Orange County-based data firm Core Logic reports in its latest suite of housing numbers that, for the ninth month in a row, the number of homes sold in the Bay Area has fallen year over year, with February’s 4,993 homes sold marking the lowest figure since 2008.
According to Core Logic economist Andrew LePage, this is the third month in a row that represents an 11-year low.
However, LePage also notes in the report that “the year-over-year decline in sales has ratcheted down the past two months,” from a gasp-inducing 21.6 percent in December to a less drastic 13 percent in February.
San Francisco’s decline remained among the smallest regionally. Meanwhile, the actual price of a home in SF in February was flat year over year. Some highlights of Lepage’s February findings:
- The number of homes sold in SF in February was 303, down 8.5 percent from 331 in February of the previous year. The median price of a home in SF—both condos and single family units—was $1.25 million, a zero percent change from the same time in 2018. In January, the price rose slightly year over year (up five percent to $1.15 million) in Core Logic’s report.
- Across all nine counties, the number of homes sold dropped 12.8 percent compared to February 2018, while the Bay Area median price bounced up 2.7 percent from $750,000 to $770,000 across all types of units.
- The county with the biggest year-over-year depreciation in February was Sonoma County, where the number of homes sold slid 21.1 percent and the price dipped 4.4 percent (to a median of $540,000).
- Marin County was the only place in the region where sales were up from 2018, rising 7.1 percent year over year and spiking prices 15.7 percent to a median of just over $1 million. However, Marin County also had the second smallest number of homes sold—and thus the second smallest and most volatile sample size in the region—at 180 in February.
- Median price was down year over year in four counties: Napa, San Mateo, Sonoma, and Santa Clara (1.7 percent, 4.3, 4.4, and 7.4 respectively). LePage concludes that “declines likely reflect a combination of a slower market and a rise in buyers’ negotiating power, as well as changes in market mix in some areas, where sales in higher-end communities represent a lower share of all activity.”
Core Logic’s monthly report reflects all public sales of homes in the Bay Area for the month of February.
The California Association of Realtors’ (CAR) monthly report breaks down just the sales of single-family homes in the Bay Area. According to CAR, single-family home sales activity in February was almost the exact inverse of what Core Logic reports, up 8.9 percent in San Francisco year over year.
Meanwhile, the price of an SF house declined more than 13 percent compared to 2018. Taken together, both reports suggest a significant decline in sales of condos but increasingly aggressive interest in larger homes.
According to the city’s most recent Housing Inventory Report released earlier this month, SF added only 37 new single family units in all of 2018, whereas “new housing units added over the past five years continues to be overwhelmingly (90.4 percent) in buildings with 20 or more units.”