All posts by thefrontsteps

The Bay Area’s Biggest Earthquakes – On One Map

I get a lot, I mean thousands upon thousands, of readers visiting theFrontSteps on any given day wondering which neighborhoods in San Francisco are situated on bedrock, and which are prone to liquefaction or earthquake induced landslides. It’s interesting to view the traffic stats for these posts and see the incredible spike in traffic (like 10X) after the Bay Area experiences an earthquake. Clearly, we’re a culture of not worrying about something until it happens.

So – where’s the next quake gonna hit? Nobody knows, but The San Francisco Business Times recently published a Map of The Bay Area’s Biggest Earthquakes (and the damage they caused), which I found incredibly interesting, so I thought I’d share it with you. Enjoy…

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Bay Area Earthquakes

-San Francisco Neighborhoods Prone to Liquefaction and Earthquake Induced Landslides (Bedrock Vs. Landfill Take Two) [theFrontSteps]
-Map: The Bay Area’s Biggest Earthquakes [SF Business Times]

Living/Great room detached on 3 sides with tons of light

NOPA Flat For Sale: You Get First Dibs

Labor Day is just around the corner, and that means we can expect an influx of listings to hit the market. Just like everyone else, we’ve been waiting and preparing a couple properties ourselves. We’ll be putting this beauty on the market 9/5, but as is always the case, my readers get first crack.

Situated in one of the most desirable neighborhoods in San Francisco, this NOPA flat is not to be missed. You can walk to everything, transportation is a breeze, and with approximately 1500 +/- square feet of living space, what more could you need. Located at 1674 Hayes, this unit features 3 bedrooms, 2 1/4 bath (2nd bedroom has a sink), 1 parking space for a small car, soaring ceilings, hardwood floors, laundry room, fireplace, and a shared yard. The bedrooms are very generous in size and have tons of closet space for all those shoes and suits. The long hallway leads you to the rear of the property where the incredibly light and bright great room allows for dining, entertaining, cooking, and lounging all in the same space.

We will be listing this property 9/5, first open house 9/7 from 2-4pm, and available for private showings anytime. Price will be $1,095,000, and the offer date (if any) is still TBD. Disclosures are in the final stages of completion, and property is in the final stretch of condo conversion. If you’d like any more details, or care to get yourself or a friend in, give me a shout: 415-254-5351.

If you live in the area, and were wondering what your home might be worth, or what we expect to sell this flat for, I’d be happy to chat.

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Top 10 Whiskey Bars In San Francisco

Because talking about real estate ad nauseam gets boring, and we can all use a good Bourbon from time to time, I decided to do a top 10 Favorite locales to enjoy Whiskey/Bourbon in San Francisco. Get at it!

Whiskey, the brown liquid brimming with magical properties, is one of the best liquors around. If you agree and happen to be moving to the Bay Area then you’re in for a treat, because the city has some excellent whiskey-heavy haunts that should please even the snottiest of liquor snobs. If you’re in the mood for chatting with somebody over a smooth glass of single malt, then consider checking out the following 10 places.

Bourbon and Branch

Bourbon and Branch is one of the more unique venues in Tenderloin. It’s easy to fall in love with this place because of its prohibition theme, secret passwords, hidden rooms, costumed mixologists and an exclusive, speakeasy atmosphere. Plus, they have a modest collection of uncommon and rare liquors, and some of the best mixed drinks around.

Hours: Mon-Sat 6 pm – 2 am
Neighborhood: Civic Center / Tenderloin
Website: bourbonandbranch.com

Nihon Whiskey Lounge

If you’re looking for an intimate encounter with your glass of whiskey, then Nihon is the place to go. This Japanese-style whiskey haunt has one of the largest selections of single malt on the West Coast, and some good food to go alongside it. Plus, if you feel like one glass of special liquor isn’t enough, you can buy an entire bottle which gets put in a private locker until you return.

