Sunday, December 11, 2011
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Thanksgiving itself has become just the starter's gun to a huge shopping spree. This year the stores can barely restrain themselves to the day after Thanksgiving with many chains planning to open Thursday at midnight, Some Target employees are making an effort (likely to be futile) to fight back against such an early opening time. Many of them will barely be able to finish their Thanksgiving dinner before they have to leave for work!
Every year at the holiday season many of us dish out, in addition to bountiful banquets of food, a full serving of platitudes about the true meaning of the season. This year we have the Occupy movement pointing out the vast disparities between the 99% and 1% emphasizing some of the most glaring inequities in our society. Many more in the country believe they have much less to be thankful for than they did a year or two or three ago and, no doubt, that's true -- especially if we're measuring wealth and income.
But I was reminded of how much we have to be thankful for (and the value of perspective) when listening to one of NPR's weekly Science Friday broadcast items last week. The topic was "Building a Better Toilet". Did you know that more than one-third of the earth's population does not have a toilet. That's more than 2.3 billion people. Think about that! Think about what your life would be like if you didn't have a toilet. And then think again about what we have to be thankful for.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Poking around the data, a few things struck me:
- More people left San Francisco each of the last five years than arrived. Since the Census Bureau figures (upper left) show an overall increase in population, that growth is fueled by international immigration.
- The largest number of people leaving San Francisco head for the nearby counties (San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa, and Marin).
- Santa Clara, Los Angeles and San Diego counties are the largest source of arrivals.
- The largest source of incoming folks from outside California seem to be from Cook County (Chicago, IL), Middlesex County (Cambridge, MA), and Maricopa County (Phoenix, AR).
- The most popular destinations outside the state were Multnomah County (Portland, OR), Travis County (Austin, TX) and Harris County (Houston, TX).
- Marin County gets most of its incoming folks from San Francisco followed by Alameda, Contra Costa, Los Angeles and Vallejo.
- Most of Marin's departures seem to go one county north to Sonoma.
Also, try clicking through the years. For San Francisco, you can see that from 2005-2007 more people were heading to the Seattle area than were coming into the City. By 2009 and 2009 that trend had completely reversed.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
The two condos are:
Monday, November 14, 2011
- of the configurations of single family homes and condos we survey, the number of properties sold in October is mixed with single family homes down slightly, condos down compared to last month but up compared to the same month last year, and 2-4 unit buildings up compared to both last month and last year
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
At the end of September, sales of TICs made up 13% of sales in the combined condo/TIC market. That's about the same as all of last year but down from 19% in 2009 and the high of 24% reached in 2007. TICs made up 16% of the active listings.
Looking at the first nine months of the year, TICs have averaged about 85 days on market which is not much more than the 79 DOM of condos.
Our survey looks at three specific configurations of units: 1bd/1ba, 2bd/1ba, and 2bd/2ba. These three configuration make up about 60% of the total market for condos and TICs in San Francisco. The average difference in selling prices between condos and TICs for those three configurations range from $76,000 for the 1bd/1ba units, $127,000 for 2bd/1ba units, and $68,000 for 2bd/2ba units. These numbers represent the premium buyers have been paying for a condo (or the discount you get when buying a TIC).
Of course there are other considerations when considering the TIC/condo decision -- too many to get into here. Nevertheless, the TIC market remains a significant, active part of overall real estate sales activity in San Francisco. You can see the entire report on our web site here.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Originally listed for $1,675,000 or $744/sq. ft., now reduced by 5% to $1,595,000 or $709/sq.ft.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
One of my favorite annual events is Fleet Week which just wrapped up.
The best day to catch the air show is usually Friday afternoon when they do their practice. This year Friday also turned out to be the best day for weather plus the usual benefits of many fewer people.
Here's some photos:
Click on the slideshow to see photo captions.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
I am now predicting that the total number of residential real estate sales in San Francisco in 2011 will exceed the total number for 2010! This will be the second year in a row sales will have increased compared to the previous year and it will be the highest number of sales since 2007. I suppose, or hope, this is a continuing trend, and that the Bay Area/California, as usual, will lead the Nation is these trends, laws, and ideas!As of September 30th (end of the third quarter) my analysis from our Monthly Statistical Reports, which we prepare for both San Francisco and Marin Counties, makes it relatively easy to make my year end's prediction! For the nine months Total Number of Sales of residential properties in San Francisco including single families and condos/TIC is 3,695 . Of this total, 52% are condos/TICs (1,935) and 48% are single family homes (1,735). Nationally, there are 8 times as many single family homes selling as condos. So yes, another reason why we are unique in the Bay area and probably all of California. There are only a handful of communities in the entire country where the market share for condos is higher than for single family homes.
San Franciscans are faced with the challenges presented by Short Sales and REO's. 17.5% of our Total Number of Sales fall into this category. Breaking it down, 21.3% of condo sales are Short Sales or REO's but, surprisingly, only 13.3% of single family homes. On the other hand, 30% of sales in Marin county are Short Sales and REOs homes (48% of condos and 24% of single family homes). By way of comparison, REOs and Short Sales made up almost 70% of sales in Sacramento for the first three quarters!
