Statistical Tables | Mortgage Rates Outlook | 10 Essential Questions To Ask When Buying A Home

And the Beat Goes On

Although off the highs reached recently, prices for single-family homes and condominiums/lofts continue to post year-over-year gains.

After two months of double-digit gains, the median price for single-family, re-sale homes was up “only” 9.7% in July compared to last July.

The median price for condos/lofts posted a 12.4% gain.

The sales price to list price ratio continues to point to a very strong sellers market. The ratio for homes was 112.0%, while the ratio of condos/lofts was 105.5%.

As the tech industry continues to expand into the city, demand is soaring.

A Fix for the Housing Shortage

Most solutions to the housing problems in the Bay Area advocate building new units. While that is certainly desirable, it is also being fought against vigorously.

A blogger by the name of David Thielen posted a novel solution in the Huffington Post titled, “Saving San Francisco—A Solution to the Housing Crisis.

In brief, he points to the large number of well-paying tech jobs as the driver for increasing prices. “The root problem is more jobs than the housing can support.”

He looks at the two choices currently facing San Francisco: disallow any expansion of housing, which will dramatically increase prices, or, build, baby, build, to misquote Al Davis.

That, Mr. Thielen says, will result in a city of high-rises, turning it into deep canyons and congested streets.

His solution? Have the tech companies move jobs to other cities. He points to Detroit as a city that would be very welcoming to an influx of well-paid jobs.

You can read his article here:

July Sales Statistics

Trends at a Glance
(Single-family Homes)
  Jul 17 Jun 17 Jul 16
Home Sales: 203 219 202
Median Price:  $1,431,000  $1,470,000  $1,305,000
Average Price:  $1,777,928  $1,756,765  $1,721,486
SP/LP: 112.0% 112.3% 106.8%
Days on Market: 24 27 32
  Jul 17 Jun 17 Jul 16
Condo Sales: 216 304 249
Median Price:  $1,175,000  $1,147,500  $1,045,000
Average Price:  $1,259,622  $1,374,469  $1,206,330
SP/LP: 105.5% 104.2% 103.2%
Days on Market: 33 37 39
Sales momentum…
for homes jumped 1.3 points to +8.3. Sales momentum for condos/townhomes fell 0.4 of a point to +1.8.

Pricing momentum…
for single-family homes rose 0.7 of a point to +1.8. Pricing momentum for condos/lofts gained a full point to -0.8.

Our momentum statistics are based on 12-month moving averages to eliminate monthly and seasonal variations.

This is an extraordinarily tough market for buyers. It's important to be calm and realistic. If you don't know what to do or where to begin, give me a call and let's discuss your situation and your options.

The graph below shows the median and average prices plus unit sales for homes.

The following chart shows the median price difference compared to the year before.


The graph below shows the median and average prices plus unit sales for condos/lofts.

The following chart shows the median price compared to the average price. The average price will always be more than the median price. The greater the difference, the more higher priced homes are being sold.

The real estate market is very hard to generalize. It is a market made up of many micro markets, especially in San Francisco. For complete information on a particular neighborhood or property, or for an evaluation of your home's worth, call me.

If I can help you devise a strategy, call or click the buying or selling link in the menu to the left.

Monthly Statistics

Complete monthly sales statistics for San Francisco are below. Monthly graphs are available for each district in the city by clicking the links to the left.

July Sales Statistics
(Single-family Homes)
  Prices Unit     Yearly Change Monthly Change
  Median Average Sales DOM SP/LP Median Average Sales Median Average Sales
San Francisco  $1,431,000  $1,777,928 203 24 112.0% 9.7% 3.3% 0.5% -2.7% 1.2% -7.3%
D1: Northwest  $1,950,000  $2,044,438 16 27 110.3% -14.3% -4.3% 33.3% 1.8% 4.2% -27.3%
D2: Central West  $1,330,000  $1,386,739 44 19 125.7% 11.5% 10.0% 4.8% 2.4% 6.5% 15.8%
D3: Southwest  $1,125,000  $1,178,354 16 27 115.2% 28.1% 23.6% -27.3% 7.1% 4.2% 6.7%
D4: Twin Peaks  $1,505,000  $1,661,946 23 22 114.3% 3.8% 7.7% -30.3% -9.3% -7.9% -34.3%
D5: Central  $2,275,000  $2,318,391 23 21 110.0% 16.7% -1.3% -43.9% 0.0% 0.2% -8.0%
D6: Central North  $2,400,000  $2,186,667 3 23 117.9% -14.7% -18.5% -25.0% -34.9% -35.4% -25.0%
D7: North  $3,546,875  $4,497,609 16 40 100.4% -45.1% -28.2% 33.3% -37.2% -16.8% 128.6%
D8: Northeast  $1,955,000  $1,955,000 1 41 98.2% -33.7% -32.9% -66.7% -11.1% -28.5% -66.7%
D9: Central East  $1,500,000  $1,588,630 27 23 113.4% 7.5% 2.2% -15.6% -15.7% -14.5% -10.0%
D10: Southeast  $   969,000  $   982,964 34 27 116.4% 16.7% 11.8% -12.8% 1.0% 0.1% -10.5%


