Tag Archives: Luxury Homes

San Francisco (Bay Area) Case-Shiller Index Shows Staggering Home Price Recovery And Possible Plateau

Case-Shiller Index numbers all reflect home prices as compared to the home price of January 2000, which has been designated with a value of 100. Thus, a reading of 180 signifies home prices 80% above those of January 2000.
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The Case-Shiller Index for the San Francisco Metro Area covers the house markets of 5 Bay Area counties, divided into 3 price tiers, each constituting one third of unit sales. Most of the city of San Francisco’s house sales are in the “high price tier.” The Index is published 2 months after the month in question and reflects a 3-month rolling average. September’s Index was just released November 26th.

This chart illustrates the price recovery of the Bay Area high-price-tier home market which really got under way in 2012. In both 2012 and 2013, home prices surged in the spring and then plateaued in the summer-autumn. The surge in prices that occurred in spring of 2013 was particularly dramatic, reflecting a frenzied market of huge buyer demand, historically low interest rates, increasing consumer confidence and extremely low inventory. In San Francisco itself, it was further exacerbated by the high-tech-fueled explosion of new wealth. The market has since calmed down somewhat and that cooling is reflected in the Index readings of the past three months (through September).

936 Clayton Is Officially On The Market, And I’m Officially Claiming “You Had Your Chance”

How many of you remember this photo I shared not too long ago?


Every hand in the room goes up.

How many of you remember the post that went along with it, trying to give YOU first (actually second) dibs on getting this property, and having a say in final finishes and details? Every hand in the room goes up. How many of you actually took it upon yourself to contact me, or refer this opportunity to a friend? ONE hand in the room goes up! Kudos to that one hand. You know who you are.

As for the rest of you, it’s open season and you’ll be left to fend for yourselves, 936 Clayton is officially on the market, and it’s officially awesome.

By all accounts, this is an amazing property and I expect it will sell rather quickly, especially if you look at recent Cole Valley comparables, and how quickly they sold. Time will tell what the market price is for this home, and how quickly it sells.

My point is simply this…I keep trying to get you in the door first, you just gotta get in touch and stay on my radar.

-936 Clayton, 4bed, 3.5bath, $2,850,000 [MLS]
-First Dibs: Cole Valley/Ashbury Heights To The Studs Remodel With Big Views [theFrontSteps]

Who Is Tom Perkins And WTF Does He Have To Do With Us

Our recent scoop on the sale of both Grand Penthomes at the Millennium Tower (one that sold to mega millionaire venture capitalist Tom Perkins) has been getting quite a bit of press lately, and oddly enough we received this email today:

This is all great [referring to the sale of a ~$9,000,000 condo] I suppose, but who is Tom Perkins?

Apparently, theFrontSteps is more responsive and accurate than a quick and easy Google search on “who is Tom Perkins”, so, since you asked, we thought this video would give you some idea about the man, and his (former) yacht:

Don’t get us wrong, we love your emails and especially your tips (keep them coming to thefrontsteps@gmail.com), but sometimes we worry about some of you readers….in a good way, of course.

Both Millennium Tower’s Grand Penthomes Are Sold, Thanks To A Yacht

In news of the top of the world today, we’ve been told both Grand Penthouse Residents on top of Millennium Tower have now been sold (ink is dry, it’s a done deal).

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Grand Penthouse A (GPHA), which is on the Northwest corner of the building with a nice big patio, closed escrow recently (somewhere around $10 Million), oddly coinciding with the recent rumored sale of the Maltese Falcon, so if you’re wondering who could potentially be living, or at least claiming their slice of pie in the sky up there, that’s a pretty darn good hint.

Grand Penthouse B (GPHB), which is on the South East corner and also has a large patio (better in our opinion because there is sun and less wind), was sold a bit before A (somewhere around $9 million…Update from reader “rich”: “Tax records show a $8,100,000 for GPHB!! What a steal”), and naturally there is a story here. It was told to us that the ultimate buyer of GPHA was actually in contract on GPHB and waiting for the first buyer of GPHA to fall out of escrow, and for a little teeny weeny yacht to sell, which all apparently happened (some guys have all the luck, eh?) And being swift like a Falcon, the buyer, and his agent (Katy Dinner) swooped in and landed themselves in the $10 million shell on top of the San Francisco Skyline. Furniture, walls, and appliances will cost extra, but for those who need to pump their ego, what better place to lay down a fist on the table and claim your dominance than the top of Millennium Tower.

So there you have it, both Grand Penthomes at the Millennium Tower have been sold (as a reminder, they are empty shells yet to be built out), and there were more than a handful of interested parties.

Life is pretty good at the top, isn’t it? Gotta wonder how that Penthouse at the St. Regis feels about that.

We’ll bring fresh lime margaritas to the house warming, and gladly launch a paper Falcon from the balcony and watch it drift down to the peasants below.

[Update: For a little profile on the buyer of GPHA that we can now share, since the cat is so far out of the bag, check our follow up post by clicking here.]

