According to the April 2011 S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, single-family home prices in the San Francisco MSA increased 1.7% from March ’11 to April ’11, down 39.5% from a peak in May 2006 and down 5.5% year-over-year (YOY), still a steady slide from the 18.3% gain reported last May and the fifth consecutive month of year-over-year declines.
For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values increased a nominal 0.6% from March to April, down 32.6% from a June 2006 peak as values fell 3.1% year-over-year.
“In a welcome shift from recent months, this month is better than last – April’s numbers beat March,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices. “However, the seasonally adjusted numbers show that much of the improvement reflects the beginning of the Spring-Summer home buying season. It is much too early to tell if this is a turning point or simply due to some warmer weather.
“Other housing statistics show the same trends. Single-family housing starts were up in May, but still well below their 2010 levels and still very close to their 30-year low. Existing home sales rose in May, but are still about 15% below last year’s pace and about 35% below their 2005 pace. While foreclosures remain a large factor in most parts of the country, the S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default indices show a small decline in the pace of new defaults since last November. Other reports confirm that banks have tightened lending standards in the past year making it harder to qualify for a mortgage despite very low interest rates.
“In the monthly details, we saw home prices increase in April over March. The 10-City was up 0.8% and the 20-City rose 0.7%. Only seven cities experienced lower prices compared to 18 in March. However, the seasonally adjusted figures saw less dramatic improvement. The annual rate of change for the 10-City remained the same at -3.1%; whereas the 20-City fell further from -3.8% reported for March to -4.0% for April. For a real recovery we would need to see several months of increasing home prices, large enough to shift the annual momentum to the positive side. In short, better news, but still a lot of questions and a long way to go.”
While prices were nominally down for the bottom third of single-family homes in San Francisco MSA, prices ticked up for the top two thirds in April, the second consecutive month-over-month gain for the top tier in eleven months.
On a year-over-year basis, however, values were relatively unchanged for the bottom two tiers and fell just under one percent for the top.
The bottom third (under $314,659 at the time of acquisition) fell 0.3% from March to April (down 5.4% YOY); the middle third increased 1.1% from March to April (down 7.5% YOY); and the top third (over $579,970 at the time of acquisition) ticked up 1.5% from March to April, down 3.9% on a year-over-year basis.
According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA remain at May 2000 levels having fallen 60% from a peak in August 2006, the middle third remains at March 2002 levels having fallen 41% from a peak in May 2006, and the top third has returned to just above January 2004 levels having fallen 26% from a peak in August 2007.
Condo values in the San Francisco MSA increased 2.5% from March ’11 to April ’11, down 2.8% year-over-year, but the second consecutive month-over-month uptick in eight months. Condo values remain down 31.3% from a December 2005 peak but have reversed a two month “double dip” and 34.7% drop from peak recorded in March.
Our standard SocketSite S&P/Case-Shiller footnote: The S&P/Case-Shiller home price indices include San Francisco, San Mateo, Marin, Contra Costa, and Alameda in the “San Francisco” index (i.e., greater MSA) and are imperfect in factoring out changes in property values due to improvements versus appreciation (although they try their best).
∙ S&P/Case-Shiller: April Seasonal Boost in Home Prices [Standard & Poor's]
∙ S&P/Case-Shiller: San Francisco Top Tier And Condos Tick Up In March [SocketSite]
∙ May Case-Shiller: San Francisco Tiers Up But Gains Moderating Atop [SocketSite]
∙ San Francisco’s Condo “Double Dip” Is (Or Was) Here [SocketSite]