Despite having more homes on the market in San Francisco, with inventory levels running an average of 50 percent higher on a year-over-year basis over the past two months, pending sales in the city remain down entering the new year.

And if the current trend hold through the end of the month, January home sales in San Francisco are on pace to be the lowest since 2009 and with a slight chance of being the lowest in over a decade.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by EBGuy

    Let’s go back a month for our NOD of the week. WaMu lives… at least in the pages of the recorders office for 2266 9th Ave (NOD on 12/05/2018). They’ve avoided the auction block before, so don’t hold your breath.

  2. Posted by sparky-b

    Total sales may be off to a slow start, but big ticket sales aren’t:

    33 Day ($4.7M)
    891 Noe ($5.65M)
    116 Elsie ($3.8M)
    780 Duncan ($3.165M)
    4279 26th Street ($3.05M)

    • Posted by SocketSite

      How might those five sales compare to the “big ticket” sales volume in January of 2017 or over the past ten years?

      If “big ticket” sales are up, while overall sales are down, how would that shift in mix impact the median sales price and year-over-year comparisons of such?

      And if “big ticket” sales are up, while the list price per square foot of the homes in contract are down, what would that suggest for the market in general?

      • Posted by sparky-b

        The following in contract “big ticket” sales tell me absolutely nothing about price per foot, just like price per foot on list tells me nothing about the market.

        As to what the comparison of these are for 2017 and beyond: They would have sold for less

        • Posted by SocketSite

          You seem to be missing the points. Claiming “big ticket” sales are up, without quantifying any actual change, isn’t very useful nor do a handful of sales make your point.

          At the same time, if “big ticket” sales are, in fact, up, while overall sales are down, it will skew the median price up, regardless of what’s happening with any of the underlying values.

          And a drop in the list price per square foot of those homes which are in contract isn’t exactly a bullish sign. Or it signals a greater mix of sales at the lower end of the market, which would actually contradict your “big ticket” hypothesis.

          • Posted by sparky-b

            I linked some other houses to my second post that don’t list square footage, so my comment is taken out of context. I don’t think list price slightly up or down means anything. I bring this up here every once in a while; lots of houses that will sell for a really high $/ft. just don’t put footage in listing. So the overall numbers are always skewed. Plus who is doing the take-offs and how accurate are they?

            I think this one had footage listed last week and now it doesn’t.

          • Posted by SocketSite

            Which is why we track normalized trends over large periods of time. And while the list price per square foot of homes in contract always bounces around a little, there was a significant and consistent change, downward, at the end of last year.

          • Posted by Ohlone Californio

            Well the one on Day did have its sq ft listed, couldn’t sell for 4.4M or last spring/summer and did trade for 4.7 this week.

          • Posted by SocketSite

            $1,150 per square foot for a “newly remodeled, luxury high-tech residence ideally located in Noe Valley” certainly isn’t cheap, but it is 8.7 percent under the average price per square foot that $3M+ homes in Noe fetched over the past year.

          • Posted by tipster

            @Ohlone: “Well the one on Day did have its sq ft listed, couldn’t sell for 4.4M or last spring/summer and did trade for 4.7 this week.”

            One doesn’t imply the other. They might have listed for 4.4, and all offers higher or lower were countered by the seller at 4.9, who finally capitulated and sold for 4.7. The offering price is not necessarily the price at which the seller will sell.

          • Posted by Ohlone Californio

            @ Tipster, yeah that’s of course possible but not in keeping with strategy, generally. A mid high 4s price, with an expectation of a large overbid? Why not price at 4.995 and take a small underbid? seems more astute.

            @ Socketsite, since you were kind enough to shift the goal posts, perhaps you can also break down how well homes with audible San Jose avenue traffic noise typically fare versus other luxury high tech residences in Noe Valley.

          • Posted by SocketSite

            We’re not sure how providing context – in terms of relative price per square foot – is “shifting the goal posts,” but if you have another set of comps or context for the sale, you’re welcome to run with it.

          • Posted by watcher

            @Ohlone: Where is the $4.4 coming from? The link sparky posted for 33 Day shows it listed on 9/14/18 for $4.788. Shows it went slightly under list after sitting for 4 months.

          • Posted by Ohlone Californio

            The previous time it was listed, for several months.

            (Your query could have been answered by this website, much earlier.)

          • Posted by watcher

            @Ohlone: The Redfin website sparky posted shows nothing between the 9/14/18 listing at $4.788 and a sale on 9/5/14. Was it an off MLS listing for $4.4?

          • Posted by Ohlone Californio

            No, it was on the MLS. Maybe it wasn’t on Redfin for some reason, but it was for sale on the open market.

    • Posted by EBGuy

      Who said flipping is dead? Hats off to Jr. on Hampshire. No risk, no reward!

  3. Posted by tipster

    4279 26th Street: sold for 2.750 in 2014, listed for 3.4, sold for 3.05. Up just under 11 percent in 4.5 years, about 2% per year compounded.

    SF Case Shiller was a 192 in Aug 2014 and the most recent I could find was 269 in September 2018. Up 40 percent, or just under 9 percent per year compounded.

    The house above has had minimal work. Quite a big difference between 2%, well below inflation, and 9%, well above. And that was with extremely suppressed interest rates and a booming local economy.

    • Posted by sparky-b

      Spread the word, $1241/ft. is much less than should be expected for a 2019 sale. On inflation alone sales should be at $1567/ft. That is for lived in circa 2014 remodels, newly finished houses should expect a premium. Let’s call it $1700/ft. for a middling southern neighborhood no view location

      • Posted by SocketSite

        $1,241 per square foot certainly isn’t cheap and is only 1.5 percent below the average price per square foot that the “big ticket” home sales in Noe fetched over the past year. So in terms of expectations, it depends on whether you thought the 2019 sale would actually be higher (or not).

      • Posted by tipster

        That wasn’t my point, Sparky, I’m not trying to say the market is dying, only that here we have a nearly perfect apple that isn’t up anywhere near where Case Shiller says apples will be. I wasn’t saying to stop relying on YOU, but to stop relying on Case Shiller.

        • Posted by sparky-b

          I agree with your point on Case Shiller, I was trying to make the point that we also shouldn’t take list $/ft as an indicator of much either. Selling dollar a foot says much more, but taken with a grain of salt in that the highest $/ft. sales often don’t show their footage.

          But most importantly I think we all agree that $1240/ft is the minimum expected price for nice south neighborhood houses.

        • Posted by heynonnynonny

          Case-Shiller is an average, it doesn’t claim that every apple falls at the mean. You are going to need a few more data points if you want to argue against it. Particularly in the off season where there is more likely to be something unusual going on.
          You also compared September Case-Shiller to December sales. It’s not unusual for December Case-Shiller to be lower than September, and this year the S&P 500 peaked in September and really started dropping mid-December. It would be surprising if the Case Shiller numbers don’t decline at least through January.

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