September 18, 2006
A Possibility In Potrero?
While le blog exuberance applauds the exterior, we’re quite impressed with what’s inside 2130b 24th Street (at least based on the pictures). The South facing lower level condo is three bedrooms and two baths over 1,500 square feet; has a kitchen outfitted with “Bosch Appliances & Scavolini Cabinets” and bathrooms finished with “Carrera Marble, Italian Porcelain Tile & Fossilized Limestone Baths;” and is priced under a million ($979,000).
We’ll reserve our final judgment until we’ve had a chance to do a walk-through (and check out the block), but so far we do like what we see. (And can't help but wonder about 2130a...)
UPDATE (9/19): Two thumbs up. It’s actually a great block, and the quality of finish and design was even better than expected. On the flip side, it's not quite as “light filled” as we had hoped (but then again we’ve got ridiculously high standards), and although quaint, do keep in mind that cobblestone streets tend to generate more street noise. And of course, the inside scoop: the upstairs unit (2130a) will most likely hit the market in a couple of months (~1,800 sqft and views).
Three Of Four For Sale At 1081 Pine
Two days after 1081 Pine Street #301 hit the market for $1,375,000 (and “Priced to Sell”), the listing price on number #201 was reduced another $75,000 to $1,250,000 (for a total reduction of $235,000 or 16%). Keep in mind that while both units share the exact same floor plan, #301 has one more (tandem) parking space, and that #301 originally sold for $1,270,000 two years ago, while #201 sold for $1,149,000. And while it’s not officially listed, #401
is still available for $2,095,000 sold last week (anyone familiar with the contract price?).
UPDATE (9/19): If Sean is correct, the current owner of #301 purchased #401 for $2M (31% below the original asking price of $2.895M, and only $75K over the original sale price in early 2004). Not a bad move.
∙ Listing: 1081 Pine Street #301 - $1,375,000 [Pacific Union]
∙ Listing: 1081 Pine Street #201 - $1,250,000 [Joel Goodrich]
∙ 1081 Pine Street Redux [SocketSite]
∙ Not Huge (But Not Bad) [SocketSite]
∙ 1081 Pine Street Overview [louis-silcox.com]
A Spinning Sign Of The Times (And The Lansing)
From a tipster (email: email@example.com):
I may be a bit naive, because I don't hang out much around South Beach/Rincon Hill/Mission Bay.....but I was driving down that way today and saw something I haven't seen in SF before. There was a guy out on the corner of Folsom and 1st (I think) waving one of those "now selling" signs for the Lansing. You know the type...plugged into a walkman, and waving the sign to the music... I have seen this phenomenon visiting San Diego and LA...but somehow I though that we were above it in this "sophisticated" city.
We couldn’t help but dispatch a crack photojournalist to immortalize the scene. In related news, we’ve been told that there are 14 two-bedroom condos still available in The Lansing (82 units and 83% sold), that their rate buy-down program is still being offered, and that the developer is “motivated.” A couple of current list prices to get you started:
∙ 50 Lansing #105 (2/2) - $850,000
∙ 50 Lansing #305 (2/2) - $699,000
∙ 50 Lansing #503 (2/2) - $760,000
∙ 50 Lansing #504 (2/2) - $750,000
∙ 50 Lansing #608 (2/2) - $795,000
∙ 50 Lansing #609 (2/2) - $795,000
∙ 50 Lansing #706 (2/2) - $795,000
∙ 50 Lansing #801 (2/2) - $1,210,000
And it's strange, but we can’t help but notice that #503 was listed for $725,000 just last month. (And once again, that #303 closed for $755,000 while #403 closed for $725,000.)
UPDATE (9/23): We've added pricing for units #608, #706, and #801.
