Friday, May 10, 2013

Monthly Statistics - the fine print

To answer some questions about how we go about creating our monthly reports, here's a little background:

  • Reports are based on sales and inventory reported in the San Francisco MLS. Although the vast majority of listings and sales are found in the MLS, private sales and some sales of new construction properties are not.
  • We look at five specific configurations of single family homes (2 bedrooms, 1 bath; and 3 bedrooms, 2 baths) and condos (1 bedroom, 1 bath; 2 bedrooms, 1 bath; and 2 bedrooms, 2 baths). This makes averages and comparisons more meaningful. Those five configurations represent 60% of condos sold in April and 36% of single family homes or, combined, 50% of all sales reported in April.
  • Condo statistics include TICs and Stock Cooperatives, although those types of properties are a relatively small percentage of the total.
  • By "sold" we mean closed escrow. The actual decision to buy and the signing of the sales contract between the buyer and seller typically happens at least 30 days prior to close of escrow. So, for example, when you're looking at April sales, those decisions to buy were most likely made in March and reflect conditions at that time.
  • "Active" listings are surveyed generally on the 8th day of the month. These are listings not yet in contract.
  • We update prior month's sales periodically since, for a variety of reasons such as late reporting or rescinded transactions, the number of sales goes up or down slightly well after our initial report.
  • "Days on Market" is the number of days from the day the listing first appears as "active" until the day the listing status changes to "pending". The MLS defines "pending" as a transaction which has no more contingencies outstanding (such as inspection or finance). There is an intermediate status for most transactions called "active contingent - show" which means the property is in contract but there are contingencies which haven't been cleared and, technically, the property is still available to show. There can still be a considerable number of days between when the property is "pending" and when it actually closes. In most transactions, that time is taken up by the lender getting loan documents prepared for signing at the escrow office but there can be other reasons such as a negotiated closing date where the buyer and seller agree on a specific closing date.
  • We include short sales, REO and BMR (below market) properties.

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