San Francisco Sales Volume And Median Price: April 2011 (
Recorded home sales volume in San Francisco fell 1.4% on a year-over-year basis last month (422 recorded sales in April 2011 versus 428 sales in April 2010), down 14.7% as compared to the month prior which was down 1.0% year-over-year.
For context, April sales figures for San Francisco from 2004 to 2009 were 841 (2004), 754 (2005), 591 (2006), 568 (2007), 605 (2008), and 402 (2009). And on average over the past seven years, sales volume has increased 3.4% from March to April.
San Francisco’s median sales price in April was $655,000, down 5.4% compared to April ’10 ($692,500), up a nominal 0.8% compared to the month prior.
For the greater Bay Area, recorded sales volume in April was down 3.1% on a year-over-year basis, down 3.7% from the month prior (6,789 recorded sales in April ’11 versus 7,003 in April ’10 and 7,051 in March ’11) as the recorded median sales price fell 2.7% year-over-year, unchanged month-over-month.
At the extremes, Contra Costa county recorded a 14.4% drop in sales volume (a loss of 236 transactions) on a 5.2% decline in median sales price while Napa recorded a 17.3% increase in volume (an increase of 18 transactions) on a 5.2% decline in median as well. With a 0.2% increase, Marin reocorded the only uptick in median on a 1.6% drop in sales (4 transactions) while Solano recorded a 8.4% decline in median price on a 3.9% sales decline (23 transactions).
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 Lose Momentum; Median Price Dips Below 2010 Level [DQNews]
San Francisco Recorded Sales Activity Down 1.0% In March [SocketSite]

18 thoughts on “San Francisco Recorded Sales Activity Down 1.4% In April”
  1. I suppose it’s how you define “extremes”, but isn’t one of the extremes the 17.3% increase in volume in Napa? Alameda, San Mateo and Napa counties all had increases in volume. Your characterization of the extremes makes it sound like Solano had the best volume performance, which it did not.
    [Editor’s Note: Call it when templates go bad and updated above. Cheers.]

  2. BernalDweller- get used to positive housing data being buried or ignored here.
    I like to think of SocketSite as the anti-NAR. It’s biased, but it provides a good counterweight against the highly organized and deceptive practices employed by NAR.
    [Editor’s Note: That’s right, we tried to bury that uptick of 18 transactions in Napa on a 5.2% decline in median. It probably had nothing to do with trying to stick to a template so that some people don’t scream “bias!” when we’re simply reporting the trends.]

  3. ^ SF down y-o-y for both median price and sales volume sounds pretty positive to me! I would like to see larger median price drops, though.

  4. SF is not down YoY, April. It’s up by 44 sales.
    Can you link to your MLS data?
    I saw from prior thread you wrote:
    “433 this year to 389 last year.”
    (which would be up 11%).
    quite a difference.
    Per the DQ release:
    San Francisco (county, not MSA):
    sales 4/2010 428
    Sales 4/2011 422
    Change: -1.4%
    Median Sales price 4/2010: $692,500
    Median Sales price 4/2011: $655,000
    Change: -5.4%
    not surprising to see different data sets with different outcomes, especially in a time of transition (neither boom nor bust). although -1% to +11% is a fairly big difference.
    at this time I’m more inclined to follow DQs numbers given the number of off-MLS sales… but I’m not beholden.
    other interesting tidbits:
    But there were also signs the market continues its long trek back to normalcy: The portion of homes bought with adjustable-rate and “jumbo” loans rose, while the share of sales involving foreclosures, investors and cash buyers fell, a real estate information service reported.
    IMO it’s a fairly good sign that “jumbo” loans rose, although I dislike the fact that adjustable rates rose. (because we have historically low rates right now… when better to do a 30 year fixed? will these new crop of adjustable-rate buyers have payment shock in a few year’s time???)
    it’s SF RE market positive to see less cash/investor buyers, and less foreclosures. more owner-occupiers often lead to more stability in the local RE markets.
    it’ll be interesting if our leaders can engineer some jobs and income growth. either that or more linked in bubblemania.
    funny… the other day I said I didn’t think there was an emerging tech bubble. Given the market’s foolishness today regarding LinkedIn (a very good company, that now has horrific valuation) I may have to rethink that.