∙ The Lansing (50 Lansing): Reductions And Recent Sales [SocketSite]
Some Facts, Some Fiction
Last Tuesday the SFHomeBlog posted a number of sobering facts related to home sales in San Francisco for the week following Labor Day:
• Fewest number of contingent properties in one week in 2006
• Fewest number of pending properties in one week in 2006
• Fewest number of sold properties in one week in 2006
• New low for currently pending properties in 2006
These are four facts with which we can’t disagree. We do, however, take exception to the following three statements from the same post:
Statement 1: “The majority of our fall inventory has just hit. It will be all be piece-meal for the rest of the year with lower weekly numbers of new listings.” According to ZipRealty, almost 250 single family homes, condos, and TICs hit the market over the past seven days, which is about double the number of opposing sales, and ~17% of the current inventory. That's “piece-meal?”
Statement 2: “Inventory has been dropping since just after Memorial Day with a one-week exception (that's right) the weekend after July 4th.” According to our numbers, Active listed inventory steadily increased for the first three weeks of June (up ~20%), briefly dipped for about 10 days (down ~8%), rebounded again from July 5th through the end of the month (up ~13%), steadily dropped over the month of August (down ~12%), and once again rebounded after Labor Day (up ~25% over the past two weeks). As it stands, Active listed inventory is up ~33% since Memorial Day.
Statement 3: “Difference is, through all of this, the number of sales has been steady.” According to DataQuick, there were 626 sales in May, 652 Sales in June, and 485 sales in July (that’s down 22% from May, down 25% from June, and down 24% from July 2005). August numbers should be released this week. Keep in mind that over the past two years sales volume has peaked in June and then tailed off through the end of the year.
In a nutshell, sales activity has slowed while inventory continues to build. And for added context, consider that current listed inventory is back to -- if not higher than -- the level which the SFHomeBlog characterized as “a veritable saturation . . . of way too many homes“ and “a one-time occurrence” (a year ago).
September 15, 2006
The Palms (555 4th Street) Update: 65% Sold
With closings and occupancy starting last month, and after about eight months of selling, we estimate there are still 100+ condominiums available for purchase in The Palms (about 65% sold).
Keep in mind that there are only 6 units in The Palms currently listed on the MLS, and thus the “official” inventory figures for San Francisco (and months of supply) are understated by at least 100 units based on this one development alone (more on this Monday).
∙ The Palms: Phase II Release [SocketSite]
∙ Listing: 555 4th Street #106 (3/3) - $1,295,000 [MLS]
∙ Listing: 555 4th Street #531 (2/2) - $865,800 [MLS]
∙ Listing: 555 4th Street #715 (1/1) - $629,000 [MLS]
∙ Listing: 555 4th Street #719 (1/1) - $608,000 [MLS]
∙ Listing: 555 4th Street #822 (2/2) - $845,000 [MLS]
∙ Listing: 555 4th Street #839 (2/2) - $1,250,000 [MLS]
∙ Inventory Update: Four Days Later [SocketSite]
Arterra First Release: September 30
The first release of Arterra condos is officially slated for September 30. As is de riguer (at least for the time being), pre-qualification with the development’s “preferred lender” (Wells Fargo) is a prerequisite to being placed on the “VIP list” and invited to peruse the inventory and make a deposit.
And while we haven’t received any additional information with regard to pricing, or insight into which condos in which buildings (Sky, City, and Park) are being released, we’ll do our best to keep all you lovers of “clean design” and “pure living” plugged in as details emerge (i.e., someone tips us off).
∙ The Arterra: “Clean Design, Pure Living” At 300 Berry Street [SocketSite]
∙ Arterra and The Hayes: Sales Centers [SocketSite]
∙ Arterra: Less Sex, More Green [SocketSite]
September 14, 2006
The Brannan: Four Months Later
In May we explored “The State Of The Brannan.” At the time there were 12 Active listings in the three upscale modern buildings that make up The Brannan (219-239 Brannan). And as we noted, “from what we’re told it’s taking 60% longer to sell a unit in The Brannan this year versus last year (70 days on the market versus 42), but we believe that this reflects an overall slowing of the market rather than any particular weakness in The Brannan.”
