San Francisco Real Estate Market Shifts – Will It Last?

It’s an interesting time in the San Francisco real estate market. If you’re one with the ocean, it’s like being caught between the in and out-going tides (the slack). We made it through the Summer Doldrums, hit the Fall listing frenzy and now we are stuck. Still many multiples of properties flying off the shelf and being fiercely competed, and still others languishing on the market without any takers. For those of us that list properties for sale, the offer date is no longer guaranteed to produce multiple offers, the number of emails and “insider” network posts of “still available” homes have risen dramatically, and general buzz and traffic to listings and open houses has definitely declined…mostly. I say mostly, because like I said earlier, some places are still crazy nuts.

As I dig through the data available to me, I was just about to say the market has totally shifted, and then I got stuck on this chart (from Compass’ market report) by way of the data guru Patrick Carlisle, and it reminded me to be patient, and not panic:

As you can see it goes back to 2012, and as you can see there is a definite pattern. The only difference this time around is in this chart, which shows a 28% increase year over year of new listings compared to last…more inventory, which means it will take longer to get through it, and once we get through it, what will the future hold? There is also a ton of other data that takes us way back in time, so I encourage you to check it out.

There is a lot of talk that we may have hit a peak, and there is still other talk from my lender contacts that we have another solid Spring selling season ahead of us before things get really interesting. We are in the midst of mid-term elections (GO VOTE!) and there is definitely weird and toxic fodder coming out of the White House, which could hose us all, but all in all I say it’s still too close to call whether or not the market is making a permanent shift, or just a temporary hiccup like we’ve definitely seen in years past.

I’m happy to chat market, seasonality, prime time to sell and buy, and what your property might currently be worth, just give me a shout.

In the meantime, I have a couple amazing homes for sale that you absolutely must check out:
An awesome Single Family in Cole Valley at 715 Cole (NOT ON MLS); and a spectacular Victorian condominium in the Haight at 1662 Page. Had you been following theFrontSteps you would have already known about these and perhaps even had a chance to snag 215 Cole, which I just sold quietly off market for $1,500,000. I keep telling you, follow my site, and be on my radar and good things will come your way.

Haight Ashbury Victorian Flat Hits MLS Asking $1,700,000 – Wow Factor At 11

If you don’t get the Spinal Tap reference…it’s high time you watch Spinal Tap.

Anywho…my newest listing to hit the market.

Grand scale, turn of the century Victorian Condominium on a coveted block in the Haight / Ashbury area of San Francisco with approximately 1630 square feet of living space, original wood floors, period details, ~12 foot high ceilings, renovated kitchen & bath, two fireplaces, in unit washer & dryer, 1 car parking, exclusive use storage, shared yard, and great natural light.

A property so many seek, yet can’t find is here and’s true. This three bedroom, one bath home is filled with charm and details of years past. From the century old wainscoting, to the light fixtures, picture rails, and triple crown molding, 1662 Page will delight even the most discerning Victorian fan, and wow every buyer with a modern, open kitchen, breakfast porch, beautiful split bath with radiant heat, well preserved wood floors, updated foundation and seismic strengthening, as well as parking for one car.

This charming turn of the century home enjoys a wonderful central location just steps away from all of your shopping needs and a growing number of popular restaurants, and is situated ideally for access to Golden Gate Park and Buena Vista Parks, Cole Valley, NoPa, freeways to points North, South, and East, and of course the famous Haight/Ashbury.

Property Details:
List Price: $1,700,000
1630 square feet
3 bedrooms
1 Remodeled bathroom w/ Designer Shower and Soaking tub, Radiant Floor Heating
Remodeled Split Bath (a.k.a. WC) with Toto toilet and Radiant Floor Heating
Modern Eat-in Kitchen
Granite Countertops
Breakfast Patio
Wine Fridge
Viking Gas Range
Bosch Dishwasher
Wood Floors
2 Gas Fireplaces
2 Living Rooms, one could be Formal Dining Room
New Rheem Hot Water Heater
15 New Double Paned Custom Wood Windows
Period Details
High Ceilings
Period Lighting
New in unit Washer & Dryer
1 car parking
Large Deeded Storage Room
Shared Yard and Garden Room, Fire Pit, & Grill
Extensive Seismic Retrofit completed 2016
HOA Fees $240/mo. (Includes Water, Garbage, Building Insurance, Common Electric and repairs.)
Dog okay (Limit 2)

Showing Schedule:
Open Saturday & Sunday 1-4pm

Exclusively listed by:
Alexander Clark
Keller Williams Luxury Realty International
For more information, a private tour, or to chat about your property, you can contact me via the info above, or try the contact form below.

San Francisco Real Estate Micro Market Update – Plus 3 Off Market Gems

Like a bear coming out of hibernation, the San Francisco real estate market is waking up from its Summer slumber and new inventory is flooding the market. As of the time of this post, this week alone San Francisco has seen 254 new listings (of all property types) hit the market since Monday. That’s more than double the rolling average for the months of June, July, and August. The linked tear sheet is as basic as you get, but it will give you an indication of what’s out there. As soon as the data dump is complete, you’ll be able to see all of these Hot New Listings on The Goods.

All Summer long, no matter where I was, or what I was doing, people ask “So how’s the market in San Francisco?” It’s almost as common as “Is it foggy in SF?” And my answer to them has become canned, “It’s slow in places, white hot in others, and everyone is waiting until after Labor Day, so let’s see what happens then. And yes, it’s foggy…every day.”

It’s very hard to paint an accurate picture of a market when I know sellers are holding out until after Labor Day, and buyers are waiting in the shadows, or traveling to exotic locales to escape the fog. It’s not possible to know if it’s a broader slowdown, or just the typical Summer Doldrums as I like to call them.

I have about 15 buyers, and 5 listings. Three of those 15 buyers are looking for the same thing, and as it stands today, there is only one good choice for all of them. Multiply that by the other Realtors working the same tight city market, and I can already see a recipe for Overbids on many properties in prime locations, high demand, and continued low supply. I’ll go out on a limb and say I suspect things to really heat up this Fall, so if you’re still thinking of selling, now is a damn good time.

If you’re looking for a place, I suspect you’re going to continue to need a thick skin and patience. As I say to everyone that I meet, get on my radar as there is an entire world of off market activity to increase your chances of buying success, and I’m always here to help make your life easier. Cases in point, I am bringing 1010 Cole Street back on the market any minute (painted, staged, $150,000 less, and looking amazing!), 318 Connecticut just hit the wire, and 215 Cole, 715 Cole, and 1720 Larkin are in my pocket, ready to be sold.

Happy Fall. See you out there, and make sure you introduce yourself.

SOLD! | 850 Corbett #2 | Twin Peaks | $1,400,000

This was another one of those off market transactions sellers dream of…sign a listing, discuss strategies, show it to one buyer, get an offer at a price higher than you expected, close in 30 days, move out, and into your new home

SOLD | 850 Corbett #2 | $1,400,000

It happened so quickly, in fact, I don’t even have pictures. Some might say it’s dumb luck, I beg to differ…there is an art to all of this.

Property Details:
Seller Representation
3 bed
2 bath
Large Open Living Room
Deeded Patio
Loft area
Wood Floors
1 car parking
Well run HOA

Exclusively listed by:
Alexander Clark
Keller Williams Luxury Realty International

Upper Haight Victorian For $1,495,000…Yes Please!

This turn of the century Top Floor two plus bedroom, two bathroom, south facing Victorian Condominium checks all the boxes in the most ideal Upper Haight/Ashbury location.

Entering from street level, you’ll be drawn in by large, period stained glass windows above the front door flooding the entry with natural light which radiates throughout the entire home. Victorian details abound including a picturesque stained glass skylight, soaring ceilings, original dark wood floors, crown moldings, wainscoting, two working fireplaces, and large functioning pocket doors. The front windows provide a great view of Sutro Tower. This unit has been continually updated since the early 1900s with 2 substantial skylights in the eat-in kitchen, office/bonus room in the back, modern bathrooms, updated appliances, brand new in-unit Washer & Dryer, Monkeybrains & cable ready Internet, beautiful shared courtyard, parking for one car, substantial garage storage including a storage room w/lock.

This central location is across the street from The Park Branch Public Library, 1 block from shops on Haight Street and the Panhandle, 2 blocks from Whole Foods & the entrance to Golden Gate Park. Easy commute anywhere in SF: North, West, East, and South, walk to Cole Valley, tech shuttle stops, St. Mary’s / Dignity Medical Center, UCSF Parnassus and a multitude of dining and shopping options. While the official “Walk Score” is 97 it feels more like 99! As Page Street is one of SF’s official bike routes, 1826 Page street has a “Bike Score” of 98.

When you own a Victorian like this you’ll enjoy the benefits of a modern space while appreciating the quality workmanship, design, charm, and engineering of an historic San Francisco Victorian. Come visit us at one of the open houses, peruse the high resolution photos, or better yet, schedule a private tour and come fall in love with your future home.

Property Details:
List Price: $1,495,000
1400 square feet (per floor plan expert)
2+ bedrooms
2 bathrooms
Office/Breakfast Nook
1 car parking
Original Wood Floors
2 Fireplaces
Period Details
High Ceilings
In Unit Washer & Dryer
Serene Common area Patio
HOA Fees $369/mo. (Includes Water, Garbage, Insurance, Common Electric and repairs.)

Showing Schedule:
Saturday 6/9 from 1-4pm
Sunday 6/10 from 1-4pm
Private Showings by Appointment
Offers as they come

Exclusively listed by:
Alexander Clark
Keller Williams Luxury Realty International
For more information, a private tour, or to chat about your property, you can contact me via the info above, or try the contact form below.

Top Floor Booming Ocean View Condo Not To Be Missed | $899,000 | Outer Parkside

Situated at the edge of the city (and continent for that matter), this top floor two bedroom, one bathroom condominium is supremely located for the outdoor enthusiast, lover of incredible views and ocean life, or person looking for sanctuary in our bustling city (yet easy access to Downtown, Southern, and Northern commutes).

The perfect starter home, investment, or vacation property, 2456 Great Highway is right across the street from Ocean Beach and has everything today’s buyer seeks, including: Hardwood floors; Open/Designer Kitchen with bar counter/ Thermador Gas Range; Liebherr Refrigerator; Miele Dishwasher; Huge shared yard; Parking for one car; Shared Washer & Dryer; Extra Storage; and amazing Ocean Views.

Not only does this property have everything you need, and the most excellent of ocean views, but in case you haven’t heard the Outer Sunset / Parkside is Hot, Hotter, Hottest … with many new restaurants, bars, shops, and a diverse mix of residents who all delight in their location and beach vibe that only San Francisco’s Ocean Beach can provide. Big wave hold downs, long paddle outs, and frigid surfs are literally out your door, as are brilliantly warm, crystal clear fog-free days, walks on the beach, visits to the Zoo, or just hanging out in the most popular neighborhood in San Francisco. Everything you’ve heard about this area is true, and everything you need in a home is in this property.

Property Details:
Top Floor Condominium
2 Bedroom
1 Bathroom
1 Car Parking
Hardwood Floors
Designer / Open Kitchen w/ bar seating
Thermador Gas Range
Liebherr Refrigerator
Miele Dishwasher
Modern Bathroom
Ocean Views
Shared Yard
Washer & Dryer
HOA Fees: $300/month

Showing Schedule:
Saturday & Sunday Open House 2-4pm
Tuesday 1-2:30 pm
Private Showings upon request

Exclusively listed by:
Alexander Clark
Keller Williams Luxury Realty International

For more information, a private tour, or to chat about your property, you can contact me via the info above, or try the contact form below.

A Warning To Realtors & Principals Everywhere | Padmapper Scammers Posing As Us

To my colleagues in the industry and the general public seeking housing in and around the San Francisco Bay Area.

Recently I was contacted by a nice person who left me a voicemail saying, “I’m inquiring about 333 Cherry Street, thanks for responding to my email…I just wanted to ask a couple more follow up questions before I commit to signing the document and sending you over thousands of dollars…”

This voicemail is not the scam, but this is:

Here is the post on Padmapper (which I assume will be pulled soon), so don’t be surprised if the link is broken. The text in the post reads:

333 Cherry Street Apt #B, San Francisco, CA 94118 – 0 BR 1 BA Condo. Listing uploaded and marketed by Alexander Clark, Thefrontsteps, 1(415) 477-1100. This garden studio condominium is located in the rear of a small three-unit Victorian building overlooking a deck and landscaped garden. It has been renovated with beautiful finishes, including a sleek kitchen, spacious bathroom and built-in cabinetry. Located in the heart of Presidio Heights, this home is in one of San Francisco?s most desirable neighborhoods near the Presidio National Park…

That’s the bait. Here is the email sent after this person inquired:

Hello [Name],

This is to acknowledge your e-mail. Let me answer to your questions as follows:

Q- What’s included in the furnishings?
A- Everything you see in the pictures displayed online.

Q- Do you have any additional pictures (videos) of the unit?
A- No, there are no additional pictures for this unit.

The unit is not available for viewing this week as you have requested, because the current tenant’s lease ends next weekend(It is impossible to take all prospective tenant for viewing when the lease has not ended).The open house is on the 29 & 30 of this month between 2:30pm – 4pm(refer to my last email); also the move in date is May 3,2018 or after so you can come view the unit any of those days. Regarding to your request, the unit is available for short and long term lease, there is washer/Dryer in the unit and parking for 1 car included in the rent.

Please understand that the rental market in San Francisco is competitive so the unit is on high demand, so if you are really interested in this apartment I will advise you secure it now so that you do not lose it to other prospective tenants who have contacted me also. Like I said before who secures it first gets the unit; To lock down the unit you will have to deposit only the first month’s rent plus the refundable security deposit after completing all the relevant rental documents. Note that if you choose to reserve the unit now, and if after you have viewed the unit that you are in anyway not satisfied, you can request for a refund which will be given to you that same instant. The terms and conditions of the contract gives you full refund if you do not want the apartment upon viewing.

Lease Plans and available discount:

– 3 months upfront payment attract discount of 5% on the total rent.
– 6 months upfront payment attract discount of 10% on the total rent.
– 12 months upfront payment attract discount of 10% on the total rent.

Download Rental Application Form attached below fill out all necessary fields; Return back to me by e-mail attachment or fax along with a copy of your ID, and as soon as I receive your filled application form I shall forward the lease contract agreement for your review of the terms and conditions. I am 100% confident that if you like what you saw online, you will surely go ahead and take the unit because the pictures represent the true and present condition of the unit.

I will await your earliest response so that we can proceed with the securing of the apartment for your lease duration.

My Regards,
Alexander Clark

Bogus! All of it.

And here is their follow up to this person’s extra questions. :

I understand your concern and will send the landlord’s bank detail for you to make the reservation payment now but you have to send in your application and also append your signature to the lease contract before I can issue your reservation receipt to you tomorrow.

Send the reservation deposit which consists of the first month’s rent ($2,050) and the refundable security deposit($2500) which totals $4550 only to the landlord’s bank account details below:

Bank Details

Bank Name: Wells Fargo

Account Name: Michael Jones

Account Number: 5525124219

Routing Number: 061000227

Beneficiary Address: 1201 4th St, San Francisco, CA 94158.

Remember to send me the bank transfer receipt after payment for my record purposes.

Crooks of epic proportion

I hope everyone takes a look at this post, forwards it, watches out for it, and these jerks get caught. I doubt they will get caught, but at the very least Realtors everywhere need to watch out for this kind of activity. If anyone has any further information on the matter, or similar experience, or questions, please reach out to me, or feel free to comment below.

the Real Alexander Clark

Tight Inventory, Top 10 Overbids, and 7 Off Market Listings

Currently, there are exactly 167 Single Family Homes for sale in the entire city of San Francisco…from the Marina District down to Visitacion Valley. Of those, only 42 hit the market in the last week, and some have actually been on the market more than 30 days (I call them Stalefish, and that’s where you might – just might – find a “deal”). But mostly, we’re a city still starving for single family homes, and they are literally flying off the shelf. Condos in desirable areas are about the same, but I’m not going there right now.

What does this mean? It means competition is fierce, multiple offers are commonplace, and Overbidding is still not anywhere near done. Have a look at this week’s top 10 Overbids. Keep in mind, this is only the top 10, if you want to see more, follow this link to more recent sales.

Address BR/BA/Units DOM List Price Sold Price Overbid
2662 40th Avenue 4/2.00/N/A 9 $995,000 $1,550,000 55.78%
157 College Avenue 3/1.00/N/A 14 $949,888 $1,450,000 52.65%
1415 11th Avenue 2-4 Units 15 $995,000 $1,500,000 50.75%
1734 27th Avenue 2/1.00/N/A 14 $995,000 $1,480,000 48.74%
439 Greenwich Street 0/1.00/17 7 $488,000 $720,000 47.54%
1090 Page Street 2/1.00/1 7 $899,000 $1,305,000 45.16%
1706 17th Avenue 3/1.50/N/A 10 $1,195,000 $1,715,000 43.51%
1933 Ulloa Street 3/1.00/N/A 13 $949,000 $1,335,000 40.67%
368 17th Avenue 2/1.00/N/A 13 $1,295,000 $1,810,000 39.77%
945 Corbett Avenue 1/1.00/107 7 $699,000 $975,000 39.48%

All of this said, if you’re losing out, I have several listings coming to market, and a couple we’ll sell off market:
Single Family home on Cabrillo at 36th
Single Family home on 46th at Balboa with Ocean Views
Single Family home near Alta Mar in Sutro Heights with Ocean Views
Condo near the Great Highway with Ocean Views
Condo on Frederick in Cole Valley with Valley views
Condo on Page near Upper Haight
Empty lot in Russian Hill ready to build

So…I’ll do my part to get some inventory for you, but in the meantime marvel at those Overbids, have a good weekend, and enjoy this Summer weather!

Happy Aloha Friday

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.

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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“I Received the Keys to my Forever Home”

What better way to start off 2018 than a great testimonial a client sent me on Yelp, which I had overlooked. Here’s to finding everyone’s “forever home”.

Happy New Year!

Alex is an outstanding agent. We worked together for 2.5 years in search of just the right home for me and my daughters. Over that time, Alex showed me dozens of homes and helped me put in several strong offers in a very competitive neighborhood and market. Alex provided the perfect balance in an agent — he was responsive to my needs and respectful of my decisions as a buyer and aggressive in representing me to the sellers agent, always adeptly managing to get my offers to rise to the top. This home buying journey was well played and well worth the wait. This week I received the keys to my forever home. I couldn’t be happier. Thank you Alex!

Congratulations to you as well, Erin. I hope the home turns out to be as amazing at it all appears will be.
p.s. Love the girls rocking theFrontSteps t-shirts!