DECEMBER 2013 SAN FRANCISCO CONDOMINIUM PRICES INCREASE 18 PERCENT OVER PREVIOUS YEAR

San Francisco condominium prices rose 18 percent in December 2013 over the previous year, according to the Condominium Pricing Index released today by The Mark Company, a leading urban residential marketing and sales firm.

The Mark Company Condominium Pricing Index for December was $1,034 per square foot, which is up 2 percent from November. New construction inventory was 78 percent lower than a year ago, and down 26 percent from the previous month, with 92 units currently available.

“With fewer than 100 new condominiums now for sale in San Francisco, price appreciation is likely to continue in 2014,” states Erin Kennelly, senior director of research, The Mark Company.

The Condominium Pricing Index, part of the firm’s monthly Trend Sheet (available at 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 $1,776 per square foot, up 18 percent year over year.

The condominium price per square foot was $868 for resales, up 26 percent over December 2012, according to The Mark Company Trend Sheet for San Francisco. In addition, there were 229 condominium resales in San Francisco in December, 134 active condominium listings representing less than one month of inventory, and 123 pending condominium units, the Trend Sheet found.

That’s some pretty insane growth and is not surprising. Thanks Mark Company for the info.

Dropping Knowledge: San Francisco Property Pie Chart

I know you’re all like me, you drive around town looking at all the wonderful, insanely expensive property we have here in San Francisco. I know you wish you knew how many of the properties you see were single family homes, how many are condominiums, how many are big ol’ properties of which you’d love to be the landlord (or maybe you already are). My company came up with this nice little pie chart for all y’all. Enjoy:

sf_housing_units

Thinking Of Selling Your Property? Read This First

Sellers, it’s time. We need your inventory, and look how happy you could be!

Alex thanks for selling my home as quickly and painless as possible at a price way beyond my expectation! I especially liked that you provided expert advice/service from staging, lighting and photography to make this a success. Using [electronic signature solutions] for all document signing made my life so much easier, and not to mention saving wasted paper from going into the environment. You keep up with the latest trends, you have access to new and potential audience/followers via social networking sites, and you’re just damn good at what you do so, THANKS!!!!

Cheers,
Judy

Brings a tear to one’s eye, doesn’t it. You’re welcome Judy! Thanks for the great testimonial. Call us when you’re ready to buy.

And to all of you other sellers, did you notice how good to the environment we can be? I’ll even come meet you on my bike. Just give a shout, and we’ll get the ball rolling to getting you top dollar on your property too.

-More Testimonials [theFrontSteps]
-Maximum Overbid Of The Week: 235 28th St, Noe Valley [theFrontSteps]

Millennium Tower, San Francisco California, “Top 10 Residential Buildings In The World”

There’s been a lot said from yours truly about Millennium Tower in the past. I’ve watched her grow and shared my stories and photos with all of you over the years. Millennium Tower was erected, sold like hotcakes during the pre 2009 boom, sold not like hotcakes during the bust…but she’s back, and buyers are gobbling up her remaining inventory at breakneck speed.

Recently named as one of the Top Ten Residential Buildings In The World by Worth Magazine, and featured in the Wall Street Journal in an article about Penthouse (not the magazine…the top floor residence) owner Tom Perkins (of Silicon Valley Fame), Millennium Tower sits alongside locations like One Hyde Park in London, Linked Hybrid in Beijing, and One57 in New York as an address many of the who’s who of big money and luxury proudly call home (or second home). Not impressed with that lineup?

Some other noteworthy residents rumored to have roamed the Club Level Amenity floor: Carmen Policy (San Francisco 49ers); Joe Montana (San Francisco 49ers); Peter Thiel (PayPal Co-founder); Russell Coutts (America’s Cup Skipper – legend in Sailing), and that’s just to name a few…

One bedroom units are completely sold out (from the sales office, you can occasionally grab a resale), 85% of the entire inventory has been sold, and your entry level price point is going to be around $1,600,000, but you gotta trust me when I say, you definitely get what you pay for (except deeded parking…in some cases, but that’s a different story).

The building is swank, debonair, and delightful in every sense of the word, and it’s certainly an address in San Francisco you can be proud of owning.