July Sales Statistics
  Prices Unit     Yearly Change Monthly Change
  Median Average Sales DOM SP/LP Median Average Sales Median Average Sales
San Francisco  $1,175,000  $1,259,622 216 33 105.5% 12.4% 4.4% -13.3% 2.4% -8.4% -28.9%
D1: Northwest  $1,080,000  $1,105,909 11 19 115.3% 4.6% -0.6% -21.4% -10.0% -12.8% 22.2%
D2: Central West  $   850,000  $   834,167 3 49 114.2% -10.5% -11.4% -40.0% -16.3% -11.4% -25.0%
D3: Southwest  $   680,000  $   693,333 3 37 98.7% 15.3% -3.3% 0.0% 17.2% -8.0% 0.0%
D4: Twin Peaks  $   465,000  $   465,000 1 48 97.9% -26.6% -26.6% -50.0% -43.3% -40.6% -75.0%
D5: Central  $1,350,000  $1,363,621 29 20 112.0% 3.8% 9.7% -34.1% 3.4% -3.3% -48.2%
D6: Central North  $1,210,000  $1,405,906 18 28 111.4% -0.2% 19.5% -40.0% 0.4% 12.3% -51.4%
D7: North  $1,645,000  $1,706,528 18 23 105.4% 7.9% 8.4% -40.0% 17.1% -22.4% -52.6%
D8: Northeast  $1,113,575  $1,342,813 40 35 101.7% -4.4% -3.6% 5.3% 21.4% 4.3% -23.1%
D9: Central East  $1,054,500  $1,166,778 88 39 103.0% -8.9% -0.6% 4.8% -8.3% -6.0% -8.3%
D10: Southeast  $   700,000  $   563,000 3 29 102.1% -3.1% -18.7% -75.0% 55.6% 23.5% -40.0%

Mortgage Rates Outlook


Rates Drift Lower Again

Jul. 28, 2017 -- As we expected, mortgage rates drifted a little lower this week, edging a touch closer to 2017 lows. In reality, mortgage rates have been wandering about for several months, with the average conforming 30-year fixed rate ebbing and flowing in a range of just 17 basis points since late April.

The middle of the summer usually sees little movement in rates, unless there is some highly unusual event that jars the market. This kind of calm doesn't usually last forever, and odds favor a quickening of financial market activity that usually begins after Labor Day. Until then, only small moves in rates seem likely to happen.

The economic news continues to be fair, but hardly the stuff on which sizable moves in interest rates are based. The Federal Reserve conducted a two-day meeting this week which ended with no change to the federal funds rate, but the Fed did acknowledge the recent fade in price pressures and tweaked the language used to describe inflation in June from a characterization of "running somewhat below 2%" to July's more explicit "prices... are running below 2%."

Low mortgage rates have done their part to drive demand for housing this spring. That said, sales of existing homes have been largely curtailed by a lack of affordable and desirable supply, and this continues to be the case. Sales of existing homes declined by 1.8% in June when compared to May, easing to a 5.52 million (annualized) rate of sale. Homes that sold carried a median price tag 6.5% above the same measure a year ago, and affordability continues to be crimped as we go along. Inventories of unsold homes have edged up in the last three months and now stand a 4.3 months of supply, the highest since last October, but still remaining well below the 6 months which is considered healthy. The National Association of Realtors noted "June’s inventory figures are down 0.5% from last month to 1.96 million homes for sale. Inventories are down 7.1% from a year ago which is 25 months of year over year declines".

