The West Portal/Inner Parkside 2010 Year-End Real Estate Market Update

By Eric Castongia, Zephyr Real Estate

The real estate market has been tough to predict over the last few years, but the good news, is that the West Portal/Inner Parkside market was stable over the course of this last year, although we did see some fluctuations between quarters. Following is my interpretation of data from the San Francisco Multiple Listing Service and an analysis of the real estate market in the West Portal/Inner Parkside area.

  • The total number of sales for 2009 was 38; down significantly from 54 in 2008.  Total annual sales since 2004 have ranged been between 52 and 60 each year, except for 2007 and now 2009.  In 2006, we had a significant number ‘failed to sell’ listings (19), which is not the case in 2009 (13-falling closely into the expected number of 10 for the neighborhood year to year).  I think that the 19 failed to sell listings in 2006 indicated the change from a sellers to a buyers market in 2005, reflecting a need to change list prices.  In 2009, given flat values and a steady number of failed to sell listings, I anticipate that sellers waited to see if things would get better in 2010.  It will be interesting to see if we’ll bounce back to expected sales levels in 2010-some sellers may not be able to wait any longer for the market to recover.
  • Looking at sales in the 4th quarter 2009, four of the 15 sold for over the asking price, nine sold under; interestingly the numbers are exactly the same in the 4th quarter 2008.
  • In January 2009, I reported that the Federal Reserve had reduced interest rates and that the stimulus package was working its way to banks. A year later, several large banks have paid back their TARP money and lending has not loosened.  Banks are continuing to hoard money and to give loans very conservatively, which is not helping buyers get into the marketplace to soak up some of the short sales and foreclosures, nor is it helping existing home owners take advantage of the low interest rates in order to refinance their debt.
  • I expected the first six to nine months of 2009 to be a terrific time to buy real estate and it was.  Since that time, first time buyers have started coming out of the woodwork and entry level properties (below $900,000 or so) have seen more multiple and over-asking offers.
  • Properties needing remodeling, additional development, or in less desirable locations continued to be the last to sell, saw more negotiation, or were withdrawn from the market.
  • Here is a snapshot of what I have reported for the last several Januarys.  These are yearly averages and don’t take into account quarterly fluctuations.
    • 2005, there was a 12 percent increase in values.
    • 2006, flat
    • 2007, flat to up 8 percent.
    • 2008, flat to down 4 percent.
    • 2009, flat.
    • Perhaps we have flirted with the bottom and are waiting for recovery.
  • City wide, Realtors expect a lot of new listings to be coming onto the market in the spring.  Whether we will see that happen in our area is yet to be seen, since our market tends to be stable.  If we do see a flood of listings come onto the market, we should expect some price softening to absorb the listings, as we are not yet sure how many buyers will be in the marketplace.

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.