While Bay Area home sales were down 12.9 percent on a year-over-year basis last month, the slowest March in terms of sales volume since 2008, recorded home sales were up 8.2 percent on a year-over-year basis in San Francisco as contracts in a number of new condo buildings started to close (see last paragraph below).
That being said, sales volume in San Francisco has increased an average of 41.1 percent from February to March over the past decade and last month’s gain represented a sub-par seasonal increase of 19.3 percent versus the month before.
The median price paid for a property in San Francisco was $937,500 in March, down 0.8 percent from a record $945,000 in February but 14.6 percent higher year-over-year, driven in part by an increase in the mix of higher priced home sales. As always, keep in mind that while movements in the median sale 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.
Having peaked at $665,000 in July of 2007, the median sale price for a home in the Bay Area increased 7.2 percent to $579,000 in March, up 23.2% year-over-year and the highest median price since December of 2007. The median price had fallen to $290,000 in March of 2009.
With San Francisco the only Bay Area county to have recorded a gain, Napa recorded the second best outcome with respect to sales, dropping 8.5 percent year-over-year. Sales in Solano County were down 28.3 percent in March, the greatest Bay Area decline. The median in Solano was up 30.4 percent to $300,000 in March, the greatest Bay Area percentage gain. The median in San Mateo County was up 13.5 percent to $767,000, the smallest Bay Area gain.
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.”