Verbatim: “Why is housing in some cities still booming?”

Real Estate: Last of the red-hot markets

Why is housing in some cities still booming? The answers may help you navigate your own market.

For the most part, the iron laws of supply and demand explain what’s going on…

The basics haven’t changed. Job growth and rising incomes boost demand for, and prices of, housing…

If it’s not demand pushing prices up, it’s got to be you-know-what…[supply]

A trio of economists, Joe Gyourko, Christopher Mayer and Todd Sinai, have argued that persistent growth in cities they dub “superstars” (for example, New York City and San Francisco) is fueled by a limited supply of housing and by a concentration of high-income families who are willing to pay top dollar to live there.

True, both cities have hit bumps in the road in the past, and prices over the past year in the New York metro area rose by only 2.7% while in San Francisco they sank by about 1%. But, Gyourko says, “over the long term they will outstrip the national average.”

Thank you “Craig”.  Thank you readers.  Thank you commenters.  Thank you CNN Money.  Have a good weekend.

Real Estate: Last of the red-hot markets

Why is housing in some cities still booming? The answers may help you navigate your own market. [CNN]

Straight Confusion: NOPA Where the F*ck are You!?

Who’s got the answer? We want to hear it. NOPA…boundaries…exactly.

Park North it is not. North Panhandle it is not. You’re back yard it might be…let us know. North, South, East, West street borders. If it kinks, we want to know that too. If it stinks, save it. Fav hang out. You might as well dish it.


The most detailed districts map you’ll find to help you nail down those streets.

Ask Us: Terraces at Millennium Tower?

Where readers ask, and we try to answer:

Other than the penthouses, do any of the condos in the Millennium Tower have outdoor spaces, i.e. terraces/balcony? Thanks.-BD


Yes, there are six homes with terraces on the third floor.The six available homes with terraces range in price from approx. $895,000 to approx. $2.7M.

The other Penthouse with outdoor space currently available is on the [keeping our word and not publishing this to the public.] The price point anywhere from approximately $10M – $12M, and it is a “shell”. Meaning you can build whatever floor plan you desire.

Millennium Rising and Selling Rather Quickly [theFrontSteps]

Ask Us [theFrontSteps]

Quote du Jour: “most seafood”

Different than our comment du jour, which is strictly from our readers, this new feature (totally in beta mode) is a quote we found “out there” in San Francisco that is just too good to pass up. From the Chronicle’s “San Francisco Bay opens to fishing, effective immediately“:

Tests on fish and crabs show that the spill is no longer causing most seafood to be unhealthy to eat, officials announced today.

“Attention shoppers, we’re running a special on ‘most seafood’ in the store today, as for ‘the rest’, heck, we’re practically giving it away…”

[For those that might just be joining us, we had a bit of an oil spill not too long ago that might make that crab taste just a bit funky. You know we’re still eatin’ it though!]

Rent vs. Own: The Old Debate in a New Spreadsheet

We just found this on Submedian, which is calling itself a “San Francisco affordable housing blog”. (There is no “affordable” housing in San Francisco, but we’re moving on, and we like your stuff, so you’re on our radar.)


So far this person has gone into detail about the median vs. average issue (we found this blog when they caught our blunder), and now they have put together an excellent, and what must have been extraordinarily time consuming spread sheet (shown above) as a way to determine if it is better to rent or own. If spreadsheets aren’t your thing, remember the New York Times has a nice interactive graph to keep you occupied.

We haven’t had much time to play around with it completely, but thought some of you might. Let us know what you think, if it is accurate, and when it’s going to rain.

From the author’s site regarding this graph, “I’m looking for feedback, so if you see something I left out, or some way to improve it, let me know.” That’s

Off to meetings….

rent vs. own spread sheet [Submedian]

Re-run: NY Times Interactive Graph, Rent vs. Buy [theFrontSteps]

Hmmm….$354,000 Over Asking in a Down Market?

135coleIs that correct? Let’s see, sales price $1,553,000, minus list price $1,199,000 equals $354,000. Is that right? Hmmm. Day offer received 9/28/07 minus list date 9/12/07 equals 16 days on the market. Is that right? It can’t be. We just said volume is down 41%. Ohhhh. We get it. We’re just being led astray that the San Francisco market has tanked, when in fact, it has NOT! Don’t believe what you’re reading. Cooled, yes. Tanked, no. Go ahead and put that on the Craigslist Housing forums,“Planet of Slums”.

135-137 Cole in Park North. Two units, both vacant, both needing some love, and both flying off the shelf in unison.

