Hey San Francisco! Do You Know How Much Opportunity Is Not On MLS

We were asked a while ago to tone down our promoting of the newest, best, and fastest growing network for “off market” or more precisely termed “not on MLS” real estate opportunities, but we can only hold back so long. If you are a real estate professional, if you are a home owner on the fence about selling, if you are a buyer that can’t find what you’re looking for “on” the market, or if you simply like to see what else is out there, you should absolutely be a part of the growing site that is PocketListings.net.

We launched on July 4, 2010, quickly realized we were on to something, but also quickly realized we needed to completely overhaul the site, which is exactly what we’re doing. As a result, we stopped marketing and just let word spread, and spread it did. Here is a quick rundown of San Francisco properties and buyer needs that have recently showed up on PocketListings.net.

Russian Hill TIC for $1,275,000:

South Beach Condo at the Lansing for $575,000:

Sunnyside Multi-Unit for $1,475,000:

Liberty Hill Single Family for $2,285,000:

Should you decide on moving to Palo Alto, check out this Palo Alto Pocket Listing for $6,500,000…you could be neighbors with Zuckerberg:

…and all of those are just opportunities with photos (clarity of photos is a theFrontSteps issue)! There are so many more pocket listings than you can possibly imagine. Oh, and we forgot to mention the buyers out there looking for homes:
Buyer looking for Art Deco in Pacific Heights, Russian Hill, or Telegraph Hill (We’re working on the price bug).
1031 Exchange buyers looking for 3-4 units anywhere in San Francisco.
Buyer looking for Condo in Pacific Heights for $900,000…only criteria…large exclusive use patio.
Two Million Dollar buyer looking for doorman building in Nob Hill, Pacific Heights.

…and the list goes on and on.

What does this mean to you? If you’re a buyer, it means there is a now a place for your agent to post your buyer need, and there is a place for you to look for “not on MLS” property to purchase.

If you’re a seller, there is a place to “list” your home for sale without all the hoopla of MLS (no Days on Market, and no price history), but as much (or more) exposure. You can also browse buyers, and if you see one that might want your home…contact your agent to do the deal.

If you’re an agent, you can now market your pocket listings across brokerages without spamming email inboxes, your post is searchable on our site by a myriad of criteria, we put your post on our Twitter Page, we’ll happily spread the word about your post on our Facebook Profile, you control the transaction, information, showings, and price of that property, AND you can still list it on MLS if it doesn’t sell on our site first.

There are so many more benefits to using PocketListings.net, we’ll spare you the details. Just note, our next version is already under construction, and if the success of our beta launch is any indication of how things will go in the future, you’ll definitely want to get in before we go live with our next version (think free account for life).

If San Francisco is not your thing, don’t worry, we’re steadily growing in markets like Los Angeles, Marin County, Albuquerque, Portola Valley, and so many more. Wherever it is you drink your cup of tee, we encourage you to be a part. It’s a good thing, and getting better.

PocketListings.net [Off Market (Not on MLS) Real Estate Network]

San Francisco New Development Sales Report

We recently got our hands on a massive downtown/highrise/new development report provided by the Mark Company (they happen to do most, if not all, of the new development marketing), and we thought we’d share a tiny summary with you. If you’d like detailed numbers and more commentary on the market/sales, feel free to contact us.

According to The Mark Company’s report:

* The number of closings in new developments in SF decreased by 19% month-to-month with 29 closings in Oct. vs. 36 in Sept.
* The average price per square foot for condos sold decreased by nearly 24% with an average of $685 psf in Oct. vs. $897 psf in Sept. Meanwhile, the average price decreased by nearly 22% to $639,588.
* The number of currently selling market rate condominiums reached 945 in Dec., a nearly 5% decrease from Nov.

It clearly took a while to get this report done and the numbers might be considered a bit “old”, but we’ll make sure to get it out to you in a timely manner the next time around. But for the most part, it’s right on the money.

San Francisco Real Estate Market: “The Worst Is Behind Us”

Plucked straight from the source Market_Focus_Report_January_2011 (PDF):

San Francisco Home Sales Rise in 2010 but Opportunities Still Abound for Buyers

With prices discounted from previous highs and mortgage rates at less than 5 percent, opportunities still abound for buyers in San Francisco’s housing market, according to the latest Market Focus report published by the Rosen Consulting Group and the San Francisco Association of REALTORS®.

