TICs, San Francisco’s Involuntary Reflex: Part 2 — The Data

There are weeks when I look through the new listings on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) and it seems like there are more TICs for sale than condominiums.  Turns out, this just isn’t true.  Here’s a chart showing relative sales volumes since 2003 (click to enlarge).

Units Sold By Month
Look at that!  Excluding those wonderfully regular dips every Xmas, condo sales are generally at around 200 units per month.  TICs rarely break 40.

Here’s how TIC and condo median prices stack up against each other on a monthly basis. ...  Additional Details

TICs, San Francisco’s Involuntary Reflex: Part 1

Inconvenient and Ugly

A tic is an involuntary and habitual muscle spasm, frequently in the face.  If you live in San Francisco, a TIC is also what many people end up with when they buy a flat in one of San Francisco’s classic 2-4 unit buildings.  Like the medical condition, TICs are inconvenient at best and can be downright ugly at worst.

TIC stands for “Tenancy-In-Common,” a form of legal title by which multiple owners take title to a single property.  In San Francisco, this form of taking title has come to be used as an end-run around the City’s restrictions against converting multi-tenant buildings into condominiums. ...  Additional Details

Homes vs. Condominiums: How much extra do you pay?

Recently, I blogged about the fact that condominiums seemed to be holding up better than single family homes in terms of their decline from their all-time highs.

At the same time, I noted that there was only about $100,000 difference in median value between condos and homes.  That seemed like a small delta and I was interested to see whether it was, historically speaking.  Turns out that it is.

Since, until recently (ahem!), home prices along with everything else have tended to go up, I decided not to look simply at the difference in price between condos and homes.  Instead, I converted the price difference to a percentage of the median value of condos sales for the given period.  This represents the “premium” for owning a home rather than a condo.  Here’s the result. ...  Additional Details

Surprise! Condos are Holding Up Better Than Homes

For the quarter century (gulp!) that I’ve been involved in real estate, the conventional wisdom has always been that condo values generally do worse in down markets than homes.  Why?  To be honest, I’m not sure, but I think it’s because it’s easier to overbuild the condo market than the single family home market.  It goes back to that famous quote:  “Buy land – they aren’t making any more of it.”  Just take a look at Miami, Chicago – or downtown San Francisco.  One new high-rise can hold hundreds of condos in the sky.  Try building just one new home in SF, let alone hundreds – it aint happening.Of course, more supply  + less demand in a down market means prices fall.  Has that been the case in San Francisco? ...  Additional Details