Say it with us now. The market is still good. The market is still good. The market is still good. Eventually, it might sink in.

What’s going on $500,000-$700,000 [theFrontSteps]

God Save the Queens of the Craigslist Housing Forum [theFrontSteps]

135-137 Cole [mls]

Headlines versus Reality, Volume Down, Median Up…again.

Headlines: “Bay Area median prices rise, but overall home sales news grim.

Reality: “As Homeowners, Volume is not Very Relevant.

For what it’s worth, we’re happy to see our little report was right on the money as far as the decline in volume at around 41%. Guess we’re not so mathematically challenged after all.

And since you might not click through to the Chronicle’s daily dish of doom, we’ll pull some quotes for you:

Amid continuing fallout from the subprime lending crisis and credit crunch, home sales for California and the nation plummeted in October, while the median price slumped, according to two reports released on Wednesday.

In California, sales volume fell 40.2 percent in October compared with a year ago, while the median price slumped 9.9 percent…

Sales in the Bay Area, which the group defines as Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo and Solano counties, fell 41.5 percent. The median price in the region was up 8.9 percent to $810,490, compared with $744,300 a year ago. Median price is strongly affected by the composition of homes sold; in the Bay Area the median has been buoyed because a greater number of more-expensive homes have been sold. [We’ve been through the median/average thing already.]

The inventory of unsold homes rose by 1.9 percent to 4.45 million units. Analysts said the backlog was about double what it is during normal times and will probably rise further as increased mortgage defaults in coming months dump more homes on the already glutted market.

Patrick Newport, an economist at Global Insight, predicted that home sales could decline another 10 percent from the current depressed levels by mid-2008. He said that by that time, home prices will have fallen enough for sales to rebound.

Bay Area median prices rise, but overall home sales news grim [SF Gate]

Stats & Numbers: Condo Sales 10/06-10/07

From Garrett:

District 1 Oct-06 Oct-07
Number of Sales 15 7
Median Selling Price 701,000 779,000
Average DOM 33 25
District 2 Oct-06 Oct-07
Number of Sales 0 2
Median Selling Price 752,500
Average DOM 27
District 3 Oct-06 Oct-07
Number of Sales 3 0
Median Selling Price 595,000
Average DOM 22
District 4 Oct-06 Oct-07
Number of Sales 2 5
Median Selling Price 466,500 600,000
Average DOM 47 30
District 5 Oct-06 Oct-07
Number of Sales 28 31
Median Selling Price 785,000 891,000
Average DOM 34 37
District 6 Oct-06 Oct-07
Number of Sales 15 28
Median Selling Price 692,000 742,500
Average DOM 40 36
District 7 Oct-06 Oct-07
Number of Sales 20 28
Median Selling Price 950,000 1,400,000
Average DOM 46 35
District 8 Oct-06 Oct-07
Number of Sales 38 30
Median Selling Price 782,500 772,000
Average DOM 45 45
District 9 Oct-06 Oct-07
Number of Sales 34 46
Median Selling Price 702,500 669,000
Average DOM 49 39
District 10 Oct-06 Oct-07
Number of Sales 2 8
Median Selling Price 454,299 353,500
Average DOM 24 39

Data Provided by San Francisco Association of Realtors

Walkabout: Berlin and €21 Million (that’s Euros)

So here’s the problem. Once you go walkabout you eventually get Wanderlust, and end up in Berlin Germany…Stadt Mitte! Danke Schoen.


So what do you get for €21 Million?


That’s what you get. A sweet corner building with retail and office space located in the heart of Berlin, with a Rolex sign to boot! Not to mention total rental space of 2,811 square meters, underground garage with 26 parking spaces, gross rental income of 835,000 €, a complete renovation of the entire building in 1997, and a total of nine full floor offices & three shops.

We’re on our way, but we’re gonna knock that price down a bit if you don’t mind, because our beloved green backs are a little lifeless in your neighborhood these days.

You know, of course, “ick bin ein berliner”.

21 Million Euros Property [website]

Walkabout: Oaxaca Mexico and $380,000

Let’s face it. Our front page is filled with too much text, too much black and white, and too much doom and gloom as of late. Time to go walkabout (get your best Australian accent on when you say that), and head south of the border.


All you surfers should delight in this Oaxacan beauty in Puerto Escondido. The quick stats: US $380,000; 1,800 SQFT; 3BD,3BA; Ocean View. Sounds good to us. Who’s making the margaritas and which hammock is ours?