Hours: Tue-Sat 5:30 pm – 1:30 am
Neighborhood: Mission
Website: dajanigroup.net/establishments/nihon-whisky-lounge

Rickhouse

There is a reason GQ put Rickhouse on its best whiskey bars in the country 2013 list: it’s amazing. It’s the go-to haunt for an after work drink, particularly if you’re lucky enough to snag a seat at the bar. This place breathes whiskey, from its 300 Kentucky-imported barrels that make up the ceiling staves, to the walls in the back which are inspired by prohibition era distilleries.

Hours: Mon-Sat 6 pm – 2 am
Neighborhood: FiDi
Website: rickhousebar.com

Tradition

Another Bourbon and Branch whiskey house, this place is a wonderful stop, if for nothing more than they age their own barrels on the second floor. Plus, the place boasts more than 80 different cocktails, a knowledgeable staff and a traditional drinking atmosphere.

Hours: Mon-Sat 6 pm – 2 am
Neighborhood: Tenderloin
Website: tradbar.com

83 Proof

The signless 83 Proof is a wonderful bar, if you can find it. This hidden gem is quite literally hidden. It has no signage and it’s rather hard to find unless you know where you’re looking, which means the lounge is not nearly as crowded as its other popular counterparts.

Hours: Tue-Sat 2 pm – 2 am
Neighborhood: SOMA
Website: 83proof.com

Hard Water

If you’re craving rare bourbon and don’t mind being squished in this tiny hole-in-the-wall haunt, the Hard Water is where you want to be. This NOLA-themed place has the best options for rare bourbon by the flight in the city.

Hours: Mon-Sat 5 pm – 12 am
Neighborhood: Embarcadero
Website: hardwaterbar.com

Whiskey Thieves

If you’re looking for a more casual environment to enjoy your whiskey in, then Whiskey Thieves is the place to be. It boasts a relaxed, but substantial option of liquors, pool tables, jukeboxes, and affordable prices.

Hours: Mon-Fri 1 pm – 2 am; Sat-Sun 12 pm – 2 am
Neighborhood: Civic Center / Tenderloin
Website: Yelp Profile

Bloodhound

If you need a reprieve from the average yuppie San Francisco bar, then Bloodhound is your best bet. It’s themed as a country western lodge with leather sets, exposed wooden beams, hunting apparel decorating the walls and Edison light bulbs. The liquor selection is massive, and the pool table and old school jukebox finish off the rugged touch.

Hours: Mon-Sun 4 pm – 2 am
Neighborhood: SOMA
Website: bloodhoundsf.com

Swig

If you’re in the mood for a classy atmosphere to enjoy your glass of whiskey, then look no further than Swig. In the colder seasons the bar offers a pleasant fire to cozy up to, and an impressive selection of more than 150 whiskeys that span 80 years. The prices are not cheap, but it’s worth the splurge now and then.

Hours: Mon-Thu 4 pm – 1:30 pm; Fri-Sat 2 pm – 1:30 pm; Sun 5 pm – 1:30 pm
Neighborhood: Civic Center / Tenderloin
Website: swigbar.com

The Alembic

The Alembic is a small, tucked away narrow room that has an overwhelming list of excellent liquor choices. The bar specializes in getting you the perfect glass of bourbon, single malt scotch, American whiskey and Irish whiskey. If you’re feeling for something a little less straight forward, then try the new school and old school mixed options to liven things up.

Hours: Mon-Sun 12 pm – 2 am
Neighborhood: Haight Ashbury
Website: alembicbar.com

And of course, if you need a comrade, I’m a quick text message away.

Cheers!

larryellisontahoehome

Larry Ellison Sells Tahoe “Pad” for $20.3M | Inside Tim Lincecum’s $4M Arizona Abode

In case you like to follow your local celebs and what they’re doing with real estate:
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-Larry Ellison Sells His Lake Tahoe Property for $20.35 Million [Wall Street Journal]

Not to be outdone:
timlincecumhome
Tim Lincecum’s Arizona Mansion just hit the market for $3,995,500 [San Francisco Business Times], but sadly it only comes with Basketball court and no batting cage.

