Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Inventory -- Up/Down

Lack of inventory has been the bane of most real estate buyers and their agents for some time now.  There were three interesting items on this topic today:
  • The Mark Company, which handles the marketing for many new construction condo buildings, reported today that new construction condo inventory was up 63% compared to last year.  Their report indicates 401 units available.  The accompanying graph also suggests that there was a peak in inventory about 10 months ago at approximately the same levels as today.  This was followed by several months of reduced inventory with an upturn in just the last two or three months.
They also report that pricing has increased 13% since the same time last year.
  • Our own bi-weekly reports of new listings shows that since the first of the year, listings have held relatively steady in the range of approx. 250-350:

  • Our regular monthly sales report shows a significant reduction in inventory compared to the same period last year for all five configurations of condos and single family homes we track as well as 2-4 unit properties:

  • Socketsite had an item yesterday suggesting that inventory has been steadily climbing but giving no source for their numbers.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Drones for Real Estate Photography and Video

I have a particular interest in (besides real estate) aviation.  I got the bug early as a child when my busy pilot uncle took me flying in one of his awesome float equipped planes as part of his bush flying business in northern Quebec.

Fast forward to day, where using drones (unmanned flying vehicles - UAVs) has become a popular hobby and, inevitably, made its way into the commerce of real estate.

Photos and videos taken from drones can provide a unique perspective on individual properties and their neighborhoods.  Since almost every prospective real estate buyer starts their search on-line these photos and videos can help make a property stand out from its competition.

The current problem is that the FAA allows the use of these devices only for hobby or recreational use -- not for commerce.  Congress has mandated the FAA to come up with rules for the commercial use of these devices and the FAA bureaucracy is moving in that direction but, at the moment, these devices may not be used in the marketing of real estate.  

However, even while the FAA has subpoenaed information from some real estate agents regarding their use of drones, the government has done very little actual enforcement.

One way or another, expect to see more and more of these devices buzzing around properties about to come on the market -- and not just "high end" properties.  Just like earlier technologies such as virtual tours that migrated from high end to most properties, UAV photos and videos will make their presence felt in a wide range of real estate.

For further reading try these articles:

The Seller's Market Continues

Apologies for being negligent about updating the blog.   It certainly doesn't mean there haven't been interesting things happening in the San Francisco real estate market.

We continue to publish our monthly reports of sales and inventory.  There are a couple of things worth highlighting in the latest version of the reports.

The New Listing Market Watch report is the closest thing we have to a leading indicator.  It measures the number of new listings of single family homes and condos during the previous two weeks and what percentage of them go into contract within that same period.  As you can see on the graph, the market continues strong with 15% of single family home listings going into contract within two weeks of listing and more than 28% of condos in contract within two weeks.  Click here for the full report.

We have also published the Quarterly Report and, of interest there, is the comparison between the just completed 2nd quarter of this year compared to the same quarter a year ago.  In every category we survey (for example, 1 bedroom / 1 bath condos) the number of units sold is down compared to the same quarter last year and the average sales price is up.  Here's an extract to make the point:

For the full report, click here.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


Explain to me again why we don't have air conditioning in San Francisco:

Oh, that's right:

Monday, May 12, 2014

New Listing Activity

New listings of single family homes took an uptick over the past two weeks with condos holding steady.

The percentage of them that went into contract within that same time period is also up, reversing a downward trend we had seen during the last month.

You can see the full report here.

Only four of the new single family home listings (less than 3%) has posted a price decrease along with 15 of the condos (8.4%).

We're talking about listings in the San Francisco MLS.  As such they do not include private sales that do not involve a broker representing the seller, nor do they include some/most new construction condos since most developers list only a handful of examples of their units.  This allows them to keep close control over the speed at which units are seller and sales prices.