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September 28, 2006

Sometimes It’s All About The Presentation (2825 Pine)

2825 Pine (Image Source: 2825pine.com)

It’s really not the reduction ($155,000 or 9.4%), but rather the fantastic photography and presentation that caught our attention. Not to mention Duke.

∙ Listing: 2825 Pine (4/3) - $1,495,000 [2825pine.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:53 AM | Comments (15)

RealRecentReduction: Previously Featured Edition

2525 Webster Living Room (Image Source: 2525webster.com)

It might not have any views, but we’re still fans of the remodel (especially the “Hers” master bath and French doors off the living room). And after 24 days on the market, we’re now $300,000 (4.2%) closer to being able to afford 2525 Webster.

At the other end of the spectrum, and after five months on the market, at least three of the four units still listed at 776 Tehama/1277 Howard have been reduced for a second time. This time around, reductions were between $20,000 (2.7%) and $40,000 (5.4%).

And apparently Green still doesn’t mean go for 338 Holladay as the list price has been reduced for a third time ($55,000 or 5.2%) and is now below a million ($994,000). That’s 22.3% below its original list price of three month ago.

Inside 2525 Webster [SocketSite]
∙ Listing: 2525 Webster (7/6.5) - $6,850,000 [2525Webster.com]
They’re Back! [SocketSite]
∙ Listing: 776 Tehama #17 (2/2) - $715,000 [Vanguard]
∙ Listing: 1277 Howard #5 (2/2) - $699,000 [Vanguard]
A Tale Of Two Green Houses [SocketSite]
∙ Listing: 338 Holladay (3/3) - $994,000 [Zephyr]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:35 AM | Comments (1)

September 27, 2006

A Reader Asks: Average Appreciation In San Francisco?

A gentle reminder that if you have a question or query that’s not directly related to the topic at hand, please just drop us a note (email: questions@socketsite.com). We’ll do our best to address it in a future post (or even answer it directly). That being said, a reader asks:

Does anyone know the average appreciation for SF 'adjusted for inflation' over the past 20 years? Does it even matter if the appreciation is adjusted for inflation?

We don’t have a canned answer for either question, but we’d be willing to bet another reader might have an answer (and opinion) or two.

And while we’re really not trying to be glib or snarky, we have to ask a question in return: why do you want to know? Or rather, how do you plan on using the answer? As if by instinct, we find ourselves reciting the infamous financial disclosure, “past performance is no guarantee of future results"...

Posted by socketadmin at 6:49 PM | Comments (18)

Actually, They Were The Second

Beacon Announcement

A week ago, and based on a tip (thank you!), we alerted you to a “Sales Office Shakeup” and soon to be 3% broker commissions over at the Beacon. Guess you could say it’s been confirmed (thanks to another tipster yesterday). And if you’ve been “plugged in” to SocketSite, you were actually the first to know

A Sales Office Shakeup At The Beacon? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:07 PM | Comments (6)

We’re In Love (Again)

2645 Baker

First and foremost, the pictures in the listing don’t do it justice. Not even close. That being said, do you remember what we wrote about 4381 26th Street in Noe? Well, 2645 Baker is that times two. And considering the price is roughly times two as well, it’s probably a good thing. Designed by Peterson Architects, the home boasts extensive use of mahogany, bamboo, glass, and limestone. And we love it.

[Side Note: John Peterson, of Peterson Architects, also founded the non-profit Public Architecture which led the design of ScrapHouse last year. And we love that too.]

The Wood, The Stone, The Windows...Oh My! [SocketSite]
∙ Listing: 2645 Baker (5/4.5) - $5,495,000 [2clicksHome] [MLS]
Peterson Architects [San Francisco]
Public Architecture [publicarchitecture.org]
San Francisco ScrapHouse Nearly Complete [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 AM | Comments (3)

September 26, 2006

SocketSite’s Complete Inventory Index (Cii)

SocketSite Complete Inventory Index (Cii): 9/26/06 (www.socketsite.com)

If you’re a regular reader, you probably know that we always include the following caveat on our San Francisco Inventory Updates: “Not including unlisted inventory.” Well, that’s about to change.

Over the better part of the past year we’ve been building a database on over 60 new developments ranging in size from 5 to 600 condominiums (6,000+ units in total). We track size, status, pricing, sales, and available inventory. And today, we’re finally ready to publish the beta version of our Complete Inventory Index (Cii).

The goal of the Cii (pronounced “see”; we’re hoping Nintendo views it as flattery) is to paint a complete picture of housing inventory and new development in San Francisco; listed, unlisted, pipeline, and potential. In fact, we believe it represents a fundamental shift from the abstract to the tangible with regard to what’s in the works throughout San Francisco.

