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August 9, 2005

Survey Says...

We need a bigger audience. SocketSite's first "Highly Scientific Real Estate Survey" garnered slightly fewer responses than we hoped (well okay, a lot fewer). Considering we’re tracking around 10,000 views a month, and doubling every 30 days, you’d think that we might get a little more love participation from our readers (not to be confused with a little love from NAR).

So we've decided not to completely embarrass ourselves by revealing the total number of completed surveys we received (suffice it to say that we needed more than just our fingers to tabulate the results, but that the super computer is sitting idle). We will, however, share a couple of survey results...

1. The majority of respondents (63%) predict an increase in housing prices through the end of 2007.

2. Californians remain more positive about the San Francisco housing market than non-Californians.

3. Agents remain more positive about the housing market than non-agents.

4. Only one brave soul was willing to go on record and predict a “popping” of the “bubble” sometime over the next two years (and it wasn’t even us).

Thanks to all that participated.

Posted by socketadmin at 9:54 AM

Three New Developments Around Town

Three new condo developments are on our radar screen and we’re looking for some insight to share. Has anyone researched, toured, or bought any of these units? (email tips@socketsite.com)

· 69 Clementina [Downtown - GMAP]
· 175 Bluxome [SOMA - GMAP]
· Sierra Heights [Potrero - GMAP]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM

August 8, 2005

Can You Feel The Love?

A group of bloggers (the "Blog Squad") have organized to provide coverage of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) convention in San Francisco this October. According to Inman News, the ringleader of the group has obtained NAR permission for bloggers to attend the press briefings, but has been unsuccessful in obtaining actual press passes.

"Anyone who is a credentialed reporter can register as a member of the press with us," said Lucien Salvant, an NAR spokesman. "You would have to be employed by a newspaper, magazine, online publication, TV station or radio station."

Asked if his organization welcomed the bloggers, he said, "I really don't have a comment. They can do what they want."

How nice. Looks like SocketSite will be covering the convention after all...

Posted by socketadmin at 3:07 PM

Euro Subterfuge

We’re tired of hearing it: “Compared to London or Paris, San Francisco looks cheap to the Europeans. Especially with the strength of the Euro.” All the while the London market seems to be tanking, and according to the Economist, “Investors from outside North America bought $8.6 billion-worth of real estate [in North America]…but sold $11.6 billion.” That hardly seems to qualify as a Euro feeding frenzy (and leaves us wondering what they know that we don't).

Posted by socketadmin at 9:34 AM

August 5, 2005

Opinion Survey: Last Chance

Have an opinion about where the San Francisco real estate market is headed over the next two years? Willing to challenge the “Industry Experts”? Today’s your last chance to take SocketSite’s Highly Scientific Real Estate Survey (a whopping four multiple choice questions). Come on people, every vote opinion counts.

· SocketSite’s Highly Scientific Real Estate Survey [Zoomerang]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:24 AM

August 3, 2005

We’re Tired of Being Number One

Once again the San Francisco Bay Area ranks number one in the state. According to the California Association or Realtors (C.A.R.), the average San Francisco Bay Area household income falls $102,230 short of the qualifying annual income ($170,370) required to purchase a local median-priced home (the highest gap in the state).

Yes, the calculation assumes no more than 30% of a household's income is used for housing expense, but the real kicker? The calculation also assumes an average 20% down payment ($144k).

· C.A.R. Homebuyer Income Gap Index™ Report [C.A.R.]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:23 PM

Update: Hotel Condo Conversions

Instead of an outright ban on condo conversions for hotels with over 50 rooms, Supervisor Peskin has agreed to amend his legislative proposal to create an 18-month ban on condo conversions for “tourist” hotels of 100+ rooms. Guess we won't be moving to the Fairmont anytime soon.

"This compromise will ensure that we protect the workers who have dedicated their lives to our hospitality industry while studying the long-term effects that hotel-to-condominium conversion might have on San Francisco's economy," Peskin said.

