“Purchases of new homes in the U.S. plunged more than forecast in March to the lowest level in almost 17 years as stricter loan rules and falling prices caused buyers to hold off. Sales dropped 8.5 percent to an annual pace of 526,000, the fewest since October 1991, from a 575,000 rate the prior month….”
New-Home Sales in the U.S. Plunge More Than Forecast [Bloomberg]
U.S. Existing-Home Sales Slide (This Time Despite The Seasonality) [SocketSite]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Foolio

    C’mon y’all, repeat after me. SF is different.

  2. Posted by mrbogue

    oh how I love burbed’s real bay area map:
    http://www.burbed.com/wp-content/uploads/burbedrealbayarea.jpg

  3. Posted by woo woo

    Hello rising rents!

  4. Posted by noseeum

    OK, NAR, time to revise your forecasts again. Move that recovery out another month.

  5. Posted by Dude

    Anyone seen the CAR numbers yet? They usually come out right after the national stats.

  6. Posted by woo woo

    Isn’t it curious that Wall Street has shrugged this off? Or is that just them betting on a heavy rate cut next week?

  7. Posted by Foolio

    @mrbogue:
    Nah, that map is wack. I mean, everyone knows that nothing South of California is considered the Real Bay Area. And don’t even get me started on the Sunset or the Richmond…I think there’s a plan to annex them to Oregon.

  8. Posted by fluj

    The article is about new homes. The first comment was a snide “SF is different.” Yeah, SF is rather different. We don’t have new single family home construction here.
    Did any of you see the marketwatch piece today? Probably not. Anyway, median is again trending up. And YoY SFR sales for 4/1/7-4/24/7 and this year are nearly identical. Volume is 90%, avg price slightly higher, average a foot slightly lower.

  9. Posted by fluj

    And if you remove District, 10 YoY April so far goes like this for SFRs:
    4/1-24/07: 128 sales 1.279M 667ppsqf 32 DOM
    4/1-24/08: 120 sales 1.336M 663ppsqf 34 DOM
    Change is not upon us. Shiller can go eat a rhubarb sandwich.

  10. Posted by mrbogue

    foolio
    that map was made last year.. yeah its outdated. the real bay area has shrunk massively since then.

  11. Posted by REpornaddict

    Fluj, whats this marketwatch piece which you refer to?
    Is there an online version of it?
    Thanks

  12. Posted by fluj

    REp,
    Another blog, thefrontsteps.com, used it as content. It’s right on the front page over there.

  13. Posted by satchelfan

    Wasn’t the Marketwatch piece referring to high end homes only? i.e. $3MM+ in which case, Satchel was correct in stating that mix (i.e. beauty pageant affect) was pulling the medians higher.

  14. Posted by fluj

    They posited a Bernal property and they also interviewed a realtor with clients writing in the $1M range, so no.

  15. Posted by badlydrawnbear

    The market watch piece was indeed about multi million dollar homes and only cited RE agents talking about homes going for “over asking” with “multiple bids”.
    Which is all fine, but of course regular SS readers will know that floating a low asking price to spark bidding wars, without ever having any intention of selling for such a low asking price. Without knowing when and what the home sold previously and what improvments/remodeling may have been done telling us that a handfull of 7 figure homes went for “over asking” with “multiple bids” is just NAR/CAR marketing (IMHO).

  16. Posted by Michael

    badlydrawnbear is right, the marketwatch video is a complete joke:
    http://www.marketwatch.com/tvradio/bcPlayer.asp?bcpid=203719194&bclid=86272812&bctid=1513327670

  17. Posted by fluj

    No, you’re wrong about that. Nobody is floating low prices to spark bidding wars right now. Agents are pricing things at what their clients would like to get. No one is intentionally starting pricing low right now except for fixer uppers on Noe Valley.
    And again, they interviewed two agents one of whom represented buyers trying to get a $1M condo in central areas. They also showed and referenced Bernal, hardly a multi million area. This is Marketwatch. Not CAR, not NAR. Marketwatch. It is Marketwatch showing something that’s happening, not Marketwatch showing everything that’s happening.
    But come on, Badlydrawn, you gotta admit this is all surprising at this late stage.

  18. Posted by ExAgent

    “But come on, Badlydrawn, you gotta admit this is all surprising at this late stage.”
    Late stage? How long have you been in real estate? Typical cycle is 7-10 years. We’re at the beginning not the end.

  19. Posted by badlydrawnbear

    sorry but the piece opens with an RE agent talking about 10 offers for a 4 Million dollar SFH and the reporter emphasises that the demand is for +2 Million homes and the RE agents talk about how there has been very little change in Inventory in SF, which a quick look at SS’s inventory graph shows is pretty much a load of crap. They also refer to demand being strong in San Francisco’s “core” neighborhoods and make statements about how they have “never” seen demand like this.
    So, I again see a report about a handfull of multimillion dollar homes, completely out of reach except for the top 1% of income earners, and the only thing we have learned is that they went for over asking and multiple bids without telling me when the home last sold and for how much and/or what improvements or additions have been made that might add value.
    However, I do know that Inventory for SF is up, Sales Volume is a record lows, the median sales price for SF continues to fall YoY, and the CSI for the bay area is also on a steep decline.
    Nothing in the market watch report changes that or gives me any reason to that these homes did not contribute to lower medians and or CSI numbers.

