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January 5, 2009

SF Market: Fresh Start for ’09

Welcome to 2009! This year, I’m expecting a bit more of the same real estate market activity that happened in late 2008. Sellers need to be cognizant of the reality that there are simply less qualified buyers out there, and that in most areas of San Francisco, it’s a buyers’ market.

I’ve been busy over the past year doing a lot of negotiating for my buyer clients, from requesting credits based on inspection findings to assisting them in counter offer scenarios. In all instances, I believed my clients were getting a good deal. So I’ve enjoyed working with buyers; this work has given me keen insight on their mindset, which will come in handy when I work with sellers in 2009.

Heading into the new year, it’ll be important for buyers and sellers to pay attention to sales figures from November and December. That’s because sales activity will reflect the post-stock market crash activity, as well as the fallout from the various major financial institution collapses.

So here’s a look at how sales volumes and averages fared between December 2007 and 2008. As I expected, both the quantities and prices were down last month across the board.

A total of 124 single-family homes sold this past December, with an average selling price of $877,158. This represented a significant drop from December 2007, when 167 houses sold at an average of $1,203,292. So yes, everyone, prices have come down in San Francisco in what is arguably known as the most desirable property type.

Condos in December 2008 didn’t do much better. A total of 86 such properties sold at an average price of $730,283; back in Decmeber 2007, 137 condos sold for an average of $877,158.

And finally, tenancy-in-common sales were down, with only 28 TICs selling this past December, compared to 63 selling the previous December. Average prices, however, were not that different: $672,869 in 2007, and $626,690 in 2008.

Stay tuned this week for a look at average values on a neighborhood basis.

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