The economy continues to rumble along, and now sports a fair 1.8% run rate for the first six months of the year. Home sales are encouraged by low mortgage rates and a continued solid job market, but are throttled by a lack of homes to buy. Homeowners and stock investors continue to see solid gains in their holdings, and in theory this should help to continue to power the economy along. Inflation remains more of a hoped-for situation than a reality, much less a problem. Overall, things seem OK, and the protracted process of filling in all the holes created in the Great Recession seems to be proceeding apace.

10 Essential Questions To Ask When Buying A Home (That You May Have Missed)


By: Lisa Johnson Mandell

You’ve finally found it: a home you’re swooning over and dying to own. From the exposed ceiling beams to the hardwood floors, this feels like the place. So what’s next? Don’t just stand there dumbstruck; it’s time to dig deeper and ask questions—and not just the kind that randomly pop into your head, either. You need to hit all of the necessary topics head-on, and some of them are not so obvious.

But you’re in luck: We’ve pulled together a checklist of some of the most important initial questions to ask when buying a home:

What is the home’s sales history?

When was the last time the house sold, and how much did the current owners pay for it? This is essential intel, and you don’t even have to ask the seller or your real estate agent about it, because it’s posted on every MLS listing. All you have to do is scroll down to find it. But make sure you know it.

When buying a home, the previous sale price will give you a sense of what the sellers might expect you to pay—but keep in mind that a home’s true market value is based more on what comparable homes are selling for now rather than what it went for in the past, says Los Angeles Realtor® Jennifer Niman of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. Sales history will also show you whether the home’s price has been trending up or down over time, which can help you hone your negotiating stance.

Did the sellers make any major renovations or additions?

If they’ve overhauled the kitchen, added a bedroom, or finished the basement, you’ll want to know that—and, ideally, see receipts from contractors to get a sense of what they paid for these upgrades.

In general, this will give you a ballpark notion of how much money they’ve sunk into the home—and what they hope to get out. That said, don’t assume you have to fork over as much cash as they put in; home improvements generally reap only a 64% return on average. And that return on investment varies widely based on which renovation is done.

How much are the property taxes?

Property tax history is also typically available right on the listing detail page. If you can’t find it, ask the seller. You’ll want to find out what previous owners paid, but understand that the property tax, since it’s based on a percentage of the value of the house, will probably be affected by your purchase price. This could be a huge additional expense, and you’ll need to budget for that when putting together your offer.

What are the monthly maintenance and utility costs?

Is there any type of homeowners association fee? Find out. Also learn what kind of power the house uses, be it gas, oil, electric, or a combination, and ask what the average monthly bill for each is. Also inquire about water, waste removal, and any other utility costs that are applicable.

Has there ever been a broken pipe? Sewer backup?

This may sound trivial (not to mention unpleasant), but according to the Insurance Information Institute, broken pipes account for an estimated 22% of all home insurance losses. If the homeowner doesn’t ‘fess up, a good home inspector can probably find evidence of either one of these situations, so you might want to put these on your list of questions to ask your inspector, too.

How old is the roof?

The 2015 Remodeling Impact Report from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® says the national median cost of an asphalt roofing replacement is about $7,600. It would be good to know how soon you might need to lay out that substantial amount of cash.

Have there ever been any pest infestations?

If there was an infestation, when were pest control procedures undertaken? No, this won’t necessarily mean the house is pest-free at the time you’re buying it, but it’s a good starting point to know the history. Many buyers require that termite treatment be included in the price; it’s easiest to tent for pest removal when the house is empty, between owners.

Are there warranties on the appliances, HVAC system, garage door, etc.?

And if so, can the homeowner provide the documentation? Ask for it. This can establish how old these features are, and give you an idea of when they might need to be replaced and how expensive it could be. It will also help you decide whether or not to buy a home warranty. 

What are the parking restrictions around the house?

Will guests need parking permits? How many permits are you, as the homeowner, allowed, and can you obtain more if you decide to throw a party? Also, check out the parking situation on the property itself. Will your car(s) fit in the garage? Is there room to park anywhere else on the property other than the driveway?

Does the house have any kind of unusual history?

In many states, owners are legally bound to disclose if a death or major crime has occurred recently on the premises, but there are other circumstances you should be aware of as well. For example: Did anyone famous ever live there? Was it ever used in a film, TV series, or commercial? If so, you might have to deal with fans ringing your doorbell or driving by at all hours of the day or night.

Oh, and if the house has a history of being haunted or paranormally “stigmatized,” you might have a little extra negotiating power when buying a home. Thanks, ghosts.