The report cites two factors that convincingly signal a reversal in the direction of the San Francisco housing market: an improvement in the number of completed home sales in 2010, compared to 2009, and a continuation in December of the robust pending sales activity seen in the fourth quarter of last year.

According to Bruce Lyon, president of the San Francisco Association of REALTORS®, “The rise in pending sales activity in recent months, combined with a rebound in job growth and a modest level of newly constructed homes coming to market, indicate that the worst is behind us.”

Although the report concedes that the difficulty some homebuyers are still experiencing arranging for financing and the slow pace of job creation remain major concerns, the Rosen Consulting Group believes the overall economy is strengthening and that 2011 should be a year of robust economic recovery.

Closed and Pending Single-Family Home Sales Trend Upward

Following five consecutive months of year-over-year declines in single-family home sales, sales activity rose 4.4 percent in December 2010. Of the single-family homes sold, approximately 48 percent were homes priced at $700,000 or less. And, while sales trended upwards, the median sale price contracted by 4.1 percent year-over-year to $725,000. Following the trend seen in the fourth quarter, pending sales activity continued to rise, jumping 24 percent in December 2010.

For the year, the total number of single-family homes sales narrowly surpassed total home sales completed in the previous year, increasing to 2,295 sales in 2010 from 2,184 sales in 2009. Sales activity through 2010 was, for the most part, evenly distributed between the first and the second halves of the year with a noticeable concentration of home sales completed during the months leading to the expiration of the federal home buyer tax credit.

Pending Condominium Sales Increase 25 Percent Year-Over-Year

While single-family home sales in December 2010 edged upward year-over-year, condominium sales during the month continued to contract, falling by 20.4 percent . During the year, the median sales price declined by 2.9 percent to $630,000 in December 2010. Although the condominium market recovery fizzled through the second half of the year in reaction to the expiration of the federal tax credit and the growing uncertainty among buyers, a 24.6 percent rise in pending sales activity seen in December validates the expectations of the Rosen Consulting Group that a rebound in condominium sales will occur in 2011.

The total number of condominium sales rose in 2010, surpassing the previous year’s level. Despite the added incentive of the federal tax credit, condominium sales in 2010 remained well below the 3,000-plus condominium sales seen annually during the years preceeding the onset of the recession.

Going Forward

While distressed properties sales will continue to effect pricing into 2011, the area’s level of distressed homeowners is mild relative to other metropolitan areas across the State and the country. The number of borrowers holding underwater mortgages in the San Francisco metropolitan area declined to 9.5 percent in the third quarter of 2010 from 10.5 percent in the third quarter of 2009, signaling that the pace of troubled mortgages in the market is slowing.

While decade-low affordability levels and low mortgage rates incentivize home buying, stringent mortgage financing requirements combined with stretched household finances keep many home buyers out of the market. With limited supply-side pressure in the market, as employment levels rebound at an accelerated pace through the coming year and demand from both first-time and move-up buyers returns, the Rosen Consulting Group believes that the San Francisco housing market will improve at an equally impressive pace.

Market_Focus_Report_January_2011 (PDF) [Rosen Consulting]

(Potential) America’s Cup Race Route For San Francisco Revealed: Realtors Frothing

Well…it’s official (sort of). There is a route sketched out for the 2013 America’s Cup planned for San Francisco and every Realtor in the city wants you to get front row seats (living rooms, balconies, and even bathrooms). While many agents have always been touting their listings as marvelous places to live and own a piece of San Francisco real estate, now they’re claiming views of the course, and One Rincon Hill is first out of the gate today Tweeting that, “Americas Cup draft route released! Many at One Rincon Hill to enjoy spectacular views of the race from home.” Let’s just hope they don’t decide to build Tower #2 all of a sudden.

Every agent in the city that has ever sold a home in or near SOMA, Nob Hill, Russian Hill, Telegraph Hill, Pacific Heights, and/or South Beach (to name a few) is already on the hunt, sales centers are ramping up their marketing, and the real estate community is buzzing. There are big bucks in sailing, and what agent wouldn’t want a piece of that action.

But the fact remains, watching a sailboat race is free, and if you can find a view of the water, you’ll likely have a good view of the race. We find it hilarious that the map above shows only one “Public Viewing Area”, as San Francisco is full of hills with amazing (FREE) water views. However, should you happen to desire protection from the elements (think howling San Francisco wind), we happen to know a good Realtor or two who’d be happy to help you find that room with a view. ;-)

2013 America’s Cup Race Route [SF Gate}