-Top Ten Residential Buildings In The World [Worth Magazine]
-A Penthouse Fit For A King [Wall Street Journal]
-All things Millennium Tower [theFrontSteps]
-Contact me if you’d like a private tour of any of the residences [alexclark@gmail.com]

It’s A Good Time To Sell

San Francisco Homes Selling Faster as Inventory Drops

With potential home sellers feeling that the market is on the upswing and that housing prices will soon appreciate, many of them have elected to hold off listing their homes, resulting in a citywide inventory shortage. At the same time, potential home buyers fearing higher prices are rushing to buy, particularly with the low-interest rate mortgages that are available today. These two forces are causing the already low for sale housing inventory in the city to be gobbled up at a faster rate. And, without new homes for sale to replace those that have been sold, the city’s inventory remains low, while home sales are staying high.

Single-Family Home Sales

Although the city’s inventory has dropped by 25.5 percent compared to February 2011, inventory levels also have ticked slightly upwards since January of this year, by 7.7 percent. And, despite the low inventory, homes under contract showed improvement compared to the same time last year, rising by as much as 22.9 percent. Moreover, the number of homes sold has almost doubled, by 40.7 percent, with a tally of 173 properties.

For homes that were priced below $700,000, the months of supply inventory fell by 66.2 percent to 1.2 months. For higher priced homes between $700,000 and $1.2 million, the months of supply inventory fell by 30.4 percent to 1.6 months. These short time frames continue to indicate a seller’s market, where sellers have more leveraging power over buyers who are competing against a limited group of properties.

One part of the city which experienced an above average increase in sale activity is the Sunset district. Since February 2011, the number of homes under contract has risen by 11.4 percent, while the number of homes sold has jumped by 52.4 percent to a total of 32 properties. The Sunset district, a predominately residential area, rests on the central-west side of the city. With good schools and plenty of family-owned businesses, home buyers seeking a more conservative and small town approach to living would find the Sunset district ideal.

Another area of the city which saw notably positive real estate activity is the central-eastern section. Compared to the same time last year, the number of homes under contract in the section increased by 4.8 percent, while the number of homes sold spiked by 157.1 percent, to a total of 18 properties. Although generally associated with the condominium markets of the South of Market (SOMA) and South Beach areas, the central-eastern section also includes neighborhoods such as Bernal Heights and Potrero Hill, which offer an assortment of cottages, bungalows, and single-family homes in a very friendly, community type setting. Home buyers who yearn to be close to the city, but who also desire amenities such as a small garden or yard, would find solace here.

Condominium Sales

Similar to single-family homes, the number of condominiums for sale throughout the city also has lessened by 33.6 percent since February 2011. Still, in spite of the low inventory, the number of condominiums under contract rose by 17 percent this past month, while the number of condominiums sold remained relatively the same, dropping only by 1.2 percent.

For condominiums that were priced between $500,000 and $900,000, the months of supply inventory shrank by 51.9 percent to a reading of 1.4 months. For luxury condominiums priced above $900,000, the months of supply inventory also decreased, by 28.9 percent to 2.5 months.

One region of the city which continues to experience strong condominium sales activity is Downtown San Francisco. Compared to this time last year, the number of condominiums under contract rose by 9.3 percent, while the number of condominiums sold shot up by 50 percent to a total of 42 units. Quintessential San Francisco neighborhoods such as Nob Hill and Russian Hill offer some of the most stunning and luxurious condominiums in the city. Those seeking to take an elevator up to their home and views worthy of magazine covers will find just what they’re looking for in Downtown San Francisco.

Outlook

Nationally, the consumer confidence index, which had decreased in January, increased in February. The index now stands at 70.8, up from 61.5 in January. (A reading of 90 indicates a healthy economy.) Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center, says, “Looking ahead, consumers are considerably less pessimistic about current business and labor market conditions than they were in January. And, despite further increases in gas prices, they are more optimistic about the short-term outlook for the economy, job prospects, and their financial situation.”

Based on the preliminary unemployment rates from the California Employment Development Department, the statewide and local job outlook is showing continued improvement, with the State’s unemployment rate dropping in January to 10.0 percent from 11.2 in December. Overall unemployment throughout the Bay Area also was down, with San Francisco seeing its unemployment rate decline from 9.5 percent last year to 8.1 percent this past January.