So, all in all, I find that we are in pretty good shape, confidence is rising, as will total sales and prices! We welcome any questions or comments. For a complete list of our reports please go to boldsf.com and click on Statistics!
Thursday, September 22, 2011
There have been several high profile sales recently in the usual neighborhoods (Pacific Heights, Russian Hill, Nob Hill) but there is an unusual concentration of listings within a two block area on the north/west side of Potrero Hill -- two condos and two single family homes.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
In August, the number of sales was more than 11% better than August last year.
Data from the San Francisco MLS
Data from the San Francisco MLS
Crystal balls seem to be particularly foggy these days but this information would seem to indicate we've turned a corner with more people being willing to purchase a home in San Francisco despite the generally gloomy economic news.
Our next post will show what's been happening to listing and selling prices.
Monday, September 12, 2011
Here's a partial quote from a news release from the California Association of Realtors®:
C.A.R. applauds Gov. Jerry Brown for signing AB 771, a bill that prevents home buyers in a common interest development (CID), such as a condominium or townhome, from being charged excess document fees.
Homeowner associations (HOAs) are required to provide specific documents to prospective purchasers of homes in a CID -- a form of real estate ownership in which each homeowner has an exclusive interest in a unit and a shared interest in the common area property. In addition to the standard residential property disclosures, purchasers of a unit within a CID must receive basic information about the structure, operation and management of the HOA that operates the CID.
Current law requires that this information come from the HOA and prohibits it from charging fees in excess of what is “reasonable,” not to exceed the actual cost of processing and producing these documents. HOAs generally have provided the documents for approximately $75 to $250. Increasingly, HOAs have been delegating document preparations to third party vendors or contractors who, under a 2007 court decision, are exempt from this fee limitation. This delegation of responsibility by HOAs sometimes resulted in home purchasers being forced to pay additional fees, as much as $1,000, for other documents which were “bundled” with the required documents.
Assembly Bill 771 (Betsy Butler, D-Torrance) addresses this situation by specifying that only fees for the required documents may be charged when such documents are provided, effectively prohibiting any “bundling” of fees for other documents with these fees. The bill also creates a new form detailing which documents are required, and requires the provider to disclose the fees that will be charged for the documents before they are provided. The seller of a CID must complete this form and transmit it to the prospective purchaser along with the required documents. This will eliminate any uncertainty for the prospective purchaser as to exactly which documents are being provided and the precise fees being charged for those documents.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Their July statistics for San Francisco shows the number of Notices of Default (the first step in a bank foreclosure) declined almost 22% from the previous month and declined 22% compared to July of last year.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Here's the description in the MLS:
Eligantly remodeled custom mediteranian tri-level home re-built from the ground up. Fantastic skyline and bay views, chef's kitchen w/viking appliances, oak flooring throughout, lg. master suite with walk in closets, den/office, multi terraces, surround sound and wet bar are just some of the many ammenities. A must see!Come on, folks. There's a spell checker built right in to the form as you enter the information. All you have to do is CLICK IT!
The advertised size of the property:
Approx Square Feet: 2304 Sq Ft Source: Per OwnerThe city's tax records show the property is 850 square feet. What accounts for the difference? Digging a little further into the city's permit records, numerous building permits have been issued for the property including moving bedrooms, adding an additional level with master suite and bath. The trouble is, none of the building permits have been finalized.
Location, Location, Location:
It may have "fantastic skyline and bay views" out the front. But the property backs up to the 101 freeway. It's a short lot -- only 58 feet deep so there's not much distance between the back of the house and freeway sound wall.
Friday, August 12, 2011
Generally for single family homes and condos in San Francisco, inventory, number of sales and average sales price was down compared to June. For 2-4 unit buildings, inventory is also down but number of sales and average sales price are up.
Our report is based on several specific configurations of condos and single family homes (e.g. 2 bedrooms, 2 baths) rather than averaging all residential properties from the largest, most expensive to the smallest, least expensive. Nevertheless, the total number of condos and single family homes we survey represents approximately 70% of all listings and sales. For 2-4 unit buildings, we survey all listings and sales.
The last page of the report shows annual results back to 1996.
Friday, August 5, 2011
When entering a listing, users should put the true listing date in the MLS as the list date, and then indicate which date the property should be available as On-Market. The On-Market Date represents the date that the listing will be available on the MLS for listing searches. Prior to this date, the listing will only display to the listing owner(s). The On-Market Date can be updated at any time prior to the property going On-Market.
This new feature will allow listing owners to upload photos and add open houses and tours in advance of the property being made available for other users to see. Also, system reports have been updated to reflect both the List Date and the On-Market Date. Days on Market (DOM) will be calculated using the new On-Market Date.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
The good news is that the number of sales in June was the highest for that month since 2007. However, July sales were the second lowest in the last seven years, only slightly ahead of last year. Some of the reduced July sales numbers can be attributed to the normal slow down this time of year.
For the first seven months, sales are at essentially the same level as last year.
