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Those January Numbers

With the January numbers in from DataQuick (scroll down for San Francisco) the Chronicle charts the topic on everyones lips: has the bubble burst? Sounds of the usual suspects with their cast-iron predictions, which range from "typical seasonal drop-off" to "you will all wind up in debtor's prison and your children sold to a workhouse."

Median prices are down a bit, the number of sales are down, appreciation is down. If your house has been appreciating at 25% a year, maybe it's not a bad idea for it to relax a little, smell the roses, take a deep breath. Overall the most interesting observation is that sellers are not necessarily taking their money and running, but using their substantial profits to move up in the market, staying invested in San Francisco.

Best quote: "People ask why are home prices so high in California, and my response is: 'Everybody in the world wants to live in California,' " said Michael Carney, real estate professor at California State Polytechnic University at Pomona.

Which may be the simplest and best prediction of all.
· January Report [DataQuick]
· Housing- Just Cool or Growing Cold? [SF Chronicle]