Having hit a record high of $1,072,500 in November, the median price paid for a home in San Francisco dropped 12 percent to $949,000 in December but remains 17 percent higher on a year-over-year basis versus 27 percent higher on a year-over-year basis the month before.
In terms of the number of homes sold at the end of the year, the number of recorded sales jumped 22 percent from November to December, versus a typical increase of around 3 percent based on seasonality, but the sales volume was unchanged versus December 2013.
The recent sharp rise in the median price is still being driven in part by an increase in the share of luxury home sales and new condo closings. That being said, the median sale price for a home in San Francisco last month was 69 percent higher than the last low-water mark of $562,000 recorded in January 2009.
Across the greater Bay Area, homes sales jumped 24 percent from November to December and were up 14 percent year-over-year with a median price of $603,000, up 0.3 percent from the month before and 10 percent higher on a year-over-year basis.
The median price paid for a Bay Area home last month was 108 percent higher than the low-water mark of $290,000 recorded in March of 2009. The Bay Area median home price peaked at $665,000 in July of 2007.
At the extremes around the Bay Area in December, Marin County recorded the greatest increase in sales volume, up 26 percent versus the same time last year with a median price of $915,000, up 21 percent year-over-year, the greatest percentage change across the Bay. San Francisco was the only Bay Area county not to record a year-over-year increase in sales.
Keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed (“sold”) months prior but are just now closing escrow (or being recorded) and any properties that were sold “off market.”
And as always, while movements in the median sale price are a great measure of what’s in demand and selling, they’re not necessarily a great measure of appreciation or changes in value.