394 Frederick, Before, After, Here And Gone (In Contract After 7 Days): $2,399,000

True, the market tanked. True, average home prices have come down in San Francisco. True, even A+ areas like Noe Valley and Pacific Heights have felt the pinch. False, it is death doom and destruction everywhere. Case in point, 394 Frederick St @ Belvedere in Cole Valley, is an awesome 4 bed, 4 bath, 3173 square foot home that spent a staggering ;-) 7 days on the market (one Sunday Open House, one Broker Tour) and received an offer with non-contingent financing (means they’re getting a loan, but they’re not worried about that loan approval falling apart), the offer is really close to asking, and it’s damn near a done deal.
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Call us crazy, but we’ve seen a lot of activity in the market as of late, at all price points.

For those wondering, last sale was in 2005 for $1,755,000 (asking was $1,395,000) but has since undergone a significant remodel, and added roughly 1209 square feet.

Kitchen Before:
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Kitchen After:
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Living Room Before:
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Living Room After:
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We’ve long stood by Cole Valley as a better investment than Noe Valley. Is the writing appearing on the wall? Time will tell. Maybe real estate doens’t suck after all.

-394 Frederick [MLS]

The Scoop: Seven Arden Estates Have Risen from the Earth

Some time ago, I noted the construction in West Portal and asked around the Front Steps for the scoop. Those folks on the steps always know a lot, and more importantly, they like to argue. We had ideas that the construction would yield five- no, six- no, seven- no,  eight homes. They were to be made of the cheapest- no, the most luxuriant materials. They were to be a blessing to- no, a curse, on San Francisco housing.

 
One thing we all seemed to agree on was that a stand of less than ten single-family homes was not the way to maximize that open space in West Portal. A larger building  project, sized to maximize density, would have been a better call.
 
Still, the call was made; and without much of the NIMBY drama that normally plagues construction, Arden Estates are here.
 
Well, almost. The now live website’s photo gallery so far boasts one photo (seen above). Such dearth is logical since the homes aren’t done yet; however, the location is awesome for families, and the units back up onto a thick mass of trees that completely belie an urban setting. Plus,  their plans look pretty sweet (see below: Click to enlarge).

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And to the Front Steppers who argued over units, there are to be seven stand alone homes here. Each will have three bed rooms + a bonus room, three baths, high end finishes, attics, 2-car garages, fireplaces…. and geez, more, more, and more. Frankly, I’m getting light headed. You can see the list yourself by visiting the amenities link on the website.  
 
Price is, unsurprisingly, not advertised on the website. However, rumor has it these homes will run in the $2 million range.
 
So that’s me out of the running for one of these beauties, unless you’ve all been fooling me and there really is a Santa. If so, Santa, if you’re reading, I’ve been a very good girl.

Noe Valley/Cole Valley Over $2 Million Past 12 Months

Have you been wondering what’s been happening in sales for Noe and Cole Valleys for the past 12 months? We have, so we thought we’d share with you too.

Apparently it’s not all bad in Noe (according to the San Francisco Chronicle), but can Cole Valley step up to the plate? We think so.

Enjoy!

-Noe Valley/Cole Valley Homes Sold Past 12 Months over $2 million

From Mid-Century to Modern, 3577 Pacific Returns (Almost)

The last recorded sale of 3577 Pacific (2 bed, 1.5 baths, on the Presidio wall right across from Julias Kahn Playground) was August 31, 2005 for $2,225,000 and she was definitely a mid-century diamond in the rough. Well…she’s back and she’s looking sweet. She did get a bit bigger, and more modern though.

She’s been developed by Mitch Menaged, designed by John Maniscalco Architecture, and Huang Iboshi Architecture and now has six bedrooms, four bathrooms, roof deck, waterfall, chef’s kitchen with Miele Double Ovens, Steam Oven, Espresso Machine, Dacor Microwave Drawer, Gaggenau Ceramic Cooktop, Liebherr Wine Cooler, an 800 bottle temperature controlled display wine cellar, Phase Four Home Automation System, Philippe Starck designed Duravit tub with ceiling water fill, custom cabinets, walnut flooring, Cat 5 wiring, Carrera Marble Fireplace, sculptural stone, iron & glass cantilevered staircase…(deep breath)…and of course a few “green” features like energy efficient radiant in-floor heating, wiring in place for photovoltaic panels, made with fly ash concrete, and a drought tolerant landscape, but we’ll stop there.

Pics, you ask?
You’ll have to settle for the old ones for now, the new ones are coming soon. This home should be on the market within the week, and don’t expect the price to be anywhere near what it sold for in 2005.



There is an invitation only preview on Thursday, so if this is the type of home you’d like to buy, we’d be happy to take you as our guest.

(For those that sometimes ask, the answer is yes. As is the case with most properties we feature on theFrontSteps, we have already been inside this one as well. So agents, keep those invites and tips coming.)

[Update: Price $7,700,000, still no pics.]
[Update: Price already reduced (one week on the market) to $6,950,000, still no pics.]
[Update: Brochure with pictures and floorplans now online.]

-3577 Pacific Avenue (before) [MLS]

$201,000 Over Asking? We Kid You Not (1941 Leavenworth)

Stranger things have been known to happen.


Just today, 1941 Leavenworth, a 4 bed, 3.5 bath, single family home in Russian Hill, closed escrow for a cool $2,000,000. Asking price, $1,799,000…in this market!? Guess it’s not THAT bad after all. Oh yeah, we forgot to add…six make that eight offers.

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.