Category Archives: Lower Pacific Heights

San Francisco Real Estate Data, Focus On The Volume On Your Block, Not The Median In Your City

“After hitting a two year low in January, the median price for single-family re-sale homes rose 18.6% in March from February. Year-over-year, the median price was off for the seventh month in a row, falling 3.1%.

After falling to their lowest level since January 2009 in February, home sales bounced back last month, which is normal for this time of year, and rose 75% from February. The 203 home sales last month were 7.7% lower than last March.”

Single Family Stats:

Condominium Stats:

One can argue the merits of medians, averages, days on market and generally just about anything in this data, and one can certainly spin it however they like. Read any number of Realtor blogs/sites and the market is gravy. Read any number of market bashing blogs and it’s all still doom and gloom. Because of this market spin that makes my head spin, I like to focus on one thing…sales volume…more specifically sales volume by district, even nano-district.

We’re coming off of a historical market thrashing. Naturally, prices are going all over the map. So what I really want to know is, if there is sales activity where my client either needs to buy or sell property. If property is moving, that is a good thing. If they’re getting stale, that is bad.

For San Francisco single family homes, we can see year over year (YoY) sales volume is down 7.7%, but up 75% compared to the month prior. Pick District 7 North (roughly Pacific Heights, Presidio Heights, Marina, Cow Hollow) and you’ll see that not only is volume up YoY (8.3%), but also up 225% on the month, whereas District 1 (roughly Richmond, Sea Cliff, Lake, Lone Mountain) is down 25% YoY, but up 50% on the month. (The fact home values in the Richmond are grouped with Sea Cliff is an entirely different nano breakdown that could further skew the numbers…ever seen a $15,000,000 home sell in the Richmond? Anyway….) In any given neighborhood, it is good that volume is up on the month (but also expected given the season), but bad that it is down on the year, because last year was a brutal year, so how could it go anywhere but up? That makes me cautiously optimistic.

For Condos we see YoY sales volume is down 7.2%, but up 28.8% on the month. That is a much more modest gain as compared to single families, and another indication that single family homes are still, and likely always will be, in more demand in San Francisco (because there are so few of them.) But look at District 5 Central (Noe Valley, Haight, Cole Valley, Glen Park…all together? Seriously?) volume is up 2.6% from last year, and 81.8% from the month prior.

The verdict? The San Francisco real estate market is both showing signs of strength, but also still many signs of weakness. You need to really take a close look at the data being presented in any articles you read (as opposed to just reading the headline and story), and you really need to figure out what the market is doing in your neighborhood, and specifically, on your block. Sales volume is (to me) most important, because it is your indication of whether properties are selling, or not. Average and median prices got pummeled, so don’t lose sleep over them. If you have to move and sell now, focus on pricing, get the highest and best price you can, and don’t stress over whether the seller 20 blocks away got more, because it could just be a result of the weather.

I’ve always said “San Francisco” data is way too generic for all of our little nano-markets, so if you have any questions about my thoughts on your ‘hood, you know where to find me.

Today, I’ll be golfing (or maybe surfing).

-San Francisco Real Estate Market Trends []
-Why The Fuss About Noe Valley [theFrontSteps]
-What’s the Real Estate Forecast For Bernal Heights [theFrontSteps]
-Tour De San Francisco: Clarendon Heights [theFrontSteps]
-Factoring Weather When Buying A Home In San Francisco Is Anything But Easy [theFrontSteps]

2185 Bush #307 At The Amelia Price Reduced (almost) $100,000!

Shameless plug is the name of the game here. Moments ago we chopped the price of 2185 Bush #307 from $869,000 (previously $899,000) down to $799,999. Are you kidding! This is a 3 bed, 2 bath, 1290 square foot condo with high ceilings, wood burning fireplace, patio, and so much more in one of the best locations around (we could almost call this Pacific Heights, but it is technically in Lower Pacific Heights), so please spread the word.

