July 31, 2007
MAC (Narrowly) Loses Appeal Of 3400 Cesar Chavez Development
From Left in SF (via a plugged-in reader): “The appeal of the 3400 Cesar Chavez project was denied, by a vote of 6-5, with Mirkarimi, Daly, Ammiano, Peskin and Maxwell voting for the appeal and the rest voting against.”
∙ 3400 Cesar Chavez appeal denied [Left in SF]
∙ Will The Supervisors Martyr (3400) Cesar Chavez In The Mission? [SocketSite]
Word Up! (A Reader Recommends 7 Cameo Way)
From a reader: “A wonderful mid-century modern by an unknown architect, in perfect architect-restored condition.” (From us: remodeled in 2002 with redwood bookshelves, black walnut floors, Italian kitchen cabinets, and modern appliances.)
UPDATE (9/7): Closed escrow on 8/22/07 for $1,550,000 (3.7% over asking).
Are The Petruzzelli’s Coming To Russian Hill (And 10 Hastings)?
After nearly a year on the market, and reductions of $1,755,000 (14.9%), the listing for 10 Hastings has been withdrawn from the market (last listed at $9,995,000). And as you might recall, it was five months ago that the seller proffered the following: “If we are not successful at selling this at a price that we wish … we’ll just move into it.”
And no, we’re not holding our breath for an invitation to the housewarming. Although it would be nice. And we would bring a nice bottle of wine for the cellar.
∙ Not Any More (Secret That Is) [SockteSite]
∙ Ten Percent Off At Ten Hastings [SocketSite]
∙ Two Relatively Big Reductions (Two Absolutely Big Properties) [SocketSite]
May S&P/Case-Shiller Index: San Francisco MSA Continues Decline
According to the May 2007 S&P/Case-Shiller index (pdf), single-family home prices in the San Francisco MSA slipped 3.4% year-over-year and fell 0.3% from April '07 to May '07. For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), year-over-year price growth is down 3.4% (down 0.3% from April).
The (now) standard SocketSite footnote: 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).
∙ Late Spring Numbers Bring Chilly Returns (pdf) [Standard & Poor’s]
JustQuotes: Forget Subprime In San Francisco, But How About Alt-A?
“American Home Mortgage Investment Corp. shares sank on Monday after the home loan provider announced "major" writedowns, delayed a dividend and said lenders were demanding it put up more cash.”
“The announcement late Friday evening reflects how liquidity and credit issues affecting subprime lenders are extending to companies that make home loans to borrowers considered to be good credit risks.
American Home…specializes in prime and near-prime loans. It has, however, made many loans that allow borrowers to produce little documentation. Such loans are often considered riskier. The company recently commanded a roughly 2.5 percent share of the U.S. mortgage market.” (Cash woes pound American Home Mortgage)
∙ JustQuotes: Is The Subprime Sickness Spreading? [SocketSite]
San Francisco Listed Housing Inventory Update: 7/31/07
Housing inventory in San Francisco has moved from a typical post-Memorial Day bump, to a typical pre-Labor Day slowdown as the number of Active listings in San Francisco dropped 1.6% over the past couple of weeks (and is running 18.3% below 2006 levels). That's roughly two months of supply (which isn't atypical for San Francisco).
At the same time, “listed” housing inventory continues to represent less than half of all units that are currently competing for buyers in San Francisco.
∙ SocketSite’s Complete Inventory Index (CII): Q3 2007 (SF) [SocketSite]
∙ San Francisco Listed Housing Inventory Update: 7/16/07 [SocketSite]
2412 Harrison: A Chance To Try Before You Buy?
Perhaps it’s simply coincidence, but a plugged-in tipster forwards a craigslist ad for a short-term rental (“2 months ONLY starting August 1st”) at 2412 Harrison in a unit that just so happens to be up for sale (“must cooperate with RE agent”). Asking rent: $2,500/month.
July 30, 2007
Arterra (300 Berry) Tops Off At 16 And Aims For A Spring '08 Opening
According to Intracorp, Arterra has topped off at 16 floors and should be completed and closing escrows next Spring (2008). As best we can tell they’re still running under 50% in contract. And no, we can’t explain why they wrapped the building in Bovis blue (rather than Arterra "green").