Earlier this month, the Federal Housing Administration announced that it would slash mortgage insurance premiums for certain home owners who refinance an FHA loan into a new one under its streamlined program. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “The administration estimates that 2 to 3 million homeowners could be eligible to refinance under the reduced fees. But in the Bay Area, FHA loans were relatively rare until March 2008, when FHA raised its loan limit in high-cost areas to $729,750.

The San Francisco real estate market is likely to experience the same trend of low inventory and high sales in the next few weeks as home prices are expected to go up. When they do, San Francisco should begin to see a greater inventory of homes hitting the market.

In laymen’s terms…it’s a good time to sell!

-San Francisco Real Estate Market Focus Report (PDF)

Buyer Testimonial In Russian Hill – Opportunity For Long Term Guests And Corporate Renters, And A Little Scoop On 1177 & 1179 Union Street

Don’t ask me why, but for the past 5 years (at least) I haven’t been asking my clients for testimonials. True to one of my New Year’s resolutions, I’m going to begin gathering as many as I can, and sharing them here. Beginning with this one…

San Francisco is a city littered with real estate agents that look at buyers and sellers as “just another lead” to make money, but Alex is the exceptionally rare breed of real estate agent that just “gets” it.

Alex has helped me purchase two homes and there are two things that set Alex apart from the rest of the pack – patience and commitment. First, Alex was not only willing, but also actively enthusiastic about showing me a broad spectrum of properties while I was still unfocused in my search so that I could educate myself on individual micro-markets. Many agents would have considered this a waste of their time.

Second, once I had started down the negotiation process, Alex was completely committed to my cause – i.e. getting the best deal possible. Even when the 12th hour was nigh, and it looked as if I was about to walk out of what was already a great deal because of some overlooked loose ends on the seller’s part, Alex didn’t pressure me at all to close the transaction. Instead, Alex worked with me to execute an especially well crafted negotiating maneuver that extracted thousands more from the seller.

Well done, Alex.

Thanks Jason! It was a pleasure working with you. I hope your property treats you right.

For anybody interested in a quintessential San Francisco location for your long term guests, US Open of Golf (coming to San Francisco’s Olympic Club this June) or The America’s Cup (coming to our waters 2013) Visitors, or corporate executives, the units will be offered as a VRBO, corporate, and (potentially) long-term rentals. Details are at [temporarily offline].

For details on this transaction, feel free to contact me directly. Essentially, it was/is a two unit building recently converted to a condominium. The units separately were asking $865,000 for the bottom, and $1,065,000 for the top, for a combined $1,930,000. My client was able to get the property for under asking price, even though multiple offers were received.

88 King Street #106 Hits MLS…I’m Claiming Best Unit Currently For Sale At The Towers At Embarcadero South

[Update: Sold for $790,000]





You all had your chance to nab this amazing condo in the heart of South Beach when I first signed the listing and shared it as a pocket listing. Now it’s on the MLS, and I’m claiming it’s the nicest unit currently for sale in the building (Towers at Embarcadero South). True, that is my opinion, and this is my listing, but I consider myself to have good taste.



The unit itself is loft style, 1293 square feet, updated (modern) kitchen, two bedrooms, two baths (both updated), bonus room perfect for office or extra storage, street entrance with southeast facing patio, BBQ Area, Club Room, Exercise Course, Gym, Roof Deck, Spa/Hot Tub, and so much more. It is truly a unique property in arguably one of the city’s best locations.

Price is set at $799,000. HOA dues are $839/month, and include: High Speed Wireless Internet, 24 Hour Doorman, Garbage, Grounds Maintenance, Homeowners Insurance, Outside Management, Security Service, Water, BBQ Area, Club Room, Exercise Course, Gym, Roof Deck, Spa/Hot Tub use.















Don’t miss your chance to get yourself or your friends into this property and live the South Beach life!
[UPDATE: Property is in contract.]