Today, 18 of the 336 units in The Brannan are Active listings (plus 3 in contract). And of those 18 units, at least five (28%) have been reduced from between $20,000 (2.7%) and $128,000 (9.9%), while one is offering “2 Years of HOA Dues PAID by Seller or Interest Rate Buy Down Option!" And once again, we believe that this reflects an overall slowing of the market rather than any particular weakness in The Brannan.
Somewhat ironically, the least expensive unit currently available in The Brannan is 219 Brannan #9B ($689,000), which has not been reduced, and is presented with some of the best photography of all 18.
∙ The State Of The Brannan [SocketSite]
∙ Listing: 219 Brannan #1G (1/1.5) - $729,000 [Coldwell Banker]
∙ Listing: 219 Brannan #8K (2/2) - $1,449,000 [Coldwell Banker]
∙ Listing: 219 BRANNAN #9B (1/1) - $689,000 [Pacific Union]
∙ Listing: 219 Brannan #12A (1/1) - $850,000 [Coldwell Banker]
∙ Listing: 239 Brannan #5C (2/2) - $1,149,000 [Coldwell Banker]
∙ Listing: 239 Brannan #8C (2/2) - $1,160,000 [MLS]
Sorry, No Neighborhoods Are Immune
Lest you have been led to believe that some San Francisco neighborhoods are somehow immune to price reductions, take note of the fact that 3 of the current 22 listings in the Marina (District 7A) were reduced over the past two days.
After a month on the market, the listing price for 3201 Divisadero #305 has been reduced by $24,000 (3%); after almost two months on the market, 2258 Beach Street has just reduced its price for a second time (total reduction of $150,000 or 5%); and after almost four months on the market, 3747 Fillmore has just reduced its price for the second time as well (total reduction of $124,000 or 9%).
The Heritage On Fillmore (1300 Fillmore)
Integrated into the Fillmore Heritage Center, the Heritage on Fillmore (1300 Fillmore) will consist of 80 condominiums (including 12 BMR units) ranging from one to three bedrooms. At the base of the development you’ll find Yoshi’s San Francisco, the Blue Mirror restaurant & Lounge, and the Jazz Heritage Center.
The project's financial success hinges on the sale of 68 market-rate condos that have been priced from $500,000 to $890,000. The project's artistic success relies on patrons flocking from all over the Bay Area to see international acts at Yoshi's.
Pre-sales were originally expected to begin in the second quarter of 2006 with occupancy in Spring 2007, but as far as we know the sales office has yet to open its doors.
September 13, 2006
The President Of N.A.R. Goes To Washington
A couple of quotes from the testimony (pdf) of Tom Stevens, the President of the National Association of REALTORS, at today’s U.S. Senate hearing on “The Housing Bubble and Its Implications for the Economy” (emphasis added):
"Sales are down significantly in Florida, California, Arizona, Nevada, Virginia, and Maryland. These regions experienced the greatest rise in home prices in recent years and affordability has become a major issue. The sharp decline in sales have resulted in a much higher housing inventory (tripling and quadrupling in some cases) and these areas are vulnerable to outright price declines, particularly if interest rates were to rise further."
"Contrary to many reports, there is not a “national housing bubble.” All real estate is local. For example, the housing market in California is extremely different from Oklahoma. Home price-to-income ratio, home price-to-rent ratio, and more importantly, mortgage debt servicing cost-to-income ratio have greatly increased in some markets to worrisome levels. Markets in Florida, California, Arizona, Nevada, Virginia, and Maryland exhibit trends far above the local historical norm, thus it would not be surprising for these markets to experience a price adjustment."
"Due to very high home prices, interest-only, adjustable rate, and/or option-ARMS became the only way to enter the housing market for some homebuyers. In essence, the homebuyers in the coastal markets are at their financial capacity. With rising mortgage rates, homebuyers are becoming exhausted financially, which explains why sales have tumbled in high priced regions of the country."
