More signs of an extraordinary market: 90% of listings sold in April sold without any price reductions, at an average sales price 7.5% over list price. Huge demand is chasing a too-small supply of homes for sale.
In 2012, the market turned with a vengeance and grew very hot very quickly. Now in 2013 it has grown even hotter. Recent deal-making stories almost make the seemingly crazy, multiple-offer tales of last year appear sedate. The supply of listings is drastically low against buyer demand, and the pace of price appreciation looks to be accelerating. Some city neighborhoods appear to be surpassing the previous peak values reached in 2007-2008. As seen below, the first quarter’s numbers reveal big increases in home values year over year. And the month of March alone saw a particularly big jump of almost 9% above February’s median price.
March sales prices reflect the heat of the market 4-8 weeks earlier, when the offers were actually negotiated. Much of the first quarter’s sales data reflects offers negotiated in late 2012. In a rapidly changing market, we’re always looking in the rearview mirror.
How Does Supply & Demand Affect Prices? The past 18 months give a text book example of how the supply and demand dynamic affects home values. Months supply of inventory (MSI) measures the strength of buyer demand against the available inventory of homes to purchase: the lower the MSI, the hotter the market. The hotter the market, the greater the upward pressure on prices.
Sales Prices Over & Under List Price As the market has strengthened, the percentage of SF homes selling for over — and sometimes far over — list price, has soared to almost unbelievable levels. In the last 2 months, 30% of SF house sales have sold for 15% or more above asking price.
This link shows the huge decline in inventory since the market turnaround began. Typically, we see a surge in early spring. Not this year, at least not so far: Inventory of Listings for Sale
Percentage of Listings Accepting Offers This is another excellent indicator of demand vs. supply, and it is now at the highest levels in memory for virtually all property types.
This link goes to our chart on average days on market. Generally speaking, the hotter the market, the faster listings go into contract and that is what we are indeed seeing now: Average Days on Market
Mansions, Penthouses, Foreclosures & Fixer-Uppers What San Francisco Home-Buyers Bought in 2012
Of all the homes purchased in San Francisco in 2012: • How many had Golden Gate Bridge views? Or ocean views? • How many were Victorian, Edwardian or Art Deco? • How many had solar heating, elevators, pools or doorpersons? • How many were bank sales, probate sales or short sales? • What neighborhoods had the most sales over $5,000,000? For our annual special report, we data-mined all of 2012′s MLS sales. We hope you find the results as interesting as we did.
For updated information on home values and market conditions, use our link to “Market Dynamics Charts” at the bottom of this newsletter.
Happy New Year everyone! As promised, here is a link to Paragon’s comprehensive analysis of trends in the San Francisco residential market and beyond in 2012. You’ll find 19 incredible charts and maps covering a host of metrics and I highly recommend a quick scan of the online newsletter to find the stuff that might interest you. I’m going to cherry-pick just a handful of my favorites to discuss below.
San Francisco Rankings, Real Estate Prices & Trends, and the Biggest Home Sales of 2012 January 2013 Paragon Market Report
Here is a look at how a diverse group of major and minor organizations have recently ranked San Francisco on a wide variety of important and whimsical measures. Where disagreements existed — 3 different surveys ranked SF as the 1st, 2nd and 3rd “Greenest City” in America, and 2 surveys ranked us as second and third smartest city in the country — we naturally chose the highest grade as most accurate.
The ranking report is followed by some fascinating snapshots of the San Francisco and Bay Area real estate markets.
Median Home Sales Prices around the Bay Area
This mapped analysis calculates median prices from both distressed and non-distressed property sales around the Bay Area as reported to MLS. Median price is a very general statistic and many cities include districts of wildly varying value. For example, San Francisco contains neighborhoods whose median prices vary by over $4,000,000: The overall statistic mixes them all up together and comes up with $810,000. Maps with SF neighborhood values are included later in this report.
The 2012 Rebound
Exactly a year ago, we suggested that, based upon the changing market and economic dynamics we perceived developing in 2011, the SF real estate market was on the cusp of a major turnaround in 2012, possibly similar to what occurred in 1996 when the market blasted off after years of doldrums. And that is what happened, not only for the city, which led the way early in the year, but for the Bay Area, state and country somewhat later. Note that the SF house median price quoted here for 2012 is for 4th quarter non-distressed sales only.
