Possible Shift In San Francisco Real Estate Market? Should You Sell Your Home Now?

February 2014 San Francisco Market Report

It is far too early in the year to reach definitive conclusions regarding substantive changes in the market, but there are indications of a number of shifts. From the hurly burly on the street, the word is that the quantity of offers coming in on new listings is declining. Where a new listing might have attracted 10 or 12 offers last spring, 3 or 4 are coming in now; where 3 or 4 offers would have arrived, the seller is getting 1. And, according to Broker Metrics, for every 2 listings that offers in December and January, another listing expired or was withdrawn without selling.

The amount of competition deeply affects home price increases.

There are still a very large number of buyers looking at listings online and at open houses. But more of them appear to be first-time buyers and they are proceeding more cautiously. Some buyers are burned out on the multiple-offer bidding frenzies of last year and are reluctant to participate in them. Though the market remains hot by any reasonable standard, by some statistical measures it is cooling. This may reflect a transition or only a lull before the spring sales season begins.

Recently, the investment-property analysis firm Reis speculated that SF apartment-rent growth — which has been extraordinary by any measure, especially in a period of low inflation — will slow despite intense demand and very low vacancy rates, simply because people can’t pay any more. It’s an idea which may or may not be correct or apply to other types of housing costs. Rent rates do play a role in purchase prices as buyers often compare the net housing costs of the two options.

Median Sales Price Appreciation by Neighborhood

In San Francisco, some of the most affluent neighborhoods — such as the Pacific Heights-Marina district and the Noe, Eureka and Cole Valleys district — started their recoveries in the second half of 2011, well before virtually every place else in the city or country. When 2012 began, prices in these districts soared, while other areas played catch up. In 2013, that dynamic flipped: Appreciation rates in comparatively less expensive neighborhoods surged, while slowing in the most affluent areas.

A big part of this is simple affordability: Priced out in one neighborhood (or city), buyers focused on others, similar in ambiance but less costly. Home prices there looked so good in comparison that buyers were willing to bid them up. The huge decline of distressed sales in areas severely affected, such as in Bayview, has had an outsized effect on median sales prices there. Continuing gentrification, as in the Mission, and increasing “luxury” condo construction in less affluent areas have also played parts in this trend. It’s not as if demand plunged in the Pacific Heights-Marina district (or Noe Valley, for that matter). Quite the contrary: its 9% appreciation rate in 2013 translated into the city’s largest median price increase in dollar terms ($300,000). However, in the previous year, this district saw year over year median price appreciation of 25%.

Note that median price appreciation does not perfectly correlate to changes in home values, as it can be affected by a variety of market factors. It does give an approximate sense of market trends.
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Winner: The Best Coffee (House) In San Francisco, And The Rest

Congratulations to Philz Coffee! You have been voted Best Coffee (House) in San Francisco by the people of the internets. The competition was linked to around the world, and we have to say Philz not only got tons of nods during the first round of nominations, but they also swept the voting when thousands more hit the polls.

It’s all good stuff and we can’t wait to get a cup. We appreciate everyone’s participation and the countless links that sent people this way.

The Rankings:

1. Philz Coffee
2. Bernie’s
3. Blue Bottle Coffee
4. Four Barrel Coffee
5. Martha Bros Coffee
6. Contraband (Coffee Bar)
7. Ritual Coffee Roasters
8. Farley’s Coffee
9. Java Beach
10. Sightglass Coffee
11. Peet’s Coffee & Tea
12. Caffe Roma
13. the Beanery
14. Intelligentsia Bar (In Specialty’s)
15. Caffee Trieste
16. Stumptown (Ma’velous)
17. Henry’s House of Coffee
18. Simple Pleasures
19. Barefoot Coffee (Epicenter Cafe)
20. Café La Taza
21. Starbucks (Really?)
22. Caffe Puccini
23. Trouble Coffee (De La Paz)
24. Velo Rouge Cafe
25. Caffe Greco
26. Verve Coffee Roasters
27. De La Paz Coffee (Trouble)
28. Hearth Coffee Roasters (Brown Owl Cafe)
29. Graffeo
30. Bello Coffee and Tea
31. Quetzal Coffee
32. Jeremiah’s Pick Coffee
33. Coffee to the People
34. Piccino Cafe
35. 7-11 (Humoring you)
36. Progressive Grounds
37. Showplace Caffe
38. Castro Coffee House
39. La Boulange
40. Matching Half
41. Wicked Grounds
42. Farm:Table
43. Blue Danube
44. Cafe Reina
45. Toy Boat
46. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
47. The Summit SF
48. Curbside Coffee
49. Rancho Parnassus (Thanksgiving Coffee)
50. Tully’s
51. Capricorn Coffees
52. Cavalli Cafe
53. Equator Coffees & Teas
54. Muddy’s Coffee House
55. The Coffee Roastery
56. Cup of Blues
57. Cafe Encore
58. Ecco Caffe
59. Stella Pastry & Cafe
60. Coffee Roaster
61. Manning’s
62. Dash Cafe
63. Javalencia Cafe
64. Cafe La Stazione
65. The Grove

