Statistical Tables | | Housing: Not So Fast

Trends at a Glance
(Single-family Homes)
  May 21 Apr 21 May 20
Home Sales: 248 274 105
Median Price:  $   1,892,500  $   1,800,000  $   1,630,000
Average Price:  $   2,432,058  $   2,443,656  $   1,911,728
SP/LP: 112.6% 108.4% 104.0%
Days on Market: 19 20 24
  May 21 Apr 21 May 20
Condo Sales: 418 421 109
Median Price:  $   1,226,000  $   1,200,000  $   1,100,222
Average Price:  $   1,361,705  $   1,330,051  $   1,289,927
SP/LP: 105.3% 103.6% 98.7%
Days on Market: 37 44 39

Median Sales Price for Homes Sets New High

The median sales price for single-family, re-sale homes set a new high of $1,892,500 in May. It rose 16.1% year-over-year.

The average sales price for single-family, re-sale homes rose 27.2% year-over-year.

Sales of single-family, re-sale homes rose again in May, jumping 136.2% year-over-year. Sales were down 9.5% from April. There were 248 homes sold in San Francisco last month. The average since 2000 is 214.

The median sales price for condos/lofts was up 11.4% year-over-year.

The average sales price was up 5.6% year-over-year.

Sales of condos/lofts rose 283.5% year-over-year. There were 418 condos/lofts sold last month. The average since 2000 is 230.

The sales price to list price ratio, or what buyers are paying over what sellers are asking, rose from 108.4% to 112.6 % for homes. The ratio for condos/townhomes rose from 103.6% to 105.3%.

Average days on market, or the time from when a property is listed to when it goes into contract, was 19 for homes and 37 for condos/lofts. 

Momentum Statistics

Sales momentum…

for homes rose 9 points to +30.1. Sales momentum for condos/lofts was up 12.5 points to +35.2.

Pricing momentum…

for single-family homes rose 1.5 points to +5.5. Pricing momentum for condos/lofts rose 2 points to –4.5.

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

We calculate…

momentum by using a 12-month moving average to eliminate seasonality. By comparing this year's 12-month moving average to last year's, we get a percentage showing market momentum.  

In the chart below…

the blue area shows momentum for home sales while the red line shows momentum for pending sales of single-family, re-sale homes. The purple line shows momentum for the average price.

As you can see, pricing momentum has an inverse relationship to sales momentum.

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

Remember, the real estate market is a matter of neighborhoods and houses. No two are the same. For complete information on a particular neighborhood or property, call me.

P.S. The FHA requires all condo projects to be re-certified before they will make a loan. To find out if the condo project you're interested in is eligible, go here:

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

The real estate market is very hard to generalize. It is a market made up of many micro markets. For complete information on a particular neighborhood or property, 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 area in the city.

May 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 $1,892,500 $2,432,058 248 19 112.6% 16.1% 27.2% 136.2% 5.1% -0.5% -9.5%
D1: Northwest $2,450,000 $2,537,692 13 0 133.6% 44.2% 16.0% 44.4% -1.3% 11.4% -13.3%
D2: Central West $829,444 $833,689 10 24 105.1% -41.8% -41.9% -61.5% -49.8% -52.0% -81.5%
D3: Southwest $1,725,000 $1,725,000 2 21 112.0% 29.2% 29.7% -75.0% 24.3% 18.1% -88.9%
D4: Twin Peaks $1,230,000 $1,073,600 5 55 113.5% -38.2% -53.1% -64.3% -47.8% -56.5% -86.1%
D5: Central $2,885,000 $3,129,625 40 24 106.1% 31.9% 25.2% 122.2% 13.8% 3.7% -11.1%
D6: Central North $2,310,000 $3,300,834 3 49 103.4% -38.4% -1.0% 0.0% -12.5% 12.3% -50.0%
D7: North $5,610,000 $7,375,929 14 24 104.9% 18.1% 55.3% 1300.0% -4.9% -1.6% -26.3%
D8: Northeast $5,206,106 $5,206,106 2 53 106.3% n/a n/a n/a 147.9% 119.5% -33.3%
D9: Central East $1,750,000 $1,904,034 29 35 106.2% -2.5% -3.6% 141.7% 4.1% -7.6% -17.1%
D10: Southeast $1,382,000 $1,393,895 19 21 112.7% 12.9% 13.5% 100.0% 2.6% 0.9% 2.4%


May Sales Statistics
  Prices Unit     Yearly Change Monthly Change
  Median Average Sales DOM SP/LP Median Average Sales Median Average Sales
San Francisco $1,226,000 $1,361,705 418 37 105.3% 11.4% 5.6% 283.5% 2.2% 2.4% -0.7%
D1: Northwest $1,382,000 $1,393,895 19 21 112.7% 51.0% 50.3% 171.4% -0.8% -7.2% -5.0%
D2: Central West $1,725,000 $1,725,000 2 21 112.0% n/a n/a n/a 56.8% 38.7% -71.4%
D3: Southwest $1,230,000 $1,073,600 5 55 113.5% 49.1% 30.1% 400.0% -8.9% -19.1% -28.6%
D4: Twin Peaks $732,500 $947,357 7 38 102.7% -36.4% -10.6% 133.3% -25.2% -0.2% 75.0%
D5: Central $1,545,000 $1,542,979 69 18 112.2% 5.3% 9.7% 187.5% 14.4% 10.9% 11.3%
D6: Central North $1,299,000 $1,287,715 29 29 109.0% 5.6% 1.5% 163.6% 9.2% 1.3% -27.5%
D7: North $1,749,000 $2,052,810 50 25 104.3% 17.4% 40.7% 257.1% 7.8% 7.3% 0.0%
D8: Northeast $998,000 $1,185,617 81 54 101.0% -22.0% -33.4% 523.1% -9.3% -5.1% 20.9%
D9: Central East $1,013,000 $1,208,475 146 46 102.5% 10.1% 20.2% 403.4% -9.7% 1.1% -5.2%
D10: Southeast $829,444 $833,689 10 24 105.1% -7.7% -8.1% 60.0% -5.1% -22.0% -38.5%


