Balancing Reports – May 2011 S&P Case-Shiller vs Half Moon Bay

Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Index report came out today including Quarter 1 2011.  The report summary was that U.S. home prices are continuing to decline, and emotional scars from the current multi-year downturn are taking their toll and changing our outlook on homeownership.  In addition, articles already published since this morning’s Press Release are dishing up bad news like pancakes at the Pumpkin Festival.  I’ve linked the report Press Release below.

I’ve gotten questions already, so I thought I’d get some Half Moon Bay Coastside numbers and local perspective out to you.

I want to show you is what the current trend line looks like (below).  If you have been reading my blog, you know I’ve done other trend reports.  This one will include Q4 2010 and Q1 2011.  When our current quarterly single family home sales prices were lower than than any other quarterly median figure in the last decade, I went as far back as the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) statistics would take me – to 1998.  Gulp.  Our median sales prices now are somewhere between 1999-2000.  That means that generally speaking, if you bought your house at least 10 years ago, and did not over-refinance (even if you really needed to), you could most likely sell with some equity.  Don’t over-analyze this, neighborhoods, improvements, and other factors also play a role in a seller’s outcome.

In just the past year, Coastside single family home median sales prices in Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Moss Beach and Montara combined are down 27% between Q1 2010 (median price $750,000) and Q1 2011 (median price $550,000). 

Our March 2011 median sales price was $599,500.  Coastside single family home sales prices are up 15% since the trough, so far, in November 2010 ($512,000).

One quick thing about talk of “double dip”, which you’re hearing about – though this topic could be an entire post on its own.  The temporary bump up in prices in 2010, more noticable on the Case-Shiller graph (link below) than on the Coastside graph, was due to artificial and deliberate intervention by government agencies to stem the downward trend in prices and prevent further damage from the financial crisis.  Experts say this was necessary.  So the continued downward trend, post bump blip, is not new; it is just more correction that has been going on for the last 4 years.  It will be painful for some and the opportunity of a lifetime for others.

There’s lots more to analyze – I try not to over-do-it in one post.  Tell me any time what else about our Coastside you want to know.  Pacifica numbers to come.

The graph:  Each red column is the median single family home sale (closed escrow) price for that quarter going back to the first quarter of 1998 through the end of first quarter 2011 (Jan-March 2011).  The data is for Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Moss Beach and Montara combined.  Prices are on the left; dates are along the bottom (e.g.  “1998-01” means Quarter 1 1998).


S&P Indices Press Release May 31, 2011