San Francisco Inventory at 3.5 Month Supply

Despite a lull in luxury home sales, prices are up and inventory is down in the San Francisco market, according to a joint research report released by the Rosen Consulting Group and the San Francisco Association of Realtors. The report said there is a 3.5-month supply of single-family homes on the market, down from 5.8 months in January 2009. Condo inventory was at a 4.1-month supply, down from 9.5 months in January 2009. The median price for San Francisco single-family homes was $720,000 in January 2010, up 18% from January 2009, which the association said appears to be the local trough for the median price. But sales at the high end of the market continued to be dominated by all cash or large down payment transactions, said San Francisco Association of Realtors president John Lee, adding luxury property sales were closing only after protracted negotiations of the purchase price and price reductions. “The sharp decline in household net worth across all income levels and the devaluation of many passive investments as a result of the most recent recession has led to more conservative investing even among affluent households,” Lee said. On the opposite end of the market, condominium sales are up. There were 113 condo sales in January, compared to 78 in January 2009. Pending condo sales totaled 177 in January 2010, compared to 98 in the same month one year ago. While Lee said he’s optimistic about the future of the San Francisco market, there are some issues that could delay the market’s recovery, including looming interest rate increases and continued high unemployment. The results follow a separate report issued by MDA DataQuick that showed the San Francisco market ended 2009 on an upswing, with sales increasing 13.8% from November and the busiest December for the market since 2006. The December 2009 median price was up 15.2% from December 2008. Write to Austin Kilgore.

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