18 Offers On That!!!?

It might not be your cup of tea, but 18 buyers showed up to the recent tea party at 274 De Long (4 bed, 2 bath, Single Family in the “Outer Mission”…as pertains to the SFAR Districts Map…think more Crocker Amazon/Oceanview), and 17 of them will go home empty handed and hungry.

18offers1

18offers

We know what you’re thinking, “Eighteen offers on that!?”

Yeah, we’re thinking the same thing.

Asking price: $336,600, and since we know you’re going to ask, last recorded sale in MLS, 1996 at $185,000.

-274 De Long [sfnewsletter.com listing detail page]

4,000 Football Fields Worth Of Foreclosures

From our friends at Roost.com “Every home for sale… (Well almost…)” We bring you their future blog post (how nice of them to let us post it first).
rooststats

Roost muscled through a large number of public sources of information and found well over one thousand towns/cities across the US that have more square feet tied up in various states of foreclosure than there are currently available for sale in their respective real estate markets. From that group, they identified the above 10 cities and towns with significantly more square footage in various states of “foreclosure” than “for sale” inventory.

Noteworthy findings:
-Those 10 markets alone have over 220 million square feet of residential real estate in foreclosure – almost 4,000 football fields (Kurt Warner could handle it).
-Hialeah Florida, just outside Miami, has almost three times as much existing home footprint in foreclosure compared to what is for sale (Where the hell is Hialeah?).
-There are almost 60 million square feet of living area in foreclosure in Las Vegas (How’s that compare to litres of alcohol consumed?)
-Nine out of the ten cities above are located in areas where new home construction was booming during the heyday of 2000-2005. Only Detroit was exempt from the huge new construction build-up (But Kid Rock had a hit single!)

Thanks folks at Roost! Much appreciated. We’d be really curios to see San Francisco in specific, so if you got it, send it our way.

So how many football fields for the whole lot?

Open House Traffic Only Visited By Those Sensing Foreclosure

Making a long story short:

We had lunch recently with an individual that has a very real interest in today’s San Francisco real estate market (he’s selling a home, but no he’s not our client). We talked about the kids, we talked about the weather, then of course the inevitable “how’s the market”. After getting through how we thought the market was, he informed us that he recently had lunch with a “business friend” of his that kindly informed him the only people looking at open houses at the moment are those people looking to preview homes that will soon be sold at foreclosure! And apparently this “friend” had the data to back it up. Are you f*ing kidding!

That is quite possibly the most ridiculous thing we’ve heard in a while and you can rest assured we’ve heard our share of silly real estate tales.

So who’s got the data to back that ridiculous statement up? Something like that might apply to places in the greater Bay Area, but San Francisco proper? Come on!

The Data, Quotes, And Fine Print On San Francisco’s Foreclosure Activity

chronstats1

Some clarification on the median price drop and the value of your home:

Every Bay Area county experienced double-digit declines in the median price. The annual drops for existing homes ranged from 11.8 percent in San Francisco to 48.4 percent in Contra Costa County.

The median marks the point at which half the homes sold for more, half for less. It reflects the composition of homes sold rather than an across-the-board change in all home values.

It would be wrong to say that Bay Area home values are half of what they were a year and a half ago,” John Walsh, MDA DataQuick president, said in a statement. “Maybe half of the decline in median is a market mix issue and the rest a drop in value.”

And like we’ve said before, It’s a great time to be a buyer:

Chanthapak [person interviewed in article] bought another Richmond property with two homes on one lot for $90,000. He spent $30,000 on rehab, and now expects that property will have positive cash flow of $1,400 a month. He said renting out one of the homes will cover his mortgage, taxes and insurance, so rent from the other will be all profit.

…and the fine print:

Conversely, areas with few foreclosures, such as San Francisco, also had far fewer sales. The 180 existing homes sold in the city was down about 20 percent from last year; only 12.4 percent of those homes were foreclosures. Marin and San Mateo counties also saw sales volume decline and had relatively low foreclosure activity.

We’re happy to help with your real estate endeavors, but please don’t assume everything on the market is in, or close to, foreclosure.

-Home sales soar as foreclosures drive down prices [SFGate]

Pay Now, or Pay Less Later?

This is a question many across the nation will be pondering over the next several months and I’ve long believed that any bailout of homeowners would be ripe for abuse. The Chronicle had a great article this past weekend highlighting this “strategy” quite articulately and comprehensively. This should be really interesting to watch unfold as there will be certain individuals that will benefit from getting you into a loan modification program, and the differential savings from participating in the program may very well be significant. Reduced principle and interest rate, reduced taxes, and capped payments based on income! Isn’t there a downside here somewhere?

Here is the deal according to the article: Primary residence with loan greater than 90% of house “value” and backed by Fannie/Freddie or participating bank. The bank may reduce interest rates to 3% (or higher), extend loan  term to 40 years, and reduce principle in an effort to reduce your “payment” to 38% of your income.

The article talks about all of this in more detail and outlines some potentially controversial strategies to best take advantage of this program. I would bet that most in the bay area wouldn’t need to manipulate the system in order to qualify and benefit from this program.  Most people I know that purchased real estate in the past few years are closer to 60% of gross income funneled into housing and these are all folks right here in Prime San Francisco. And I’m talking about $1M+ homes / condos. I’m not sure how I feel about the program, but I know what I’d be doing if I were a home owner. What about you?

A Good Deal for Everyone: 727 Grafton ($369,900)

It’s not often a deal like this comes around and everybody shares in the goods, but 727 Grafton promises not to disappoint.

