CFAH

San Francisco Sales Volume And Median Price: March 2012 (www.SocketSite.com)
Recorded home sales volume in San Francisco rose 11.3% on a year-over-year basis last month (551 recorded sales in March 2012 versus 495 sales in March 2011), up 48.5% as compared to the month prior versus an average February to March increase of 41.8% over the past seven years. An average of 573 San Francisco homes have sold in March since 2004 when recorded sales volume hit at 749.
San Francisco’s median sales price in March was $650,000, unchanged on a year-over-year basis, up 4.2% as compared to February in which the median sale price was up 5.9% year-over-year.
For the greater Bay Area, recorded sales volume in March was up 9.1% on a year-over-year basis, up 34.9% from the month prior (7,694 recorded sales in March ’12 versus 7,051 in March ’11 and 5,702 in February ’12) while the recorded median sales price was down 0.6% year-over-year, up 10.2% month-over-month.

The Bay Area saw a total of 1,734 condo resales last month, the most for any month since August 2006, when 1,783 were sold. The median price paid for resale condos was $276,000, up 10.4 percent from $250,000 a year ago. The resale condo median had declined on a year-over-year basis in 16 of the prior 17 months.

Last month distressed property sales – the combination of foreclosure resales and “short sales” – made up 44.3 percent of the resale market. That was down from 48.8 percent in February and 48.2 percent in March a year ago.

At the extremes, Solano recorded a 13.2% increase in sales volume (a gain of 80 transactions) on a 0.5% decline in median sales price, while Napa recorded a 0.8% decrease in sales (a loss of 1 transaction) on a 6.5% grain in median price. The median sales price in Marin fell 15.5%, the biggest Bay Area drop, as sales increased 8.0%.
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 Continue to Rise, Condo Sales Jump [DQNews]
Recorded San Francisco Sales Up 9.1% In February, Year-Over-Year [SocketSite]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by anon

    No change in median over last year? But I thought all that tech money had made things hot, hot, hot!!!
    Well, just wait until the zynga lock-up expires and then tech money will start flowing and we’ll party like it’s 1999! What, down again? 9.5? Well, just wait until, you know, some OTHER thing that is SURE to unleash a flood of money to bid prices up because um, um . . .

  2. Posted by lol

    ^^^ It used to be cute and funny 3 years ago, if not really fresh. Not so much today. Many bears used to have their ear on the ground and actually say something they saw with their own eyes. This is simply unoriginal rehash of old stuff that has been disproved already. This is a former über-bear speaking…

  3. Posted by kg

    Stability is good enough for now IMHO. Seems like distressed sales are likely what are keeping the median down, no?
    P.S., anon, you’re a tool.

  4. Posted by anon

    aww, kg, am I offending your realtor sensibilities by poking fun at the nonsense you hear realtors spout all over SS and the bay area? Here, I’ll shoot down another one:
    kg: “Seems like distressed sales are likely what are keeping the median down, no?”
    Wrong! Just read the actual report:
    “Last month distressed property sales – the combination of foreclosure resales and “short sales” – made up 44.3 percent of the resale market. That was down from 48.8 percent in February and 48.2 percent in March a year ago.”
    Medians are DOWN despite distressed sales being DOWN. Gee, maybe prices are still falling?

  5. Posted by R

    “San Francisco’s median sales price in March was $650,000, unchanged on a year-over-year basis, up 4.2% as compared to February in which the median sale price was up 5.9% year-over-year.”
    “Medians are DOWN despite distressed sales being DOWN. Gee, maybe prices are still falling?”

  6. Posted by lol

    kg, I beg to disagree. anon is not a tool. The category into which anon currently falls is the “poseur” kind. Former bears had something new and real to say.
    Don’t feed the troll.

  7. Posted by badlydrawnbear

    In anon’s defense, I have heard that exact kind of commentary from local RE bulls up through CNBC and Fox Business reporters talking about how SF/Bay Area RE is posed to explode or is ‘on fire’ thanks to IPO’s and such.
    Unfortunately, the data completely deflates this idea.
    Even among the more level headed RE reporters I do hear a lot of optimism that the 00’s ‘good times’ are coming back instead of talking about a return to a normal growth cycle where prices rise with inflation and wage growth.

  8. Posted by [anon.ed]

    This doesn’t mesh with what I’ve seen, anecdotally, or what the MLS recorded. I’ve seen less inventory, and more buyers occasionally getting more competitive:
    Districts 1 – 9 only.
    SFRs 3/1/11 – 3/31/11 174 sales $531 psqft
    SFRs 3/1/12 – 3/31/12 159 sales $558 psqft
    D10
    SFRs 3/1/11 – 3/31/11 41 sales $343 psqft
    SFRs 3/1/12 – 3/31/12 54 sales $318 psqft
    That’s what I’m seeing, and that’s what the data supports in my book.
    Love to sometime see distressed sales in SF alone parsed out. Anecdotally I don’t remember seeing FHA as a player in REO at all last year. Ran into it about four times so far this year.

  9. Posted by kg

    Um… anon, 44.3% is still an abnormally high number of distressed sales and the market is pretty much flat unless you have your chart backwards. Tool.

  10. Posted by Unplugged

    The long-term trend on the shown graph appears to clearly have reached a steady-state on both sales price and median. People can argue back and forth about underlying causes, trends, etc., but it’s hard to argue the numbers are neither increasing nor decreasing significantly since sometime in 2009.
    Going on three years of stable prices to me seems like at least the market’s not in freefall; but on the other hand, I wonder if adjusted for inflation (tho I believe most measures of inflation show it remains low), how these trends would appear.