So ARMs and affordability are pressing problems, sales are slowing, and we're "vulnerable to outright price declines" and “adjustments”? Who could have possibly seen that coming (last November)…
∙ Witness Testimony: Mr. Tom Stevens, President N.A.R. (pdf) [senate.gov]
∙ The Housing Bubble and Its Implications for the Economy [senate.gov]
∙ Top O’ The Market To You! [SocketSite]
Proposed SF Cruise Ship Terminal Sunk
A couple of important questions now that the Port of San Francisco has pulled the plug on the proposed Cruise Ship Terminal project at Piers 30-32:
1. How will the loss of the proposed retail, restaurants, cinema, and promenades affect property values in nearby developments?
2. How will this affect development of the Brannan Street Wharf (57,000 sqft public park)?
3. How long will it be before a class action suit is filed by owners at the Watermark...
Watermark Update: 85% Sold
Once again, these are not “official” numbers, but as best we can tell another twelve units in the Watermark have sold (leaving around 18 units available or 85% sold). In addition, two new resales have hit the market: 501 Beale #8C ($912,000) and #16B ($1,150,000).
Unit #8C offers the same spectacular views of the Bay Bridge (
and potential cruise ship terminal see UPDATE below) as unit #6C (which was briefly on the market for $899,000), but with the added benefit of being high enough to preserve the views once a seven story (height restricted) building is built next door.
UPDATE: The force must have been strong last night. As a reader notes, the “potential cruise ship terminal” has been “scrapped due to skyrocketing costs associated with retrofitting its rotting piers.”
UPDATE (redux) (again): According to J.K. Dineen at the San Francisco Business Times (and the Port report), it's probably closer to 80% sold with 80 units sold, 29 under contract, and 27 still for sale. And while we definitely waffled, right or wrong, we’re now reverting back to our originally reported 18 available (and 85% sold). It’s quite possible that the nine unit difference between our numbers is in part due to the accounting for the 16 BMR units in the building, a time lag between reports, or quite simply the sales office getting the best of us…
∙ Watermark Update: 78% Sold (And Discounting) [SocketSite]
∙ Listing: 501 Beale Street #8C (1/1) - $912,000 [Legal One Realty Via Pacific Union]
∙ Listing: 501 Beale Street #16B (2/2) - $1,150,000 [Urban Bay]
∙ Soaring costs sink cruise ship terminal plan [Examiner]
∙ Watermark Signs Of Weakness? [SocketSite]
888 Seventh Street (f.k.a. 601 King)
Construction continues on 888 Seventh Street (originally identified as 601 King) in Mission Bay, and it’s looking like it will be well into 2007 before its completed (they're now targeting "Fall 2007"). In the meantime, floor plans for all six floors and 224 units, information regarding BMR units, and the ability to register for the interest list are currently available online. And marketing should start next month (10/06).
September 12, 2006
An Overview Of Mission Bay
Our posts on 255 Berry and the Park Terrace generated some fantastic reader comments (thank you!) with regard to the genesis, evolution, and future of Mission Bay. And while we were going to save a Mission Bay specific post for tomorrow, our readers seem to be a couple of steps ahead (so we'll try to catch up).
As mentioned, the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency website provides a great primer on the development of Mission Bay which was driven by the Catellus Development Corporation (a spin-off from Southern Pacific) and the City of San Francisco, while West Coast TNDs (“Traditionally Designed Neighborhoods”) provides an interesting profile of the neighborhood:
Mission Bay is a diverse 303-acre mixed-use development located about one mile south of downtown San Francisco that involves the conversion of a former Southern Pacific railyard that once served the city’s ports into a new neighborhood with 6,000 residential units, 800,000 square feet of retail, a 500-unit hotel, a university medical campus and a bio-technology center. In its present state, it is best considered as four separate components—(1) a group of residences and office buildings north of the Mission Creek estuary (next to the SF Giants’ baseball stadium), (2) a huge open area just south of the estuary that someday will be the site for the hotel and about half of the residential units, (3) the UCSF (University of California, San Francisco) medical campus that hopefully will attract private companies and research groups to occupy (4) the corporate science and technology campus at Mission Bay’s southern end.
