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.

San Francisco Condos doing just fine, thank you.

Condos often get hit hard in times of real estate turmoil, but that doesn’t seem to be happening in San Francisco — at least for now. This graph shows a 12 month moving average of actual condo sales through March.

The moving average “flattens” fluctuations, but the raw numbers show the March median and average condo prices at all time highs of $765,575 and $914,187, respectively. And this is while volume in terms of units sold is down. Why?

My theory, which is mine and belongs to me — Monty Python fans, you need to go back a long way to pick up that reference — is that it’s precisely because single family home prices have remained high AND buyers are finding it harder to get loans that condos are looking particularly attractive as a relatively –ahem — affordable option. Kind of counter-intuitive, but I think it makes a crazy kind of sense. Let me know what you think! ...  Additional Details

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