Monday, July 25, 2011
The company is discontinuing the commission rebate program offered to buyers who close a transaction using a ZipRealty real estate agent.They go on to say that surveys of their customers show that commission rebates are not the "primary driver" for choosing a brokerage and real estate agent.
This is a huge change for a company (and especially for its agents) that was founded 12 years ago and been through two major swings in the market under the basic premise that technology would allow them to provide faster, less expensive services (through commission rebates) to its clients.
Monday, July 18, 2011
FHA and Conforming loan limits will drop dramatically on September 30. Bank of America has already lowered their loan limits for new loans, and others will follow suit.And from "HousingWire":
The conforming loan limit determines the maximum mortgage amount the Federal Housing Administration, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can buy or guarantee. Without congressional action, the limit will drop to $625,500 from $729,950 for the majority of counties nationwide on Oct. 1.Almost 60% of single family homes and condos that sold in San Francisco during the first half of this year had a selling price below the current maximum. Not all of those sales would have been affected by a lower limit but it provides a general idea of the scope of the impact a reduction may have.
This is an issue for sellers as much as buyers and could have a significant impact on our slowly reviving housing market. There are some efforts underway to get the congress to keep loans limits where they are but it's not at all clear that will happen.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
We've just posted the monthly sales statistics for Marin County for June. As with a similar report we publish each month for San Francisco, the Marin report compares sales by month and by year for six specific configurations of single family homes and four configurations of condos. These configurations represent 70% of all single family homes sold for the month and 80% of all condos.
The report also shows the number of short sale and REO properties currently on the market.
The number of sales is up significantly compared to May, especially for condos. In a normal market we expect June to be a peak sales month. Compared to June of last year the number of sales of single family homes is down slightly but remember that last year there had been a rush to complete sales before the end of the federal tax credit.
Average sales prices were essentially flat for single family homes compared to June of last year. Condo sales prices were down significantly.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
CAR says this is a victory for Realtors but it's actually a victory for sellers. It will be interesting to see how this works in practice and it wouldn't surprise me to see the banks putting pressure on the real estate agents to contribute some (or more) of their commission.
LAW AGAINST SHORT SALE DEFICIENCIES EXPANDED
In a major victory for REALTORS®, Governor Brown signed into law today a C.A.R.-sponsored bill, Senate Bill 458, prohibiting a deficiency after a short sale for one-to-four residential units, regardless of whether the lender is a senior or junior lienholder. Effective immediately for transactions closing escrow from this day forward, both senior and junior lienholders cannot require a borrower to owe or pay for a deficiency in a short sale. This law also prohibits any deficiency judgment to be requested or rendered for senior or junior liens after a short sale of one-to-four residential units. Any purported waiver of this rule shall be void and against public policy.
Although a lender cannot require a borrower to pay any additional compensation in exchange for a short sale approval, the new law does not prohibit a borrower from voluntarily offering a monetary contribution to a lender in hopes of obtaining a short sale. A lender is also permitted under the new law to negotiate for a contribution from someone other than the borrower, such as other lenders, agents, relatives, and the like.
Exceptions to the new law include a lender seeking damages for a borrower’s fraud or waste; a borrower that is a corporation, LLC, limited partnership, or political subdivision of the state; a lien secured by a bond as specified; a public utility lien; and additional rules apply if a note is cross-collateralized by more than one property.
This law is fully set forth as Senate Bill 458 (Corbett) at www.leginfo.ca.gov.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
For the first six months this year, we are seeing a 5% increase in sales compared to last year. (The federal tax credit incentive ended in June of last year). The percentage of sales above and below $1million has remained the same at 20% and 80% respectively.
See the entire report here.
Monday, July 11, 2011
Average sales prices for June were mixed. Compared to last month, average sales prices in four of the five categories we survey were down. Only 2bd/2ba condos averaged higher sales prices than last month. Compared to the June of 2010 the average sales price for 3bd/2ba single family homes was higher as were 2bd/1ba and 2bd/2ba condos. However, 2bd/1ba single family homes and 1bd/1ba condos averaged lower sales prices this June compared to a year ago.
Activity levels (number of properties sold) were also generally up in June compared to May and compared to June, 2011. The exception was 2bd/2/ba condos which sold substantially fewer units compared to last month and June of last year.
As a reminder, the deadline for qualifying for the federal tax credit last year was the end of June. So, while average sales prices continue to ease, it appears that the number of transactions remains stead even without the tax credit incentive.
Friday, July 8, 2011
- The average sales price of 2-bed/1-bath single family homes has dropped 8%. The number of sales was up slightly.
- The average sales price of 3-bed/2-bath single family homes has increased 3% with the total number of sales down slightly.
- The average sales price for the three categories of condos we survey is down by 1 - 3%. The number of sales of 1-bed/1-bath condos is down by almost 20% but up 5% for 2-bed/2-bath units.
- Average sales price for 2- and 3-unit buildings declined 14% and 6% respectively but is up 9% for 4-unit buildings.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Apple app store for $3.99. An Atlanta-based real estate agent has posted a very good demo of the product on YouTube.
This app won't replace Instanet or ZipForm but it's a great additional tool that will work well for those documents and forms that aren't included in their libraries.