I would suggest that the increase in condo closings is due most likely to a small bit of easing in the condominium financing market (I’m not saying its easy, I’m just saying that it is easier than it has been). The actual number of condominium transactions is actually higher, since not all new construction sales (One Hawthorne, The Millennium Tower, 1 Ecker, SF Blu, and the Artani to name most of the larger projects) are reported to the MLS.
Tenancy-in-Common (TIC) deals are down by roughly 1/3, which doesn’t surprise me in the least. Fewer large TIC projects are coming to market, condos are more affordable for many buyers, and the challenges of financing a TIC have drastically decreased the interest in this market segment. I’ve heard too many recent horror stories about TIC resales, but I’ll spare you all the gory details (or perhaps just save them for another post).
Stock Co-Ops have always been a very small segment of the market in San Francisco, so I wouldn’t read to much into the data when we have such a small volume. It’s kind of like turning two. You might be twice as old as you were a year ago, but at the end of the day you are still only two!
Finally, loft sales are down just as well, they’ve had a tough time retaining value since most of the new construction in town is in their neighborhood (SOMA/South Beach) and shiny and new can be hard to compete against, particularly when developers are making concessions.
I didn’t see much that surprised me in these numbers, what about you?