September 20, 2006

San Francisco Median Sales Price Takes A Little Hit

SF Median Price August 2006 (www.socketsite.com)

According to DataQuick, the median sales price for existing homes in San Francisco was $750,000 last month, up 0.7% from $745,000 in August ’05, but down $21,000 (2.7%) from July ‘06. Sales volume was down 7.4% year-over-year (613 sales versus 662 in August ‘05), but jumped 26.4% from the month prior (485 Sales). Based on last months sales volume, San Francisco currently has a 2.3 month supply of listed Single Family Homes, Condos, and TICs on the market.

For the greater Bay Area, the recorded median sales price in August was $620,000 (up 0.2% year-over-year) and sales volume was 9,128 (down 24.9% from August ’05, but up 14.9% from July ’06). Sales in Napa dropped 47.3% year-over-year, and Marin recorded a 2.3% drop in median sales price.

According to DataQuick president Marshall Prentice, "Several things are going on. Many homes are being offered for sale at unrealistically high prices as sellers try to game the peak of the market. Buyers appear to be taking a wait-and-see approach as sellers get real with their asking prices. The market seems to be going into a lull, until this all shakes out. It does appear that the strong appreciation of the recent past is leveling off."

Bay Area home sales decline, prices level off [DQNews]
San Francisco Median Sales Price And Sales Decline [SocketSite]

First Published: September 20, 2006 11:13 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

The median is not reflective of prices. It is reflective of what people are paying. As prices come down, people opt to buy a better house: they do not tend to spend less. Medians tend to be relatively stable in a falling price environment.

The number of sales falling means prices are rapidly swinging one way or another. Happens on the way up, just as it does on the way down, though as prices drop, the sales drops are more pronounced.

The medians being flat but the number of sales dropping tells me that sale prices are down. Some people get medians and prices confused. Medians are remaining stable because fewer buyers are spending as much as they would have. They are just getting a better home for that same money.

Posted by: tipster at September 20, 2006 11:34 AM

True, but the bottom line is that prices are FINALLY coming down from the parallel universe levels they've been at since 2004. Good news for those of us who make less than $500K/year or don't have a gazillion dollars of equity built up. Unfortunately the Fed decided not to raise rates today.

Posted by: Dude at September 20, 2006 12:05 PM

Does dataquick count TIC's in their total sales? If they don't than there is less than two months supply on the market.

[Editor's Note: We believe they do (but will double check). July sales in SF were 215 SFH, 213 Condos, and 53 TICs. DataQuick reported 485 (the same).]

Posted by: Anonymous at September 20, 2006 5:41 PM

Does anyone have any thoughts about why total sales held up much better in SF than in the rest of the Bay Area? (down in the single digits, versus 20% and more elsewhere).

Could just be a data blip, but it does seem odd.

Encouraging that we seem to be experiencing a flattening, and not crashing, market so far. (OK..I've outed myself as an owner, not a renter).

[Editor’s Note: In fact we do, but we need to confirm with DataQuick. A hint from our last update on The Palms, “…with closings and occupancy starting last month…after about eight months of selling…”]

Posted by: Anonymous at September 20, 2006 5:54 PM

Firstly, I'm surprised prices are soft with seemingly so little inventory on the market. Secondly, what would be interesting is how much inventory there is (particularly for condos) when taking into account new construction. Difficult to calculate, I guess, but probably more revealing of what's really going on.

[Editor's Note: Damn it, don't steal too much of our thunder. We've been calculating and will publish our preliminary numbers on Monday.]

Posted by: Amen Corner at September 21, 2006 8:45 AM

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