Newsom concurred. "This gives us all time to make informed decisions so we can do what's best for the city,'' the mayor said.

Reiterating our original comment, "A bit reactionary and short-sighted if you ask us."

· Hotel workers union, city reach condo deal [Chronicle]
· Fairmont compromise reached [Examiner]
· Fairmont Furor [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:48 AM

August 2, 2005

Real Estate Vs. Real Behavior

A great post (and quote) brought to our attention by Ben Jones’ The Housing Bubble 2 this afternoon:

First the quote:

'I can calculate the motions of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people.’ (Sir Issac Newton having lost his shirt in the South Sea bubble, 1721)

And now a couple of choice excerpts from the post on Elliott Wave International:

It is universally presumed that the primary law of economics, i.e., that price is a function of supply and demand, also rules finance. However, human behavior with respect to prices of investments is, in a crucial way, the opposite of that with respect to prices of goods and services.
When the price of a good or service rises, fewer people buy it, and when its price falls, more people buy it. This response allows pricing to keep supply and demand in balance. In contrast, when the price of an investment rises, more people buy it, and when its price falls, fewer people buy it.

Attempting to apply the law of supply and demand to investment markets is akin to attempting to apply the laws of physics to falling in love. They do not pertain.

Rather than become excited to buy as prices fall, as consumers of goods and services do, investors become excited to buy as prices rise. Since desire and hope are entirely on the side of price rise, only fear and despair can be on the side of price decline.

· Home Sales: Financial vs. Economic Behavior [Elliott Wave]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:28 PM

Inman Stories Matures

Inman Stories

Inman Stories has undergone a major growth spurt since we first highlighted it last month (Online Home “Porn”). Stories is now a full-blown digital magazine featuring “Spaces” (i.e. properties), “Places” (i.e. neighborhoods/areas), and “Faces” (i.e. real estate movers and shakers).

We were particularly excited to see the recently added clip on Scrap House (look under “Places” on the Stories site). Great stuff. Now if only we could link to a specific clip...

· Stories Digital Magazine [Inman]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:48 AM

August 1, 2005

SocketSite’s Bay Area Agent Pageant

Damn it! We weren’t planning on announcing this until next week, but those type-a innovative New Yorkers at Curbed just forced our hand...

Have you ever noticed how often property statements/ads seem to feature an agents picture just as prominently as the actual listing? And is it just us, or has the Real Estate Times started to feature glamour shots/profiles of agents almost as frequently as actual real estate? Obviously we have seriously underestimated the importance of being a hottie in this industry. That is, until now...

We are pleased to announce SocketSite’s Bay Area Agent Pageant! That’s right, a good old pageant. Okay, so most likely there’s not going to be any swimsuit competition, nor questions that are likely to result in answers like, “I’d use my title to bring about world peace”, but a pageant nonetheless.

So without further ado, we’d like to open the floodgates for nominations (email: tips@socketsite.com). A couple of basic guidelines for nominees: 1. they must be licensed agents/brokers located in the Bay Area; and 2. their picture must be prominently displayed on a recent statement, ad, business card, or website. That’s it for now, so let’s get on with the nominations!

(yes, we’ll be posting additional details as the week progresses but cut us some slack, like we said, our hand was forced and we're feeling a little flustered...)

Posted by socketadmin at 6:25 PM

Yerba Buena Loft Liquidation?

Yerba Buena Lofts

Barbagelata’s two page ad in the most recent Real Estate Times features eighteen properties, of which 28% are Yerba Buena Lofts. Only three units, however, are listed on the MLS (all of which have the same listing agent). Perhaps this is an investor sensing the top of the market or the builder trying to cash out?

Any Yerba Buena owners/renters care to comment?

· Listing: 855 Folsom St #305 - $649,000 [SF MLS]
· Listing: 855 Folsom St #112 - $699,000 [SF MLS]
· Listing: 855 Folsom St #515 - $969,000 [SF MLS]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:07 AM

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