Off to Santa Barbara

For those that follow my writing and goings on…

I haven’t had the time to write sfnewsletter this week, and now I’m off to Santa Barbara for a wedding. I will be back next week…and I even went out to do another stage of the Tour. Oh well, it will have to wait.

Have a great weekend! Every Home For Sale… (Well almost…)

What’s that Beastie Boys lyric? Something like “Technology is wizardry, what you got is…” Anyway….we now have more real estate technology and listing search capability thanks to, which apparently just launched its San Francisco listings.

Looks to us like they partnered with Zephyr Real Estate to get those listings (smart on Zephyr’s part), and from what we could tell there are quite a few listings available to browse, and you’ll even get email alerts for new matches. You can filter by map, price, bedrooms, bathrooms, area, and all kinds of stuff. It is pretty darn quick with spitting back results and is simple and straight forward. It is lacking the capability to search anything that is not “active”, but what do you expect? MLS owns the data, and they’re protecting it, and keeping Realtors (like us) employed. There are, however, other sources for enhanced search and alerts when properties you might be tracking change status, and you can even get sold stats from more and more real estate sites, so if you know where to look, you should be able to find everything you need online these days when searching for homes in San Francisco.

Your homework: try Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, SFARMLS, Clean Offer, sfnewsletter, Roost, and any others we’re forgetting and report back, which is the best.

-Enhanced Listing Search [Clean Offer]

-Sold Properties Reports [sfnewsletter]

Reader Report: Big Time Landlords Smoking a Lot of Crack in 2006

We love to get tips and comments from all y’all, so keep sending them either to or use the contact form This from “44yo hipster”:

Apparently some big time landlords were smoking a lot of crack in 2006. Apparently these NY landlords didn’t get the memo that rent control is real, and unfortunately, one cannot just wish it away. I wonder if the Lembi’s were also this dumb, given their buying binge of apartment buildings in San Francisco? Peace out.

-Fear of Defaults After a Flurry of Apartment House Sales [New York Times]

-Lembi Juggernaut Selling Units? [theFrontSteps]

If you want $1.2M, then why (the f-bomb) don’t you ask $1.2M!?

As you know, I was a bit out of the loop lately in regards to San Francisco real estate, and forced to get my updates from a few other sources out there, like the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Business Times, and sooooo many other “sources”. My God, I thought the world had ended and Michael Phelps had won the Democratic Presidential Nomination! (Oh no wait…he took the place of GOD!…according to the media.) So you could imagine my shock and awe when I called the agents listing 505-507 44th Ave (an Outer Richmond two unit building asking $930,000) and they told me (within the first sentence mind you), and I kid you not, “Don’t even bother asking us to make an appointment if your client can’t pay $1.2M.”

Wait? Come again. (That’s what she said.) It’s listed on MLS as $930,000, the offer date came and went and you’re telling me you want $1.2M?

It was actually a bit worse of a conversation than all that I’ve shared (I can get a bit annoyed), but I cooled it down a bit in the end and got the agent to commit to “trying” to make an appointment. Turns out they had four offers previously and the client decided they want $1.2M.

Shitty market we’re in when you have four offers on the same Outer Richmond two unit building, isn’t it?

-505-507 44th Ave [ listing detail page]

Stats & Numbers: 2-4 Units July ’07 versus July ’08

Click on Image for Larger View
Click on Image for Larger View

NUMBER OF UNITS is the equivalent of number of sales/transactions. For condominiums, each unit is treated as a sale. For 2- to 4-unit buildings, the “building” is treated as a sale.

NUMBER SOLD is the number of properties in the market segment that closed escrow during the month.

NUMBER FOR SALE is the number of active properties on the market for one day or more during the month.

MEDIAN PRICE (SOLD) reflects the “middle” price point of a group of properties that have successfully closed escrow on a monthly basis, i.e. half sold for more and half sold for less than the median price. Tracking the movement of median prices over time provides a good indicator of the direction market forces are moving.

If the percentage change is positive between the two periods then there is upward pressure on prices in that market segment. If the percentage change is negative between the two periods then there is downward pressure on prices in that market segment.

AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET (DOM) reflects how long it has been taking (on average) to draw an offer on a reasonably priced property exposed to the market. The AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET is defined as: The average number of days it took all of the properties that went under contract during the period to accept a first position offer.

MONTH’S SUPPLY OF INVENTORY (MSI) is a measure of how long it would take, in months, to sell the existing inventory at the current sales rate for the specific neighborhood and property type. The MONTH’S SUPPLY OF INVENTORY is defined as: The number of active properties on the market for one day or more during the month, less the number of properties that have been withdrawn or expired, divided by the number of properties that have gone under contract during the month.

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Data provided by Terradatum.

Source: SFAR