California’s median home price—the point at which half of homes sold for more and half for less—rose 21 percent in April compared with a year earlier, but sales of existing, single-family homes declined 8.1 percent, according to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®’ (C.A.R.) April sales and price report
MAKING SENSE OF THE STORY FOR CONSUMERS
• The median price of an existing, single-family detached home in California during April 2010 was $306,230, a 21 percent increase from the revised $253,110 median for April 2009, C.A.R. reported. The April 2010 median price increased 1.5 percent compared with March’s $301,790 median price.
• Annualized home sales dipped below the 500,000-unit level for the first time in 19 months, which C.A.R. President Steve Goddard partially attributes to home buyers delaying the close of escrow to take advantage of both the federal and state home buyer tax credits. “We should see the pace of closed sales edge up in May and June as these tax-incentivized transactions close,” he said.
• The number of homes available for sale also impacted total sales in April. “The demand for attractive foreclosed properties well exceeds the number of properties on the market,” Goddard said. “At the same time, mortgage interest rates continue to hover near their historic lows, and many buyers are out in force to take advantage of the combination of low interest rates and affordably priced homes. It’s an ideal time for many families to purchase their first home even though they may face stiff competition.”
• Click here to watch C.A.R. Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young discuss highlights of C.A.R.’s April sales and price report.
By the action of five supervisors (Avalos, Campos, Chiu, Daly and Mirkarimi) Proposition F (“Renters’ Financial Hardship Applications”) was placed on this June’s municipal ballot. The San Francisco Association of REALTORS® is actively opposing the proposition.
As many REALTORS® know, Proposition F would allow renters to file a petition claiming financial hardship at any time with respect to any rent increase. Payment of the rent increase would be stayed for a period of 60 days from the date of filing or until a hearing is held and a decision issued by an Administrative Law Judge.
In determining whether the renter’s claim of financial hardship is to be granted, the Rent Board and the Administrative Law Judge would base their decision on:
- Whether a tenant in a household is either unemployed or has had wages reduced by 20 percent or more compared to 12 months prior, or whose sole income consists of government benefits such as Social Security, SSI, SDI or similar benefits and has not received a cost of living increase in the past 12 months;
- Whether the rent including the increase comprises or will comprise 33 percent or more of the tenant’s gross income;
The renter’s assets also are to be considered in making the determination.
Upon a finding that the tenant has financial hardship, the Administrative Law Judge will order that the rent increase will not be in effect for a specific period of time based on the tenant’s circumstances and schedule a review at the end of that period. If the rent increase is later allowed, it will take effect as of the date the tenant’s income or assets changed to permit the increase.
The Committee to Preserve Rental Housing is working to defeat Proposition F because of the likelihood that passage of the proposition will prompt rental property owners to use the Ellis Act to remove their properties from the rental market, thereby diminishing the supply of rental housing in the city. Two direct mail communications produced by the committee can be viewed by clicking on the links below. The committee is joined in its opposition to Proposition F by such diverse organizations as the Alice B Toklas LGBT Democratic Club and the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research (SPUR).
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, May 17, 2010 – Healthy sales activity, driven by low mortgage rates, tax
incentives, and attractive pricing continued to reduce the market’s for-sale housing inventory in
San Francisco in April, according to the most recent Market Focus report issued jointly by Rosen
Consulting Group and the San Francisco Association of REALTORS®.
The report indicates that the median sales price for both single-family homes and
condominiums trended upward in April, driven by increasing price stability at the low-end of
the market and a rise in the number of completed transactions for higher-priced properties.
But, while increased competition for some homes allowed sellers to achieve more than the
asking price, the report observes, prices in today’s market are still significantly less than prices
seen at the height of the housing boom.
Economic factors are cited as the principal reason for the improvement in San Francisco’s
housing market: “Despite fluctuations in the stock market and growing uncertainty surrounding
the financial solvency of some European nations and the potential effect on global credit
markets, as well as U.S. exports, the national and regional economy continues to gradually
recover from the most recent recession. The pace of job losses has retracted in recent months
and should continue, driving expectations for eventual job growth by the end of the year. The
more positive outlook on the economy and the housing market among consumers and
potential homebuyers, particularly in comparison to one year ago, should sustain home buying
activity going forward.”
According to John Lee, president of the San Francisco Association of REALTORS®, “The pent up
demand for single-family homes and condominiums in San Francisco and a general
improvement in the local economy has driven buyers back into the housing market. And, the
increased competition for housing has brought the return of a phenomenon not seen for
awhile—multiple offers, at least for the more desirable properties.”
“As sellers gain more leverage in negotiations,” Lee believes, ”sellers who have been waiting for
more favorable market conditions will be prompted to place their homes on the market.”
In April 2010, the median single-family home price rose to $788,750, increasing by 11.6% from
the same month the previous year. During the month, 188 single family home sales were
completed, a 27% increase from April 2009, while pending home sales reached 284 sales, a 33%
increase during the period.
The median condominium sales price rose 3.0% from April 2009, rising to $680,000. While sales
activity has increased across all price points, condominium buying activity is still heavily
concentrated in more moderately-priced segments of the market.
Lee believes that while rising interest rates may test the market’s resilience later this year, “The
more positive outlook for the economy, as well as the housing market, should sustain home
buying activity going forward.”
Real estate data in Market Focus is provided by Terradatum. Market Focus is written by the
Rosen Consulting Group.
WASHINGTON — Home prices rose in nearly 60 percent of U.S. cities in the first quarter of this year, as the housing market started to stabilize thanks to billions of dollars in federal spending.
The National Association of Realtors says the median sales price for previously occupied homes rose in 91 out of 152 metropolitan areas tracked in the January-March quarter versus a year ago. There were double-digit price increases in 29 cities.