Friday, October 28, 2011

Today is National Cat Day (isn't every day?)

This was news to me and, although it has almost nothing to do with real estate, we have a cat and if we don't properly acknowledge the day she will almost certainly give us the "treatment".

Or not.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

TICs in the Current Market

Periodically we look at the overall condo market in San Francisco (it makes up a little more than 50% of the total residential real estate market in the City) and also that peculiarly San Francisco subset of the market -- TICs.

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

Update on Potrero Hill Listings

Three weeks ago I posted information on four higher-end listings in my immediate Potrero Hill neighborhood and posed the question "Example of Higher Priced Property Rebound?"  Here's a quick update:

The two single family homes include:

746 Kansas
Originally listed for $1,675,000 or $744/sq. ft., now reduced by 5% to $1,595,000 or $709/sq.ft. 

531 Kansas which had been on the market in 2009 for $1,799,000 and subsequently at $1,688,000 with no takers is now currently listed for $1,799,000 or $766/sq. ft.  There has been no price reduction in the 31 days it has been on the market.

The two condos are:

730 Vermont St. #1, originally listed at $1,195.000 or $665/sq. ft. and now reduced -- first to $1,149,000 after 20 days and again to $1,100,000  or $612/sq.ft. after 34 days. 
2101 18th St., was listed for $1,299,000 or $764/sq. ft.  and after only a week on the market went into contract.  18 days later it appears that all contingencies were  removed so this may well close in less than 30 days since the listing became active. 

Since I wrote the original post, a small 2bd/1ba, 1,150 sq. ft. single family home at 1919 Mariposa came on the market as a short sale priced at $749,000 or $651/sq.ft.  Six years ago the house sold for $1,030,000 with 10% down.  This went into contract in 5 days.  Now the seller and the listing agent have to convince the bank to accept a loan payoff somewhere in the neighborhood of $100,000 less than the current loan balance depending on how much the buyer has offered and other variables.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Great Fall Weekend

First off, the calendar may say fall but the weather this week has been what we normally expect this time of year -- sunny, warm, with little wind and virtually no fog. And this time of year is also when so many of the city's street and music festivals are scheduled (for good reason) -- Polk Street, Castro Street, Folsom Street, Noe Valley Harvest, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Treasure Island Music Festival, and many others.  The San Francisco Symphony has just begun its 100th season and San Francisco Opera has also started its season including a free simulcast of Turandot at AT&T Park.

Just this weekend (and it's only Saturday as I write this), I've seen a great San Francisco Symphony performance of Pictures at an Exhibition (and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 14),

promenaded through our neighborhood street fair on Potrero Hill,

and checked out one of the local Open Studio

A couple of the artists particularly caught my attention:

Daniel Phill

Phillip Hua

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fleet Week

It's been a busy three weekends in San Francisco with various street fairs and other goings on.  Not surprising since this time of year is supposed to bring some of our best weather -- other parts of the country would call it "Indian summer" -- with glorious, warmth, sunshine and little or no wind.  Unfortunately this year, the weather has been touch and go all three of the last weekends although nobody got rained on.

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

Number of Sales Improves in San Francisco

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 and click on Statistics!