The estimated number of Bay Area single-family homes and condos that traded hands this past December (7,136) was 9.1 percent lower than in December 2015, having dropped 4.4 percent from the month before at a time of the year when sales typically rise.

And in San Francisco, the year-over-year drop was even more dramatic, with an estimated 553 homes trading hands last month, down 12.4 percent on a year-over-year basis and having dropped 3.2 percent from November versus a typical 7.9 percent seasonal gain.

CoreLogic’s data for San Francisco County in December was estimated, however, as the final tally was unavailable at the time of its report.

As we noted three months ago, the recorded sales volume in San Francisco was being goosed by contracts for condos in new developments that were signed (“sold”) many months prior but were closing escrow in bulk as the buildings came online in the middle of 2016. At the same time, signatures on new contracts were down 25 percent in 2016 despite an average of nearly 50 more inventory throughout the year.

While the median price paid for a home in San Francisco isn’t yet available for December, it was $1,137,500 in November, down 1.1 percent on a year-over-year basis and 12.5 percent below the record $1.3 million median sale price recorded in April of 2016.

In Alameda County, recorded homes sales in December (1,563) were 7.5 percent lower on a year-over-year basis with a recorded median sale price of $685,000, down 2.2 percent from November but 5.4 percent higher versus the same time last year.

Recorded sales in Contra Costa County (1,441) were down 7.9 percent versus the same time last year with a median price of $505,000, which was 5.1 percent higher, year-over-year. Home sales in Santa Clara County (1,608) were down 8.0 percent with a median price of $805,000 (up 2.1 percent). And sales in San Mateo County (547) were 11.5 percent lower on a year-over-year basis in December with a median price of $1,008,000, which was 10.0 percent higher versus the same time last year.

The median price paid for a Bay Area home overall was an estimated $676,000 in December, down 1.9 percent from November but 4.0 percent higher versus the same time last year.

Keep in mind that while movements in the median sale price are a great measure of what’s selling, they’re not necessarily a great measure of appreciation or changes in value and are susceptible to changes in mix, as opposed to movements in the Case-Shiller Index.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by 4th Generation SF'er

    I still think if you have the $ the time is now to buy esp with these prices.

    • Posted by curmudgeon

      that was deep

    • Posted by Confused renter

      Agree completely! Buy now or be priced out forever. SF is landlocked and is special. Prices can only go up and up.

  2. Posted by dB

    Ed: why no Marin county data?

    • Posted by SocketSite

      Sales were down 13.8 percent in Sonoma; 10.9 percent in Marin; and even in Napa on a year-over-year basis in December, with a median sale price of $527,500 (+9.9%), $857,500 (+4.2%), and $560,000 (+0.9%) respectively.

  3. Posted by [Hitman]

    Despite the bearish headlines, it is clear to me that SF prices are on the rise again. Prices rise on low volume because those with big balls are few and far between. I can only surmise that the bearishness around here comes from some experts and pundits who feel left behind. Writing is so much different than really playing the game.

    The case-shiller SF index has hit a new high at 231.26. In July 2016, the case-shiller index bounced off the previous March 2006 high near the 220 level. It is well-settled that resistance becomes support and vice-versa. Real players are buying right now while those on the sideline will be caught flatfooted and left behind, AGAIN. Trying to fade all-time new highs is a fools game.

    [Editor’s Note: With respect to the latest Case-Shiller Index results: Bay Area House Values Slip, Condos Inch Up. And in terms of the impact of your underground landlords strike: S.F. and Oakland Rents Have Dropped 8 Percent.

    But in terms of our “bearish” factual headlines, blame the “real players” for not buying more properties to prop the market up, especially with respect to new construction in San Francisco proper.]

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