With 45 recorded sales to date in 2010, the median sale for condominiums in zip code 94123 (which includes the Marina and Cow Hollow) weighs in at $1,175,000, up 26 percent over 2009 ($930,000) and within just 4 percent of a peak $1,219,000 in 2007! Talk about a real estate rebound!
Of course as we pointed out to plugged-in people in September, the median size of condos sold in 2010 (1,525 square feet) is up over 20 percent from 2009 (1,270 square feet) and up 12 percent from 2007 (i.e., the mix of sales has changed). And on a price per square foot basis, so far the median in 2010 ($755) is down 2 percent from 2009 ($767), down 18 percent from 2007 ($921).
And while the median price per square foot for condos in 94123 is up 5 percent from 2004 ($718), the apples-to-apples sale of the two-bedroom condo at 2382 Union Street closed escrow six days ago with a reported contract price of $705,000, down 7 percent from its 2004 sale price of $759,000.
But never mind all that, did you see those medians!
SocketSite Sees Seasonality (Versus Signs Of A Rebound) [SocketSite]
One Percent Down In 2004 (And Perhaps More Down More Since) [SocketSite]
Medians Are Up, But Don’t Confuse That With Increasing “Prices” [SocketSite]

10 thoughts on “Apples, Schmapples, Look At Those Medians! (Just Not Too Closely)”
  1. “With 45 recorded sales to date in 2010”
    This is the noteworthy part. 2005 saw 148 condo sales in 94123 and 2007 saw 105 (I’m excluding TICs, not sure if the ed. did). We’re now at 1/3 the 2005 level. Perhaps the fact that it now takes a high income, stellar credit rating and a huge down payment to buy – as opposed to nothing more than a pulse – matters even in SF.
    Apples to apples, you get a lot more today for your money, but you can’t tell that from the MLS median.
    Lots more supply and a lot less demand. Prices react accordingly.

  2. Thus is what I’m talking about when it comes to useful metrics and disregarding over/under asking. This is valuable information. Thanks.
    [Editor’s Note: You’re welcome. This is what we’re continuously talking about as well, and yet it’s amazing how many still don’t understand the errors in their ways when touting “over asking!” sales or increasing medians. Or even worse, perhaps some do. Oh, and did we mention the sale on Union referenced above officially closed for “over asking?”]

  3. Exactly. That’s why in my posts on D7 I always try to include the price per square foot. That’s what makes the Vallejo sale such a tricky comp.

  4. Re: the sale of 2382 Union Street–that place is a hot mess and I think this is responsible for the drop in price (well that, and it was bank-owned). The owner stripped the appliances, floors, cabinets…everything before leaving. The bank couldn’t put it on the market without bathrooms and a kitchen, and did a cheap/terrible rush job on the “remodel.” I would estimate that a minimum of $40-$50k needs to be put into that place to make it nice, more if the owners have discerning taste.

  5. This is why I love Socketsite- no nonsense factual information. Maybe someday, I too will be smart and rich and buy a condo. But never in the Marina.

  6. aren’t the sold prices of bank owned properties signifigantly lower than non reo or short sale properties ?
    even that vietnamese guy who made commercials with a yacht and 5-6 bikini models years ago differentiated between “distressed sellers” and regular sellers. a lot of these apples are distressed sales and those don’t make up the majority of sales.

  7. I haven’t seen that. Bank owned usually don’t sell until several price reductions, which means they are overpriced when listed and no bargain when they sell.
    The home on Connecticut is the first one I’ve seen underpriced. Maybe the start of a trend but thus far, bank owned are not underpriced for their condition.

  8. it was my understanding that in an reo sale a bank will take a lower cash offer over a traditional financed offer.
    it’s as if you have two seperate markets : one mostly cash buyers and bank reo sellers
    the other financing buyers and nondistressed sellers.

  9. REOs (distressed properties) certainly sell for much less than other SF properties (at a median price of $300k less in SF over the last year). Of course, the reasons are many including damaged properties, more likely to have lien/title issues, less motivation on bank’s part than individual owner’s part to get top dollar (banks just want it off their balance sheet ASAP), generally worse marketing, generally inferior properties to begin with, etc.
    @Editor: I know this post was meant to be witty and slightly sarcastic, but IMO you do your readership a disservice by dismissing “median pricing” metrics so offhandedly. Median, and other statistical measures, certainly have their place when trying to understand market pricing trends. Of course with a data set size of only 45 one would expect the possibility for a greater variance of the median. Also, no person educated on statistics would make the claim that pricing is up 20% from 2009 based on this sparse data set and especially with the $/sf not supporting this fact. My initial reaction from this data would be that condo pricing is basically flat YoY in 94123, which is also supported by other condo data in NE SF. However, I would want to see at least 6 months trailing data (12 months better) for this small of an area before trying to draw any conclusions.
    Pointing out one apple has no statistical relevance and it seems to me that you are trying to make the case that it does somehow. Also, as pointed out by Gigi it seems not to be an quite apple anyway. Many REOs are not apples as they tend to get somewhat destroyed by the previous owner.

  10. You’d have to know what it looked like when it was purchased to be able to tell whether it was an apple or not. It could have been in even worse shape when it was purchase in 04.
    The 04 buyer remodeled the kitchen in 05 and even did some minor structural work, so trying to say that this isn’t an apple because the kitchen needs to be redone puts you exactly back to its state in 04: the kitchen needed to be redone when the 04 buyer bought.
    So all these excuses are just that: excuses by desperate realtors, sellers and developers. It sold for UNDER its 04 price, by quite a lot.

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