-88 King Street, Unit 106, 2 bed, 2 bath, 1 pk, $799,000 [MLS]

For San Francisco Giants Fans, It Doesn’t Get Much Better (88 King Street #106 Is For Sale)


I have just signed up a listing at 88 King Street (The Towers at Embarcadero South), unit 106 here in San Francisco, California. If you’re not familiar with the city, or you happen to be a San Francisco Giants fan, this location doesn’t get much better. It is smack dab in the heart of all the recent action happening in and near the Embarcadero, AT&T Park, SOMA, South Beach, and so much more. You can walk to tons of great restaurants and shops, job opportunities in the immediate vicinity have never been better, the sun shines more in this neighborhood than most other in San Francisco, and this building is one of a few in the city that has a pool to enjoy it!

The unit itself is loft style, 1293 square feet, updated (modern) kitchen, partial wood floors, two bedrooms, two baths (both updated), bonus room perfect for office or extra storage, street entrance with southeast facing patio, BBQ Area, Club Room, Exercise Course, Gym, Roof Deck, Sauna, Spa/Hot Tub, and so much more. It is truly a unique property in arguably one of the city’s best locations.

It is not yet “officially” listed on the market, it is currently a pocket listing, but can be shown by appointment, and is very much available for purchase right now. Price is set at $849,000. HOA dues are $812.14/month, and include: High Speed Wireless Internet, 24 Hour Doorman, Garbage, Grounds Maintenance, Homeowners Insurance, Outside Management, Security Service, Water, BBQ Area, Club Room, Exercise Course, Gym, Roof Deck, Sauna, Spa/Hot Tub use. Interior pictures coming soon.

It’s an awesome unit, in an A+ location, and definitely worth a look.

-88 King Street, #106, San Francisco, CA, 2 bed, 2 bath, 1 parking, 1392 sqft, loft style condo in South Beach, $849,000 [PocketListings.net]

SOMA – South Beach Loft Condominium Steps From AT&T Park


Previously listed on MLS at $659,000, times have changed, but this A+ unit at 200 Townsend has not. Currently not listed on MLS due to reasons I’m happy to share if you’re a serious buyer or buyer’s agent, this loft is available for immediate purchase and now asking $499,000! Talk about a hair cut. Two hundred Townsend has one of the best locations in SOMA/South Beach, and this unit has hardwood floors, one loft bedroom, two baths, parking, granite counters, stainless appliances, gas burning fireplace and is located in a quiet portion of the building off street.

Please do your editor a favor and tell your friends. Use any number of “sharing” features below to email, Facebook, Tweet, or Digg this property. It is currently tenant occupied, but will be delivered vacant and is easy to show, and ready to be sold. If you’ve wanted to live in this building for a while, or anywhere in the area, this is the one.

-200 Townsend #47, 1bd, 2ba, 1pk, $499,000 [PocketListings.net]

San Francisco Pocket Listings, Not On MLS Opportunities, And Buyers Looking!

I’ve been resisting the urge to continually share the opportunities popping up in San Francisco on my new venture, PocketListings.net, but I can’t hold back. Here is a summary of what is going on “behind the scenes” in San Francisco real estate that we’re gradually bringing to center stage.

-Thirty-three hundred square feet in Pacific Heights for $2,875,000:

-A “creative buyer looking for development opportunities…flexible on property type and price.

-Three bedroom Potrero Hill Condominium For Sale, but not on MLS.

-Telegraph Hill Buyer looking to be on the East Slope, and desiring views. Price up to $2,000,000.

-One bedroom condo in Dolores Heights, very much for sale, but also “not on MLS”.

-Should you find yourself itching to move to Marin, here is a nice 4 bedroom, 4 bath home with 4 Car Parking, also “not on MLS”.

-If you want to get way the hell out of dodge, perhaps this Daytona Beach, Florida “family compound” is for you.

I could go on and on, but I’ll stop there. The moral to the story is that what you see on MLS is not close to the entire picture, AND PocketListings.net is pioneering a platform to give the buyer a voice. We plan on completing the real estate circle, if you will. Think of the countless properties that could be marketed before MLS, thousands that get withdrawn or expired from MLS, bank foreclosure inventory, and so much more. If you’re an agent, I’d encourage you to use it, and if you’re a principal, I’d encourage you to browse it, then tell your agent to join!

-PocketListings.net

Outdoor Shower, And The Only Game In Town (Marina District Town)

Last sold in September of 2009 for $1,550,000, hats off to the agent and sellers bringing 2519 Chestnut onto the MLS in 2011 with a market adjusted price of $1,450,000.

