have fallen on enough properties that the hold out buyers, those who were looking in 2006-2008 but held off, are finding some bargains, tho some is still priced at peak and not moving. There is enough fear in the SELLERS that stuff is moving. More high end sales, so medians rise. This is mostly about sellers right now.
    With the government programs, the just over conforming sellers are finding that they have buyers to sell to, and though there aren’t that many buyers in that range, there aren’t many sellers either because so many are trapped in their homes. So the market is somewhat stable for now, until we run out of buyers and it drops again.
    But the operative word right now is FEAR. Enough sellers are finally scared enough to price appropriately, so stuff is moving again.

  49. Posted by Legacy Dude

    “They clearly will spend us into a currency crisis.”
    Exactly what I’ve been saying for a while now. The sky never falls in America as long as we can borrow more sky. Where and how it stops is unpredictable. But it’s unsustainable, as are current home price levels absent heavy government intervention.
    The Chinese economy is set to match/surpass ours by 2025-2035 depending on whose forecast you read. So if you’re under 50, you’ll likely be around to see it. Symbiosis makes strange bedfellows. But once it ends….?
    This is mainly why I don’t plug in or post much anymore. To repeat myself, talking about the real estate “market” today is akin to debating next year’s budget for the Department of Agriculture. At this point, Barney Frank & company have more insight into the local market than any of us on this blog.

  50. Posted by REpornaddict

    It’s funny how the story does change each month or so though.. a few months ago it was that nothing was moving at the high end becase everyone was already trapped in their homes, can’t afford to sell, living on fumes..Now the fact that sales are up is claimed to be due to fear.
    Bottom line is SF RE has been pretty solid since March, no amount of 20 line shifting hypothetical explnations each month is going to alter that.
    Things may or may not get worse next year – we shall see – but I find the constant refusal to accept relative and surprising strength in the SF market right now pretty amusing.

  51. Posted by 3 words

    TARP
    welfare
    bubble

  52. Posted by Lance

    @ Tipster –
    So, here’s how I’d paraphrase your post above. You seem to be saying that medians in 2008 were understated as sales volume was skewed toward low end sales. In other words, “mix” generally overstated any price declines in the SF median home price during 2008. The mix also was abnormally skewed toward the low end market, and likely wasn’t representative of the typical SF resale housing stock. Going into 2009, high end sellers are now more open to selling and therefore the mix has shifted back towards a mix of lower and higher end sales – which is more normal.
    If that’s what you’re saying, then I think we agree with each other. My issue (and I suspect REPA’s as well) is that this site only seems to acknowledge mix when it works the way it did in the 2009 example. In fact throughout 2008, there were numerous suggestions that mix was artificially skewing prices up without any proof that this was really the case. In fact, your post to me suggests it was just the opposite. Secondly, if 2008 declines were overstated and 2009 declines are understated (both due to mix), then the real decline in SF housing prices is probably somewhere in between. In other words, after adjusting for any mix shifts – prices haven’t dropped in SF very much at all (maybe 10%?). That also looks to be what the 12 month moving average is showing in the chart that socketsite posted above. It’s hard to say without having all of the numbers, but that’s what I see when I look at the data. Everything else is either Case-Shiller or hand-picked apple comparisons, which are frankly either too broad or too selective to infer anything about SF prices.

  53. Posted by anonn

    A lot more salt is needed to read your posts than most here, and you have tipster beat by volume for sure.
    No chance. I post a fraction of what I used to.

    I for one have almost opted to NOT buy here any time soon because of your posts and the tone and (often lack of) logic you tend to use

    I don’t believe you. But good riddance anyway for my colleagues’ sake.

  54. Posted by REpornaddict

    Exactly. No one recognized mix playing a downward role last year.
    It was all wooo look at the slope of that graph, prices falling off a cliff, if prices continue to fall at this rate they will be zero in a year etc etc…
    The effect of downward mix is only ever recognized 12 months later.
    Upward mix, however, is instantly claimed and recognised, and then forgotten 12 months later!

  55. Posted by anonn

    How many of the people who snidely say “Real SF” all the time are now talking upward mix? Too funny.

  56. Posted by anonn

    Do tell me the number of times you’ve personally seen FHA pass on a property, Ex-SFer. I am all ears.
    Secondly, explain to me the enormous financial risk re-selling a properly valued property poses.
    And consider what it is: a two unit in Hayes Valley for ~900K? Is that really something to be up in arms about?
    Third, go to http://www.homepath.com/ and see how many times FHA has had to foreclose upon a property in SF. You know, the location this blog is about. Fourteen percent, fourteen pershment. Try .04 percent.

  57. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    “Secondly, explain to me the enormous financial risk re-selling a properly valued property poses.”
    If the market is trending down, then the resell might be at a loss.

  58. Posted by anonn

    If the market is trending down, then the resell might be at a loss.
    Sure. But right now it is not trending down. And again, consider what this “blogosphere uproar property” actually is. It’s a two unit in Hayes Valley for ~900K. It’s likely to sell for more.
    I’d honestly like to know if a single FHA basher on here has any local personal experience. From the things people are saying I highly doubt it.

  59. Posted by VIX2

    With certainty, I can tell you that the SF real estate market will be in a very slow sideways lower phase for the next seven to ten years. This will frustrate both buyers– who keep expecting some mean reversion to 1990’s prices to happen in a matter of months, and sellers who keep holding on to any signs of relative stability that the market is imminently going to double because r/e is a one-way market.
    How do I know the future with such certitude? I have a developed a proprietary index: VIX2. No, this VIX has nothing to do with equity vol. This is the new custom Socket Site Vitriol Index that screens the forums for combinations of words indicating particularly biting sarcasm, bitterness, and, well, Vitriol. The VIX2 index shows no signs of decline from the highs. Guaranteed that SF real estate is sideways/incrementally lower for the next decade.
    “Past performance of the VIX2 IS indicative of Future Results. (there is no past performance!)

  60. Posted by steve

    VIX2, outstanding!

  61. Posted by Tall Guy

    VIX2 – I like it.
    I thought that bottom meant prices are stable, and then after some point they go back up. Someone post a close here that shows ‘bottom’. I know SS will, but just wondered if some of you folks were cruising SS2, a blog which posts positive gains no matter what happens in the market. Its also known as MLS.

  62. Posted by sfrenegade

    “No one recognized mix playing a downward role last year.”
    Actually a lot of people did, just not the strawmen you like to refer to…

  63. Posted by anonn

    “straw men” ?
    What about all the “Real SF” derision? Try dozens of haters.
    yeah. you’re wrong.

  64. Posted by diemos

    “It’s likely to sell for more.”
    Excellent! So the last owner must have been pretty stupid to sell it to this bunch of assclowns when they could have sold it to someone else for more.
    You sound like those jewelry store ads, “We guarantee that your stone will appraise for double our price.”

  65. Posted by anonn

    Why do you call those guys “assclowns”? What on god’s green earth have they ever done to you. You sound like a bitter gimp. Buzz off, bitterman.

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