At a time of the year when sales typical rise around 5 percent, the number of single-family homes and condos that traded hands in San Francisco last month dropped 7 percent, from an upwardly revised 514 in March to 478 April, which is 12.3 percent lower versus the same time last year.
Recorded home sales across the nine-county Bay Area (6,943) dropped 5.1 percent in April and were down 9.2 percent, year-over-year, for the slowest April in six years.
At the same time, the median price paid for those 478 homes in San Francisco last month ($1,247,500) was 4.0 percent lower than the record $1.3 million median sale price recorded in April of 2016 while the Bay Area median ($750,000) was 8.7 percent higher versus the same time last year. San Francisco was the only Bay Area county to record a year-over-year decline in terms of the median sale price.
As we noted seven 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 closing escrow in bulk as the buildings came online in the middle of 2016, while signatures on new contracts were down 20 percent over the past year despite an average of nearly 60 percent more inventory from which to choose.
In Alameda County, recorded homes sales in April (1,415) were 6.5 percent lower on a year-over-year basis with a recorded median sale price of $780,000 (which was 7.7 percent higher versus the same time last year). And sales in Contra Costa County (1,318) were 9.1 percent lower with a median price of $579,000 (11.3 percent higher versus the same time last year).
Home sales in Santa Clara County last month (1,590) were 12.8 percent lower versus the same time last year with a median price of $920,000 (up 6.9 percent) and sales in San Mateo County (556) were down 8.6 percent with a median sale price of $1,210,000 (up 12.87 percent, year-over-year).
And up north, recorded sales in Marin (320) were actually up 1.9 percent versus the same time last year with a median price of $1,035,500 (up 7.9 percent). Sonoma County sales in April (514) were 10.6 percent lower with a median price of $568,000 (up 12.5 percent) and sales in Napa (101) were 19.2 percent lower on a year-over-year basis with a median price of $625,500 (8.7 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.