San Francisco Sales and Median: October 2010 (
Recorded home sales volume in San Francisco fell 21.2% on a year-over-year basis last month (436 recorded sales in October ’10 versus 553 sales in October ‘09), down 1.4% as compared to the month prior which was down 17.5% on a year-over-year basis and versus a 12.3% drop in August.
For context, October sales figures for San Francisco from 2004 to 2008 were 720 (2004), 670 (2005), 573 (2006), 526 (2007), and 414 (2008). And on average, from 2004 to 2009 sales volume increased 0.3% from September to October.
San Francisco’s median sales price in October was $652,000, down 5.6% compared to October ’09 ($690,824) but up 5.2% compared to the month prior.
For the greater Bay Area, recorded sales volume in October was down 22.8% on a year-over-year basis, down 3.3% from the month prior (6,122 recorded sales in October ’10 versus 7,933 in October ’09 and 6,334 in September ’10) as the recorded median sales price fell 1.8% on a year-over-year basis, down 3.0% as compared to the month prior.

Last month foreclosure resales – homes that had been foreclosed on in the prior 12 months – rose for the third consecutive month to 29.5 percent of the Bay Area’s resale market. That was up from 27.5 percent in September but down from 31.3 percent in October 2009. Foreclosure resales peaked at 52.0 percent in February 2009. The monthly average for foreclosure resales over the past 15 years is about 8 percent.

Government-insured FHA loans, a popular choice among first-time buyers, accounted for 25.6 percent of all home purchase mortgages in October, up from 24.1 percent in September and 25.2 percent in October 2009.

At the extremes, Sonoma recorded a 29.8% drop in sales volume (a loss of 164 transactions) on a 6.6% decrease in median sales price in October while Napa recorded a 24.8% decrease in sales volume (a loss of 30 transactions) on a 14.7% decrease in median.
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).
Bay Area Home Sales Fall Sharply; Median Price Dips Below Last Year [DQNews]
San Francisco Recorded Sales Activity Down 17.5% In September [SocketSite]
San Francisco Recorded Sales Activity Down 12.3% In August [SocketSite]
He’s It’s Back: California’s $10,000 Homebuyer Tax Credit Returns [SocketSite]
FHA: Not Out Of The Woods But Feeling A Little Less Lost [SocketSite]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by polip

    the downward pressure continues….

  2. Posted by REpornaddict

    still no obvious and significant effect on prices yet, however in this recent sales downturn..unless the mix is such that higher priced properties are holding up better,and the lower end is being hit harder. Not seen data either way.
    btw how about a link to the report a year ago, as well as past month(s). Probaby more interesting as to what people were saying/thinking a year ago than 2 months ago.

  3. Posted by A.T.

    Here is a 25% hit (-$625,000) from the 2007 sale in Very Real SF:
    I think we are seeing a pretty obvious and significant effect on prices, high-end and low-end, all over town. Not many half-off sales, I grant you, but some massive losses in a pretty short time period.

  4. Posted by [anon.ed]

    When you post a cherry picked property and then make a larger point off it bear in mind that anyone so inclined could do the opposite.

  5. Posted by A.T.

    C’mon. You know as well as I do that if you dug through every “apple” sale from peak-to-recent you’d see a consistent 20-35% decline all over town. A few outliers either a little above that or a little below (more above). Yes, I only took the time to post one “Real SF” example here but there is no cherry picking.
    Since you like medians, let’s use the DQ medians: $652,000 in 10/10, $795,000 in 10/07. Fine, so it’s only an 18% drop. That would “only” be a half million dollar loss on the Presidio Heights place, not the actual $625,000. Woo hoo.

  6. Posted by [anon.ed]

    You know as well as I do that if you dug through every “apple” sale from peak-to-recent you’d see a consistent 20-35% decline all over town.
    A consistent 25 to 30 percent down from peak, you say? All over town? No, I don’t know that to be true at all. But I’m not interested in arguing with you, 10 year Mission planner. So think what you want and take one place and call it everything if you want. Just know that someone else could take another place and make the opposite argument.

