An update on the resale downtown condo market from downtown Realtor Lew Breeze:

Breeze found just 373 units on the market when he checked the inventory today. That’s considerably fewer units for sale than usual (last week’s count was 415 units, the week before was 428. And Dec. 13’s total was 449).

Breeze attributes the drop to listings that expired from the MLS (the listing service real estate agents use) on Dec. 31.

“We’ll probably see an increase by next Wednesday,” he said.

The average asking price for those units was $742,395, slightly higher than a week ago. With the 15 highest and lowest listings taken out, the average price was $656,528, slightly lower than a week ago. The median price was $569,500, down about $7,000 from last week.

The 29 units that were pending sale in the last 30 days logged an average price per square foot of $558. If you compare that to a month ago, the price per square foot has gone up a bit from the $537 price Breeze reported on Dec. 8.

And for the 28 units that closed sale, the average price was $551 per square foot. A month ago, the square-foot price was $565.

I checked Breeze’s blog from this time last year — he’d reported 441 units on the market for the first week of 2006. The average price at that point was about $790,000. The average price, then, decreased about 5 percent over 2006.

I recently asked Breeze to make a prediction for 2007. He thinks prices will remain “somewhat the same” this year. Psychology will play a significant role, he expects, in some buyers waiting for prices to keep falling while others snatch up the “higher quality units.”

“Those buyers who waited will see a higher inventory, and perhaps lower price (as they desired) of lesser quality units,” he said in an e-mail. “But will they want those units? Who knows?”

Some more of his thoughts:

A lot of people feel that the 3000 or so condos coming online in 2007/2008 will have a big impact on prices. They may be the case, generally speaking. But I think if you break it down per area, we’ll see prices in areas that aren’t being saturated, such as Marina, Embarcadero for example, will see steady average prices. And areas such as East Village will see a lower average price due to the number of units affecting that figure.

KELLY BENNETT

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