We’ll just go ahead and stop there. There were another 25-30 one vote coffee (houses) that came in, but we gotta stop somewhere. Thank you everyone!

A Dream Buyer Carrying $2,500,000 Cash, Looking For A Good Home

Are you a San Francisco Realtor with a Lake District or Sea Cliff home one of your clients would be willing to sell? Well…we just found your dream buyer:

Very motivated all cash buyers looking for a SFR that meets the following requirements:

-$2.5M or less
-3 Beds/2 Baths+
-Around 3000 sq. ft.
-Large bedrooms
-Good condition w / some original detail
- Lake Dist., Laurel Heights, Jordan Lake, Inner/Central Richmond, or Sea Cliff

We keep telling you, there is opportunity galore showing up on PocketListings.net all across the country. If you’re not on there yet, you’re missing out, and you’re going to miss the boat. Mark our words on that.

-Lake District Buyer Need around $2.5M [PocketListings.net]

BFD Price Reductions

A post wherin I look at price reductions that seem to be pointless.

1. Courtesy of SF Schtuff, 1001 California St., #3 is a super lux condo in the old Hitchcockian San Francisco splendor. (MLS gallery offers house porn to die for, here.)

The original price here was $7,250,000. Now it’s $6,950,000. Indeed, one could argue a $300K price break is nothing to sneeze at. But really, the person who can afford the new price could also afford the old price, especially since this home includes an HOA of $5886 per month. So, $300,000? Big  ****ing deal. The monthly payments are still going to top the GNP of certain third world countries.

Here’s another reduction I don’t think makes any difference. 2421 Clement St. This is a 10 unit building, “fully rented,” originally priced at $1,435,888. More than 50 days later, it’s reduced to $1,398,000.

In this case,  it’s not so much the amount of the reduction. I just wonder who would ever want to buy a 10-unit building in SF when every other day a law here makes being a landlord a bigger headache than it already was. In fact, this Examiner article highlights the dubious joys of landlords who are currently suing the city to block such laws. Good luck.

So I wonder, in the world of real estate, if price reductions aren’t sometimes just not that much of an incentive after all.

—————

Photo of 1001 California, #3 via listing agent Betty Brachman, Brachman Group.

Four Bed, Two Bath Central Richmond Home, Auction Price… $625,000!

Four Sixty Three 16th Ave in the Central Richmond is a “fixer upper with 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, 3 car garage with additional sunroom, attic & huge area in garage for storage / rooms. Great potential in million dollar neighborhood!”, and it’s not just on MLS, but on the auction block for $625,000.

The house looks pretty decent from the exterior, but we all know you can’t judge a book by its cover:
46316th

Auction was supposed to have happened yesterday, and for $625,000 we have to hope it went significantly above that. If not, we’re all in trouble. We’ll let you know the outcome as soon as we know. For now, we’re left wondering if it was an Outside Lands reveler that made the highest bid.

[Update: From a reader, SFB: the winning bid was $791,000.]

-463 16th Ave [MLS]

Reduce, Re-list, Repeat…640 23rd Ave is Back on Market…yet again

Life is not good if you are 640 23rd Ave, and we’ll tell you why.