  20. Posted by badlydrawnbear

    Also, the only thing we learn about the couple shopping for $1M condos is that they have been beaten out several times, that’s it.
    The only piece of “news” is that the condos then went for over asking, which again, is a meaningless statement. Tell me the price per sqr foot or something that helps give me some context for regarding the value of the home.
    I might have sold for 100k over asking but did it sell for 1k per sqrt foot 900, 800??? Were they new condo’s with incentives??? existing condos??? we don’t know.
    The “reporter” might as well have been reading a NAR/CAR press release for all the reporting she did.

  21. Posted by fluj

    That’s how the piece opens up, correct. The piece also contains other information. They go on to talk about the things I mentioned twice already. You don’t wish to either acknowledge that or give it particular weight. That’s fine.
    This thread that we are writing in opens up with a report on new home construction. How that is relevant to San Francisco, I do not know.
    All of your other points about volume, median, inventory, CSI, etc. aren’t accurate.

  22. Posted by fluj

    You want in-depth reporting? This is thre minutes of soundbites. Come on. The subtext of the piece was that this is an anomaly. Marketwatch has national focus. Presumably this is interesting to people in other regions because nothing of the sort is happening where they live. It’s sort of a “Those Wack San Franciscans” piece, really.

  23. Posted by badlydrawnbear

    All of your other points about volume, median, inventory, CSI, etc. aren’t accurate.

    BAAAAAAHahahahahha … BAAAAAAAHahahahahaha
    oh god, now that was just freaking hysterical. Phew, thanks fluj
    Well (as the marketwatch report points out)
    Sales Vol is -20% YoY and the Median is +0.3% ( so you got me on the median being negative)
    http://www.dqnews.com/News/California/Bay-Area/RRBay080417.aspx
    as for inventory I will reference SS itself

    Inventory of Active listed single-family homes, condos, and TICs in San Francisco increased 3% over the past two weeks and is currently running 37% higher on a year-over-year basis.

    http://www.socketsite.com/archives/2008/04/socketsites_san_francisco_listed_housing_inventory_upda_13.html
    And as for the CSI I suggest you check this graph here …
    http://www.papereconomy.com/CSI.aspx?id=SFXR&exp=5/23/2008|8/25/2008|11/24/2008|2/23/2009&yoy=all&showall=1

  24. Posted by badlydrawnbear

    You want in-depth reporting? This is thre minutes of soundbites.

    exactly, it’s 3 minutes of RE Agent soundbites. Like I said the reporter might as well have been reading a NAR/CAR press release.
    And yes, I do expect some in depth business reporting/ananlysis from market watch since that is exactly what their job is supposed to be.

  25. Posted by fluj

    If you’re not going to address points I make, we don’t have to continue. Have a good one.

  26. Posted by badlydrawnbear

    the funny thing is I thought I did address your points.
    I did submit a post with links to the latest inventory, median, sales vol, and CSI data but it hasn’t posted yet (it was held by the moderator to check for malicious links) so I was going to wait for that.
    [Editor's Note: Thanks for your patience and understanding. Now published.]

  27. Posted by fluj

    I posted YoY April stats yesterday in this very page, bdb.

  28. Posted by badlydrawnbear

    right, and ppsf and dom are basically flat for district 10.
    Not quite the “we have never seen demand like this” “over asking” market depicted by the RE agents in the market watch piece.

  29. Posted by Mole Man

    Because inflation is running high prices that stagnate are actually falling quite a bit.

  30. Posted by fluj

    Buddy, they qualify it in the piece. They’re talking about the more quote unquote desirable ‘hoods and they say so.
    District 10:
    4/1-25/07: 29 sales 56 DOM 730K 519ppsft
    4-1-25/08: 23 sales 64 DOM 535K 413ppsft
    Yup. District 10 is the exception. Take it out of the equation and what do you see for SFRs?
    You see it’s much like last year. And that’s surprising. And that surprise is entertaining, to some. And that’s what the Marketwatch piece is about.

  31. Posted by badlydrawnbear

    I am not even arguing that mole man (although I do agree) but the point is the Market Watch piece quotes an RE Agent saying “we have never seen demand like this” but from fluj’s own numbers, posted above, it is clear they HAVE seen demand like this, they saw it last year. In fact, flujs numbers show fewer transactions, a lower ppsf, and a slightly longer DOM.
    The only thing that is up is the median and given the low number of transactions and the ppsf this seems almost certainly more a result of sales mix and not any realy change in values.
    This all calls into question the relevance of these “multiple offers” “over asking” sales.

  32. Posted by badlydrawnbear

    Sorry if I was unclear in my earlier post, I was actaully refering to these numnbers posted by fluj

    And if you remove District, 10 YoY April so far goes like this for SFRs:
    4/1-24/07: 128 sales 1.279M 667ppsqf 32 DOM
    4/1-24/08: 120 sales 1.336M 663ppsqf 34 DOM

    Which again, do not show the never before seen demand extolled by the RE Agents in the Market Watch piece.