  11. Posted by *

    “I wonder if adjusted for inflation (tho I believe most measures of inflation show it remains low), how these trends would appear. ”
    bingo.
    you have to take into consider the super low interest rates and inflation.
    factoring those two into the equation, prices are still weak even though nominally they are flat year-over-year.

  12. Posted by anon

    Yeah, as many have pointed out here, inflation is significant when you are talking about a many years long downturn like we are in. Inflation has whittled away 8% of housing’s value just in the last 3 years, for example.
    A sale at early 2004 prices, pretty typical for SF, is a real decline of about 24%. Easy to say “hey, SF is not doing that bad” if you ignore inflation.

  13. Posted by anon.ed

    2004? Factor depreciation versus inflation, then.

  14. Posted by anon

    Apparently anoned is of the belief that the housing stock in SF is deteriorating. News to all the perma-bulls, I’d imagine.

  15. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    As far as I can tell, (i.e., my reading of it) is that it’s an epistemological argument taking something close to the following form:
    1. The population of houses changes over time, as:
    1.1 new houses are constructed or…
    1.2 older homes are either remodeled or demolished (usually to create more homes in category 1.1)
    2. Of the houses that have NOT been improved, remodeled or demolished (what socketsite calls “apples”), the fact that they are resold at a point in time after the previous sale by definition means that the home has aged.
    3.if the home has been lived in during the period between the previous sale and the most-recent sale, that means that wear-and-tear must be accounted for.
    4. Since we must account for such wear-and-tear, and the various indexes don’t do this, that part of the market can’t be accurately reflected in an index.
    5. Since the various indexes explicitly don’t take into account homes in category 1.1 or 1.2, that part of the market can’t be accurately reflected in an index.
    6. Points 4. and 5. address the entire market, by definition.
    7. Since we can never accurately assess 100% of the market (point 6), the various indexes are by definition useless for determining market state or direction.
    8. Therefore, all indexes are either invalid on their face or not in any way useful as indicators of market direction.
    …so maybe we’re left with is what real estate agents “see” or anecdotes? I’m guessing here.

  16. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    I think you’ve described that the C-S index isn’t perfect. There are other causes of imperfection as well. For example I would not be surprised to find that a mango or two gets into the C-S apple cart.
    Imperfect metrics are still useful. If you follow that epistemological path to the extreme you’ll conclude that nothing that a pilot reads on his/her dashboard truly reflects reality. Yet avionics inaccuracies are among the least threats to flight safety.
    As for depreciation there’s certainly a psychological loss when a new home loses that new home smell. But through the mid-life of a home proper maintenance and minor refreshes like new carpet and paint should counteract any degradation.
    If depreciation were a real straight line effect as the IRS allows then most of the city’s housing stock would be worthless. But as anyone who’s looked as their assessor statement knows, “improvements” are always assessed as having some value.

  17. Posted by [anon.ed]

    More like he said 2004 prices, so assume a remodel occurred in what, 2002-2003? That’s 10 years now. So why wouldn’t wear and tear or things looking dated be considered? Also, obviously, the CS index doesn’t measure newly designed or remodeled homes and they are what drive the SF SFR market. So, “use.” Whose use? Yours and “anon”‘s? As far as I can tell the sole use of any data at all for the likes of you is to say stuff with varying degrees of snideness (you certainly increased your snide as you went on @ 12:23) on the internet. “Use” is relative.

  18. Posted by anon

    gee, you mean a home is a depreciating asset and requires maintenance?
    Let’s make sure we all remember that when doing our rent vs. buy calculations or otherwise assessing the “investment” value of a home.
    Case Shiller accounts for this by the way.

  19. Posted by REpornaddict

    Strong month. Sales up, inventory way down.
    From http://www.rereport.com/sf/
    When you have too much money chasing too few properties, what do you have? You have the San Francisco real estate market. Due to a confluence of events, and perceptions, the real estate market in San Francisco is turning in favor of sellers.
    The two major events in the San Francisco real estate market are a surging, nascent tech industry, plus its attendant IPOs like Yelp, along with a surge of Chinese moving money making it’s way into the United States.
    With incredibly low inventory, multiple offers are once again the norm. This is true in the best neighborhoods, i.e. those with the best school districts. When we say multiple offers, we’re not talking 3, 5, or 7 offers. No, we’re talking 10, 20 and 30 offers.

  20. Posted by anon

    REpornaddict, interesting data. Shows prices are down from last year. And sales are flat. All those offers you’re seeing must be buyers trying to out-lowball each other, or maybe Chinese buyers making offers in yuan trying to get their kids into the awesome schools of the SF unified school district.

  21. Posted by REpornaddict

    Medians are not prices.
    *facepalm*

  22. Posted by tipster

    While we’re at it REPA, IPOs are not the only way to cash out of a company like they were ten years ago.
    Nearly any stock based compensation is freely available to be sold on other marketplaces before the IPO. After the IPO, the shares are locked up for 6 months, so the IPOs actually REDUCE liquidity.
    And in many cases, the shares traded higher before the IPOs, reducing the wealth of the employees at the IPO.
    And all IPOs are not like yelp, in fact few have been. Many have been like Zynga, where they trade higher before the IPO and during the lockup and then dive.
    The world has changed. IPO now usually means less liquidity and less wealth. At least that has been the case so far with the recent IPOs.
    *facepalm* yourself.

  23. Posted by REpornaddict

    Why facepalm forme?
    I was just linking to another set to sales figures, and quoting what was on their site. But I forgot the quotation marks, my bad.
    Socketsite themselves often featured their monthly numbers as an article, but not for few months it seems.
    Views expressed there were not necesarily my own etc etc…

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