San Francisco Neighborhood Values This map charts median sales prices and average dollar per square foot for houses by city neighborhood. And this link goes to a map for SF condo values: SF Condo Values Map
Year over Year Changes in Values Very generally speaking, and depending on neighborhood and property type, SF home values have risen by 10% to 20% over the past year. Here is a chart assessing the surprisingly consistent change in overall SF condo value statistics and this link looks at SF house statistics. SF House Value Statistics
SF Homes Sales by Price Range One client once called this the “high-heel shoe” graph of San Francisco home prices. One of the big components of the 2012 market was the resurgence in luxury home sales, the chart for which can be found using this link: SF Luxury Home Sales
Sales by Property Type Gradually, with the addition of the big new developments in the SoMa-South Beach district (and other areas of the city), condos have become the largest single category of property type sales in the city. This trend will only accelerate with the new burst in construction plans. And this link leads to a chart showing the resurgence in unit sales. Unit sales would have been much higher in 2012 if inventory had not been so drastically low: Unit Sales Trends
Distressed Sales: Goodbye to All That Distressed home sales have been a market aberration caused by the collapse in loan underwriting standards and the refinancing frenzy of the bubble years. Fair market value is defined as “the price a willing, able and reasonably knowledgeable buyer would pay to a seller not under distress.” But bank and short sales radiate distress: underwater sellers, overwhelmed and unresponsive banks; often the physical condition of the homes themselves is distressed. Buyers demanded a huge discount to deal with them. In SF, this market segment was largely confined to the lower price ranges and less affluent neighborhoods. Now, with the market recovery, the city’s distressed home market is rapidly dwindling and should soon disappear altogether.
Percentage of Listings Accepting Offers This one statistic provides the context to everything we’ve seen in the market this past year: ferocious, pent-up, buyer demand met a drastically inadequate inventory of homes for sale, leading to much more competition for listings and strong upward pressure on prices.
Median SF home prices vary on some of the charts above, depending on whether the price specified is for both distressed and non-distressed properties together, only non-distressed homes, for the last 4 months of 2012 or for the last quarter of the year, or whether price limits were placed on the analysis (limiting sales to under a certain sales price). This is natural: the statistics will change depending on the parameters of the analysis, and it’s always useful to look at the market from slightly different angles.
Statistics are generalities and should be considered approximations: How they apply to any specific property is unknown. These analyses were performed in good faith with data derived from sources deemed reliable, but they may contain errors and are subject to revision. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Sales Price to List Price Percentage & Days on Market
In November, the vast majority of San Francisco homes that sold, sold very quickly without any price reduction, at an average sales price 4% above the list price: That is a strong, hot market. Properties that had to go through price reductions took over 2 months longer to accept offers and sold at a significant discount to original list price. And even in a hot market, there are listings that do not sell at all, but expire or are withdrawn from the market: Many of these will ultimately be relisted at lower prices and eventually sold.
Average Sales Price
The average price is simply the total dollar volume of sales divided by the number of sales. Like median price, it is a general statistic affected by a variety of factors and often fluctuates without great significance on a monthly basis. Among other factors, a decline in distressed home sales and/or an increase in high-end home sales, both of which are occurring now in SF, can have an outsized effect on average sales price. October saw a big jump in average sales price, and then it went up again in November. If the market acts in its typical manner, it will now fall in December and January, since the more affluent home market tends to withdraw for the holidays. (We limit this analysis to sales of up to $3m because the 5% of home sales above that – going up to $12m – $20m – severely distort the overall average by hundreds of thousands of dollars.)
Median Sales Price
The median home sales price is that price at which half the sales occurred for more and half for less. It is a very general statistic and what’s important is the trend over the longer term — monthly fluctuations are normal. Still, October-November saw a large increase over the relatively static median prices seen in the previous 6 months, which followed the big jump in early 2012. Usually, median prices will fall in December and January as the higher end market checks out for the holidays. Remember that sales prices reflect accepted offer activity in the 4 to 10 weeks prior. (The small decline from October to November is probably not statistically significant – unless substantiated as a longer term trend.)
Months Supply of Inventory: Very Low
MSI is a measure of how long it would take to sell the current supply of listings at the existing rate of sales. In October and November, it was about as low as it has ever been. This would typically be interpreted as a strong “seller’s market.”
New Listings & the Inventory of Listings for Sale
After the inventory spike in September from the large influx of new listings, in October and November the number of new listings (the first chart below) and the total number of homes for sale (second chart below) are markedly declining and will almost certainly continue to do so until early 2013.
Percentage of Listings Accepting Offers (Buyer Demand)
The statistic used on this chart boils down the supply and demand dynamics into a single statistic. The percentage of listings accepting offers in October and November was probably about as high as it has ever been, far above the level of previous years. The decline seen in September was the result of a large influx of new listings hitting the market in mid-month – these were snapped up at the same fast rate, but many didn’t accept offers until October, after a reasonable marketing and showing period.