  33. Posted by fluj

    So median is up, bdb? You just said it was down @ 11:35.
    Volume is 165 to 150 right now, and climbing. It could be even by day’s end. Factor out 10. What’s left is even more demand for central areas, clearly.

  34. Posted by badlydrawnbear

    look, my only point was the Market Watch piece has a hack job … it’s pretty clearly gutted … enjoy

  35. Posted by Cary

    Chicago is also “different”…..not
    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/multiMedia.pl?mmId=241

  36. Posted by Dan

    The Marketwatch piece referenced a house in Bernal Heights that got 20+ offers and just sold $200,000+ over asking. What house was that?

  37. Posted by fluj

    Dan,
    I really don’t know. I tried to find that out today and couldn’t tell from the solds info. I thought it was one on Folsom but the last one that sold of Folsom was six-eight months ago now.

  38. Posted by chuckie

    “Sorry if I was unclear in my earlier post, I was actaully refering to these numnbers posted by fluj
    And if you remove District, 10 YoY April so far goes like this for SFRs:
    4/1-24/07: 128 sales 1.279M 667ppsqf 32 DOM
    4/1-24/08: 120 sales 1.336M 663ppsqf 34 DOM
    Which again, do not show the never before seen demand extolled by the RE Agents in the Market Watch piece.”

  39. Posted by chuckie

    “Sorry if I was unclear in my earlier post, I was actaully refering to these numnbers posted by fluj
    And if you remove District, 10 YoY April so far goes like this for SFRs:
    4/1-24/07: 128 sales 1.279M 667ppsqf 32 DOM
    4/1-24/08: 120 sales 1.336M 663ppsqf 34 DOM
    Which again, do not show the never before seen demand extolled by the RE Agents in the Market Watch piece.”
    Is the volume really holding up that well? I am not really surprised by the median price… I sorta subscribe to the “mix”, “beauty pageant effect” etc. But I would have expected to see bigger declines in volume.

  40. Posted by Dan

    Thanks, Fluj. It looked like a smaller, quieter street than Folsom, but I couldn’t tell what street. If it just went under contract in late March, maybe escrow hasn’t closed yet?

  41. Posted by fluj

    Is the volume really holding up that well? I am not really surprised by the median price… I sorta subscribe to the “mix”, “beauty pageant effect” etc. But I would have expected to see bigger declines in volume.
    O really? After all this time?
    B.S.
    Everybody expected destruction by now. Rampant wasteland.
    This piece was about surprise. Why is that so tough for some of you to process?
    It isn’t any status quo. It’s just, holy shit, some people are still doing this, wow?
    A lot of you act as if the media hasn’t been dwelling in the land of “everyone is gonna lose his/her house” for the last six months.
    Fear sells papers.

  42. Posted by tipster

    SFRs have been severely constrained by supply for a long time. There is still some pent up demand for SFRs, but that’s working its way out of the system: we aren’t even 6 months into the mortgage blowout. It’s going to take months longer for that to work out.
    So you can focus on that segment if you want, but the problems always start in condos, and that’s where they are starting now. That’s where the supply was built up the most in response to the bubble. They built thousands of condos and very few SFRs. So the pent up demand is gone from condos, so that’s where the problems are appearing now, but still has months to go on SFRs.
    When a big storm approaches from the west, the fact that you are still dry in the east hours after the storm was supposed to hit doesn’t mean you aren’t going to get soaked in the end.

  43. Posted by fluj

    Tipster,
    What qualifies you to speak in the manner you do?
    1. “There is still some pent up demand for SFRS”
    Actually, there is enormous demand for nice, central SFRs.
    2. “… that’s working its way out of the system”
    According to whom? YOU? I again posit the YoY April numbers I’ve displayed. Basically the same, and that’s working its way out? Why do you feel qualified to speak the way you do? I don’t get it.
    3. “we aren’t even 6 months into the mortgage blowout.”
    The mortgage blowout happened in late August/ early September. We are at the end of April. Do the math.
    4. “… you can focus on that segment if you want ”
    San Francisco is TYPIFIED by its small homes. It is relatively unique in that regard. Most cities with SF’s type profile became much denser long ago. I focus on SFRs because they are at the heart of the SF R.E. market, period.
    5. “Blah blah blah condos condos condos”
    No kidding. A lot of condos have been built. Logic dictates that should cause prices to drop. We will see.
    6. “… but still months to go on SFRs”
    And you form your opinion of quality inventory how, exactly? You know of which you speak, how, exactly?
    7. “… a big storm …”
    A big storm you’ve been predicting for two years. David Letterman switched from meteorologist to comedian. Do you realize that you’ve done the same?

  44. Posted by San FronziScheme

    Fear sells papers.
    True. I am a little annoyed by the newspaper’s never-ending negativity.
    They should focus on “more people can afford homes than last year” or “people now need less debt to buy their homes” like the WSJ piece right there:
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120900800448540861.html

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