  7. Posted by A.T.

    “A consistent 25 to 30 percent down from peak, you say?”
    Well, actually I didn’t. I said 20-35%.
    “Just know that someone else could take another place and make the opposite argument.”
    Sure they could, but they wouldn’t have any valid support for it. Heck, someone could argue that “San Francisco never really took a price hit and it won’t, either.”

  8. Posted by EH

    Does anybody make a “Median vs. Inventory” chart?

  9. Posted by randomness

    Yes, there are a myriad of apples on socketsite and other data points that are significantly lower over the last few years (and so many places languishing on and off the market in the real SF), but rather than trying to show other data points to the contrary, I will simply smugly argue that you are wrong and complain that socketsite only cherrypicks and that it isn’t worth my time arguing with someone so far below my level of knowledge of the real estate market. Ha!

  10. Posted by Skirunman

    For the data geeks out there here are links to data from Paragon. They produce some nice stats and charts.
    Oct 2010 was supposedly the 4th best month in the last 24 with 522 deals going in to contract and is just about the same as Oct 2009 at 531.
    It will be interesting to see what recorded sales numbers look like in November. Also, inventory is still at about 4 months, where it has been for the last year when you filter out the noise. Pricing continues to be flat over the last 18 months and is off more like 15%-20% off peaks not 20%-35% barring the SS cherry picks.

  11. Posted by tipster

    57 closed sales in the last seven days, 54 new listings in the last 24 hours, 138 new listings for the week.
    My favorite listing today: one of Paul’s at the metropolitan 333 1st street #1504 (as usual: no streeeetched photos-an honest realtor). Purchased for an even $1,000,000 in March of ’08, now listed for 688K. If it sells at asking, it will be a nice $322K loss in 32.2 months, or a nice even ten thousand dollars per month loss. Total costs for a two bedroom 983 square foot condo: $15,000+ per month. It’s priced just above what the same unit 2 floors higher sold for two months ago, so I don’t think their losses (including the bank’s) are going to be much less than this.
    According to Skirunman, this is only a 15-20% loss, not the 32% it looks like. This wasn’t even the peak. I guess it’s the new math? Or maybe a cherry pick. There’s an awful lot of cherries to pick from these days!

  12. Posted by tomatoe / tomato

    Let’s see, in the past 30 days…
    100 Farnum listed for $759,000 sold for $775,000
    84 Lippard listed for $875,000 sold for $905,000
    1167 Bosworth listed for 925,000 sold for $1,010,000
    21 28th St listed for 995,000 and sold for $1,020,000
    4348 Cesar Chavez listed for $1,029,000 sold for $1,050,000
    1626 Dolores listed for $1,075,000 sold for $1,105,000
    1395 Sanchez St listed for 1,082,000 sold for $1,122,000
    566 Eureka St listed for $1,175,000 sold for $1,205,000
    1115 Diamond St listed for $1,149,000 sold for $1,218,000
    720 27th St listed for $1,190,000 sold for $1,225,000
    4366 26th St listed for $1,325,000 sold for $1,342,000
    212 Fair Oaks listed for $1,097,000 sold for $1,380,000
    887 Douglass St listed for $1,295,000 sold for $1,400,000
    221 Clipper St listed for $1,450,000 sold for $1,552,000
    265 28th St listed for $1,649,000 sold for $1,650,000
    729 Elizabeth St listed for $2,495,000 sold for $2,525,000
    1421 Shrader listed for $1,075,000 sold for $1,101,000
    125 St Germain listed for $1,495,000 sold for $1,662,500
    21 Beaver St listed for $1,250,000 sold for $1,380,000
    217 Douglass St listed for $1,249,000 sold for $1,513,000
    1719 Broderick St listed for $1,575,000 sold for $1,590,000
    284 Avila St listed for $1,649,000 sold for $1,700,000
    2465 Pacific listed for $3,995,000 sold for $4,200,000
    2800 Vallejo St listed for $4,595,000 sold for $4,775,000
    All of the above are original list prices, not reduced list prices…and I got bored after looking up that many. Of course anyone could cherry pick dramatic losses too …if that was the point I was trying to help [anon.ed] make (who wisely did not get sucked into bothering)…
    And yes, the market has dropped – dramatically in some neighborhoods – but to say we are seeing a minimum of 20% declines in every neighborhood across San Francisco is just plain inaccurate; as any serious buyer who out there looking will sadly tell you.