Housing: Not So Fast

May 28, 2021 -- The increasingly unfavorable conditions facing housing markets are starting to have the expected effects: sales of new and existing houses are slowing down. Softening sales aren't a result of a lack of demand, at least for the most part, but rather a lack of supply, and most especially, a lack of supply that is desirable and affordable to wide swaths of the homebuying audience.

We learned last week that sales of existing homes throttled back for a third consecutive month, falling another 2.7% in April. Actually, sales have been flat to falling now for about six months after hitting a recovery high of 6.73 million units at an annualized rate of sale last October; April's 5.85 million rate was about 13% below that mark. The culprit(s) for tempering sales? Some would blame firmer mortgage rates, but they are only running perhaps a third of a percentage point above all-time bottoms, so that's not really the issue. However, home prices rising by double-digits compared to a year ago -- and at nearly a 20% year-over-year clip in April -- is enough to put some buyers on the sidelines.

Perhaps the greatest issue is that there aren't many homes even to look at on the market, let alone purchase, as "for sale" inventories of existing homes remain razor thin (if improved somewhat from the tightest levels of the winter). Just 2.4 months of homes for sale at the present sales pace were available in April and potential buyers face bidding wars, cash competition and need to make near-instant decisions whether to buy or not just to have a chance to buy. In addition, there's little time to even consider options, since listings are coming off the market in an average of slightly more than two weeks' time.

After some weeks or months of trying and having no success, some potential homebuyers simply become discouraged and step back from the market, hoping for more favorable conditions to emerge.

In some markets, new construction can help pick up the slack for a lack of existing homes to buy, but not everywhere. Locations where new homes can be built more than one at a time are often a greater distance from city centers, amenities and job markets. Work-from-home opportunities have attenuated the last issue to a degree, but only to a degree, and with pandemic restrictions fading and more companies talking about a return to the office, the waters are a little muddy when it comes to potential future commuting. This changing climate may give some buyers who might consider a brand-new home pause.

But the new construction market is now starting to suffer from surging prices, too. Rising costs for lumber and other materials is inflating the cost of a new home, and supplies of labor and fixtures and more remain an issue due to the effects of the pandemic 9and perhaps those stemming from attempts to ameliorate the effects of the pandemic, too). As recently as March, the median cost of a brand-new house ($334,200) was nearly the same as that for an existing home ($326,300), and prices for new stock were in a comparatively flat pattern relative to existing home prices.

That's no longer the case, with new home prices shooting up by 11.4% on a month-to-month basis ($372,400) and about 20% higher than they were last April. Pandemic effects play a role to a degree in the size of the annual jump, but just a little. So with prices leaping for new homes almost as fast as existing, it's reasonable to expect sales to temper, and they did, falling 5.9% to an 863,000 annual rate of sale. Unlike the existing market, homes available to buy aren't much of an issue, as there reasonable levels of inventory available -- about 4.4 months at the present sales pace -- with the 316,000 units available the highest number in a year's time.

Where existing home sales reflect demand anywhere from a month or two prior to the month in which they are reported (e.g. April's sales reflect demand in February and March), sales of new homes are recorded in the month when the contract is signed, so demand for new homes cooled in April. The National Association of Realtors has a similar as-contracted tally for existing homes called the Pending Home Sales Index; April's 4.4% decline in the PHSI to a level last seen a year ago in May suggests that sales of existing homes will likely be sluggish in May and June. Often, once the "spring homebuying season" passes, home sales tend to tail off a bit for the summer, but more likely this year is that they'll only flatten out a bit more from where we are at the moment. Even if they should, there's really nothing especially concerning about home sales in the 5.5 million or so range, even if this number is considerably lower than it could be in more favorable inventory and price conditions.

So even as the rest of the economy comes up to full (or fuller) recovery speed, the housing market may not be able to produce much by way of gains, but 2021 will turn out to be a very solid year even if it can only hold present levels. While there's no immediate indication that the Fed will be making any moves anytime soon, the more time moves forward, the closer to the day we get when they will start making changes. As we approach this shift (whenever it may be) this at least for a time will produce higher interest rates, and that may temper sales a bit more.

So housing markets are settling after a strong set of gains. Odds favor that sales will pick up again once inventory levels improve (existing) or lumber and materials inflation subside (new construction) and home price increases throttle back again. It would be better if these things happened sooner than later, because later at some point will come with higher mortgage rates, although they won't be high enough (perhaps a 4% level or higher) to do any kind of real damage to demand for an extended period yet.