September brought a burst of new inventory that helped satisfy some of the fierce buyer demand for San Francisco homes. Anecdotally, word on the street is that the market may have calmed down a little after Labor Day: not every listing is selling immediately amid high numbers of competing offers — though this may simply reflect the temporary increase in new listings, or sellers too hopeful in their asking prices. But it also appears that home price appreciation has been stabilizing or at least slowing in the last quarter after the big jump earlier in the year. It’s still too early for conclusions: Since most statistics are like looking in a rearview mirror, what is happening today will only become clear in coming months.
Even if the market has eased a little, it is still very strong and very competitive by any historical measure.
Below are 2 updated, mapped analyses of median sales prices and average dollar per square foot values. Almost all the current values reflect a significant jump from 2011: for the city overall, the increase has been in the 10 to 12% range, but it can vary from 4% to 18% by neighborhood and property type.
Median Sales Prices
After the big jump early in the year, median price appreciation for both house and condos appear to have stabilized or slowed – at least for the city as a whole. (Market conditions vary widely by neighborhood.) The median sales price for non-distressed SF condos now slightly exceeds the median price in 2007, the last peak of the market, while that of SF houses is only 5% below 2007. We have similar charts going back 15 to 30 years available on our website.
September had the highest number of new listings of any month in the past year, though well below previous Septembers: 760 new home listings in September 2012 vs. 888 in 2011 and 1138 in 2010. This significantly, if temporarily, expanded the choice of homes available to buyers. But now, in October, the number of new listings is dwindling again and inventory is still drastically low by any historical measure. Overall, in the third quarter, there were 1100 fewer listings than in the same period last year, but the number of sales increased by 21%.
2-Bedroom Condo Median Prices
In the 5 areas shown, condo values jumped across the board, though the most dramatic increase from the bottom of the market has been in South Beach/Yerba Buena — where in the last 2 quarters, the median price surged ahead of that for Pacific and Presidio Heights. Noe and Eureka Valleys and surrounding neighborhoods, SoMa and Hayes Valley/NoPa have also seen large increases. If you’d like data on a neighborhood not listed, please let us know.
Average Dollar per Square Foot House Values
Though pretty much all SF neighborhoods are seeing increases in dollar per square foot values for houses, the more affluent districts 5 (Noe/Eureka/Cole Valleys) and 7 (Pacific Heights-Marina) have seen some of the largest jumps. In the last 2 quarters, District 5 hit a point matching the peak of the market in 2007. If you’d like data on a neighborhood not listed, please let us know.
Luxury Home Sales
Comparing the 3rd Quarter 2012 with 3rd Quarter 2011, MLS listings of San Francisco homes of $1,500,000 and above increased by 23% and sales soared by 54%. This map shows where those sales occurred: 18 in the Sea Cliff/ Lake Street/ Richmond district; 26 in the Pacific Heights/ Marina district; 21 in Russian/ Nob/ Telegraph Hills; 19 in the greater SoMa/South Beach area; 53 in the Noe/ Eureka/ Cole Valleys district; 10 in the St. Francis Wood/ Forest Hill district; 2 in Potrero Hill and 3 in Bernal Heights. The highest prices are still generally achieved in the band of very affluent neighborhoods running across the northern boundary of the city, though growth in the number of luxury home sales is strongest in the central and northeastern areas.
Months Supply of Inventory (MSI)
Still bumping along at the lowest levels in memory. MSI reflects the amount of time it would take to sell the current inventory of homes for sale at the existing rate of sales. Lower MSI means higher demand as compared to supply.
Percentage of Listings Accepting Offers
Houses, condos and TICs all hit historic highs in the 54% to 60% range earlier in the year, but have now fallen back a bit. In the third quarter, TICs saw a rather large decrease, but their percentage is still much higher than in the last four calendar years. The percentages for houses and condos are still extraordinarily high. This statistic is one of the clearest measures of supply and demand.
Average Days on Market
For those listings that did accept offers in September, the average days on market was the lowest in a long while. Many new listings, especially those considered most appealing and well-priced, are accepting offers within 7 to 10 days of coming on market.
San Francisco Real Estate Market: September 2012 Update
Typically, the real estate market slows down during the summer months – a period often called the summer doldrums — but that certainly did not occur this year in San Francisco: unflagging buyer demand continued through August. The market recovery that began in some SF neighborhoods late last year has now spread throughout the city. Bay Area, state and national home markets are also showing clear, if still early signs of turnaround. ******************************
San Francisco House Values Rising
It’s rare that the 3 main statistical measurements of home value line up so perfectly, but comparing this summer’s house sales to last summer’s shows 12% increases across the board. Which doesn’t mean uniform appreciation for SF homes: changes in value vary by property and neighborhood. This analysis and the one following are for non-distressed sales in the city’s 8 northern and central districts, which generally run north of the Sloat Blvd/ Highway 280 line: The 2 southern districts were hit much harder by foreclosures and though they too are recovering quickly, mixing in their data distorts the results. During this 3-month period, house sales volume in the 8 districts was up 5% in units and 18% in dollar volume — and would be up much higher if more inventory had been available. Average days on market fell from 52 days to 39 days year over year.
