There continues to be a lot of confusion and disappointment in the buying public in the bay area as we hear of record lows in values across the country but competing offers for properties here. Asking prices sometimes seem random, but closed sales, even though they might be over asking, tell the real story. Those closed prices continue to trend down when compared to similar closed sales last year. It is the wide variation in asking prices that is frustrating buyers. It's like the difference between settlement demands and jury verdicts. Both provide sets of numbers, but only one provides real guidance about the value of a case.
I just generated two charts for some of my buyer clients. They track closed sales prices, meaning real value, only; not the asking prices which are really only marketing ideas. The charts show the trend of median prices for condos in zip codes 94610, 94611, and 94612 (basically the areas Piedmont Ave., Grand Ave., Adams Point, Lake Merritt, and down town). The point of these charts is not the values because it includes all condos, but the change over time. On the two year trend we see an 18% decline, but the one year trend is basically flat with no decline between April 2008 and April 2009.
I can't predict what will happen next month or next year, but these charts might be the first pictures of the bottom of this market. E mail me and I will be happy to share these charts, or create others that pinpoint your particular interests.