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San Francisco Single Family Homes: Healthy?

August 12, 2008

Okay, so if you pay any attention to the mass media, you'd probably think the entire world is collapsing. Am I right? To be candid, even I think like Chicken Little when I look at my SEP-IRA statements each recent month...

So, how is the San Francisco real estate market doing? Well, not to sound like the cheery optimists so ridiculed in the non-Realtor blogosphere but yes, San Francisco real estate is doing just fine. No, it's not party like it's 2004 but the market is stable, steady and with a remarkably low supply of inventory compared to demand. There are deals out there, especially in the loft/condo/TIC market but ask anyone who has owned their home for 5 years or more and they are likely to be very happy with their investment.

Bottom line: the time is right to be buying, particularly for San Francisco first time buyers & investors who qualify and move up buyers who have owned their property for say 4-5+years.

Most of our listings continue to sell quickly and with multiple offers so present and price it right and you will do just fine. Again, we are lucky to live and own in San Francisco.

The San Francisco Association of Realtors has improved and repacked their weekly statistics. In other effort to supply y'all with insider information (no, not the kind Martha unjustly went to jail for), I will continue to publish the stats here.

Mind you, in person I am hardly the smiley, perky type but when it comes to home ownership, I could practically be a Dallas Cowgirl! Really, I'm just channeling Ms. Orman but that's another story.

My philosophy was and is that you should buy what you can afford as soon as you can afford it. Don't worry so much about what is happening in the macro-economy.

Worry about your own situation. Do you have a good job? Savings? Good credit? Could you benefit from the tax savings and pride of ownership that comes with your own little slice of San Francisco?

Enough already, you say. Show me the money. Here you go. I hope all you analytic types will enjoy! (Following the chart is a list of related terms to help understand the data.)

NUMBER OF UNITS is the equivalent of number of sales/transactions. For condominiums, each unit is treated as a sale. For 2- to 4-unit buildings, the “building” is treated as a sale.

NUMBER SOLD is the number of properties in the market segment that closed escrow during the month.

NUMBER FOR SALE is the number of active properties on the market for one day or more during the month.

MEDIAN PRICE (SOLD) reflects the “middle” price point of a group of properties that have successfully closed escrow on a monthly basis, i.e. half sold for more and half sold for less than the median price. Tracking the movement of median prices over time provides a good indicator of the direction market forces are moving.

If the percentage change is positive between the two periods then there is upward pressure on prices in that market segment. If the percentage change is negative between the two periods then there is downward pressure on prices in that market segment.

AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET (DOM) reflects how long it has been taking (on average) to draw an offer on a reasonably priced property exposed to the market. The AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET is defined as: The average number of days it took all of the properties that went under contract during the period to accept a first position offer.

MONTH’S SUPPLY OF INVENTORY (MSI) is a measure of how long it would take, in months, to sell the existing inventory at the current sales rate for the specific neighborhood and property type. The MONTH’S SUPPLY OF INVENTORY is defined as: The number of active properties on the market for one day or more during the month, less the number of properties that have been withdrawn or expired, divided by the number of properties that have gone under contract during the month.

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