2185 Bush #307:

If you, or anybody you know, are interested in a great condo in a superb location, drop us a line or come visit the property Sunday 7/26 from 2-4pm for an Open House. This is a great unit and it (hopefully) won’t last long on the market at this new price.

-2185 Bush #307, $799,999 [listing detail]

“Beautifully Restored Victorians” seem to be all the rage (2872 Pine)

Since we’re on the subject of beautifully restored 3 bed, 3.5 bath Victorians in Lower Pacific Heights selling in a heart beat for over $1000/square foot, why not take a look at another beautifully restored Victorian 3 bed, 3.5 bath in Lower Pacific Heights, selling almost as quickly, just around the corner, and on one of the busiest streets in San Francisco?


Asking $2,995,000, 2872 Pine came on the market in late October of this year, and is already “pending”, which, for the new readers, means it is pretty much a done deal.

[Update: Check the comments. Kenny has added a couple links to some more Victorians.]

-2872 Pine St. [ listing detail]

-Tanking Market? Come Again? “That’s what She said” [theFrontSteps]

Tanking Market? Come Again? “That’s what she said” (1705 Broderick)

She being 1705 Broderick, a 3 bed, 3.5 bath, single family home in Lower Pacific Heights, and the pun being that she just came on the market 10/03/07 for $2,450,000 and just sold for $2,800,000. For the mathematically challenged (that includes us) that is $350,000 above asking (14.29%), a staggering month on the market (MLS shows 15 days, but we’ll add a few for sh*ts and giggles), and a price per square foot of $1,057 for Lower Pacific Heights between Pine and Bush streets.


Argue all you want about pricing, anecdotal information only, it’s the exception not the norm, blah, blah. The fact is, there was more than one person interested in this type of property that had the means to make this type of purchase. Should another home like this come around, what’s going to happen? Keep in mind, this whole sale took place in one of the worst markets our city has seen in years.

If you watch “The Office” you’ll get the “that’s what she said joke”. Regardless, a pretty good sale in a pretty “gloomy” market. We think you’d have to agree.

Two years, two listings, one building, same agent, different market (2185 Bush #311)

I’m going against what I usually do and actually talking about one of my listings. Why? Because there is a good story.

Two years ago, I had this listing at 2185 Bush #315.


I put this place on the market literally a few weeks prior to the peak we experienced in 2005. It hit MLS, the phone was blazing, emails were flying, and the open houses (all two of them) were packed, as were the broker tours. Granted, this property was completely remodeled to the studs and totally out of character for this building, but it is the activity I’m focused on. Long story short, we had multiple offers and it went way over the $799,000 asking and sold for $930,000.

I just had this listing at 2185 Bush #311.


We put it on the market the week before Labor Day, in other words just as the Mortgage Crisis was brewing. Also a very great home, it had been updated, has tons of natural light, parking, two beds, two baths, the whole bit. There had been nothing but positive feedback, and no qualms about the price, four serious buyers circling, but nobody was stepping up.

Right about the time I was starting to wonder, the phone rang, which was right smack dab in the middle of the frenzied reports about the mortgage crisis. But, an offer was on the way. Then, the phone rang again from an agent who also had clients that wanted to write an offer, but wanted to see the condo again, and then the phone rang again from a third party with the same request. So now there were three serious buyers on tap, but only one offer for sure.

Long story short, the two other buyers decided they did not want to rush things and write an offer given the media crisis, so we were left with one.

It was a great solid offer with tight financing and a quick close at $795,000, $44k below asking, and my clients took it.

The buyers did inspections, wanted my client to fix some dry-rot, which they did. We were planned to close in 30 days, and we closed in much less. I think it was 20. No problems for the buyer whatsoever on their loan, and the place sold right along with the comps for the building, which worked out fine for the sellers who felt they got a fair deal. In all, it was just over two months from when my client moved out to when we closed. Not too shabby.

So, we had a happy buyer, a happy seller and a quick close. The market is still good. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.