Looking Back at 2009: Condos/TICs

Pretty much everything I said about how single family homes fared in 2009 also applies to the condo/TIC market.   (TIC’s, aka Tenancy In Commons are similar to condos.  For more information on TICs, see my three-part series starting here.)

Condo/TICs hit their all-time highs about a year later than homes did — in July 2008.  But they’ve fallen from their highs almost exactly as much as homes have.  Condos/TICs were down 17%, just one percent better than single family homes.

For those who prefer their data on a per square foot basis, the picture is pretty much the same.  The all-time high was $711 — reached in November 2008 and the price per square foot stood at $592 at year’s end, also a drop of 17%.

While condos/TICs ended the year at the same point, the pattern has not been the same. Condos/TICs have been stuck near the bottom of their 2009 range after bouncing up in the first quarter. Homes, on the other hand, appear to have bounced up and stayed up.

What’s in store for 2010 remains anybody’s guess, but on the streets it certainly feels like spring is in the air.  There are more listings coming onto the market and more people looking at them.  Will that translate into sales and higher prices?  That’ll depend on macro-economic trends I’ve discussed elsewhere, but one thing’s pretty clear:  interest rates are heading higher, as evidenced by the Fed’s recent increase in the discount rate. If the economy continues to strengthen, that trend will continue.  And, for many people, that will result in less buying power and reduced affordability.

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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:

So clearly prices are down from their all-time highs across the board.  (Most districts were still hitting highs or near-highs well into 2007, by the way, and District 5, which includes Noe Valley had its top 3 highs in 2008!) )  But where the drops are really big (Districts 6 and 7 for example), that could simply be due to the fact that the all-time high was aberrational.

The percentage change from a year ago are interesting because you can see how some districts seem to be doing quite well.  Half up, half down.  Once again, though, with sales volumes down across the board, there are less data points and that can skew the numbers.  But it certainly seems like the tonier districts (1, 5 and 7) are holding up better than the others.  (Take a look at my graph from a coupla days ago to see how the districts compare over time.)

Bottom line(s)?

San Francisco single family homes are down over 11% from a year ago.

The more expensive neighborhoods seem to be doing ok.

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