Uppity Academics

It’s doom and gloom Wednesday. Not only are the economists at UCLA’s Anderson school calling the peak of the California real estate market, they’re putting 50/50 odds on a statewide recession by the end of 2007. California’s housing boom appears to be peaking, and the resultant slowdown is expected... Read More »

Three Months Of Stagnating Prices In San Francisco

According to the California Association of Realtors (CAR), the median sales price of a SF Bay Area home was $730,360 this past August (and sales volume dropped 3.7% compared to August ’04). While this does represent a $6k increase in the median sales price from July ‘05, it is still $4k below the June ’05 Read More »

Renting Is The New New Thing

While the Times is more eloquent, the Chronicle is obviously closer to home. Another testimonial for renting over buying in the Bay Area: After 15 years as a homeowner in the Bay Area, I’ve cashed out and taken advantage of a bizarre situation: Homes that sell for a fortune are available to rent for as Read More »

Renters Rejoice

Feeling blue or left behind because you’re a lowly renter in the Bay Area? Don’t. The New York Times echoes our insight, debunks a number of home-owning myths, and reaches the following conclusion: In the Bay Area, renting might be more financially savvy than buying. Yes, even accounting for the over-hyped “mortgage tax decuction”… Read More »

Calling All Tips

Calling All Tips

We’re taking the rest of the week off. And encourage you to do the same. And while you’re at it, grab the camera and a notepad and stroll around your neighborhood. Take some pictures, scribble some notes, uncover a scoop; and then drop us a line. Then do the same this weekend while you’re making Read More »

Dueling Academics

A new study by researchers at Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School suggests that housing prices in San Francisco are NOT overvalued. The study, titled “Assessing High Housing Prices: Bubbles, Fundamentals and Misperceptions”, points to “basic economic factors, including low interest rates, strong income growth and abnormally low prices in the mid-1990s”, Read More »

Movies In The Marina

Closed since October 2001, the Cinema 21 on Chestnut Street will rise like a phoenix from the flames (and in an entirely new light). The model — hashed out by the property owner, the Marina Merchants Association and the Neighborhood Theater Foundation — uses ground-floor retail as an engine to partially finance the upper-level theaters. Read More »

Icer Air Seriously Deflated

Icer Air Organizers announced their tentative date/time for the rescheduled event: September 29 at noon. And no, that’s not a typo, September 29th is a Thursday. That’s one way to cut down on the crowds (and picket waving NIMBYs.) · Sponsors modify plans for ski jump · Organizers defend plan for Pacific Heights ski Read More »

Buy A BMW 325i For Only $80k!

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that 44.8% of all mortgage applications last week were for refinancing activities (versus new home purchases). Implications? Considering mortgage rates have been at historic lows for the past couple of years, it suggests that homeowners, “aren’t cutting their interest rates at all; rather, they’re just increasing their debt.” Borrowing against Read More »

Sticks And Stones…

Nothing like being labeled a housing “Danger Zone” (as if earthquakes weren’t enough). CNN/Money confirms that the majority of buyers in San Francisco (and 49% of buyers in Oakland) are resorting to “non-traditional” loans. Not new news to our readers (other than the moniker), but the quote from the chief economist with the National Association Read More »

DataQuick Reports Record Bay Area Prices

According to DataQuick, the median price for a Bay Area single-family home hit $651,000 last month (versus $643,000 in July, and up ~19% from last August). At the same time, however, the number of sales fell 4.1% from 2004 and “…insiders say the number of homes for sale has surged in recent months, as sellers Read More »

Not Such Trivial Knowledge

Know the difference between a Benjamin Moore Mulberry, Behr Plum Jam, and Glidden Valhalla? What about the difference between a Queen Anne Victorian, Gothic Revival, and a San Francisco Stick? Neither did we until readers tipped us to these two sites: Colorcharts – billed as the “online library of manufacturer’s standard colors,” this site Read More »

Start Listening To Those “Academics”

If you don’t heed the warnings of the “academics”, at least take a lesson from the history books. Excerpts from a recent article in Knowledge@Wharton: What’s driving this market? Most important: Are these loans ticking time bombs that could shock the financial markets and economy if rising interest rates or falling Read More »

SF MLS Quietly Removes Listing Dates

It appears that the San Francisco Multiple Listing Service has quietly removed listing dates from the properties on its website. In other words, the public can no longer see how long a property has been sitting on the market. Not only disappointing, but a bit suspicious as well. For example, without SocketSite having previously recorded Read More »