San Francisco Condo Values Rising
The condo statistics don’t line up quite as neatly, but nearly so: they’re up from 9.4% to almost 12.5%, with the average being about 11%, which is very close to the 12% increase seen in houses. (Remember: these statistics are generalities regarding the sale of many hundreds of relatively unique homes.) Closed sales follow the time when new listings hit the market and offers are negotiated by 4 to 10 weeks, so these charts reflect the market from April through July. Non-distressed condo sales volume in the 8 northern/central city districts during this 3-month period is up 41% in units and 54% in dollar volume from last summer, and average days on market dropped from 69 days to 47 days.
Most Listings Selling At or Over Asking Price
San Francisco is currently seeing remarkable percentages of homes selling above and sometimes far above the asking price: 64% of house sales and 45% of condo sales in August closed at above list price, and solid percentages sold at 10% higher or more. This is perhaps as good a snapshot as any of the ferocious heat of buyer demand right now. (Sales that were within a quarter percent of 100% were considered “At List Price.”)
Percentage of Listings Accepting Offers
No summer slowdown is showing up in this important metric of supply and demand.
Price Reductions, Sales Price Percentages, Time on Market
Over two thirds of SF listings are selling quickly at an average of almost 4% over the asking price. Those listings that go through one or more price reductions take much longer to sell (over 2 1?2 months longer on average) to close at a significant discount to original price. For every listing selling after a price reduction, another listing expires or is withdrawn without selling, typically due to being perceived as overpriced. The keys to getting the best price for your home: price it right to begin with; prepare it to show at its absolute best; comprehensively market it to buyers and agents; negotiate offers aggressively. And it doesn’t hurt to take advantage of a low inventory/high demand market.
Distressed House Sales Declining
Distressed house sales – bank-owned and short sales – are clustered in the city’s two southern districts, running from Bayview to Oceanview. However, these listings are rapidly declining as the market turns around and values increase: distressed house sales have dropped from 20% of sales in 2011 to 12% in August 2012. This becomes a virtuous circle of market recovery: higher values mean fewer distressed listings; fewer distressed listings lessen their (significant) negative effect on neighborhood home values.
Distressed Condo Sales Sinking
The distressed condo segment of the SF market is dwindling rapidly both as a percentage of total sales (from 20% in 2011 to 14% YTD, and 10% in August 2012), and even more dramatically, as a percentage of listings for sale (down to only 4% as of August 31). The greatest number of distressed condo sales has been in the greater SoMa/ South Beach area, where so many of the new, big developments were built over the past 10-15 years, but the impact of these sales is shrinking very quickly everywhere in the city.
Unit Sales Up
Condo and 2-4 unit building unit sales are up over 20% from last year this time – this time comparing a six-month period of each year. House sales — and indeed sales of all types — would certainly be up by a much greater percentage if there were simply more listings for buyers to purchase.
Inventory Way Down
There’s no ambiguity in this chart: An inadequate number of new listings and extremely high demand have kept the inventory of listings available to choose from on any given day lower than at any time in recent memory. It’s not unusual for September to bring a large burst of new listings to fuel the autumn sales season: in this chart, you can see the big jump in September 2010 and the smaller surge in September 2011. Buyers and their agents are certainly praying for a surge in inventory to alleviate the intense competition for available homes.
Days on Market Continue to Decline
The trend is clear: listings are selling much more quickly. Though 37 days as an average is very, very low — nationally, there’s excitement that the figure just fell to 69 days — many new listings in the city are accepting offers within 7-10 days of coming on market.
Values by Neighborhood, Property Type & Bedroom Count
We just completed our detailed semi-annual survey of SF home values. This is one of seven charts: the complete report can be found by clicking on the Market Dynamics Charts link in the footer below and then selecting Neighborhood Values from the sections listed on the upper left of the webpage.
In my last post, I included a chart that showed both single family homes and condos stuck in relatively narrow price ranges over the last 18 months or so. At the end of 2010 the median price of a single family home ($744,000) was about $80,000 more than that for a condo/TIC.
But that doesn’t tell us anything about “value.” Now, let me count the ways we could argue about what “value” means, but I think we’d agree that how each property type has weathered the market battering over the last few years has to be relevant. Take a look at this table: Continue reading →