January is already a distant memory, and we are about to pass the 1/2 way mark for February. With a little bit of 2012 under our belt, how’s the year looking from a real estate perspective?
As you can see from the above chart, January 2012 sales are down slightly from 2011, but up significantly from the bottom in 2009, when only 180 homes were sold in January.
From 2002 – 2005, January sales averaged right around 400 sales per month, then it went down to about 350 sales per month during 2006 and 2007, continuing to fall during 2008 (247 sales) until it hit bottom in 2009.
January 2010 sales were back above the two hundred sales mark, with both January of 2011 and 2012 coming in with over three hundred sales.
The reported sales in the San Francisco don’t include any new construction sales (because they aren’t advertised in the MLS, they aren’t listed as sold in the MLS), so I would say you could easily add 20 sales to the number and still be on the conservative side, based on conversations I’ve had with sales offices about their January activity (this isn’t including The Madrone, which would push it even higher).
The stats accurately reflect what I’m feeling in the marketplace, which is plenty of buyers who want to buy but there isn’t inventory that they want to make offers on. I have a feeling that 2012 will be a busy year in San Francisco real estate, with volume picking up in the March – June timeframe.
Rates are low and buyers are out there, so if the homes come on the market (which they will) then I expect that 2012 will turn in a solid performance, and perhaps the best performance since 2008.
It should go without saying (but I’ll say it anyway), that when I’m gazing into my crystal ball the future is always a little hazy. We are in an election year, so who knows how the housing market will be tweaked and treated by politicians, but I’d say it is a safe bet that no candidate wants to be the person who upsets the slow recovery of the housing market.
The statistics used to create the chart are from the San Francisco MLS, the data is believed to be reliable but is not warranted and is not guaranteed. Your mileage may vary. Always buckle up.