For example, we estimate there are currently at least 275 condominiums that are not listed on the MLS, but are available for purchase and occupancy. These condos include unlisted inventory in buildings ranging in size from Glassworks to The Beacon. And based on recent sales activity, represent about a month’s worth of condominium inventory.

We also estimate that by the end of this month, there will be at least 750 condos actively competing for the attention of buyers and accepting non-refundable deposits in sales offices throughout San Francisco (examples include Broderick Place, The Infinity, and Arterra). For perspective, that’s effectively another two to three months of inventory. And by the end of the year, we expect that number to nearly triple as buildings like the Heritage on Fillmore, 888 Seventh, and The Hayes begin accepting deposits.

Beyond that, we’re tracking another 500+ condos that are under construction, nearly 3,000 that are in the works, approved or entitled; and a growing list of other large projects that are on the drawing boards. We’ll continue to refine (and build) our database and methodologies (hence the “beta” tag) in order to keep you “plugged in.”

And yes, we do plan to invest in some better charting tools…

UPDATE (9/27/06): Please keep in mind that our “pipeline” only includes developments which we consider to have a relatively high probably of breaking ground and competing for buyers in the not too distant future. Our numbers pale in comparison to the 25,000+ “net new housing units” that are considered to be in the overall housing pipeline for San Francisco. And last year alone, over 300 projects (representing well over 6,000 units) were filed with the planning department.

The Glassworks (207 King Street) [SocketSite]
A Sales Office Shakeup At The Beacon? [SocketSite]
Broderick Place: 83% Sold [SocketSite]
The Infinity: A Study In Contrast [SocketSite]
Arterra First Release: September 30 [SocketSite]
The Heritage On Fillmore (1300 Fillmore) [SocketSite]
888 Seventh Street (f.k.a. 601 King) [SocketSite]
The Hayes "Special" Open House (And Signature Cocktail) [SocketSite]
Five Years Late (And One “N” Short) [SocketSite]
The Californian on Rincon Hill: 375 Fremont St. [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:34 AM | Comments (32)

235 Berry Street Update: Under 50% Sold?

235 Berry

Back in February, it was reported that 60 interested parties participated in a “mini-lottery” for the right to purchase the first release of 20 units at 235 Berry Street. A couple of months later, a second release of around 18 units was reported to have sold out as well. And then in June, six units were released under relatively demanding terms (“arrive promptly at 10:00 am . . . with a copy of your pre-qualification letter and evidence of source of funds for the balance of your purchase”).

It’s now three months later and we can’t help but notice that at least four of the six units released in June are still available (#104, #105, #110, #112). We're guessing that scheduled releases have since fallen by the wayside, and we've been told that they’re shooting for closings and occupancy by the end of the year. Pricing on 14 of the remaining condos:

∙ 235 Berry #104 (2/2.5) 1,255 sqft - $1,027,900
∙ 235 Berry #105 (2/2.5) 1,255 sqft - $1,024,900
∙ 235 Berry #112 (2/2.5) 1,255 sqft - $1,021,900
∙ 235 Berry #110 (3/3) 1,500 sqft - $1,315,900
∙ 235 Berry #501 (2/2) 1,070 sqft - $807,900
∙ 235 Berry #503 (2/2) 1,070 sqft - $809,900
∙ 235 Berry #505 (2/2) 1,235 sqft - $935,900
∙ 235 Berry #413 (2/2) 1,235 sqft - $939,900
∙ 235 Berry #515 (2/2) 1,235 sqft - $945,900
∙ 235 Berry #507 (2/2) 1,235 sqft - $955,900
∙ 235 Berry #513 (2/2) 1,235 sqft - $955,900
∙ 235 Berry #411 (2/2) 1,063 sqft - $957,900
∙ 235 Berry #407 (2/2) 1,235 sqft - $958,900
∙ 235 Berry #508 (2/2) 1.370 sqft - $995,900

We also can’t help but notice that the four units that failed to sell in June are now listed at prices that are, on an average, 2.5% higher than in June. (Perhaps we’re reading into it, but so much for the seller paying for the buyer’s broker commission incentives.)

235 Berry Street Sales Release (6/11/06) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:15 AM | Comments (3)

Not Any More (Secret That Is)

10 Hastings Terrace

We’re still trying to figure out how this house can possibly be “discreetly” poised anywhere. (Then again, have you ever noticed it before?) And while we’re really not so keen on the architecture, you can’t beat the vistas, light, and outdoor space. Oh, and the “climate controlled wine storage room with tasting area [and] capacity for approximately 1000 bottles.”

As always, don’t forget to invite us to the housewarming. (Especially if you have over 1000 bottles in your current collection, and need help polishing off a few…)

∙ Listing: 10 Hastings Terrace (6/6.5) - $11,750,000 [Betty Brachman] [MLS]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:10 AM | Comments (6)

September 25, 2006

SocketSite’s San Francisco Inventory Update: 9/24/06

San Francisco Housing Inventory

It has been three weeks since Labor Day and new listings of single family homes, condos, and TICs continue to outpace sales in San Francisco (although the gap has narrowed). Over the past week, roughly 230 new listings hit the MLS and the inventory of Active listed units in San Francisco increased about 2.2%. The percentage of reduced listings is holding relatively steady at ~19%.

Based on last months sales, we’re looking at about 2.5 months of listed inventory. And as always, these figures only take into account Active listed inventory (but that’s all about to change). Be sure to “plug in” tomorrow for the launch of SocketSite’s Complete Inventory Index (Cii).

SocketSite’s San Francisco Inventory Update: 9/05/06 [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:13 AM | Comments (20)

On The Market, Leverage, And Investing

An excerpt from the weekly report (9/4/06 – 9/10/06) of the President and COO of Coldwell Banker, San Francisco Bay Area:

Homes in today’s market are either flat from last year or slightly lower (10% or less). Sellers need to remember that prices went up 50% plus from 2003-2005. A small reduction from the highs of last year still leaves outstanding returns, as real estate is a leveraged investment. The gains are substantial and well beyond any other asset class.

A great reminder if you purchased your home pre-2004, probably a bit surprising if you purchased in the past year (and were expecting continued “outstanding returns”), and something to consider if you’re in the market today.

Keep in mind that with leverage, the converse is also true, and a “slightly lower” market can yield “outstanding” losses. And while real estate gains from 2003-2005 might have been “well beyond any other asset class,” over the long run, the equity markets outperform real estate as an investment. And yes, we’re well aware that you can’t live in a share of stock.

In the Long Run, Sleep at Home And Invest in the Stock Market [New York Times]
Real Estate Vs. Stocks [Forbes]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:05 AM | Comments (2)

September 22, 2006

Broderick Place: 83% Sold

Broderick Place Floor Plan

From what we’ve been told, 3% deposits have been received on about 58 of the 70 condos that make up Broderick Place. And while it looks like they are now targeting Jan/Feb for initial closings and occupancy, rumor has it that the retail component (which includes a Peets, Faletti Fine Foods, and Da’ Lessio Delicatessen) could open as early as next month. Available inventory:

∙ Broderick Place #307 (1/1) 671 sqft - $510,900
∙ Broderick Place #400 (1/1) 671 sqft - $510,900
∙ Broderick Place #206 (2/2) 949 sqft - $680,800
∙ Broderick Place #303 (2/2) 970 sqft - $689,900
∙ Broderick Place #313 (2/2) 1,063 sqft - $696,999
∙ Broderick Place #403 (2/2) 970 sqft - $695,900
∙ Broderick Place #406 (2/2) 944 sqft - $695,900
∙ Broderick Place #311 (2/2) 975 sqft - $696,900
∙ Broderick Place #305 (2/2) 1,056 sqft - $697,900
∙ Broderick Place #315 (2/2) 970 sqft - $697,900
∙ Broderick Place #308 (2/2) 976 sqft - $698,900
∙ Broderick Place #320 (2/3) 1,424 sqft - $808,900

Keep in mind that parking is not included in the price of the condos (but is available for $35,000), and “all homes must be owner occupied.”

New Developments: Broderick Place [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:44 PM | Comments (5)

Our Point Exactly

Three 'New Prices' in 94114

We have a funny feeling that “meanboy” was aiming for sarcasm with his “Quite a reduction” remark (and three comments) over on our “The Cost Coming Down?" post. Regardless, he illustrates one of our points from yesterday quite well.

965 Elizabeth was on the market for 74 days at $1,395,000 before being reduced to $1,195,000. According to “meanboy” it sold for $1,220,000. MLS statistics will record this property as having sold for 102% of list. More accurately, it sold for 87.5% of the original list price.

893 Elizabeth was on the market for 100 days at $1,495,000 before being reduced to $1,395,000. At some point it was reduced to $1,349,000 and then finally sold for $1,350,000. MLS statistics will record this property as having sold for 100% of list. More accurately, it sold for 90.3% of the original list price.

3777 22nd Street was on the market for 33 days at $1,650,000 before being reduced to $1,545,000. According to “meanboy” it sold for $1,550,000. MLS statistics will record this property as having sold for 100% of list. More accurately, it sold for 94% of the original list price.

