June Gloom

By Dave Fratello | July 2nd, 2008
As we wrapped up the month of May, MBC took note of the "Balance" in market activity in that month: 22 new listings came on, and 21 homes went into escrow (and stuck).

Can't say the same for June.

Closing the books on the month, we see 40 new listings in June, and 19 sales of SFRs west of Sepulveda.

There were plenty of cancellations in June, some of them toe-dippers who gave up on testing the market.

Total SFR inventory in our subject region west of Hwy. 1: 113, the highest MBC has yet recorded in a year-plus of public market tracking.

Comparing to 2007, there are some similarities.

In June 2007, there were 31 new listings and 17 sales (new escrows) – close to, but not quite, the 2-for-1 ratio we saw this year. Interesting that we saw 2 more sales this year – though, of course, we need to allow for the possibility that some of those may fail.

Not so similar: Inventory at the end of June last year was 83. That's 30 less than today.

Reverse that: Inventory today is 36% higher.

The biggest culprit: The vaunted Sand Section.

Inventory in the Sand last year at this time: 23. Now: 41. And this includes a raft of South End walkstreet homes that just won't move, which is somewhat baffling.

Here's our rundown of sales (new escrows) to date by month:

2008 Sales (New Escrows) by Month

Feb: 19
Mar: 12
Apr: 17
May: 21
June: 19

That's 96 sales (new escrows) we've seen in the first half of the year. We don't have strictly comparable data from last year.

But maybe we don't need to see the details. Remember, 2007 was already the worst on record for 20 years (see "Maybe It Can't Get Worse," which uses DataQuick's closed sales figures). We know that Q1 2008 was way off on sales volume – 56% lower, based on closed sales, compared to Q1 2007. It stands to reason that the first half of '08 stands at around half the sales pace of last year.

Did we mention that the median price is holding firm?

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