Currently the only game in town (Marina District) priced between $1.1MM and $1.8MM you’d have to think there could be a fair bit of traffic and families itching to get in on this.

Sweet kitchen, sweet back yard, outdoor shower (Can we get a picture of that, preferably with someone in it please?), wood-burning fireplace, and two car parking!

We were sold on the outdoor shower, but two car parking is nice, as is this condo. It’s definitely worth a look.

-2519 Chestnut [MLS]

[Update: The other game in town that hit MLS today (it's a SFR).]

You Can Buy Her Sister Too…Oops, Too Late

A couple of weeks ago we were thrilled to see 457 Buena Vista Avenue East go into contract after a short spell on MLS (asking $2,329,000), and how could you blame the buyer…the place is awesome! However, we felt a little bad as we were told 457 “can be purchased with sister property 459 Buena Vista Avenue East“.



As pretty as she is, this poor sister was left hanging and we wondered if someone would come along and rescue her. Granted, she’s a bit more of an expensive date, asking $2,389,000. Well…she found Mr. (and maybe Mrs.) Right. She’s in contract as of today, and dammit if she isn’t just as pretty as her sister, but with more to offer up top (focus boys!):

Congrats to the agents and buyers. What a fantastic property in a great location. We’re very jealous.

-Hi Res, Picture Gallery of 459 [agent website]
-457 Buena Vista Avenue East, $2,329,000 [MLS]
-459 Buena Vista Avenue East, $2,389,000 [MLS]

Can We Get A Sale In 2010 At The St. Regis For Chissakes!

Having recently received a few (yes, more than two) inquiries as to both rentals, and sales activity at the St. Regis Residences here in this lovely city of San Francisco, we thought it high time to give you an update.

First off…not one closed transaction in 2010 (according to MLS). Second, there are currently eight, yes 8, active listings in the St. Regis and none of them are moving (average Days On Market of 105). Finally, …..well, we won’t go there.

Here is a nice little spread sheet of the recent comps (had to go back to 2008 to get anything good) for the St. Regis Residences in San Francisco. Enjoy.

We’d have to say, it’s a pretty damn good time to be a buyer at the St. Regis, so don’t hesitate to contact us if you have a question about the St. Regis, or any other high rise gem punctuating our skyline.

Inner-Sunset Sprouting Condos

Inner-Sunset, home to much good food, a few good bars, a few bad bars, the prohibitively expensive Andronico’s, and UCSF, will soon be home to new condos. On my block alone (9th Ave., past Moraga St.) there are two sites going up or planned to go up. One is adjacent to my deck, where I once saw the Bay, and now see the back of someone’s bedroom to be. I have no idea if this very tall building will be apartments for rent or condos for sale, but it will have several units, a garage, and a penthouse. On the other side of the street, where a long defunt Moraga Market has been little more than place to try out graffiti tags and dump unwanted sofas, construction is also in the works. The lot has sold, a hearing has taken place. All that’s left is to break ground.

Finally, quite done are the condos on 7th Ave., near Irving St. The photo above is from before the facades were placed. Now they are gorgeous Art Deco looking things with burnished copper and huge windows. The agent, Gary Small of Zephyr, tells me that the units are luxury one and two bedroom condos with underground parking, and that the two free-standing cottages that stood in a lot behind the building that sits on the street have been revamped. Some lucky millionare can thus own a little house all his or her own!

It’s the most action the Inner-Sunset has seen since a bunch of drunks from the Mucky Duck tried to scale a MUNI train. Sadly for we middle income buyers, the luxury condo lable means these new homes, exciting though they are, will not be ours.

Oh well. Drinking at the Mucky Duck is always an alternative.

PHOTO: Socketsite

12 Offers On One Property In This Market?

The story for 214 Dorland is not something you’d expect to hear in this market. More than 20 disclosure packages were handed out, an offer date was set (on April Fool’s Day no less), and contrary to what most would think, the offers came streaming in…12 of them to be exact.

214dorland

To counter those that will be quick to jump and say, “The deal hasn’t closed yet,” if this first offer falls out, there are 11 others to fall back on.