Here’s the deal:

1. The seller gets to walk away (its a REO)…DEAL!

2. The contractors didn’t have to pull permits (“permit status if any is unknown”), or put in a kitchen, “The home has no kitchen or bathrooms…” DEAL!

3. Buyer gets “Ocean View Location” and a 3% (of selling price) credit towards closing costs (not to mention a $369,900 asking price)…DEAL!

4. The selling agent (represents buyer) will get a $3000 bonus…DEAL!

5. We get to talk about the downstairs “partial basement with framework of a room and potentially a bathroom”…DEAL!

Did we forget anyone who gets a good deal on this deal?

-727 Grafton [sfnewsletter listing detail page]

Penthouse views at Pre-Foreclosure pricing! (1254 Washington)

Perhaps the marketing remarks say it all:

“Amazing opportunity. Pre-foreclosure sale of a European style Nob Hill penthouse with spectacular views of the city & bay. This is a 6 room Edwardian flat in need of some serious TLC, but is a one of a kind unit and must be sold now!

Is that pre-foreclosure pricing or not? And how ’bout that “needs serious TLC, but is one of a kind…”?

1254Washington.com [Woodruff-Miller]

Shining examples of more stellar “local” real estate reporting

This from a reader:

Here is another shining example of disservice to the SF real estate market courtesy of the SF Gate.

The SF Gate and KGO (ABC) reported ([yesterday and the day before yesterday], respectively) on the same story, but KGO was decent enough to report the foreclosure numbers IN CONTEXT, i.e. referencing that the 130 foreclosed-on properties were in the Bay View. The SF Gate cunningly lumps all of the foreclosures into “San Francisco” and adds in that the rate of foreclosure in the city is “up 200% from last year”, easily giving the impression that the real estate market is tanking city wide. I don’t think the Gate even mentioned the word “Bay View” once in the entire article. In a word? LAME.

Here are the links if you want to check it out yourself.

ABClocal.com

SF Gate

And we thank you for your report and taking the time to bring it to our attention.

California Foreclosure Crisis: I ask, Senator Barbara Boxer replies

Okay, so maybe it wasn’t a personal message to me, but I contacted Senator Boxer not too long ago to find out more about her ideas behind helping Californians who are upside down on their homes (actually I was mostly interested in getting the code to post her video directly on the site.) After sifting through all kinds of Political crap and coming to grips with the fact they did not, in fact, “listen” to what I had to say, I found this quite interesting:

California is being hit particularly hard by the foreclosure crisis, reporting 481,392 foreclosure filings on 249,513 properties in 2007, the highest total of any state and more than triple the number in 2006. These foreclosures will cost Californians an estimated $67 billion in lost property values, and local governments are likely to see a decline of $4 billion in collected property, sales, and transfer taxes.

For the full reply, read on… Continue reading

Senator Boxer Video (and quotes) on California Foreclosure Crisis

Some quotes on Senator Barbara Boxer’s April Fools Day Speech/Proposed Bill regarding the housing crisis.

“Seven of the top ten foreclosure filing rates nationwide are in California!”

“One in every 557 homes nationwide filed for foreclosure.”

“Two hundred million dollars in additional funding for housing counselors [proposed].”

“When counselors sit down with mortgage holders miracles happen.”

“Times have changed since my time…the old days.”

“A lot of people don’t know who holds their mortgage anymore.”

“Four billion dollars in community development block grants [proposed].”

“[Proposing to] allow bankruptcy judges to modify loans on principal residences.” They can do it on all types of bankruptcy filings except principal residences.

“Increase transparency by simplifying disclosure on mortgage documents [proposed].”

“We faced 60-70 filibusters by my Republican friends…they will take the blame for this if nothing gets done.”

“We’re irrelevant to this country if we don’t have the courage to cast a vote to solve this crisis, when every leading economist tells us it is the housing crisis that is at the heart of this recession.”

Follow this link to see the video

Mercury rising? San Francisco foreclosures on the increase?

Browsing TechCrunch today, we came across a site we had visited before, HotPads.com, that provides a fair bit of mashing goodness, and were reminded that we had never posted on the matter. Given all the continued hoopla in the media over the perpetual demise of real estate and the end of the world as we know it, we thought we would point out a few things about this little bubble we call San Francisco. Actually, we’ll leave that to the maps:

Hotpads.com

Notice that around 1 in 2500 homes in San Francisco are in foreclosure (according to the map). Some areas are more, some less, but you’d have to agree, the sky has not fallen. Also important to note, and TechCrunch missed this, the little home/building icons you see do not represent the actual homes in foreclosure, rather homes for sale or rent. Slightly misleading? Yes. Food for the bubblistas? Definitely. Cause for panic? No.

All in all, the mercury on that map doesn’t appear to be rising to the to the extent you might be reading.

For another data point on foreclosures, check out the list of San Francisco foreclosures provided to sfnewsletter via PropertyShark.com. Yes, the list has grown, but it’s hardly cause for headline reporting.

[Update: "Tyler" points us to what should have been obvious: "If you click the 'foreclosure' tab at the top, the houses change to foreclosures."]

Let’s fix this mess, says Shiller

From a reader, “This is the same person who publishes the Case/Schiller housing index which is so widely cited…”:

We have to consider the possibility that the housing price downturn will eventually be as big as that of the last truly big decline, from 1925 to 1933, when prices fell by a total of 30 percent[...]

We should take full advantage of the innovation opportunities stimulated by our current troubles. We would emerge much stronger and better for it.

-A Time for Bold Thinking on Housing [New York Times]