West Portal Real Estate Market stabilized/ticked up in the third quarter

The West Portal/Inner Parkside Third Quarter 2008 Real Estate Market Update

By Eric Castongia, Zephyr Real Estate

The good news for us in the West Portal/Inner Parkside area, is that despite the reduction in real estate values we saw in the first and second quarters of this year, the market held its ground and perhaps ticked up a bit in the third quarter.

Changes to the market started in August of 2007 as a problem in obtaining financing, fueling a loss in consumer confidence.  In the old days (two years ago), there was some reliance in gauging buyer interest, by the number of people that come through an open house and the number of disclosure packages you handed out; this is not true today.  A well-attended open house does not guarantee success in a property sale, nor does a slow one indicate that a property will languish on the market. Ultimately, it has a lot more to do with the right buyer finding the right property.  I find that Murphy’s Law has everything to do with it; if you like it, someone else probably will too; creating competition and multiple offers, despite the challenges in our economy.  Conversely, with no interest in a property, a buyer will get to negotiate as far as a seller will let them.  Here is what I have observed and interpolated from data from the San Francisco Multiple Listing Service:

  • The number of sales in the third quarter of 2008 was 11, down from 16 in the second quarter of 2008 and up one from the third quarter of 2007.
  • Of the 11 sales this quarter, eight sold for over their asking price; seven of them with multiple offers. 
  • It’s worth noting that in the second quarter of this year, I reported a drop in real estate values-even then, the 16 sales had 11 multiple offers, nine of which were over asking bids.
  • The total transactions for the third quarter including active properties, is 29; down from 30 in the second quarter.
  • Home values are stable between 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2008.  Several properties sold at higher prices than expected, which may indicate an up-tick in value.
  • We live in a nice, affordable neighborhood; that keeps our market balanced.  Even when I was reporting reductions in value, the number of transactions didn’t change significantly.  Many families buying homes find that they can afford to live here.  This is reflected in the total transactions and sales staying pretty much the same between quarters.
  • It has become a much more of a gamble to under-price property in hopes it will generate an overbid.  Overall, we are seeing list prices relatively close to what they are expected to sell for.
  • Buyers remain selective, so desirable, well-priced property with nice remodeling or great potential, are still enjoying ample activity.
  • Once a bail-out package passes (in some form or other), increased consumer confidence and the infusion of money into lending should further stabilize and then, increase property values.
  • 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.
  • The best time to buy property was always 10 years ago-there are deals to be had in any market.

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