Would that mean this two bed, one bath condo in Dolores Park, priced at $629,000 is defying the odds, or starting a new trend? We leave that debate to you, and the powers that be.

[Update: Last sale April 1999 for $745,000 for the entire 2-unit building. The 2-unit building just condo converted this week.]

-214 Dorland, 2bed, 1 bath, $629,000

New Guidelines For Lending On Condominiums

This topic was discussed very lightly in a thread somewhere back on this site, but we thought it deserved front page attention. From “the Banker”:

I have found that there is a tremendous amount of uncertainty and recent questions in reference to all of the Condo Guidelines and Approval Changes that are directly hitting the San Francisco condo market. I will note that these rules are those issued by the Government Sponsored Enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

There are exceptions to the rules and [my bank] does have certain projects approved, or grandfathered in before all of the changes. Also, because of the relationship [my bank] has with the Agencies, we also have the ability to request for Exceptions. This is a major advantage that [we have]!!!!

Here is a list of some of the new, potential pitfalls:

-New construction financing is being increased from 51% to 70%, again if not grandfathered in or currently approved
-No more than 15% of the projects’ units can be 30 or more days delinquent on HOA dues
-The project cannot have more than 20% commercial space
-Fidelity Insurance is required for Condos with 20 or more Units
-No more than 10% of the project can be owned by one entity
-A HOA must be in control for at least 1 year

Again, these are the guidelines and exceptions can be made.

As always, if you have more questions, feel free to drop us a line (thefrontsteps@gmail.com), or make a comment below. If you’d like to get in touch with “the Banker”, that can be arranged as well.

SF Cool Lifestyle for Sale. Condo also Included!

Condo complexes aren’t really selling condos these days. Instead, they sell a feeling, an image of the lifestyle that would too become yours if you buy in. And by “buy in” I mean in both senses, because first you’d have to buy that owning a condo at, say, the Hayes, would make you instantly urban-chic-hip; second, you’d actually have to buy the condo itself.

 

Adbusters points out that advertising hasn’t always been such a blatant appeal to pathos. The first print ads are dense with type because every possible fact has been disclosed.

The image used, if any,  is a straight forward depiction of the item for sale, very different from imagery we see today that seems to package the item with our greatest fears, insecurities, hopes, and desires. To quote from Kalle Lasn’s book “Design Anarchy,” Advertising moved from simple factual announcements into status symbolism and the stimulation of desires.”

Condo marketers really go for this style. The Hayes, for instance, employs a webpage that stimulates multiple responses. The music is ambient, the tasteful choice of post-rave kids who are now upwardly mobile adults. Images are a collage of hip style and urban culture (“techno and opera,” they promise). There’s even a film, rich in quick cuts and fast-speed camera work, that conveys the ultra coolness of the area, and by default, of those who live in these condos

Missing from the site is info on prices, among other deal breakers.

I would argue that the missing details are the most important. I know that there may be a host or “selling strategy”-related reasons for not releasing the price of homes in development, like these at  Arden Estates, but some of these condos have been for sale awhile now, and many of the units in the complexes have sold. Presumably then, a price has been agreed on and should not be treated as irrelevant info to the prospective buyer.

Similar “lifestyles” are for sale at Blu, The Infinity, and One Rincon Hill(the latter is more upscale. Notice the jazz music instead of the techno). Otherwise, aside from the music and respective addresses, the ad campaigns are synonymous.

As the likely target market of these ads, let me opine that I don’t need them. I already have a lifestyle, and I’m too experienced to know it will stay as disorganized and blighted by dog hair as it is now, no matter where I move. I already have a culture too, and I have my own definition of hip. What I need is a condo. So tell me: what are the square feet? What is the HOA? What is the asking price? Tell me quick, or I’m moving on to the next website. And please, kill the music, as the only real emotion it inspires in me is boredom. And boredom is not…”cool.”

 
 

Ad credits: CI Advertising & Old Fishing Stuff

 

Reduction Redux, in which I pick up the Gauntlet

When I posted Reduction Ad Nauseum,  I really just wanted a read on how the educated real estate populace explains and/or reacts to listings that have suffered not one, not two, but three or more price cuts. Still, one commenter Noe Guy said:

“Interesting observations but I wouldn’t put too much stock in them. First, you      picked all TICs. TICs were always more of a speculative area of the market–get financing as a group, hold everything together via legal contract, hope for condo lottery, refinance. Everything about it is more speculative, hence the standard discount of TICs to condos… In this market, that discount should be steeper due to higher risk.

