Thursday, April 18, 2013

Continuing Decline in "Distressed" Property Sales

Continuing and widening a trend we've been seeing for some time now in San Francisco, ForeclosureRadar is reporting the lowest number of sales of distressed properties (i.e. REO and short sales) in California since 2008.

The caption below the graphic indicates some confusion on their part as to the cause.  At least here in San Francisco it's pretty simple:  
(low inventory) + (high demand) + (lowest unemployment rate since 2008) = rising sales prices, rising property values, and more people able to keep up with their mortgage payments.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Multi Million Dollar Hill

In the last two weeks, two single family homes on Potrero Hill have each sold for over three millions dollars!

901 De Haro (immediately next door to the Potrero Hill Neighborhood House) was listed for $3,179,000 and closed escrow for $3,180,000.  The listing agent's description:  "Situated on the desirable North Slope of Potrero Hill, 901 DeHaro is a spectacular panoramic view home with careful attention to design and architectural detail. This 3 level, 4 bedroom, 4 bath home is a rare find in one of San Francisco's most popular neighborhoods and in San Francisco's warmest micro-climate. Built with a separate in-law and media room, with its own entrance and direct access to the garden, this is the perfect family home and retreat. The well landscaped level garden gives way to an additional studio that can be used as a home office, art studio, or gym. Huge pano roof area, seemless indoor and outdoor living spaces, radiant heat throughout, solid oak flooring, gourmet kitchen w/Leicht cabinetry & style."

 761 Kansas just closed escrow yesterday for a reported price of $3,195,000 -- same as the listing price in a mere 19 days and the buyer paid cash!  From the listing agent's description: "Modernism at its finest on Potrero Hill! North slope custom-designed residence by owner/architect & sculptor. Open, entertainment style floorplan ideal for displaying art, throwing parties, or just relaxing. Huge windows let in refreshing sunlight & sweeping views of SF, Bay & both bridges! 4BR/3.5BA, 2-car gar on 3 levels. Kit designed by former restauranteur w/ Italian oak cabinetry, Thermador gas range & fridge, Miele DW & huge island, Bfast bar, Broan hood, wine fridge. Casual den off kitchen w/ views. Curved staircase passes atrium w/ 37-foot tall bamboo forest. Mas suite w/ priv deck, huge views & luxe Japanese-inspired bath. Vermont maple floors thruout, two fireplaces, solar, sound sys. Yard w/stone oven. Near WholeFoods & shopping."

For the record, the most expensive single family home to sell on the hill according to MLS records was 752 Carolina which sold for $3,300,000 in May, 2011.

Prices Much Higher

We've just published our monthly report of sales in March and, confirming what we've noted anecdotally that compared to a year ago inventory is way down, the number of properties selling is up, and therefore prices are up significantly.

The detail is available on our web site (PDF file).

Overbidding is rampant -- last month the average sales price of a 2 bedroom, 1 bath single family home was 14% higher than the listing price.  Some of this can be explained by deliberately setting the listing price lower than market value.  But mostly it comes down to many more buyers chasing fewer properties.

Also on our web site is our quarterly report tracking the same five configurations of single family homes and condos.   One point,  -- the average selling price of a 2 bedroom, 1 bath condo has been higher than the average selling price of a 2 bedroom, 1 bath single family home during each of the last five quarters. Quarterly report (PDF).

Monday, April 8, 2013

Real Estate business

Warning -- for real estate geeks only.

There's a report compiled by "first Tuesday journal online" that compares the growth (or decline) of the 60 largest brokerages year over year by number of agents.  Our brokerage, Pearson Properties which does business as Prudential California Realty was number 9 overall with year over year growth of 11%.

We're #1 for brokerages with significant residential business in the Bay Area:

While we're not the biggest real estate brokerage in the Bay Area, we're growing faster than any other.  Agents want to work with us and our broker-owner Gretchen Pearson.  From the graph you can figure out what brokerages agents have decided to leave.  Not only is this important for agents, it's a piece of information worth considering by clients as they decide who they want to represent them.


It seems like every real estate agent attaches the "top producer" tag to their business.  Like most brokerages, ours has a variety of annual awards and we have been recognized with one of the more meaningful with the grand name of "Leading Edge Society".  The criteria for this award puts us in the top 2% nationally of Prudential real estate agents for 2012.  It's determined by number of transactions and gross commission -- the ultimate numerical measure of an agent's success.

However, we've always believed that the real measure of an agent's success is the satisfaction of their clients and how many of those clients return to work with that agent more than once.  However, these are a rarely, if ever, reported.  I'm very humbled to say that more than half of our transactions last year were with clients who have worked with us in the past.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

New Construction and Developments

Unless you've been inside for all of the last 6-12 months and don't read any local blogs or newspapers, you must have noticed at least some of the many new residential construction projects dotting our 7x7 city.  It's hard to keep up with them.

To help our clients, we've put together a map showing some (not all) of these projects. There are several sources for the information on the map.
This is a 1.0 effort and, as such, will go through some teething pains.  (Actually, we users will feel the teething pains -- the database and map will just be the source!)

The red dots on the map represent the approximate street address of the project.  Click on a dot and there is additional information including an image/rendering of the project (if available) along with the street address and a brief description taken from either Planning Department documents, press write-ups or the developers website.

In most cases there will be a link to the project's web site and an additional web site that has useful information about the project.  In some cases, the project's web site may just be a reference to the Planning Department document (PDF file) or the developer's web site.  Most sites that will be selling or renting units will eventually have a live web site but that comes relatively late in the development process.

Click on the image below to get started.

Any feedback (via comments or e-mail) would be appreciated.