San Francisco The “Strongest Performing Market”…Hands Down

Don’t shoot the messenger:

San Francisco
Hands-down the strongest-performing market in February was San Francisco, which posted an 11.9% gain over the past 12 months. “California has been strong the last couple of months. There does seem to be something of a serious revival going on,” says Blitzer. One month would be a fluke, but these California metros have been seeing gains over the past several months, he says.
The recovery can in part be attributed to a lack of land. Coastal cities like San Francisco don’t have that much space to build hundreds of homes. From peak to trough, home values in San Francisco fell by some 40%, says Robert Van Order, a professor of real estate and finance at George Washington University’s School of Business. In the long run, you’d expect to see growing values there because it’s an inelastic market. “There’s not much room to build, so it has pretty good prospects,” he says.

-Home Prices Are On the Move [Smart Money]

$8000 Government Home Buyer Tax Credit Expiring, Coldwell Banker $8000 Buyer Bonus Sales Event Igniting

The government sponsored $8,000 home buyer tax credit is set to expire, and tis a bummer indeed if you missed out on it. But fear not, the gigantic corporate sponsored wave has begun, and Coldwell Banker is the first to set the bar by offering their own incentive (3% up to $8,000) in what they’re calling their “Buyer Bonus Sales Event”.

[O]n May 1, 2010, immediately following the expiration of this government initiative, home sellers participating in the Coldwell Banker Buyer Bonus Sales Event will offer a credit of 3 percent (up to $8,000), when part of an accepted offer, of their home’s purchase price to buyers who sign a contract before July 31, 2010. There is no deadline for a closing date.

“The federal government did its part to encourage millions of Americans to achieve their dream of home ownership with the help of the home buyer tax credit,” said Jim Gillespie, president and chief executive officer for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. “As the credit expires, Coldwell Banker Real Estate is encouraging buyers who haven’t found a home yet to continue looking, while bringing a new audience of home buyers who were unable to qualify for the tax credit into the market. We are confident that this private sector solution will represent a significant step toward continued recovery of the housing market.”

“The Buyer Bonus Sales Event will allow participating Coldwell Banker home sellers to essentially extend the benefits of the credit,” said Gillespie. “Without restrictions such as household income caps, the Coldwell Banker Buyer Bonus Sales Event allows for greater participation for all homebuyers. And our sellers have a unique opportunity to allow their home to stand out from the competition in their marketplace.”

In addition,

“All home sellers who take part in the Buyer Bonus Sales Event will receive broad marketing support from Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC, including:

National television commercials beginning May 1, 2010; extensive online advertising
Promotion on [CB website].
Updates on the event to be shared on Coldwell Banker Facebook and Twitter pages and the Coldwell Banker blog, Blue Matter;
A video posting to the Coldwell Banker On Location channel highlighting the practical value of $8,000.

This is all fine and good in the rest of America, but will we see this incentive surface in the San Francisco housing market? If so, what does this do to the smaller (local) real estate companies competing for those listings? It’s kind of hard to compete with that marketing campaign (unless you have a popular blog like this ;-) ). Is this the beginning of “flat rate” or “reduced” commission structure listing agreements? Time will tell, and your comments are appreciated. One thing is for sure, this will certainly light a flame under the booty’s of all the other Brokerages in this town.

Doing Our Part To Urge You To Use Less Plastic

As I’ve stated many a time on my various outlets (Twitter, sfnewsletter, and here on theFrontSteps) there is waaaay too much plastic out there. It is truly depressing and sad to walk onto a beach in the most remote parts of the world after having a great surf and be surrounded by plastics (sandals, bottles, bags, etc.). I’m not hating, I’m educating and doing my part.

Recycling starts at home. Make the effort to use less plastic and tell your friends to do the same.

End preaching…..

-Fake Plastic Fish (blog) [education on using less plastics]
-Plastic Pollution Coalition [Sign the petition, get involved.]

Lake Tahoe Dreamin’? Tahoe Green Home For Rent, Slick Video To Prove It (Music Included)

Speaking of Music in Property Videos, this clip comes to us by way of Inbox. Since so many San Francisco/Bay Area people flock to Tahoe and talk of living the dream up there, not to mention being green while doing it, we thought it worthy of sharing.

City slickers go get your green on and be one with Tahoe (It is a Straw bale home after all, and you never know, your blue jeans might be the insulation) …you know you want to!

Ask Us/Poll: Should I Put Music “On” A Property Website

We just got this question moments ago and a link to a couple different sites…all the same really, just playing different cheezy music. The question:

I’m signing up a listing for a new property you’ll want to take a look at. The photos turned out great, and the property is awesome! My question is do you think I should put music on the site? Some people say they like it, some hate it. What do you think? You guys seem to have a big audience so maybe you could get more answers than what I’m getting.

Our answer…Hell NO! Music on websites, especially property websites is so unbelievably annoying (to us) we browse with our computer on mute. But that’s just us…let’s put it in a poll, shall we?

Should There Be Music On Property Listing/Rental Websitescustomer surveys