San Francisco Home Sales and Median Price

While home sales typically tick up in October, the number of Bay Area single-family homes and condos that traded hands (7,500) dropped 5.4 percent from September to October and was 1.5 percent lower versus the same time last year.

And in San Francisco, the drops were more dramatic, with 507 homes trading hands in October, down 7.3 percent from September, versus a typical 9.4 percent seasonal gain, and 15.6 percent lower versus the same time last year, according to transaction data from CoreLogic.

As we noted two months ago, the recorded sales volume in San Francisco was being goosed by contracts for condos in new developments that were signed (“sold”) many months prior but were recently closing escrow in bulk as the buildings came online. At the same time, signatures on new contracts are down nearly 30 percent in 2016 despite an even greater increase in inventory.

At the same time, the median price paid for a home in San Francisco jumped 19.5 percent to $1.225 million in October, but the jump was primarily driven by a change in the the mix and will likely dip in November, as it did in May following the mix-driven, record $1.3 million median sale price in April.

In Alameda County, recorded homes sales dropped 4.5 percent from September to 1,601 in November but remain 4.4 percent higher versus the same time last year with a recorded median sale price of $670,000, up 1.1 percent from September and 5.5 percent higher versus the same time last year.

Recorded sales in Contra Costa County (1,465) were down 9.8 percent versus the same time last year with a median price of $512,500, which was 12.0 percent higher, year-over-year. Home sales in Santa Clara County (1,674) were down 0.8 percent with a median price of $835,000 (up 6.0 percent). But sales in San Mateo County (605) were 11.2 percent higher with a median price of $1,000,000, which was 7.5 percent higher versus the same time last year.

The median price paid for a Bay Area home overall was $675,000 in October, 3.8 percent higher than in September and 6.1 percent higher versus the same time last year.

Keep in mind that while movements in the median sale price are a great measure of what’s selling, they’re not necessarily a great measure of appreciation or changes in value and are susceptible to changes in mix, as opposed to movements in the Case-Shiller Index.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by gjhgjhgj

    where is this mythical 675k bay area home?

    • Posted by SocketSite

      Considering the median was based on 7,500 sales, there wasn’t only a real $675K Bay Area home that traded hands in September, but 3,749 which traded hands for even less.

      And in fact, over the past 30 days there have been nearly 50 sales in San Francisco proper below the $675K mark, including a handful of habitable single-family homes in the Outer Mission and Sunset.

  2. Posted by Confused renter

    Shouldn’t the median be less impacted by changes in mix?

    • Posted by Lance


      • Posted by SocketSite

        No. The median would be less impacted by outliers and anomalous transactions, but it is equally susceptible to fundamental changes in the mix.

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