San Francisco / Bay Area Real Estate Market On Overdrive – by Coldwell Banker

One benefit of having one of the most popular real estate resources in San Francisco is I get spammed from all angles. Occasionally, I find good bits to share with you. So thank you Coldwell Banker for this update, I’m sure all of my readers will appreciate it.

“Dear Alexander,

The housing market is supposed to slow down as we get deeper into the fall season and inch closer to the holidays, but something very unusual is happening here in the Bay Area. Not only is the market remaining active overall, there’s been a remarkable surge in luxury home buying – in particular, the mega-home sales.
A quick look at closed sales at the end of October caught my attention. Our company alone closed an amazing 13 sales over more than $5 million in the Bay Area just in the last two weeks of October! The vast majority of these deals were in San Francisco, the Peninsula and Silicon Valley, although one was in Healdsburg. The homes went for as much as $11.1 million, the price paid for a Los Altos Hills property.

In all, we saw the strongest October in sales volume since 2004 for the San Francisco Peninsula Region. And although we can’t share with you Coldwell Banker’s proprietary sales figures, we can tell you that this added up to a 56 percent gain from just last October.

For a market that still faces a number of economic and political headwinds, this is quite a remarkable spike in activity for the upper end of the market.

So, what do we make of all this? It’s a strong signal that the so-called “smart money” is placing some very big bets that the housing recovery is well on its way. Well-heeled investors believe that real estate today offers a tremendous value and the long-term potential is quite attractive.

Additionally, we continue to see more and more signs that the economy nationwide is gradually turning a corner. But more importantly, here at home, the Bay Area economy and job market continues to gain steam, led by Silicon Valley, the biotech sector and the investment community.

A new report released last week by the Bay Area Council adds more evidence of the Bay Area’s economic strength.

Continue reading

‘Tis The Season For “Temp Off Market” Listings

This week and last, I’ve seen countless emails like this from real estate professionals:

” My listing is off MLS for the holidays, but still available.”

” Withdrawn in MLS, but seller wants to sell before Spring!”

” Not back on MLS until January, but actively showing. Motivated Sellers!”

” Off MLS for holidays, but can still show with some notice.”

During the past two weeks, in Marin and San Francisco, almost 100 listings have been withdrawn or temporarily taken off the market- but they aren’t really off the market.  

Contrary to popular belief, homes DO sell during the holiday season. Last year, in San Francisco alone, there were over 350 homes sold from November 15th through the end of the year.

So how do you market your listing during the holidays when it’s off MLS and your sellers still expect you to sell their home before Spring? You use PocketListings.net. Why? On Pocketlistings.net any post can be searched, linked to, ranked, Shared, emailed, marketed, and seen by potentially thousands of people around the world. We also feed every post you do to our Twitter page  (over 1800 followers) and to our Facebook (over 1600 friends).

Your sellers may go dark for the holiday, but your listing doesn’t have to!

-PocketListings.net

1 Ecker (16 Jessie) San Francisco: First Resale Hits The Market, Not Yet On MLS

This property has sold off market after one showing.

The first resale within 1 Ecker since its renovation in 2010, this is a rare 2 bedroom, 2 bath unit you won’t want to miss. Marketed “not on MLS” throughout the holiday season, now is your chance to beat the competition before (if) it gets to MLS.

Sold for $755,000, 1 Ecker (16 Jessie) unit #204 is an appealing blend of modern and timeless San Francisco charm. The original century-old building structure was painstakingly restored and updated with brand-new modern interior fixtures and finishes in every bedroom and bath. The soaring arched windows are 100% recycled, and the building’s sustainable interiors feature Bosch Energy Star® appliances (including gas range for the chef in all of us), Cesarstone kitchen counters, and bamboo flooring. Nestled among some of San Francisco’s tallest structures, the grand windows and high ceilings fill this residence with generous amounts of natural light, while the original brick structure is a welcome backdrop for modern, sophisticated living.

