March 17, 2011
San Francisco Recorded Sales Activity Up 4.0% In February
Recorded home sales volume in San Francisco increased 4.0% on a year-over-year basis last month (340 recorded sales in February 2011 versus 327 sales in February 2010), up 2.1% as compared to the month prior which was up 7.1% year-over-year.
For context, February sales figures for San Francisco from 2004 to 2009 were 537 (2004), 526 (2005), 429 (2006), 375 (2007), 431 (2008), and 272 (2009). And on average over the past seven years, sales volume has increased 12.7% from January to February.
San Francisco's median sales price in February was $589,000, down 6.1% compared to February ’10 ($627,500) and down a nominal 0.2% compared to the month prior.
For the greater Bay Area, recorded sales volume in February was down 0.9% on a year-over-year basis, up 0.5% from the month prior (4,991 recorded sales in February '11 versus a revised 5,035 in February ’10 and 4,966 in January '11) as the recorded median sales price fell 4.7% on a year-over-year basis and a nominal 0.2% month-over-month.
Distressed sales – the combination of sales of foreclosed homes and “short sales” – accounted for just over half of the Bay Area’s resale market last month.
Foreclosure resales – homes that had been foreclosed on in the prior 12 months – made up 32.6 percent of the Bay Area’s resale market in February. That was down from 35.0 percent in January and 36.3 percent a year ago. Foreclosure resales peaked at 52.0 percent in February 2009. The monthly average for foreclosure resales over the past 15 years is about 9 percent.
Short sales – transactions where the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property – made up an estimated 20.3 percent of Bay Area resales last month, a peak for the current real estate cycle. Last month’s short sale figure was up from an estimated 19.7 percent in January, 17.8 percent a year earlier, and 12.6 percent two years ago.
At the extremes, Alameda county recorded a 11.9% drop in sales volume (a loss of 121 transactions) on a 6.4% decline in median sales price while Marin recorded a 15.0% increase in sales volume (23 transactions) on a 19.1% decrease in median price.
As always, keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed ("sold") many months or even years prior and are just now closing escrow (or being recorded).
∙ Bay Area Housing Market Stuck In Neutral; Investors, Cash Buyers Active [DQNews]
∙ San Francisco Recorded Sales Activity Up 7.1% YOY In January [SocketSite]
∙ SF Listed Sales Volume Up 1.5% In Feb As Medians Continue To Fall [SocketSite]
∙ San Francisco Listed Housing Inventory Update: March 14, 2011 [SocketSite]
∙ San Francisco Foreclosure Activity Climbs Outside Of District 10 [SocketSite]
First Published: March 17, 2011 10:15 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
Posted by: nottimhawko at March 17, 2011 11:52 AM
Posted by: tipster at March 17, 2011 2:45 PM
Hmmm, would love to see the median price chart adjusted for inflation (recognising that inflation has been relatively low)
Posted by: BayAreaBum at March 17, 2011 4:07 PM
"would love to see the median price chart adjusted for inflation"
If we take that $541K figure from 2004, that becomes $634K in 2011 dollars. That $835K peak in 2007 is $891K in 2011 dollars.
The inflation-adjusted price dips have been noticeable in some of the recent apples and fit with several people's predictions of how the bursting of the bubble would play out.
Posted by: sfrenegade at March 17, 2011 4:17 PM
I thought we didn't care about medians.
Posted by: R at March 17, 2011 5:46 PM
I personally don't think medians are the best metric because mix can dramatically change in an abnormal market. Even now, the percentage of people buying all cash is substantially higher than normal.
As a result, I made no comment on the medians other than giving the information that was asked for and pointed out how many apples we've seen lately are showing inflation-adjusted losses.
Posted by: sfrenegade at March 17, 2011 6:54 PM
If you have enough lobbyists here's one way to "settle" the debate as to whether or not distressed sales are comps:
"Four States Consider Legislation Barring Distressed Sales as Comparables
Four states – Illinois, Maryland, Missouri and Nevada – are considering legislation that would prohibit or restrict the use of “distressed sales,” such as foreclosures and short sales, as comparable sales as a part of a residential real estate appraisal.
Posted by: tc_sf at March 25, 2011 3:44 PM
Love that those four states are trying to solve their budget crises by screwing homeowners. This is a pathetic attempt to shore up real estate markets by ignoring legitimate comps.
For the "federally related transaction" thing the article mentions, in some cases, I believe properties are exempt if they are worth less than $250K. That may fix the problem in some parts of those states where an agency loan is taking place.
Posted by: sfrenegade at March 25, 2011 4:00 PM
Btw, quickly looked over the bills. Only Nevada's bill says "except as required by federal law." However, I haven't studied their code sections, and it's possible that the state code sections of each of these states already has a clause that says this section will not apply when federal standard overrides.
Posted by: sfrenegade at March 25, 2011 4:09 PM