April 30, 2007
A Reader Reports: Landmark Sarcasm (We Can Only Hope)
A reader photographs and reports:
Your posting "not for the faint of heart" reminded me about the run-down, boarded up theater in North Beach, opposite the beautiful Washington Square park. What an eyesore! Is this another…landmark? I work nearby, and I heard rumors that efforts to make it a Walgreens or Rite Aid failed miserably. So now we're stuck with this!
And we wonder: anybody have the inside scoop on what’s in the works (if anything)?
UPDATE: According to a seriously plugged-in reader, that would be a
Rite-Aid, taqueria, formula retail and “[a]s of April 2005, the new owners wanted to tear the 98-year-old (now 100-year-old) place down and build something on the site. Uh. Oh. Stalemate.”
∙ Not For The Faint Of Heart (Or Wallet): Landmark Edition [SocketSite]
JustQuotes: Lereah Leaving N.A.R. News Or Not?
"David Lereah, the author of "Are You Missing the Real Estate Boom?" will leave the National Association of Realtors by the middle of next month after serving as the head economist for seven years, a spokesman said."
∙ Bullish real estate economist to step down [CNNMoney]
San Francisco Housing Inventory Update: 4/30/07
Based on our calculations, re-sale activity for listed properties in San Francisco increased around 10% over the past two weeks. At the same time, new listings have continued to outpace new sales as Active listed housing inventory increased slightly as well.
∙ San Francisco Housing Inventory Update: 4/16/07 [SocketSite]
Decorator’s Delight (And Unrelated Architects' Ire)
Okay, so put aside the old photos and get over the price, we’re looking for some “plugged-in” readers’ early reviews of the 2007 San Francisco Decorator Showcase (a.k.a. 2901 Broadway). Favorite rooms, ideas, or epiphanies? Clandestine photos or scanned images? Come on, you know we'd do the same for you (and we will next week).
And in somewhat (un)related news, it appears that the joint Dwell/Infinity design competition has been met with a bit of ire from a “passionate community” (to quote Dwell’s online editor). Passionate community? That sounds strangely familiar…
∙ If You Have To Ask (2901 Broadway) [SocketSite]
∙ Go Ahead And Ask: 2901 Broadway Is Listed (And Priced) [SocketSite]
∙ Your Chance To Slip Inside 2901 Broadway [SocketSite]
∙ The Infinity Design Challenge: San Francisco [bustler.net]
∙ Dwell competition to exploit young designers for free work [archinect.com]
No Flip Or Folly (Perhaps Just Fickle)
Last week we dished up the scoop on 898 Francisco hitting the market and a “plugged-in” reader added to the intrigue by noting the celebrity seller (Nicholas Cage). Well, after just seven days on the market, The Wall Street Journal turns around and scoops us (hey, if it’s going to happen...) by reporting that it's no longer on the market (although the listing wasn’t officially withdrawn from the MLS until yesterday).
∙ The Many Eras Of 898 Francisco (And A Rumored Celebrity Flip/Folly) [SocketSite]
∙ Cage Lists, Withdraws Bay-Area Properties [Wall Street Journal]
April 27, 2007
Remember, It’s What’s Inside That Counts (Or So They Say)
This 1885 Victorian isn't going to garner any accolades for curb appeal (at least not from us), but the original interior is quite spectacular. 760 Haight features some amazing architecture and detailing - beautiful woodwork, stained glass and operational gas chandeliers. The kitchen? Well, that's a different story...
Modern High-Rise Living In Older Pacific Heights
A “plugged-in” tipster directs us to a listing in 2200 Sacramento and declares, “Prettiest condo for under $1000/psf I've seen in Pac Heights….” And while it might not have the views or amenities offered by some of the newer developments, it can definitely compete on location and interior (marble counters, limestone floors, custom cabinets, etc.).
UPDATE (6/6): Sold on 5/31/07 for $975,000 (5% over asking).
∙ Listing: 2200 Sacramento #108 (2/2) - $929,000 [MLS]
Careers, Casual Connections And A Penthouse At The Infinity
A tipster notes a craigslist ad for “THE VERY LAST PENTHOUSE AVALIBLE AT THE NEW INFINITY TOWER.” We can't confirm that it's an official Infinity offering, but based on the description (1,300 square feet with south west views of the city) and the price ($1,950,000) we can almost certainly confirm that it's #37F.
And yes, that’s likely $50,000 (2.6%) more than was being asked earlier this year.
∙ $1950000 LAST PENTHOUSE AT THE INFINITY [craigslist]
∙ The Infinity: Online Floor Plans And Condo Specifications [SocketSite]
∙ The Infinity: A Reader’s Insight Into Pricing (And Those "Increases") [SocketSite]
Two Relatively Big Reductions (Two Absolutely Big Properties)
As you know, the list price on 10 Hastings was reduced ten percent ($1,250,000) last month. And yesterday, the price was lowered another $505,000 (4.8%). We have to wonder how close they are to ‘the price they wish.’ (“If we are not successful at selling this at a price that we wish … we’ll just move into it,” said the owner.)
And while it’s roughly the same size, 1417 15th is a completely different kind of property (and perhaps the largest "one-bedroom" on record). At the same time, it does have at least one thing in common: recently reduced $500,000 (13.3%).
∙ Listing: 10 Hastings (6/6.5) - $10,500,000 [tenhastings.com]
∙ Ten Percent Off At Ten Hastings [SocketSite]
∙ Legal eagles selling $12M high-tech home [Examiner]
∙ Picture This: One Big One-Bedroom [SocketSite]
∙ Listing: 1417 15th Street (1/2.5) - $3,750,000 [Zephyr] [Virtual Tour]
April 26, 2007
Location, Location, And Kitchen
Great location, great detailing, and a great (big) kitchen. Oh, and classic San Francisco curb appeal as well. We haven't been inside so we're appreciating it from afar (and suddenly craving a Rosamunde/Toronado run).
UPDATE (5/21): It closed escrow on 5/18/07 for $2,010,000. No word on the housewarming.
∙ Listing: 815 Haight Street (3/3.5) - $1,495,000 [MLS]
California Senate Bill 464: Additional Ellis Act Restrictions?
We’re still poring over proposed California Senate Bill 464, but if Local Impact is correct, the bill “would amend the Ellis Act so that only property owners who have owned for at least 5 years would be able to invoke the Ellis Act to evict tenants.”
The amendment would apply to those who “acquired ownership of the property on or after March 27, 2007” and also “extends from 120 days to one year the time period given to a tenant to vacate a rental property being "Ellised" . . . when the property owner's date of withdrawal from the rental market has already been extended to one year by reason of a qualified elderly or disabled tenant exercising his/her right to the extended date of withdrawal.” The Senate is scheduled to vote on the bill today.
Love it or hate it, you should at least know about it.
∙ California Senate Bill (SB) 464: Amended Bill Text [ca.gov]
∙ Learn More: Ellis Act reform! [Local Impact]
555 Mission Rock Apartments: Additional Details And Timing
Additional details on 555 Mission Rock, a 192-unit apartment building under construction in South Mission Bay: Eight stories (previously reported as nine); one and two bedroom units ranging in size from 650 to 1,300 square feet; 10,000 square feet of ground floor retail; $95 million dollar budget; and two years to completion.
∙ Neighbors In South Mission Bay (555 Mission Rock Street?) [SocketSite]
Modern Design Inspiration In Palo Alto
We appreciate concrete, walls of glass and wide open spaces (and yes, trees). Even if they are down in Palo Alto (and not for sale).
∙ Tree Houses [SFGate]
April 25, 2007
Go Ahead And Ask: 2901 Broadway Is Listed (And Priced)
2901 Broadway, the ‘house that shall not be priced' and home of the 2007 Decorator showcase, has officially been listed with an asking price of $55,000,000. And while that’s $20,000,000 less than was incorrectly rumored last year, word on the street is that it’s also $25,000,000 more than has already been offered (and summarily dismissed).
Not For The Faint Of Heart (Or Wallet): Landmark Edition
San Francisco Historic Landmark #232 is comprised of four dilapidated Russian Hill cottages built in 1907 and currently hidden behind a plywood fence at 1338 Filbert Street. And as a “plugged-in” tipster notes, “[l]ooks like the current owner is selling it because using it as a tear-down isn't possible” (at least not any more).
