Dataquick vs MLS: why the discrepancies?

In my October 27 blog discussing the Case-Shiller Index, I referred to Bay Area County stats from Dataquick that showed San Francisco’s median prices to be down 12.7% from a year previous (YOY) vs.  the 11.36% that I’d quoted in my October 23 blog.

The reason for the discrepancy?  Dataquick compiles its figures from the San Francisco County Recorder’s Office; my numbers come from the MLS.  Transactions like foreclosures or transfers between family members or between legal entities generally don’t involve agents or brokers so they don’t show up in the MLS.  They also tend to be at lower values because they are often at below market rates, so Dataquick’s numbers will always be somewhat lower than the numbers pulled from the MLS.  Thanks to Rick Campbell at the REReport for his quick response. ...  Additional Details

Update to Halloween Horror: Did it just get scarier….??

The day after I posted my take on the Case-Shiller Index, they came out with July’s report (they’re always trailing three month averages) showing a continuing decline in the San Francisco MSA.  Wait for it:  down 27.3% from July 2007.  Are we worried?  Not that much.  Why not?  Read my October 27 blog:  “San Francisco” means most of the Bay Area when it comes to the Case-Shiller Index.

You want scary?  Median prices are down 45% year over year in Contra Costa County. ...  Additional Details

Horror Headline (just in time for Halloween): SF home prices down 24.8%!!!

Yup, that’s right folks.  According to the well-known and well-respected Case-Shiller Index published by Standard and Poor’s, San Francisco home prices in July 2008 were down a whopping 24.8% from a year previous.  How can this be, when you read right here that median prices were down YOY (year over year) a “mere”  11.3% in September  (see Oct 23 blog below) and just 5.5% YOY for July 2008 — see my market trends archive.)  More realtor fluffery, you huff, designed to make the credulous public believe that things are not so bad. ...  Additional Details

Cool new blog with an analytical approach

I came across a great post analyzing condo prices in Pacific Heights at TheFrontSteps.com.  Source of the article is a new blog Inside SF Real Estate, very much of the same philosophy as I believe in:  independent analysis, hard fact, no bs.  I’m adding them to my blogroll today.

They also have a great chart and article focusing on Noe Valley condo and home prices (wish I’d done it first 🙁 ).  Go take a look.  And good luck Arrian!

Just How Bad Is It? (Answer: depends)

I’ve been digging a bit deeper into the raw data that’s used to generate the beautiful graphs you can find here and which I used to generate the MLS District graphs in my blog of a few days ago.

So I thought I’d check how September 08’s median home prices (condos will come later) compared to their all-time highs and to the median prices of a year ago, both by MLS District and for all of San Francisco.  I didn’t include District 8 (North-east) because it doesn’t have enough data to be useful, and I also didn’t include the southern-most districts of SF (3 and 10) because to be honest I don’t follow them closely. Here’s the result: ...  Additional Details

Big Brochures and Beautiful Pictures

Just back from Brokers’ Tuesday Tour.  Decided to concentrate on Noe Valley today.  Brochures for even the most modest homes seem to be getting bigger and fancier.  Today, I swear I got a brochure that was bigger than the house it was advertising!  The house had a dumpy basement and built-out attic, all for a cool $1.4 million, but looking at the quality of the glossy brochure and the photos you’d think it was a palace.

Likewise, go to any online listing and the photos are always incredible.  As a serious amateur photographer, I know how easy it is to make a shoe-box look like a salon. Just light it well and slap on a good wide-angle lens. ...  Additional Details

What on earth does this chart mean? (Click to make it bigger)


I was wondering how prices in various MLS Districts in San Francisco were doing relative to each other and to San Francisco as a whole so I graphed the monthly median prices of single family homes in all but the southernmost districts (3 and 10) for January 2005 through September 2008 and came up with this beauty.  (Please click on it to enlarge.)

So, a couple of things jump out.  Northeast District 8 (the pale dotted line), which includes tony areas like Russian Hill and Telegraph Hill as well as the Financial District, is all over the place in terms of price swings.  There are very few transactions from month to month (sometimes none at all) because there are so few single family homes in those areas.  Bottom line:  forgeddaboutit. ...  Additional Details

Still Getting The New Blog Up and Running

Please be patient on the lack of content here.  I’ve been making a concerted effort to integrate an easy-to-use blog page with the more static content on my previous website, along with the really great market data that I want to be able to present to you on a monthly basis.  For market data, please take a look at my Market Trends page and click on the links that interest you.  It’s not quite where I want it to be, but it’s getting there.

Back at you soon.