The new S&P Case-Shiller Index for November 2015 for the 5-county, San Francisco Metro Statistical Area was published today. According to C-S, home prices continued to tick up a small bit through the autumn market.
Most of these charts track the “high-price tier” of homes (the upper third of home sales by price), which apply best to San Francisco, southern Marin, San Mateo and central Contra Costa counties. However, note that appreciation rates do vary by market area.
At this point, the next real indication of where the homes market is heading will come after the beginning of the 2016 spring selling season (which can begin as early as mid-late February) and sales begin to close in March and April.
Since the recovery began in 2012. One can see in both the above and below charts the extreme seasonality of home price appreciation over the past year and over the past 4 years. Almost all the significant appreciation has been occurring in the spring selling season, when the supply and demand dynamic has been most out of whack, and the competition situation between buyers for new listings has been the most ferocious. Whether this spring will experience this frenzy once again, or whether an inflection point has been reached (for any of a number of potential reasons) causing a more extended plateau in appreciation or even a negative adjustment of some magnitude will soon become evident.
Over the last few real estate cycles:
And this “aggregate” chart tracks all home price segments for the SF Metro Area. Note that the 3 price tiers delineated by Case-Shiller had bubbles, crashes and recoveries of very different magnitudes, and this aggregate chart doesn’t apply well to either the low or high price tiers, but approximates the mid-price tier reasonably well: