Is Now A Good Time To Buy In San Francisco? Five Reasons Why The Answer Is YES

…as a follow up to my Market post yesterday, and to answer the age-old question everyone asks, “Is it a good time to buy?”, take it from the head honcho of Keller Williams in San Francisco, and me…the answer is a solid yes. His thoughts are my thoughts exactly, but since he states it so perfectly, all I have to do is cut/paste! ;-)

We finally have more inventory so that the market is more evenly supported by supply and demand. This is still a robust sellers market by all benchmarks and yet buyers are still not pulling the trigger on purchasing. Why is that?

Here are the reasons buyers should really consider buying right now.

1. Interest rates are clearly continuing to rise and projected to rise three more times next year from the economists that I follow closely. [This means even if the cost of the home drops, your cost to borrow goes up, so you might not afford as much home…a wash.]

2. California association of realtors still expects a modest gain in overall prices for 2019 (2 ½ to 3 percent). With our high price points that is a significant amount of money.

3. Buyers can negotiate a little stronger with sellers in this market slightly because of the seasonality in the market but also this shift right now changed the balance of power in the transaction. [I had some buyers secure a home in a trophy Noe Valley location on Vicksburg we thought we had no chance on…but we tried, and got it.]

4. There are finally more favorable loan options for down payments which is one of the biggest challenges right now for first time home buyers to accumulate enough down payment.

5. Sellers might take a contingency sale in this market when they would not have a year ago. [See #3, and I just closed yesterday with some clients in West Portal who had loan and inspection contingencies! What!? Yeah, previously unheard of…]

The fundamentals in our economy are very good with extremely low unemployment rate, high equity in home ownership, great bank balance sheets, strong GDP and CPI and a wobbly stock market that tends to then benefit the real estate sector. The fear of buying in this market is due to lack of correct data and not feeling comfortable about the decision right now based on previous experience. We are in a shifting market and have been due for a correction. However in CA we have already experienced some of this shifting which is why there is now great opportunity to make SMART real estate decisions and make a deal at the offer table.
-Rick Cunningham

Thanks Rick. You saved me a lot of thinking. As for you buyers sitting on the fence, one of you is going to score this amazing Victorian Condo supremely located in the Haight…who’s it gonna be?

1662 Page Street, San Francisco, $1,495,000 [theFront Steps]
-San Francisco Real Estate Market Report – November 2018 [theFrontSteps]
Number of Homes for Sale in SF Remains at a 7-Year Seasonal High [SocketSite]

San Francisco Real Estate Market Update | March 2018

As of the end of February, there were fewer total home, condo and loft sales in the first two months of 2018 than in any of the previous ten years (Think about that for a second…). And while it’s impossible to say exactly what is causing the low number of sales, it is possible that buyer fatigue following six straight years of rising prices, interest rates jumps, and stock market volatility may all be contributing, or we’ve reached a point where “trading up” doesn’t make sense and therefore inventory is at an all time low.

At the same time, the median sold price per square foot for a single family home broke the $1000 threshold for the first time in San Francisco. That is up almost 150% since it bottomed out at $408 in January, 2012. And, enough buyers are still buying that prices are still rising. February’s median home price crossed $1,700,000, another first.

Single Family Homes:
The three-month rolling average median sales price of $1,501,667 is up 17% over last year’s.

Year-to-date, new listings are down 7.4% while sales are down 9.7%.

February’s inventory of 1.4 months is 26% lower than in 2017.

80% of homes sold over their list price and the median percent of list price received was 113% in February.

Condo/Loft/TIC’s:
The three-month rolling average median sales price of $1,096,667 is up 3.13% over last year’s.

Year-to-date, new listings are down 14% while sales were up 9.2%.

February’s inventory of 1.9 months is 30% lower than in 2017.

59% of homes sold over their list price and the median percent of list price received was 103% in February.

There you have it…

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¡Que Rico! | $681,000 Over Asking For A Tear Down | ¿Qué?

The Friday before Labor Day weekend…Many call it the end of Summer, but here in San Francisco it’s safe to say it’s the beginning. Our temperatures finally heat up from the Bay Shore to the Pacific Ocean. The sun is lower on the horizon, shadows are longer, Fall fashion ads are everywhere, and local restaurants are transitioning to seasonal delicacies like squash and brussel sprouts (Children everywhere collectively laughing at that comment!), and this weekend is the final exodus of Summer travelers, many of whom are headed to Burning Man.

37 Rico Way…a tear down (if you’re so lucky to be able to tear it down) in the Marina district, and definitely built on Landfill, listed for $1,999,000, and sold in the blink of an eye for $2,680,000…in case the hallucinogens of Burning Man are already kicking in and that math is perplexing you, that’s $681,000 over list…and our market is cooling.

As for the rest of the top 10…here you go:

Address BR/BA/Units DOM List Price Sold Price Overbid
37 Rico Way 3/1.00/N/A 15 $1,999,000 $2,680,000 34.07%
753 44th Avenue 2/1.00/N/A 15 $898,000 $1,185,000 31.96%
343 29th Avenue 3/2.00/N/A 13 $1,495,000 $1,950,000 30.43%
83 Winfield Street 2/1.00/N/A 8 $1,050,000 $1,350,000 28.57%
472 Naples Street 2/1.00/N/A 35 $575,000 $735,000 27.83%
361 Church Street 2/1.00/ 43 $989,000 $1,260,000 27.40%
534 Shotwell Street 2/1.50/4 12 $949,000 $1,200,000 26.45%
1178 Dolores Street 2/2.00/ 12 $1,395,000 $1,760,000 26.16%
421 Los Palmos Drive 3/2.00/N/A 22 $1,058,000 $1,325,000 25.24%
486 45th Avenue 6/5.50/N/A 29 $1,998,000 $2,500,000 25.13%

It’s a transitional weekend for real estate, and next week will begin the flood of inventory to our market for the (hopefully) robust Fall selling season. We’re just as anxious to see how it all pans out as you, so make sure you follow this blog, and we’ll keep you in the loop.

Bending your real estate mind one blog post at a time, it’s what I do.

Have a great weekend!

Marina District Liquefaction Zones [theFrontSteps]

Global Warming Could Fuel (Future) San Francisco Real Estate Market

Coming off the heels of possibly the warmest day in San Francisco for the entire month of August, and actually seeing the sun at the coast (I think we broke 70 yesterday), it got me thinking about this recent New York Times article, “Think It’s Hot Now? Just Wait“.

Apparently, “July wasn’t just hot — it was the hottest month ever recorded, according to NASA. And this year is likely to be the hottest year on record. [Makes me wonder how August stacked up.]

Fourteen of the 15 hottest years have occurred since 2000, as heat waves have become more frequent, more intense and longer lasting. A study in the journal Nature Climate Change last year found that three of every four daily heat extremes can be tied to global warming.

This map provides a glimpse of our future if nothing is done to slow climate change. By the end of the century, the number of 100-degree days will skyrocket, making working or playing outdoors unbearable, and sometimes deadly. The effects on our health, air quality, food and water supplies will get only worse if we don’t drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions right away.”

1991-2010
by2060
by2100
cityav

Take a good close look at those maps and think to yourself. If it gets hot as hell, as predicted, where would you want to live? Where will your golf game be more pleasant? Where will your bike ride not suck because your tires don’t melt to the pavement? Where will that nice Napa Cab taste just right? Frying an egg on the hood of your car is only fun once…okay maybe twice.

Forget for a second the millions of people out there that think California’s one AVERAGE winter last year snapped us out of the drought (we’re sooooo not even close to smooth sailing in that department), and forget the millions more that think global warming and greenhouse gases and all that is some political stunt, and think for just a couple minutes about where is going to be an ideal place to live if it keeps getting hotter? A place where you LIVE and not simply SURVIVE.

Looking at the maps, Maine seems pretty ideal…but the bugs will drive you out of your mind, especially the black flies…I know…they tore me up on a canoe trip down the Allagash. (Actually, all the bugs might be dead by then if it gets as hot as predicted.) Phoenix does look inviting with around 163 days/year over 100 degrees, or maybe Houston with some 99% humidity and 62 plus days/year over 100? Hang on a sec….look at the West Coast!

The West Coast of the United States (assuming we have enough water to drink and keep our food supply alive), seems like a pretty safe bet to me. Now you gotta decide between California, Oregon, or Washington. Tough choice, indeed.

Regardless of where you choose, you’d have to think these most desirable coastal areas are going to get even more desirable as the rest of the nation becomes unbearable, right?

Yeah, I’m in the California real estate business, and I think California is hands down the best State in the Nation, but I bet you never thought about the Global Warming problem like this. Perhaps you should.

Think about the potential increase in value for property near a nice cool sea breeze or coastal fog. A place where average temperatures year-round hover in the mid to high 60s. Think about the attraction of not having to pay ever-increasing energy costs to cool your home…just open the window. Think about coastal real estate. There is no more of it, and it’s gonna get hot, hotter, hottest everywhere else!

If you think I’m nuts, and think our market is destined for a crash, have a look at the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index for San Francisco since 1987…lots of little ups and downs, but all-in-all WAY up:

SP-Case-Shiller-SF-SFH-Tiers-02-16

It’s safe to say, San Francisco real estate is pretty much steadily hot, and in the future (thanks to Global Warming) could get even hotter. Something to mull over on this foggy (again) August morning.

Think It’s Hot Now? Just Wait [New York Times]
More Long Term Trend Market Graphs [theFrontSteps]
More Reasons We Live Here [theFrontSteps]
The Most San Francisco Summer – Just One Day In 70s In August [San Francisco Chronicle]

A Perfect Match, TeedHaze & The Goods…Where Are You?

theGoods_sfAs much as this blog is all about real estate, it’s also all about me (Alex) and what I do to not only help my clients, but also my colleagues. For many years I’ve been dabbling in little ventures here and there to help my colleagues do more deals, and give their clients valuable real estate information. The first company was sfnewsletter, which created and sent branded newsletters for Realtors to their clients.

When A Tear Down Sells For $2,350,000

To say the market isn’t moving along at blistering speed would be an understatement. Thus, my lack of blogging. I have updated all of the listing data we provide at The Goods, such as Top 20 Underbids, Top 20 Overbids, New Listings, SOLD Property (nobody else provides this so easily for your pleasure), and more. Check it out right here, and share it with friends.

I currently have five properties under contract, four of which are for my buyers. The prices we have been forced to offer in order to win, and the number of other buyers we’ve had to outbid, are staggering. Those sales will drop on MLS when I’m deep, deep into the Costa Rican jungle, but for now, Overbids….the juicy top 10, and the juiciest of all is 3658 18th St, an absolute wreck of a property that literally had dirt in the garage, was disgusting to set foot in, and quite literally falling down in the back. But it has good bones. Listed $1,099,000 and sold for…wait for it…$2,350,000.

And the rest..

Address BR/BA/Units DOM List Price Sold Price Overbid
3658 18th St 3660 2-4 Units 15 $1,099,000 $2,350,000 113.83%
136 Delmar St 1/1.00/N/A 15 $775,000 $1,505,000 94.19%
48 Pond St 2-4 Units 1 $800,000 $1,310,000 63.75%
3065 Washington St 4/2.50/3 13 $1,998,000 $3,210,000 60.66%
4154 24th St 3/2.00/N/A 14 $1,248,000 $1,950,000 56.25%
1535 33rd Ave 2/1.00/N/A 23 $849,000 $1,300,000 53.12%
1614 McAllister St 1616 2-4 Units 2 $1,495,000 $2,250,000 50.50%
572 Moultrie St 2/1.00/N/A 6 $930,572 $1,400,000 50.45%
755 Florida St 1/1.50/7 18 $1,095,000 $1,600,000 46.12%
2075 Sutter St 2/2.00/529 14 $895,000 $1,305,000 45.81%

If you, or anyone you know, have questions about San Francisco real estate, just give me a shout. I have a great new listing that will be coming on the market in NOPA/Alamo Square middle of June, and potentially a great home on the Southern end of Noe that will knock your socks off, so get on my radar screen. I also know of several amazing off market homes and pending price reductions to properties you might have already seen. I am a Top Producer, and member of the Top Agent Network after all…LOL!