Originally listed an eternity ago (for a home at least) back in April of 2008, this 3 bed, 2.5 bath, 1831 square foot home came on the market for $1,295,000. Price was reduced to $1,285,000 in July and it appears to have gone into contract then. Back on the market in the end of July, same price. The price was then again reduced in September to $1,185,000 and then appeared to relatively quickly go back into contract. Then it fell out, went back in also at $1,185,000 and now appears “Back on the Market” for $1,099,000.

This entire story is based 100% off of MLS “property history”, so there may be some error, but generally it’s pretty darn accurate. Poor sellers. Not quite as fortunate as that little house just down the street that practically flew off the shelf.

What gives?

-640 23rd Ave [listing detail page]

Help some clients decide on an offer (579 23rd Ave)

We’re going to get a little Web 2.1 for the moment and do something we can’t recall ever seeing anywhere on the web (please correct us if we’re wrong), and that is open up the mic to advice on a price when an offer is in hand as of moments ago. Had you seen me twittering about last night’s showings, you’d have known we were close to an offer yesterday. Now, it’s back to the blog.

So…some clients would like some help deciding about an offer that was received on their home yesterday at 579 23rd Ave.

Obviously, we can’t go into detail about anything on the offer (especially price), but we can ask what you’d pay for it and if you’d take any one, or all three, of the scenarios below.

1. Offer is above asking by $20k

2. Offer is at asking of $879k

3. Offer is below asking by $20k

Down payment is equal to or greater than 20%, inspections waived, close of escrow 45 days. Good offers, or should the clients hold out for something better?

We know what we’d do, and we’ve already given our advice to our clients, but what would you do? That’s what we want to know!

-579 23rd Ave [MLS]

Ask Us: It was sold, but what’s up? (1474 17th Ave)

Where readers ask and we try to answer:

1474 17th ave was sold on 1/25 for $1mm (3000sqft duplex), but I did not see anything in MLS or any other signs of activity, nor was there any trace of it in the sfnewsletter. Was this a pocket listing? The price seems to be very reasonable, so under what situations would the seller be willing to let it go at that price without inviting any public offers?

Sellers do crazy things sometimes, and maybe that was the price they wanted…a cool million.

Regarding the sfnewsletter question. sfnewsletter pulls data directly from MLS, so if it was not in MLS, it will not be on sfnewsletter’s reports…yet. (For those not receiving sfnewsletter, this is an example of the report this reader is referring to. sfnewsletter does the same report for just sold.)

Beyond that, you’ve stumped us. Maybe some readers know what happened with this property. According to propertyshark.com, it did indeed sell as you mentioned, but MLS is empty. Our web is only cast so far. Readers?

And weren’t we just in that area?

Church of Skate?

churchofskate3
Having driven by this construction project on the corner of 14th Ave and Clement countless times, I finally stopped, shot, and unfortunately couldn’t roll. And now I’m forced to quit dreaming. According to the construction crew, it is going to be a synagogue, and the vertical sides perfect for a frontside air, or McTwist, will hold seating like a “theatre” and they are “going to put a roof on it”. Imagine what Tony Hawk, or Danny Way could do on this thing:

[Danny Way pulling a 360 OVER the Great Wall of China...on a skateboard.]

Anybody else have any insight on this project?

In record time a reader comes through. It will be the Beth Sholom Synagogue, and the Architect is Stanley Saitowitz. Here is a link to their site, and here are the renderings:

churchofskaterendering3
churchofskaterendering2
[images pulled from Stanley Saitowitz, Natoma Architects, Inc. website (www.saitowitz.com)]

Fast Track to Staledom ™

Over on the sfnewsletter we have this little list we call our Stalefish ™. (Properties on the market 100+ days.)  Of course there are ways around hitting our list (“Resetting the DOM to sell Stalefish”-sfgate), but generally, we’ll find them. 177 17th Ave. (TIC) is on that list, but if you take a look at a couple of these pictures, you’ll surely see it is not the property, but the price.  The other unit in the building, 175 17th, is in contract and just waiting for you to help them out. 

Current price: $1,360,000

Previous price: $1,428,000

3 bed, 3 bath, 2150 square feet, lower unit

Offer date now set for March 21(not too sure how smart that is)

Beautiful Kitchen. 

The good thing about finding a Stalefish ™…there are deals to be had, and anxious sellers, especially on a two unit building like this that has the potential for condo conversion.

[pictures taken from property profile, photographer not stated]