Zillow Acquires Trulia: Wake Up Brokers! They’re Getting Rich At Your Expense

If you haven’t heard about listing syndicator site Zillow acquiring competitor site Trulia for $3.5 Billion in stock, I feel for you…especially if you’re in real estate. Since this announcement, I’ve received a couple emails, seen a few comments, read a few newsletters, and thought I’d try to spark a dialogue here on the site.

For what it’s worth, I’m definitely not thrilled about these two companies continually capitalizing off of our data. I certainly feel they would be nothing without the brokerage community, and firmly believe real estate brokers and agents got it all wrong (especially bowing down and “claiming” our own listings on these sites…for a fee!), but who am I to judge. I want to hear what you have to say. To start the conversation, have a look at what a reader said recently in a past post we had done about how worthless Zestimates are: “Zillow Zetimates Rubbing You Wrong Too? Vent”:

Why hasn’t anyone considered starting an “Agent Owned” National CMLS Internet advertising company by which we all become coop owners and share in the ad revenues and use the service at moderately low cost. We could put a stop to all the internet companies using OUR LISTINGS to make BILLIONS and use those revenues as retirement supplements to all the coop members of the National CMLS internet company. I am sick and tired of Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, and other sites using our listings to milk the real estate agents for money that belongs to us. These are our listings not theirs. If anyone should make money on our listings it should be us. We can put a stop to this and no longer allow these sites to use our listings. In the very least, they should be paying us for our listings. Wake up Real Estate Agents………….

Then, have a look at what a local brokerage had to say in their newsletter about making sure their listings are accurate on these sites (ever think about just killing the feed?):

This is big news in the real estate community. We know these sites are very popular with the public, and that’s why for years [brokerage] has fed its listings to both sites. This has been done to try to minimize the kind of factual errors often found on these sites. Despite their popularity, Zillow and Trulia are not getting their content from our local MLS, and so listing details can be wrong. Dramatically wrong at times.

As a matter of fact, Zillow itself gives the accuracy of its popular “Zestimates” only two out of four stars in San Francisco, admitting that these estimates have a median error of nearly 12% – that’s a big number. Still these sites are popular, and while [brokerage] believes it has enhanced the user property search experience on its own website, the company will continue to keep an eye on Zillow and Trulia, and leverage these platforms as much as possible.

Finally, have a look at this email I received on the matter:

Realtors are guilty for not keeping up with the times and being completely opposed and scared of technology, as we know well. PocketListings.net being the ultimate example. I still don’t understand how hard it was to make anyone understand the concept of creating their [Realtors'] own listing network that they control. Doing anything to really help agents is ultimately a dead end because they are all stupid – few exceptions like you :) The successful businesses don’t give a shit about agents. Zillow, Trulia…as you stated, mining all the data agents worked hard to create. Redfin, basically wants to cut the agent out of the equation. The solution is simple: kill the feeds and those companies perish, but the industry never will. It’s run by idiots.

Share your thoughts in the comments below…(Remember, you can be anonymous if you choose).

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Case-Shiller Home Price Index Update For The San Francisco Bay Area

The Case-Shiller Index report for May 2014 for the 5-county San Francisco Metro Statistical Area was released the other day, showing another small bump in home prices from April to May. The aggregate or total index is now up approximately 55% since the market recovery began in early 2012. The 5 counties covered by the index are San Francisco, Marin, San Mateo, Alameda and Contra Costa.

However, Case-Shiller also breaks out home price changes by price tier – low, middle and high – and each tier has experienced dramatically different trend lines since 2000. The low price tier – homes found mostly in Alameda and Contra Costa counties (though also other Bay Area counties not in the SF MSA, such as Solano, Sonoma and Napa) experienced a crazy bubble much larger than the other price tiers and subsequently experienced a much bigger crash due to foreclosures and short sales. The middle and high price tiers, which predominate in San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo, experienced much smaller bubbles and crashes. This is dramatically illustrated in the first graph below.

In all the Case-Shiller Indices the numbers refer to a January 2000 home value of 100. Thus a reading of 195 signifies a value 95% above that of January 2000.

