February 13, 2014

Bay Area Home Sales Off To A Slow Start In 2014

San Francisco Home Sales and Median Price: January 2014 (www.SocketSite.com)

Having closed out 2013 with fewer recorded home sales in San Francisco than the year before versus a 25 percent increase from 2011 to 2012, recorded home sales in San Francisco were down 10.2 percent on a year-over-year basis in January. The 33.1 percent drop in sales from December to January was in-line with typical seasonality.

The median price paid for a property in San Francisco was $884,500 in January, up 8.8 percent from the month before and 18.3 percent higher year-over-year, largely driven by an increase in the mix of higher priced home sales. 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 the headlines might say.

For the greater Bay Area, the recorded sales volume fell 30.1% from December to January and is down 14.6 percent year-over-year, the slowest start since 2008. The overall median sales price fell 4.3 percent to $525,000 but remains 26.5% higher on a year-over-year basis.

The sales volume in Napa was down 29.6 percent on a year-over-year basis last month, the greatest Bay Area decline. And while not a single Bay Area county recorded a year-over-year gain in sales last month, San Mateo was down the least having dropped 2.6 percent.

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 slowest for a January since 2008 [DQNews]
Fewer San Francisco Homes Sold In 2013 Versus 2012 [SocketSite]
Bay Area Million Dollar Homes Sales Jump, East Bay Jumps The Most [SocketSite]

First Published: February 13, 2014 11:00 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

Isn't that another all time high for median price?
In January? yikes..

Posted by: DontfeartheREpa at February 13, 2014 11:15 AM

Volume is in line with what's expected in terms of seasonality, but prices are not.

Then again, if the number of shoppers is too low then sale reports are going to be less reliable.

A competing blog had an interesting update recently on the relative cooling-off of the market. Spring will tell us if it's what actually happens.

Posted by: lol at February 13, 2014 1:15 PM

With not much inventor and lower sale volume- how are agents and mortgage breakers staying busy? Do they have side gigs?

Posted by: low inventory at February 13, 2014 2:29 PM

I used to track the SF SFR/condo market very closely but haven't in the last 24 months (happens when you leave SF for the mountains.) A little bird told me that the market was going nuts there in terms of sales price increases and transaction volume but is that not really the case?

Posted by: mountainmaniac at February 13, 2014 4:19 PM

Seems like everything worthwhile is getting a lot of bids. But sales volume has got to be low. Not much is for sale. As far as another site auguring a slowdown, OK, but what do they say are the headwinds?

Posted by: Truth at February 13, 2014 6:14 PM

Not to worry -- we're building ONE MEE-LLIONE new units in the next 12 months. It will make living here ideal!

Posted by: Stucco_Sux at February 13, 2014 7:40 PM

If the inventory doesn't increase, then the prices most certainly will.

Posted by: MoneyMan at February 14, 2014 2:47 PM

Anyone know when the next lock up period ends for some of those IPO's like Twit----er?

My guess, volume and price rises accordingly once those newly minted Twits cash out.

Posted by: Keepitup at February 14, 2014 7:23 PM

^ How many twits does it take to make the SF real estate market go up?

Posted by: poor.ass.millionaire at February 15, 2014 6:54 PM

Twitter is not the only ipo. 7 bay are biotechs ipo'd in 2013 and 3 have already ipo'd in 2014. Not as big as twitter but each individually make at least 20 people into instant millionaires and > 5 into multimillionaires. That's 200 new millionaires and 50 new multimillionaires. It's small compared to Twitter or fb, but it all adds up. In Addition, the VCs floating these companies are also making multi-millions. All people hear about is FB and twitter but the ipo market in 2013 and 2014 likely to be greatest in history in a 2 yr period in terms of number of companies going public. This market is booming. Tech, biotech and finance all zooming in Bay Area. As long as market holds up RE will be a sellers market. I think we go up through end of 2015. After that, could be bubble territory again. I think anyone who bought between 2009 and early 2013 will be sitting pretty for awhile

Posted by: Jill at February 16, 2014 10:37 AM

You nailed it Jill..... " I think anyone who bought between 2009 and early 2013 will be sitting pretty for awhile." Me too.

IMHO...Very good likely hood of at least two good pops before all those promised 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 new 150 Sq foot units come on line for $500K each....then pop!

I sold a 475 sq ft unit just two months ago for 475K. The buyer is going to be in the money next year. My guess his unit floats above 500K by mid summer.

Still does anyone know when the lock ups end for these IPO's? I would like to see if there is a correlation between the pop and the cash flow.

Posted by: Keepitup at February 16, 2014 10:01 PM

Twitter IPO lockup expires May 6 and total employee options and other equity grants is around 25% of the market cap (so roughly 10 billion in total value). A bit less than half is fully vested and can be immediately converted into cash.

I expect given their central location it will drive a lot of RE appreciation across all neighborhoods. There are a whole pile of multi billion IPOs in the pipeline as well which will add fuel to the fire.

Posted by: SF dev at February 17, 2014 10:47 AM

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