In addition to the more speculative aspect of the TIC market, I’ve always believed that it’s very difficult to accurately price a TIC. It’s not just the property that’s for sale. It’s the property, the actual contract, and the partnership with other owners. Those other two intangibles (from an economic standpoint) make the market less transparent, less liquid, and more difficult to price.

The evidence you’ve sited above clearly makes this case, but keep it in context and look outside of TICs if you want a clearer picture…”
 
Well, geez, what observations? I just observed 3 properties with 3 or more cuts, and opined that buyers (like me, someday, Obama willing) tend to look at reduced properties as Tijuana specials, as in: $500K now? No, no, I don’t think so. Here’s $300K and a pity hug. My final offer.
 
But okay, Noe Guy. See, I love a challenge (else why would I be so sure I can buy a house on an English teacher’s salary, eh?). So here you go, 3 more properties, decidedly not TICs, that have come down more thrice or more in their careers on the market.

Continue reading

Coming Soon! And, Coming Later!

Realtor Kevin Gueco writes a very sunny review for the coming soon Mosiaica 601 condo project (pictured above) in his SFNewDevelopments blog. There’s definitely some room for pleasant surprise in the announced price  (pleasant to me, anyway, since I selfishly find all condos I cannot afford to be unpleasant):

“Mosaica 601 announced last week that it plans to start pricing of its 3 bedroom / 2 bath condos in the low $600s!  This is an incredible value considering each home is around 1400 square feet.”

Of course, putting aside Gueco’s near-by  restaurant list, the area (where Mission meets Potrero) is a little rough, but the price still seems all right to me. Perhaps the developers see the price cuts so many other condo developers have had to make recently, and are starting lower to begin with?  

Also coming soon (but not as soon) are a more mysterious set of housing units. Just off West Portal and 16th Ave., in front of Arden Wood, you can see the pushed-up dirt, huge bulldozers, and thin wood skeletons that signal housing to come, and their sectioning looks multi-unit. Thus I suspect these are the long awaited condos that were subject of news and speculation in 2006. In fact, that’s still the only information I can find on this construction: 2 years old, via SFHomeBlog and J.K. Dineen. Someone has to have a more updated scoop here. Anyone?
 
Meanwhile, still a pipe-dream (ha ha! Really, Haight Street, how many pipe stores can one street support?), but with the supervisorial green light is the Whole Foods/condo complex, slated to replace long-dead Cala Foods at the corner of Stanyan and Haight. The Chronicle outlines the plan here:

 “The large, four-story project, which also includes some 60 high-end, market-rate housing units, was expected to be controversial, but the commission voted 6-0 to approve the conditional use permit – a result supporters think had a lot to do with their organized turnout.”

Right, agreed: Haight could use a face-lift and perhaps a gentle reminder that THE 60′S ARE OVER. Also, I like Whole Foods, but I’m saving for one of those condos, so I’ll stick to Trader Joe’s (with a new one also coming soon!). I’m curious what “market rate” will be when those units go up, since so many new developments are struggling to sell out units already. The Frontstep’s own banker/blogger, aptly known as “The Banker,” says: “We are overbuilt. . .and it is next to near impossible to get financing!”

What do you say?

—-

Construction photo via SFNewDevelopments

Millennium Tower, San Francisco: A walkthrough, a few photos, a little scoop, and my opinion

For those of you that read this San Francisco real estate blog on a regular basis, you’ll know I’ve been watching the progress of many of the new developments around town. One of my favorites happens to be Millennium Tower (301 Mission). Not because I’ve sold many units there, but because it truly stands out (and above) from the others.

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(Yes, that is the Infinity you see way down there, and this shot is only from the 26th floor.)

