Number of sales significantly down in West Portal in the first quarter of 2009

The West Portal/Inner Parkside First Quarter 2009 Real Estate Market Update

By Eric Castongia, Zephyr Real Estate

The first quarter of 2009 was very slow in terms of the number of sales in West Portal/Inner Parkside; a total of four.  The good news, is that we’re starting to see more buyers in the real estate marketplace.  People are starting to see that there is a great opportunity to buy and it is surpassing their fear of more depreciation.  Our neighborhood is still in demand, however, the inventory of desirable, well-priced and well-located properties is down.  The following is my ‘state of the neighborhood’; an interpolation of data from the San Francisco Multiple Listing Service and my analysis of the real estate market in the West Portal/Inner Parkside area.

  • The number of sales in the first quarter of 2009 was down 67 percent; four sales, down from 12 the first quarter of 2008.
  • Of the 4 first quarter 2009 sales, only one sold for over the asking price, the other three sold under.
  • The number of current active listings went up in the first quarters of 2008 and 2009, from six to eight respectively.  Six of the eight currently active listings are not in the prime West Portal/Inner Parkside areas.  Properties in non-prime areas are staying on the market longer.
  • Our Spring was slower than we’ve seen historically.  The total number of transactions in the first quarter, including active properties is 17; down from 23 in the first quarter of 2008.  Both the number of transactions and sold listings are down, suggesting less seller activity.  It seems sellers are holding tight for a better time to sell.
  • I am estimating that property values went down approximately three percent since the 4th quarter of 2008 and down seven percent since the first quarter of 2008.
  • Desirable, well-priced property with nice remodeling or great potential, are still well-visited and in demand.   There is currently a very nicely remodeled and well-priced home in prime West Portal that is pending; it received multiple offers.  There are a few other properties on the market in the prime West Portal area that have not yet sold, indicating that buyers remain selective. Quirky floor plans, less than desirable locations, or improper pricing significant affect a property’s salability.
  • Interest rates, have gone down and it seems to be getting buyers interested in getting back into the marketplace.  Obtaining financing now requires lots of hoops to jump through, so lenders need to loosen the purse strings a bit to allow more well-qualified people to get into the market.
  • If you are going to buy, remember location, location, location.  If you are going to sell, prepare your home to make a great first impression and price it correctly.
  • We’ll look back and see that 2009 was a good time to buy real estate.

Eric Castongia, Residential Sales Specialist at Zephyr Real Estate provided the information in this article.  Eric can be reached by e-mail at, or via mobile phone at (415)307-1700.