The owner of the cottages “filed an application for demolition and was planning for new residential construction in their place” in 2001. Prior to any demolition or development, however, a “community-based preservation group” with the support of the “Russian Hill Neighbors and Telegraph Hill Dwellers” successfully lobbied the Board of Supervisors to designate the cottages a San Francisco Historic Landmark in 2003.
And while the aforementioned groups were all quite eager to help protect this cultural landmark, we're guessing they're not going to be quite so eager to help fund any part of the landmark's desperately needed renovation and rehabilitation.
∙ Listing: 1338 Filbert Street #1 (2/2) – $840,000 [MLS]
∙ Listing: 1338 Filbert Street #2 (2/2) – $635,000 [MLS]
∙ Listing: 1338 Filbert Street #3 (2/2) – $525,000 [MLS]
∙ Listing: 1338 Filbert Street #4 (2/2) – $600,000 [MLS]
∙ San Francisco Landmark 232: 1338 Filbert Cottages [noehill.com]
∙ San Francisco Architectural Heritage Newsletter: Jan/Feb 2003 [sfheritage.org]
April 24, 2007
February S&P/Case-Shiller Index Decline Continues For SF MSA
According to the February 2007 S&P/Case-Shiller index (pdf), single-family home prices in the San Francisco MSA dropped 0.5% from January '07 to February '07 and slipped 2.2% year-over-year. For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), year-over-year price growth is down 1.5% (a near 15 year low).
And once again, by most accounts our local economy remains strong, employment and wages are up, and the cost of borrowing remains near historic lows. This is in marked contrast to our last real estate decline (2001-2002) which directly coincided with a local economic meltdown (a.k.a. The Internet Bubble).
As previously noted: The S&P/Case-Shiller index only tracks single-family homes (not condominiums which represent half the transactions in San Francisco), is imperfect in factoring out changes in property values due to improvements versus actual market appreciation (although they try their best), and includes San Francisco, San Mateo, Marin, Contra Costa, and Alameda in the “San Francisco” index (i.e., the greater MSA).
∙ Persistent Declining Returns (pdf) [Standard & Poor’s]
∙ January S&P/Case-Shiller Index Down For San Francisco MSA [SocketSite]
Who Are These “People” And What The Heck Are They Thinking?
Developer AF Evans has proposed to build 282 residential units, 332 parking spaces, and approximately 14,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space in a “seven-story building stretching from 1634 through 1690 Pine St. near Franklin Street, from which one 25-story and one 12-story tower would rise.”
Planner Tammy Chan said the project has raised some concerns among residents. “People don’t want more residential. That’s what it comes down to,” she said.
Who are these “people” and what the heck are they thinking? Concerns over design are one thing, but "people don’t want more residential?"
∙ Towers proposed for Pacific Heights [Examiner]
JustQuotes: What’s Perception And What’s Reality In Realty?
"Buyers come to us and are obviously very distressed when we tell them they're going to have to compete against quite a few people to purchase any property that is exceptional," [agent Peter Goss] said. "That's not the perception that one has. The perception that one has is very different.
"Last year's big story was the housing bubble. People finally got to the point here of realizing, 'You know what? This isn't happening here.' Now you pick up the paper and what's the story? It's the subprime market problems. That's this year's story. Here again, there are so few subprime loans in San Francisco -- it's a very different situation here than in other Bay Area cities." (Picking Up Steam)
∙ Picking Up Steam [SFGate]
And Damn It, It Worked
Incorporating a pricing strategy that seems to reflect more marketing gimmick than market analysis, 655 21st Avenue has been listed for $1,234,567. The Count (think Sesame Street) would be proud.
∙ Listing: 655 21st Avenue (4/2) - $1,234,567 [MLS]
April 23, 2007
JustQuotes: Investment Bankers And Their Wacky "Fundamentals"
“Median California home prices are still creeping up, and the state's strong employment trends should support the real estate market. But Goldman [Sachs] is worried that surging prices in the state in recent years weren't driven by traditional factors such as strong employment and income growth. Instead, the bank reckons an increase in ARM mortgages offered to borrowers who were already stretching to buy high-priced homes fueled the boom.” [Editor's Note: Inconceivable!]
∙ California home prices to weaken further: Goldman says [MarketWatch]