Don’t get me wrong, I love the other new developments (towers) as well, and I’d love to show any of you around all of the buildings, because they all have their attractions, but Millennium Tower just seems to have that vibe. That…je ne sais quoi…It seems like it will have the same high end/high net worth residents (at least one penthouse in contract at +$10 million and….damn I want to tell you more, but promised not to) as those in the St. Regis, but twice as many amenities at half the dues…not to mention a Michael Minna restaurant. The Infinity feels much more Hard Rock Hotel meets San Francisco (not a bad thing at all), and One Rincon Hill with the dazzling views, just doesn’t have the location (trust me, I’ve had several clients turn away from the location) to put it in the same class as St. Regis and Millennium Tower, not to mention the uncertainty of Tower Two.

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I must say I am a bit disappointed with the ranges, and islands in the kitchens at the Millennium, and that some units don’t have deeded parking, but those are easy enough to remedy. The building is solid, and the finishes are very high end. The views are extraordinary, the location is getting better, and the amenities are through the roof. The units are still selling very quickly and many owners losing their money in the stock market have bought multiple units here, so all signs still point to a successful development by Millennium Partners, and I can’t wait until they start moving people in.

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(Penthouse terrace views.)

There are still some very choice units available at the Millennium and several at many other developments around town. I haven’t heard of any negotiations or price incentives at Millennium Tower, but I know some of the other developments around town have been offering them up, and the “off market” trading that is going on at many of them is nothing short of extraordinary.

I have more photos, and a lot more details, but you’ll have to contact me if you’d like to learn more.

Is the Infinity Condo SF Built on Bedrock?

We get all kinds of good search words driving traffic to theFrontSteps, but “MonsterTruck” still leads the pack for consistency. Recently we had quite a few people find the site searching “Bedrock SF” and more specifically “Is the Infinity condo sf built on bedrock”? For exact details, we’d suggest you contact the folks at the Infinity directly, but should you care to browse some of the bedrock maps we alluded to previously, by all means, don’t let us stop you.

bedrockinfinityj

From what we can tell, the Infinity is located on the block where Folsom and Spear intersect (highlighted in green circle) and there is a chance it is built on a little bit of both (landfill and bedrock). We would still suggest you consult the experts.

[Update: From "Henry" who makes an excellent point, "It doesn’t matter. Any building that size will have piers all the way down to bedrock, even if the material above it is landfill."]

-Ask Us: A Map of Bedrock vs. Landfill (SF) [theFrontSteps]

-USGS Seismic Site

43% over (asking) on 2190 Broadway 9W ($5,000,000)

Just a bit busy, so this from today’s sfnewsletter:

“Hi Alex,

I just heard a rumor that 9W at 2190 Broadway asked for $3.45M and closed for $5M. An overbid of 43%?”

Rumor mill says…TRUE! Also true: that puts the price per square foot of this condo that “needs updating” at $1,562.50; HOA dues are $2254.50; Days On Market 39; built in 1973; 3200 square feet; and one parking space.

Happy Friday!

-2190 Broadway 9W [listing details]

“Price reduced 1,000,000″ (1919 Page)

Has Realtor to Realtor marketing (spam) reached a new low in order to get fellow Realtors to open their property emails? Just yesterday, we (and likely all of San Francisco Association of Realtors members) received an email with the subject, “Price reduced 1,000,000″ on the property located at 1919 Page (“now” asking $1,095,000) in the Haight Ashbury district.

Upon further research (in MLS) we found 1919 Page to have a DOM of 0 and no “property history”, 1921 Page to have recently (Nov ’07) sold for $1,075,000 (asking $949,000), and no record whatsoever of the entire building being for sale at the moment (the only thing we could think of to explain a $1M price reduction on a condo worth only ~$1M in the first place.)

So what gives? Did one of the most productive agents in San Francisco just stoop to a new low, or can we chalk it up to a typo?

What do you think, because we sure as hell can’t figure it out?

-1919 Page [detail page]

888 7th Street, 85% sold and looking for your $399,000

According to more Realtor Spam (it’s really getting out of control, but some of it is useful):

888 7th Street

Just a reminder, we are about 85% sold at our new building at 888 7th Street in the Showplace Square/lower Potrero area. We have a limited number of junior one bedrooms homes available starting at $399,000. We have a limited number of one bedroom homes available starting at $499,000. These are great prices and great deals for first time home buyers.

-Website

-More on 888 7th Street [theFrontSteps]