  13. Posted by .

    just looked at the last 4 houses:
    1. 1719 Broderick St listed for $1,575,000 sold for $1,590,000
    2. 284 Avila St listed for $1,649,000 sold for $1,700,000
    3. 2465 Pacific listed for $3,995,000 sold for $4,200,000
    4. 2800 Vallejo St listed for $4,595,000 sold for $4,775,000
    1. original list price isn’t shown; originally listed june 2009.
    2. $1.7M. listed for 13 days then sold
    3. $4.0M. listed for 11 days then sold
    4. $4.6M. listed for 2 weeks then sold

  14. Posted by tipster

    Who was it who was saying on another thread that no realtor says “Sold over asking!” as an indication of market strength any longer, i.e. that no one could possibly be that dumb?

  15. Posted by [anon.ed]

    It’s all about people trying to fool you Tipster. That’s what the entire SFRE marketplace is about, it’s about trying to fool you, and you alone. If it happens to fool others while doing so, then all the better. And you are a saint for taking care of those who are not as worldly as you are.

  16. Posted by tomatoe / tomato

    You can also say, accurately from my view, that a below asking offer is not necessarily an indication of market weakness either.
    If you list a home for $8 million, that should be listed at $2 million and it sells for $2 million – that’s a pretty sensational 66% decline!
    Problem is it should never have been listed that high to begin with.
    And YES the market is down, the market is down, I agree. I just don’t agree it’s down 20% in traditional neighborhoods. In fact what keeps getting lost in this is the median price in San Francisco is up from 6 years ago. And for the record Real Estate is not, nor was it ever intended to be flipped for short term holds (unless you really know what you’re doing and are a contractor, then ok go for it).

  17. Posted by tipster

    “In fact what keeps getting lost in this is the median price in San Francisco is up from 6 years ago”
    Did you really just say that too?

  18. Posted by R

    These prices obviously don’t take into account the additional 10% decline in the last two weeks that Tipster proved the other day. I mean really, why would you bother to pull real stats when Tipster has said that everything in SF is down and down big and going down bigger?

  19. Posted by Skirunman

    @tipster: When I speak of “pricing” I am speaking of market transaction pricing (sold price) for a class of properties using relevant statistical tools, i.e. median and avg $/sf, to provide an estimate of the data set. Your example is definitely cherry picked and is even less relevant as it is the listed price, not transaction price. I have no idea of that specific person’s situation nor is it all that relevant when talking about the market as it is one data point out of hundreds.
    Also, it is disingenuous to talk about listings in the last 24 hours as you know most listings hit the MLS on Fridays in SF. It would be more useful to pick a time period of at least a month, or even better a quarter’s worth of data, to filter out the noise when trying to draw worthwhile conclusions. You know this though, correct?
    Condos in new towers in SOMA are definitely one of the worst performing property classes in SF over the last 5 years that is for sure, and yes, median prices are slightly up over the last 6 years. These charts give some nice long term pricing history,
    I find it interesting that with the bubble and reset we are just about back on the long term trends. Does this mean we are going to track those trends in the future, of course not, each individual needs to make their own conclusions.

