“San Francisco Home And Condo Sales Down Sharply In January”

From rereport.com:


San Francisco Home & Condo Sales Down Sharply in January

Sales of single-family, re-sale homes and condos fell into double-digit territory last month. The 81 homes and 60 condos sold set record lows since we’ve been keeping track: January 2000.

San Francisco sales of single-family, re-sale homes dropped 38.2% from December, and were off 23.6% year-over-year. Condo sales were down 35.5% month-over-month, and off 45% compared to January 2008.

The median price for single-family, re-sale homes fell 14.2% in January from the month before, and it was down 32.4% year-over-year. The average price was off 11.7% month-over-month, and was down 36.9% compared to last January.

The median price for loft/condos in San Francisco gained 2.1% from December, but was down 9.4% year-over-year. The average price for condos rose 8.6% from December. The average price was down 13.8% year-over-year.

All of this is contrast to the rest of the Bay Area, excluding Marin which is following the San Francisco pattern, where rising sales have been the norm since the middle of last year.


11 thoughts on ““San Francisco Home And Condo Sales Down Sharply In January”

  1. D10 Single family home sales up 40%. Would anyone like to comment? Does this suggest the bottom is established in D10 and D10 is stabilizing?

  2. I don’t know whether the bottom is established or not, but we’ve been seeing D10 up YOY for months now.

  3. Frightening numbers. SFH prices down 33% YOY – probably 40% off peak now?
    I never thought it would happen, but a forecast of prices falling 50%+ is no longer laughable as inventory spikes, qualifying for a loan is so hard, Alt A resets, the Bay area recession just starting….

  4. off topic question for any mortgage experts out there. I have a large heloc line. If I don’t use the line, I am at risk that the bank will decide to take it away.

    If I use the line (even if I keep it in cash), can the bank call me on it (i.e., slash the line anyway and tell me to pay it back)?

    [Editor’s Note: Good question. I’m posting this to the front page tomorrow, but let’s see if you get any answers today.]

  5. Do the math,

    I stand by my position that the stock SOLD is not the same year over year.

    What I’d like to see is a breakdown by type of properties.
    Again. Take the building lot on clipper. Listed as a 2br 1ba 2 parking – if it closes at .8 it takes the numbers down – while IMO an empty lot at that price is still completely insanely expensive.
    From the listings I see popping, it looks like good condition normal houses are not on the market right now, leaving what would be the odd total fixer and the odd multimillion new dwelling stand out as the “majority” of the listings.

    I really don’t think that the value (identical house, identical conditions) drops as much (-37%) as the NUMBER of move-in first buyer properties is close to zero – skewing all stats.
    I looks like unless people HAVE to sell, if they can stand to stay in their property a couple more years, they will. While the last decade was a game of “how fast can I sell/buy/move to something I prefer just a tiny bit more”.

    When buyers in the .8-1.4 range are still crying on the side bench that they can’t buy (no stock, flat-outbidding etc), then the market is STILL STRONG – it’s just [b]different[/b] from the past (and I believe better and healthier for all, buyers, sellers and owners)

    As for still using the data, I look at only one line. District 2. Which is the only district with sufficiant uniformity to be used in any way. You can predict that in a sample of 30 sales, there are at least 10 “identical” SFH that can assess the value.
    With only 17 SFH sold, the sample is too tiny, but the DOM=44 YOY -10% and 15% are IMO right on target for the “average” SF market – which excludes any “all cash offer on 8 digit properties – and other D10 total fixers in foreclosure” [again the “median” cannot get it when more than 50% of sales are extremes].
    IMO, those D2 numbers are a good index for the average buyer who needs to find a roof asap and is looking at his options.

  6. While I agree there is a mix factor going on which will skew these numbers it is all we have – and they do show prices falling fast across the city.
    Using d2 as the barometer is arguably selective (it is oneof the best peforming areas, or least worst performing…) but prices are still down 15% there – pretty significant. Add in closing costs and anyone who bought in the last few years with 20% down and has to sell now will see the whole of their downpayment wiped out. And falling fast – the last two months (since the recession really hit) have seen prices fall by 5% per MONTH in d2.
    Amazed that you think the market is STILL STRONG (your caps) too – but I guess there’s room for different opinions!!

  7. do the math. strong in this economy. not strong in general.

    San Francisco is far from california cities who are leasing for FREE homes to keep some inhabitants and maintain some … momentum (right word?).
    the market is strong when renters can’t buy the place they live in, when people are still moving across the city line to DC because they cant afford SF, while people fed-up with long commute still try to go back to the city to much smaller place but short commute.

    If you lower your asking price, your property will STILL FLY – we are far from the bottom where properties would stay for sale even for a symbolic dollar. Some cities are there already, and unfortunately, even that might not be enough to hit rock bottom. SF rock bottom will be more time-spread/different/varied. But there is close to zero chance that SF would become a ghost town with zero inhabitant.
    I wouldn’t say the same for people who invested in some new towns created in the past decade – where the risk of investment going to zero is real.

    Also, dothemath, you seem to forget the concept of investment. That is, compare ALL the possible investments for the same amount of money at the same time.
    Compare your 200K down-payment which is an UNREALIZED loss until you sell – to 200K in stock of companies which disappeared. Like, it’s not only a REALIZED loss, it’s a hole in your bank statement.

    You can keep your SF home for 10 more years and hope to break even – or maybe make a profit. You can still pray to recover your enron-likes of the past fall – and you can keep praying for 10 more years.

    There is one item that can really mess up SF market: the drop in desirability of the city. Like the weather becomes suddenly dead cold or dead hot, or the city is wiped from a earthquake/tsunami/fire. New-Orleans is still in a big mess and the economy will hit it hard. The reverse (economy first, catastrophe second) can well happen here.

  8. anon. . .great question. Draw the money and draw it today. It certainly depends on your equity situation and the neighborhood/city that you live. But, it is far better to pay the interest for a few months as opposed to having the line freeze up. If the lending standards lighten, then perhaps you cost yourself some “mortgage interest,” perhaps a writeoff, unless you exceed the cap.
    Until, there is truly resolve, banks will continue to constrict. But, look for my next post, perhaps this housing bill may make a little sense.

  9. Sophie,
    you say that I have forgotten the concept of investment – but after reading your latest post I think I have a stronger grasp of the concept than you.

    I agree that SF isn’t heading for zero population but when you say that elsewhere ” the risk of investment going to zero is real” you don’t seem to understand that there is a real risk of that happening for many in SF too. The house may not fall to zero, but the person’s investment in it easily can Again, the example of 20% down with a 15% drop in prices (which has already happened) and closing costs will wipe out the person’s 200k (say) – completely. The power of gearing.

    And, yes its an unrealized loss I know. But you say we have to compare “ALL the possible investments for the same amount of money at the same time” but only mention one type – the share whose value has fallen to zero. A pretty rare scenario, even in today’s times. Here’s some other possible investments all of which would have been alot better than investing 200k in a SF house over the last few years: almost any individual share, any mutual fund, cash, bonds, gold, foreign currency, under a mattress. And any of those that show any losses are unrealised losses too. And the kicker – there chance of being forced to have to realise your loss is far greater under housing than any of the alternative investments, due to the lumpy nature of the investment and the significant monthly costs it carries. So life events such as job loss, divorce, relocation, death, starting a family, job loss, Alt-A reset can force the loss to be realised – unlike any other investment.

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