January 15, 2014

Fewer San Francisco Homes Sold In 2013 Versus 2012


In line with the drop in listed home sales we noted yesterday, the number of recorded San Francisco home sales in 2013 was 3.5 percent lower than the year before versus a 25 percent increase from 2011 to 2012.

The recorded sales volume of San Francisco homes in December was 529 according to DataQuick, down 17.7 percent on a year-over-year basis for a total of 6,423 properties sold in 2013.

The median price paid for a property in San Francisco was $813,000 in December, down 3.6 percent from the month before but 12.9 percent higher year-over-year. As always, keep in mind that while movements in median sales price are a great measure of what's in demand and selling, they're not a great measure of actual appreciation despite what headlines might say.

For the greater Bay Area, the recorded sales volume of homes in December was down 12.7 percent year-over-year for a total of 88,291 properties sold in 2013, down 2.9 percent versus 2012. The median sales price for a Bay Area home was $548,500 in December, down 0.3 percent from November but 23.9 percent higher year-over-year.

As always, keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed ("sold") months prior but are just now closing escrow (or being recorded) and any properties that were sold "off market."

Bay Area Home Sales Drop to Six-Year Low; Prices Still Up Sharply Yr/Yr [DQNews]

First Published: January 15, 2014 10:15 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

Hardly a huge surprise with inventory running on average double digit lower for the year though.
Certainly prices ended the year much higher than when it began.
Spring will be interesting!

[Editor's Note: As we noted yesterday, while inventory levels in 2013 were down an average of around 10 percent versus the year before, they were down closer to 50 percent throughout 2012, a year in which sales jumped 25 percent versus the year before.]

Posted by: Don tfeartheREpa at January 15, 2014 11:12 AM

It's interesting that SF suffered a larger drop than the Bay Area as a whole in both median prices and sales numbers for December year-over-year and also for the full year 2013 vs 2012 comparison. There are many possible reasons for this, but I still would have expected (SF) to have done better than nearby counties.

Posted by: Gordon at January 15, 2014 1:19 PM

Gordon I think reason is (for sales) that SF itself had a fantastic, stellar 2012 while the rest of the area was lagging and only I think started to catch up the tail end of that year.
So the 2012 base comparison was very different in SF and the surrounding areas.
You're wrong asbout median prices though - they didn;t suffer a drop at all during 2013 - either comparing December YOY or year as a whole.
In fact several record high medians were hit during 2013 - its unlikely this was true for any other surrounding area.

Posted by: DontfeartheREpa at January 15, 2014 1:43 PM

DontfeartheREpa, I didn't say the median prices dropped, just that they didn't gain as much in SF as they did in the whole Bay Area, by either the December YOY or the full-year 2012/2013 numbers as provided in this post.

But yeah, I agree with your explanation that we gained a lot more in 2012 than the rest of the bay area did and so it's not too surprising that we slowed down a bit.

Posted by: Gordon at January 15, 2014 5:31 PM

(what I should have put in my earlier post is that we lagged behind the surrounding cities, I shouldn't have called it a "drop")

Posted by: Gordon at January 15, 2014 5:33 PM

It looks like that's exactly what you said Gordon, that 2013 median was down vs 2012. Anyway, that's the problem with editorializing this odd two year data set. People wind up thinking the market is cooling or something. Hardly. The sfgate went even further along that line today than socketsite.

Posted by: Truth at January 15, 2014 6:16 PM

Inventory. In SF it's all about inventory. If there were twice the homes there'd be twice the sales (or close to it.)

Posted by: poor.ass.millionaire at January 16, 2014 6:16 PM

The headline for this post is misleading. Unit sales for the entire Bay area may be down year-over-year but, according to the San Francisco MLS, sales of single family homes and condos/tics/co-ops for 2013 were UP 2.7% compared to 2012. (These are almost exclusively resales -- the MLS doesn't include most new development sales). The median sales price (again, according to the MLS) in 2013 was up almost 16% compared to the previous year.

For some perspective, the number of units sold in 2013 was greater than any year since 2005. The 2013 median sales price was higher than any previous year.

The MLS does show December sales down 3.5% compared to 2012 but the median sales price was up 11%, not down as reported in the post.

Posted by: jw2200 at January 16, 2014 6:40 PM

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