Real Time New Listings, Recent Sales, Overbids, Underbids, & More for San Francisco [The Goods]

Top 10 Overbids Of The Week | San Francisco

…and here they are:

Address BR/BA/Units DOM List Price Sold Price Overbid
639 35th Ave 641 2-4 Units 17 $899,000 $1,480,000 64.63%
541 10th Ave 3/2.50/N/A 13 $1,895,000 $3,000,000 58.31%
255 Anderson St 1/1.00/N/A 12 $895,000 $1,375,000 53.63%
43 Bache St 3/2.50/N/A 12 $1,049,000 $1,580,000 50.62%
835 33rd Ave 2/1.00/N/A 8 $899,000 $1,351,000 50.28%
168 Juanita Way 2/2.00/N/A 5 $839,000 $1,250,000 48.99%
1045 Rivera St 4/3.00/N/A 15 $949,000 $1,369,000 44.26%
2060 Sutter St 2/2.00/405 7 $899,000 $1,280,000 42.38%
3 Summit St 3/2.50/N/A 20 $879,000 $1,250,000 42.21%
436 Gates St 3/2.00/N/A 14 $1,049,000 $1,485,000 41.56%

It’s important to note, these are the top of the top overbids. There are more, many more properties that sell over asking, and there are also properties that sell UNDER asking. There are properties that sit on the market, and there are still properties that get withdrawn without ever finding a buyer.

Our market is nuts, no mistaking that. But if you know where to look, have patience (tons of it), the stomach to get defeated a few times, you (buyers) can prevail. Sellers, as much as you think you can slap a sign out front and get top dollar, that’s not the case. It’s a dance with many nuances that only a local expert can help you master.

Have a great weekend everybody!

Featured Today On SFGate: 3 Of My Recent Transactions

I wouldn’t have been able to achieve these successful sales without the epic staging by Katrina Schissel of GiGi Park, my great photographers, my in house team, and especially my amazing assistant, (who actually used to be a client) for helping me crank out offers at lightning speed when the opportunities present themselves.

For more about how I can help you with all of your real estate needs, check out some Recent Transactions, Client Testimonials, and my Bio.

Then go surf, because I hear it’s offshore. Or go to Utah, because they just got hammered with nearly four feet of snow!

What SF Home-Buyers Bought in 2014

Penthouses, Probates, Lofts, Mansions & Fixer-Uppers

How many San Francisco home sales were Victorians, Edwardians or Art Deco? Condos in doorman buildings? Artist live-work lofts? Probate or distressed sales? Without parking? Under $500,000? Over $5 million? Tenant occupied? Had Golden Gate or Bay Bridge views? What were the oldest house sale, the biggest condo sale and the median sales price for a 2-unit building?

Below are answers to those and a hundred other questions about home prices, neighborhoods, architecture, amenities, views, types and sizes. San Francisco has one of the most interesting real estate markets in the world and we hope you enjoy some of the details. A neighborhood map is included at the bottom for your convenience.

[Click Images to enlarge]
2014_2BR-Condo-Median-Prices

2014_3-4BR-House-Median-Prices

2014_Architecture

2014_Condo_Amenities

2014_Condo_Sales_by_District

2014_House_Amenities

2014_House_Sales_by_District

2014_Median-Price_Movements

2014_Multi-Unit_Sales

2014_Number_Bedrooms

2014_Parking

2014_Sales-by-Price-Segment

2014_Sales-by-Property-Type

2014_Special-Circumstance-Sales

2014_Unit-Sales-by-Year


Please call or email if you have any questions.

Sales information as reported to and described in San Francisco MLS through late November 2014. Some 2014 totals are projections based on current trends. These analyses were performed in good faith with data derived from sources deemed reliable, but they may contain errors and are subject to revision. All numbers should be considered approximate.