Monday, September 28, 2009

Are Home Sales Up? Depends On Your Price Point

Real estate is all about micro markets. In the San Francisco Bay Area, homeowners might be celebrating the recent trend to higher sales volume in recent months. But that data comes from national sources. How much of the Bay Area falls into the brackets below, where we are seeing increases in volume? Thanks to Steve Harney for the info:

Below $100000 - sales up 38.8%
100k-250k - sales up 8.7%
250k - 500k - sales down 6.2%
500k - 750k - sales down 8.9%
750k - 1MM - sales down 10.6%
1MM - 2MM - sales down 23.3%
2MM+ - sales down 32.4

Not to be a wet blanket though... This data does not show the volume of sales in these brackets, and the bulk of housing likely falls into those lower price brackets. Activity at the lower end means future liquidity at the higher end. It's the "plankton theory" of housing: If a homeowner want's to buy a higher priced home, they need to sell their lower priced home to somebody. There's a food chain. First-time buyers, aka the "plankton" have to get into the market to support the ripple up the chain for move-up buyers. So I would expect that this activity will work its way up through higher price brackets in coming months.