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All tiers have seen big recoveries since 2012 began, but only the high-price tier has now exceeded previous peak values attained in 2006-2007. Because of the absurd size of the low-price tier bubble, its home prices are still far below previous peak values and it’s probably unreasonable to expect them to be surpassed anytime soon.

However, all the price tiers show very similar overall appreciation rates since 2000, running from 93% to 97% over the 14 ½ years, which suggest an equilibrium is being achieved across the general market.

This chart below tracks home price appreciation for higher-priced homes since 2012. As with all statistics, monthly statistics are much less meaningful than longer term trends.

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San Francisco itself, whose median house price is now over $1.1 million, has performed significantly better than even the general high-price tier, as can be seen in the median price chart for the Noe & Eureka Valleys neighborhoods of the city.
This chart is just a sample of how some San Francisco neighborhoods – especially its most expensive ones – have far exceeded general Bay Area appreciation trends, as far as previous peak values are concerned. Many of San Mateo’s cities have experienced a similar dynamic, as they both share the dominant effect of the high-tech wealth effect on home prices.

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If you would like more information about these charts, or the San Francisco market in particular, give me a shout.

Noe Valley – Eureka Valley Homes Cross $1000 per sqft, Glen Park home sales up 12% YOY

Below you will find important statistics for the past decade and a half on the luxury markets in District 5. The price point has reached $1.5M for an average home in Glen Park and more than $2M to own a home in Noe Valley and Eureka Valley. Note that the 2014 data are year-to-date, between 1/1/2014 to 7/25/2014.

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San Francisco Condo Prices Continue to Rise: $1,144 per sqft (new condo), $953 per sqft (resale)

According to The Mark Company Trend Sheet, the value of new construction condominiums in San Francisco was $1,144 per square foot in June, up 13 percent year over year, and the value of resale condominiums was $953 per square foot, up 23 percent year over year.

Below you will find the recent new construction and resale condominium report from the Mark Company, one of the leaders in new development sales in San Francisco, and the market guys behind the enormously successful Amero, Arden, 8 Octavia, Park 181, as well as past home runs at The Brannan and 733 Front. They have extensive knowledge and analysis on our real estate market for high rise, luxury, and new constructions, as well as how these properties are being resold.

San Francisco condominium prices rose 13 percent in June 2014 over the previous year, according to the Condominium Pricing Index released by The Mark Company.

The Condominium Pricing Index for June was $1,144 per square foot, which is up 2 percent from May. New construction inventory was 63 percent higher than a year ago, but down 2 percent from the previous month, with 401 units now available.

“While several new developments have begun selling recently in San Francisco, including Arden by Bosa and 8 Octavia, the additional inventory has not been sufficient to stop the persistent appreciation in prices in recent months,” noted Erin Kennelly, senior director of research, The Mark Company.

The Condominium Pricing Index, part of the firm’s monthly Trend Sheet (available at http://www.themarkcompany.com), represents the price per square foot of a new 10th floor, 1,000-square-foot condominium. It is based on recent sales data, and uses a proprietary quantitative method to measure trends in market demand. It tracks the value of a new construction condominium without the volatility of inventory changes.

The Mark Company Penthouse Pricing Index, which applies the same methodology to a new 30th floor, 2,000-square-foot condominium, was $1,964 per square foot in June, up 13 percent year over year.

The condominium price per square foot was $953 for resales, up 23 percent year over year and up 2 percent from May 2014, according to The Mark Company Trend Sheet for San Francisco. In addition, there were 268 condominium resales in San Francisco in June, 274 active condominium listings representing approximately one month of inventory, and 168 pending condominium listings, the Trend Sheet found.
Available units include less than 117 residences at Arden in Mission Bay, 29 residences at 8 Octavia in Hayes Valley, 16 condominiums at 1645 Pacific in Nob Hill, 23 units at Fifteen Fifteen in the Mission District, 20 condominiums at Millwheel North in the Dogpatch, 11 units at the Mint Collection in the South of Market neighborhood, and 74 residences at Vida in the Mission District.

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