And while West Coast TNDs overview is slightly dated, it does serve as a great backdrop for the development of the neighborhood, residential buildings (both condos and apartments), and local transit.
∙ 255 Berry: Seven Percent Active [SocketSite]
∙ The Park Terrace (325 Berry): Now Selling [SocketSite]
∙ San Francisco Redevelopment Agency: Mission Bay [sfgov.org]
∙ Profile Of Catellus Development Corporation [endgame.org]
∙ West Coast TNDs: Mission Bay [tndwest.com]
∙ UCSF MISSION BAY [ucsf.edu]
255 Berry: Seven Percent Active
We couldn’t help but notice that 255 Berry #513 is now in contract, and that #317 has been reduced another $24,000 (a total reduction of $100,000). In addition, four new units (#116, #401, #414, and #610) have been added to the MLS since our last update (7% of the building is now “Active”).
∙ More “Pseudo-Omniscient Pretense” (And 255 Berry) [SocketSite]
∙ Listing: 255 Berry Street #317 (2/2.5) - $1,225,000 [McGuire]
∙ Listing: 255 Berry Street #116 (3/3) - $1,299,000 [McGuire]
∙ Listing: 255 Berry Street #401 (2/2) - $1,029,000 [MLS]
∙ Listing: 255 Berry Street #414 (2/2) - $949,000 [MLS]
∙ Listing: 255 Berry Street #610 (3/2.5) - $1,950,000 [Pacific Union]
3208 Pierce: A Few Details
According to a tipster, 3208 Pierce is about six weeks away from “Hard Hat Tours,” and will consist of 4 “one bedroom homes” ranging in price from $740,000 to $1,050,000 (738 to 1,107 square feet), and 10 “two bedroom town homes” ranging in price from $999,000 to $1,299,000 (1,099 to 1,450 square feet).
∙ 3208 Pierce: 14 New Units [SocketSite]
September 11, 2006
The Walk-Through Calls It Quits
The New York Times real estate blog (“The Walk-Through”) officially called it quits this afternoon: “As you may have noticed, The Walk-Through has been awfully quiet lately. It had a good run, but we’ve decided to turn our focus to other parts of our real estate pages.” In related news, the number of unique visitors “plugging in” to SocketSite continues to grow (up about 30% last month).
∙ In Closing [The Walk-Through]
It’s Tough At The Top
The 2006 Decorator Showcase property (3701 Washington) has been reduced $1,250,000 (8%). If you missed the Showcase tour, be sure to check out the online photos, floor plans, and features. And 65 St. Germain has instituted yet another “Fantastic Price Reduction” of $250,000 (5.5%). For those of you keeping track at home, 65 St. Germain has now been reduced a total of $2,500,000 (37%) off its original listing price. Wonder if there’s a trend in here somewhere…
∙ Now That’s How To
Flip Renovate! [SocketSite]
∙ Listing: 3701 Washington Street (6/5.5) - $14,250,000 [Olivia Decker] [MLS]
∙ Listing: 65 Saint Germain (5/5.5) – $4,250,000 [MLS]
∙ We’ve Added “Fantastic” To The List [SocketSite]
The Park Terrace (325 Berry): Now Selling
The Park Terrace released its first batch of units this weekend. Word on the street is that deposits were made on between 5 and 10 of the 110 units, and that pricing is starting at $625,000 for one bedrooms, and $895,000 for two bedrooms. And according to the Sales Center (205 Berry), the building should be ready for occupancy in May 2007.
So That's What That Means
[Update: "The asterisk contains some protective language as they don’t want to get an offer at asking with HUGE contingencies and a long escrow period. Essentially they are incredibly reasonable and if they get an offer at the asking price with reasonable terms, they’ll sell."]