December 14, 2012

Updated San Francisco Market Charts

December 14, 2012

Updated San Francisco Market Charts

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 And even in a hot market, there are listings that do not sell at all, but expire or are withdrawn from the market: Many of these will ultimately be relisted at lower prices and eventually sold.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.