We have no doubt that all three of these properties provided fantastic returns for their most recent sellers. But that’s not our point. According to the MLS, and any marketing materials, these three Noe Valley properties sold for an average of 1% OVER ASKING! More accurately, they sold for an average of 9.4% under their original asking prices.

It’s tough to set expectations for sellers, inform purchase decisions for buyers, and paint “a true picture” of the market without accurate data. At least that’s our philosophy. And that’s our point.

The Cost Coming Down? [SocketSite]
Sorry NAR, But No [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:13 AM | Comments (17)

September 21, 2006

Sorry NAR, But No

A year ago we exposed a “dirty little secret of the real estate trade,” relisting to “refresh” a property on the MLS. This afternoon, Inman News delved into the practice:

Whether relisting is an acceptable practice that exemplifies creative marketing in a down market -- or whether it is a misleading and potentially illegal practice -- is a topic of heated debate in the industry. The National Association of Realtors trade group, which has about 1.3 million members working in the real estate industry, has not taken a formal stance on the issue and looks to local MLSs to set their own policies for relisting practices.

The National Association of Realtors Code of Ethics provides that "Realtors shall be careful at all times to present a true picture in their advertising and representations to the public," though Lucien Salvant, a spokesman for NAR, said that MLSs are not considered advertising vehicles. "It's a local MLS issue on how they address (relisting)," he said. "There is no NAR requirement on that particular point."

We begrudgingly accept the practice, but to justify it by taking the position that “MLSs [and by extension their listings] are not considered advertising vehicles?” Sorry folks, but that’s an utterly asinine argument. And it’s disappointing to say the least.

At the risk of pointing out the obvious, consider any marketing materials, websites, or press releases that reference an MLS derived statistic such as average days on the market (DOM), or selling price to list price ratio (SP/LP). If any of the underlying data has been “refreshed,” do these statistics really “present a true picture” and representation of the market?

UPDATE: As “realtor” notes below, direct public access to the MLS will be pulled sometime soon on January 1, 2007.

You Can Relist, But You Can’t Hide [SocketSite]
MLSs attack for-sale home 'relisting' practices [Inman]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:56 PM | Comments (19)

Now Serving: The Watermark

The Watermark

What do the The Beacon, the Metropolitan, and now the Watermark all have in common? That’s right, pending litigation courtesy of Patrick Catalano. According to a tipster:

A lawsuit was filed against the Watermark on September 14th (case CGC-06-456175). The allegation? You guessed it! Square Footage! Does anyone think [Catalano] is the patron Saint of Condo Measurement…

San Francisco Superior Court case number CGC-06-456175 is identified as “CATALINA GARCIA VS. SAN FRANCISCO CRUISE TERMINALS LLC, A LIMITED et al” with the cause of action "CONTRACT/WARRANTY.” (Anybody care to share the filing/complaint?)

And while it might not be a class action suit (yet?), and it’s probably just a coincidence, we can’t help but notice it was filed the day after the Proposed SF Cruise Ship Terminal Sunk. Unfortunately, we’ve just filed this one under “trends.”

A Big Bad Lawsuit At The Beacon [SocketSite]
A Class Action Suit At The Metropolitan? [SocketSite]
Watermark Update: 85% Sold [SocketSite]
Proposed SF Cruise Ship Terminal Sunk [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:31 AM | Comments (44)

Alamo Square: Five Condos Left?

Alamo Square

The sales office has been turned back in to a condo, and it’s looking like there might be just five of the 63 units left for sale at Alamo Square. At least two of them (#116, #243) have been reduced by $56,000 (8.5%). That’s equal to about 12 years of “pre-paid HOA Dues."

UPDATE (9/22): While there are five units for sale by a single broker, a commenter notes that it’s possible that they are “officially” resales (i.e. flips). Another possibility is that the original developer offloaded the five condos to a third party. Regardless, all five were reduced by ~$25K this afternoon.

∙ Listing: 988 Fulton Street #116 (1/1) - $599,000 [MLS]
∙ Listing: 988 Fulton Street #243 (1/1) - $599,000 [MLS]
∙ Listing: 988 Fulton Street #325 (0/1) - $450,000
∙ Listing: 988 Fulton Street #331 (2/2) - $755,000
∙ Listing: 988 Fulton Street #335 (2/2) - $755,000
Free Plasmas Coming Soon? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:27 AM | Comments (5)

Inside Villa Vecchia

Villa Vecchia

What can we say; we’re suckers for a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

∙ Listing: 632 El Camino Del Mar (5/5.5) - $7,950,000 [Sotheby’s] [MLS]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 AM | Comments (3)

September 20, 2006

San Francisco Median Sales Price Takes A Little Hit

SF Median Price August 2006 (www.socketsite.com)

According to DataQuick, the median sales price for existing homes in San Francisco was $750,000 last month, up 0.7% from $745,000 in August ’05, but down $21,000 (2.7%) from July ‘06. Sales volume was down 7.4% year-over-year (613 sales versus 662 in August ‘05), but jumped 26.4% from the month prior (485 Sales). Based on last months sales volume, San Francisco currently has a 2.3 month supply of listed Single Family Homes, Condos, and TICs on the market.