  20. Posted by tomatoe / tomato

    Oh, I give up. This is why I don’t read the comment section on this site, what a waste of time. Yes tipster I did say that, and no more bites from me, peace out!
    Median Price $575,000 2004 from Data Quick
    Median Price $652,000 2010 from Data Quick

  21. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    $575,000 in 2004 dollars was $647,682 in 2009 dollars once you adjust the nominal amount for inflation. Just sayin’.

  22. Posted by Skirunman

    @Brahma: that is debatable, but not relevant unless you want to talk ROI. ROI is not what we are talking about in this case, we are talking about pricing. In any case, as I have said many times before, using ROI metrics on your primary abode does not make much sense as it is really a consumable and not a true investment.

  23. Posted by nanon

    What’s the point of comparisons vs listing prices? It really shows nothing at all. The point of apples to apples is to show where where a property sold vs the prior sale. I state the obvious, but other than some bitter realtors getting on tipster for kicks, I don’t see the point.

  24. Posted by DanRH

    @nanon, agree w/you 100%. But I think folks get on tipster because he can, at times, extend some news even further negatively in a fashion similar to how some realtor folks take good news and apply it too positively. I’m not a realtor but I think some of his posts are off.

  25. Posted by sfrenegade

    “Also, inventory is still at about 4 months, where it has been for the last year when you filter out the noise.”
    That’s actually not true. Trailing 3 months inventory in October ’09 was 3.3 months. Trailing 3 months inventory in October ’10 is 5.0 months.
    Here is the standard inventory data I’ve been giving — MLS inventory (as reported by SS closest to mid-month), MLS sales (as reported on SS), months of inventory, trailing 3 months of inventory:
    Oct-10 1936 372 5.2 5.0
    Sep-10 1797 341 5.3 4.8
    Aug-10 1594 360 4.4 4.3
    Jul-10 1799 385 4.7 3.9
    Jun-10 1697 446 3.8 3.9
    May-10 1599 480 3.3 3.8
    Apr-10 1491 317 4.7 4.2
    Mar-10 1361 414 3.3 3.9
    Feb-10 1116 247 4.5 3.8
    Jan-10 909.5 226 4.0 3.4
    Dec-09 1131 412 2.7 3.2
    Nov-09 1346 395 3.4 3.5
    Oct-09 1460 435 3.4 3.3
    Sep-09 1448 392 3.7 3.3
    Aug-09 1352 495 2.7 3.5
    Jul-09 1569 452 3.5 4.3
    Jun-09 1630 389 4.2 5.1
    May-09 1685 328 5.1 6.0
    Apr-09 1622 277 5.9 6.9
    Mar-09 1648 238 6.9 7.7
    Feb-09 1500 192 7.8 7.2
    Jan-09 1189 141 8.4 7.1
    Dec-08 1405 265 5.3 5.8
    Nov-08 1788 241 7.4 5.6
    Oct-08 1789 381 4.7 4.3
    Sep-08 1544 332 4.7 3.8
    Aug-08 1388 393 3.5 3.4
    Jul-08 1470 478 3.1 3.2
    Jun-08 1496 426 3.5 3.4
    May-08 1491 478 3.1 3.6
    Apr-08 1381 382 3.6 3.9
    Mar-08 1329 318 4.2 4.3
    Feb-08 1159 292 4.0 4.0
    Jan-08 1053 215 4.9 3.8
    Dec-07 1077 355 3.0 3.3
    Nov-07 1393 408 3.4 3.6
    Oct-07 1532 452 3.4 3.3
    Sep-07 1408 346 4.1 3.0
    Aug-07 1187 464 2.6 2.4
    Jul-07 1157 470 2.5 2.3

  26. Posted by Skirunman

    @sfrenegade: Actual inventory in Oct 09 3.2 months and actual in Oct 10 3.8 months as taken from MLS at end of each month. In any case, IMO there is enough noise in this data that it is about 4 months in each case. If you want to call it 3.3 months and 5.0 months using trailing 3 months then fine, but I don’t personally draw any worthwhile conclusions for this data difference. Here is a graph:

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