1 Ecker’s common area amenities include the comfortable rooftop lounge, with grill and plenty of seating for entertaining a large group or enjoying a quiet dinner for two. Sleek, comfortable modular seating allows for adjustment to meet your group’s needs, as art form meets function. Exotic foliage in vibrant hues frames an antique Balinese water fountain, a tranquil centerpiece. The lounge grill is ready to serve up favorites year-round.. The interior courtyard offers a stylish visual backdrop featuring exotic, vibrant foliage. Common areas are maintained by the building’s Home Owners Association, and monthly HOA dues of $525.72 for this unit help serve to keep them in pristine order. HOA dues also include water, garbage, and professional property management services.

The location of this wonderful city home puts you steps away from tons of shops, restaurants, clubs, art museums (MOMA), theaters (Metreon), Outdoor Parks (Yerba Buena), conference centers (Moscone), World Champion baseball stadium (Go Giants), and so much more. Multiple Zipcar® locations are within walking distance for pay-as-you-go car convenience, and the future Transbay Transit Center steps away at 1st and Mission Streets will house 11 transportation systems, including AC Transit, BART, Caltrain, Muni & Amtrak, for easy access to all of the Bay Area and beyond.

*Images are not of the actual unit; however, finishes, quality, and features are the same or better.

Wanderlust: Big Sur 20 Acre Estate Edition

Must…go…here…now…






It’s easy to get lost in thought from this description. Especially coming from the urban jungle we call home here in San Francisco.

Located on Clear Ridge in the heart of Big Sur, this stunning redwood and glass, 3,100 sq. ft. private residence is perfect for family getaways and romantic get-togethers. A peaceful retreat home with vaulted ceilings and skylights, overlooking its own 20-acre meadow, valley and ocean view. No visible neighbors but the deer, a seasonal pond, mature redwoods, oaks, sycamore and other native trees. Private walking trail, ancient redwood-lined stream, large octagonal deck with centerpiece fire pit and natural seating…

You can meet me there. Looks like there is room for all of us. ‘Tis the season of giving and sharing after all…

-Big Sur 20 Acre Estate Vacation Rental [airbnb.com]

Happy Thanksgiving! Thank You!

It has been a great year for real estate, particularly theFrontSteps and me. This website continues to get a TON of traffic, you all continue to be loyal readers, and I continue to help many of you buy and sell your San Francisco dream properties. For that, I am thankful. Thankful that I created this site years and years ago. Thankful that all of my hard work is paying off. And thankful that many of you have the courage to contact me without knowing who the hell I am, and take the leap of faith to work with me.

Thank you all for your continued support, links, referral, content ideas, inside tips, market data, listings, purchases, dinners, cocktails, rounds of golf, skis, and bottles of wine! I am truly grateful for all the wonderful things this year has brought to me, and I hope (with your help) it continues through the Holidays and into next year.

Many of you still decide to work with other agents, and that will be my goal of next year…convincing all of you, I am your choice for San Francisco real estate representation. This site (theFrontSteps) gets more traffic, has more relevant market data, features more real estate porn, and receives more incoming links than any other Realtor’s site in San Francisco. That means when you list your home with me it gets more traffic by being featured here, and that means more potential buyers for you. It also means buyers that work with me get more opportunities outside of MLS simply because more agents and companies contact me about what they have going on, what properties they’d like to feature, what developments are coming up, and ultimately what you need to do to be successful against multiple offers. It also means I am clued in to, and participate in, activity at all price points, and I have the multi million dollar testimonials to prove it. And for that, many of you readers that become clients are very thankful.

You can expect a continued low volume of posts on theFrontSteps as I wrap up this year, but rest assured…I’m here to stay, and I have a million posts in my head I’m dying to find the time to share, and I’m thankful it’s working with you that keeps me and this blog going.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! Pray for snow…and surf. :-)