For the greater Bay Area, the recorded median sales price in August was $620,000 (up 0.2% year-over-year) and sales volume was 9,128 (down 24.9% from August ’05, but up 14.9% from July ’06). Sales in Napa dropped 47.3% year-over-year, and Marin recorded a 2.3% drop in median sales price.

According to DataQuick president Marshall Prentice, "Several things are going on. Many homes are being offered for sale at unrealistically high prices as sellers try to game the peak of the market. Buyers appear to be taking a wait-and-see approach as sellers get real with their asking prices. The market seems to be going into a lull, until this all shakes out. It does appear that the strong appreciation of the recent past is leveling off."

Bay Area home sales decline, prices level off [DQNews]
San Francisco Median Sales Price And Sales Decline [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:13 AM | Comments (5)

A Number Of Notable Reductions

Notable Reductions

After two weeks on the market, prices at Francisco Palms in the Marina have been reduced. 1239 Francisco has been reduced $151,000 (15.9%) and 1247 Francisco has been reduced $151,000 (14.4%). It looks like the market has spoken with regard to pricing these individually financed TICs in line with condos.

Also after two weeks on the market, 355 Bryant #102 has been reduced $200,000 (9.1%). However, before you decree the end of 355 Bryant, keep in mind that #105 ($1,125,000) went in to contract after seven days.

And after three months on the market, two top floor units at The Brannan have been reduced by $100,000. 219 Brannan #18K was reduced 4.7%, while 219 Brannan #18A was reduced 3.7%.

The Francisco Palms (1229 Francisco) [SocketSite]
∙ Listing: 1239 Francisco (3/1) - $899,000 [MLS]
∙ Listing: 1247 Francisco (2/1) - $799,000 [MLS]
∙ Listing: 355 Bryant Street #102 (2/2) - $1,995,000 [Gomez & Patton]
The Live/Work Lofts Of 355 Bryant [SocketSite]
The Brannan: Four Months Later [SocketSite]
∙ Listing: 219 Brannan Street #18K (2/2) - $2,025,000 [Coldwell Banker]
∙ Listing: 219 Brannan Street #18A (2/2) - $2,625,000 [Coldwell Banker]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:10 AM | Comments (3)

If You Have To Ask (2901 Broadway)

2901 Broadway (Image Source: 2901broadwaystreet.com)

The ten thousand square foot mansion at 2901 Broadway (built by Henry C. Smith in 1925) is on the market (but not officially listed). And although the property statement notes "Pricing Information Upon Request,” apparently misleading rumors have it pegged at $75 million. (As we said, if you have to ask...) And all of a sudden, 2845 Broadway seems just so pedestrian new money.

∙ Listing: 2901 Broadway (7/6.5) - "Make Your Best Offer" [2901broadwaystreet.com]
There's no place like these homes [MarinIJ]
The $65,000,000 House [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:05 AM | Comments (20)

September 19, 2006

A Sales Office Shakeup At The Beacon?

The courtyard view from 260 King Street #751

According to a tipster, the sales office at the Beacon is about “to announce 3% broker commissions and…are really negotiating on deals.” And while the Mark Company will still be in charge of selling, they “cleaned house with the staff and are bringing in…new people.” We’re still trying to verify the inventory of developer units (and the tip), but keep in mind that there are currently 23 Active listings in the Beacon (five of which are with the Mark Company).

And while at least five of the resale listings have already been reduced (some more than once), between deals being cut in the sales office on new units, the pending class action suit, and the market in general, it’s probably not too much of a stretch to expect additional reductions in the not too distant future.

UPDATE (9/20): Well, it’s still a shake up, but it’s possible that it might have been the former staff that initiated the act. As one reader notes, “Can anyone blame the salespeople for wanting out? They are compensated on a commission basis and are sitting on the last and least desirable of the inventory and it isn't moving (obviously compounded by the well publicized lawsuit).”

∙ Listing: 260 King Street #751 (2/2) - $815,000 [MLS]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 AM | Comments (22)

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