  5. Ed- Thanks for updating with the positive data! There’s nothing wrong with having a bias- everyone has one. Yours happens to be bearish- and seriously- it provides a good counterweight to the industry hype. Some discussion of the 2010 tax-credit on the Y-O-Y numbers would have added perspective…
    El Bombero- point well taken on the shifting definition of “positive”. All depends on perspective!

  6. Ummmmm
    “recorded home sales volume in San Francisco fell 1.4% on a year-over-year basis last month (422 recorded sales in April 2011 versus 428 sales in April 2010)”
    “San Francisco’s median sales price in April was $655,000, down 5.4% compared to April ’10 ($692,500)”

  7. SFer- good catch on the ARMs! Over 15% of purchase mortgages were ARMs last month, up from 14% the month before, 9% last year and 3% in Jan ’09. I’m really hoping that people are leveraging-up to buy undervalued properties on the low end…but this could be a sign of trouble to come.
    Re: LNKD- you just don’t get it. It’s the new economy. The old metrics don’t apply. $200M of revenue is worth $10B. Just wait until there’s a LinkedIn app for the iPad. 🙂

  8. Meanwhile, from what I hear, the rental market in parts of the bay area is on fire. Sounds like the dot com days all over again.

  9. I agree with @anon: Z-estimate on my house was up $11k this month, while the rental Z-estimate hit $2,950! That gives my place a purchase price/gross rent of exactly 24.
    I’m pulling the “on fire alarm” for San Mateo real estate! Get in now or be priced out forever!!

  10. Interesting that jumbo loans went up, while medians went down. Also, that the number of sales in high income zips is now “normal” (as a percentage of sales). What that implies to me is that apples to apples prices are going down faster than the decrease in medians suggests, given that we’re getting a healthier mix of sales from the high end to the low end. The median (when corrected for noise) has actually been pretty stable since spring of 09.

  11. “Interesting that jumbo loans went up,”
    Note though that they are using the old ( >$417k) limit to define jumbo’s. Which at least for SF proper would not be restricted to the high end.

  12. Non-distressed sales for both SFR and Condos are actually up YOY (just a little bit)
    – (charts on Flickr, search for Skirunman under People)
    Distressed sales by district
    – (charts on Flickr, search for Skirunman under People)
    Distressed sales are valid data points and are still primarily located in the Southern part of City. They are really a different market as they are much more difficult to buy/close and are not for everybody.

  13. sales data looks VERY odd this month. From re report
    theres 191 + 231 = 422 sales for april 2011, and
    201 + 191 = 392 for april 2010
    and 203 + 250 = 453 for march 2011
    compared to 422, 428 and 495 from dataquick.
    so, around 30-40 extra sales last month and last year (multi-units? TICS??) but 0 for this month. ZERO??
    This just doesn’t pass the sniff test.
    Especially given the MLS figures above. How can total sales be less than those just listed on the MLS??

  14. I wouldn’t consider MLS statistics particularly reliable in this regard. On one hand a multiple unit building could be listed for sale as the entire building, as well as individual TIC units… And all can be marked as sold, meaning at least one more sale than actually happened e.g. A 2 unit building could be counted as three sales in MLS (2 TIC and one multifamily). this can and does happen. On the other hand condo sales in new developments often do not appear on the MLS at all.

  15. “theres 191 + 231 = 422 sales for april 2011, and
    201 + 191 = 392 for april 2010
    and 203 + 250 = 453 for march 2011
    compared to 422, 428 and 495 from dataquick.”
    Yes, I’m also still curious about the revision for April 2010 and I believe for March as well.

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