∙ Rooms With An 11th Floor View (From The Arterra): 300 Berry [SocketSite]
∙ Out With The HOAs (For Now) In With The Sub-Zero (And Plasmas) [SocketSite]
∙ The Arterra: “Clean Design, Pure Living” At 300 Berry Street [SocketSite]
JustQuotes: Okay, So Perhaps A Wee Bit Of Schadenfreude For Some
“A hedge fund manager whose fund ran into trouble from the sell-off in securities backed by subprime mortgages is having to put his huge yacht up for sale, seeking $23.5 million. John Devaney, the CEO of United Capital Markets, a fund that specializes in buying and selling bonds that are backed by the mortgage payments, particularly adjustable rate subprime mortgages, has put his 142-foot yacht "Positive Carry" up for sale, according to a yacht broker's Web site.”
“Devaney told Money magazine this spring that despite problems that the loans cause for borrowers, the assets backed by them provided a good return for his fund. "The consumer has to be an idiot to take on those loans," he said. "But it has been one of our best-performing investments." But with rising delinquency and default rates in the sector, investors have been scared away from the assets lately, hitting those like Devaney who made a big bet on the investment.” (Fund manager's fun sailing away)
A High End Comp In The Making (The Four Seasons Residences #29F)
We missed it when the price was reduced from $4,990,000 to $4,695,000 (6%). And now, 765 Market #29F (at The Four Seasons) is in contract (although not quite "sold").
A few details for the sake of future comparisons (“comps”): 2,576 square feet; re-designed by Fisher Weisman; two parking spaces; and monthly HOAs of $1,981.
And yes, if it sells for (the most recent) asking, that’s $1,823 per square foot. Then again, “[a]udio electronics, 2 flat screen tvs, safe and automated window blinds" were included…
UPDATE (9/7): Closed escrow on 8/20/07 for an undisclosed amount.
∙ Listing: 765 Market Street #29F (2/2.5) - $4,695,000 (in Escrow) [MLS]
Eyes Wide Open: Looking For Lessons In Other’s Unfortunate Mistakes
SocketSite has never been about schadenfreude. At the same time, we've never shied away from asking and addressing the tough (and sometimes uncomfortable) questions. And yes, there are often lessons to be learned (or trends to be spotted) by observing other’s unfortunate mistakes.
Some observers say that many of those facing foreclosure should never have bought a house. To be sure, many consumers were seduced by the American dream of homeownership and so financially unsophisticated that they didn't apply due diligence. For Bay Area residents, more than a decade of consistently rising home prices may have led to a mob mentality of people overeager to jump into the real estate market, confident they would quickly gain equity.
Words we like: due diligence and financial sophistication (okay, and possibly seduction). Words we don't: mob mentality.
UPDATE: And not too surprisingly, the conversation quickly turns to borrower bailouts.
JustQuotes: The Green Building Exchange In Redwood City
“[Michael] Schaeffer, a longtime California home builder who started using more-efficient methods before "eco-friendly" was a catchphrase, has started the Green Building Exchange in Redwood City, a kind of year-round trade show, education center and retail shop designed to steer builders away from natural resources and low-efficiency items and toward cabinets made from reclaimed sorghum straw and non-electrical glow-in-the-dark "exit" signs.” (Getting Green Under One Roof)
∙ The Green Building Exchange [Redwood City]
Another Chance To Make An Offer (Any Offer) In San Francisco
Once again, it was almost a year ago that we wrote that “we’re struggling to rationalize the ‘value’” of the condos at 767 Bryant. Since then we’ve seen remodeling, reductions and even some mighty big incentives (e.g., free cars). And now, a craigslist plea by way of a plugged-in tipster:
Seller would like to move these units ASAP. Make an offer...any offer. We have been offering many incentives and the feedback is people would rather see a reduced purchase price. So instead of incentives bring us an offer of what you think the value is!
Keep in mind that after eleven months on the market, over half of the twenty (20) converted condos remain available for sale. Let us know if you make an offer (and don't forget to invite us to the housewarming if it's accepted).
July 27, 2007
We Know You Can, But Will They? (Actually Accept It That Is)
The list price for 2412 Harrison #106 was last reduced (for the third time) in June. It’s currently listed for $799,000 ($80,000 (9.1%) under its original list price in April). And it's currently advertising “NAME THE PRICE!
Bring ANY Offer!"
If you do, let us know what happens (and if it's accepted, don't forget those invitations to the loft warming). And regardless, do keep in mind that this condo last changed hands almost two years ago (November 2005). And at the time it sold for $820,000.
The Californian on Rincon Hill (375 Fremont): Website And Renderings
Once again: 41-stories; 393 luxury units (averaging 1,048 square feet) with 24-hour valet parking for “approximately 393 cars”; and construction beginning November of 2007 (and sales in early 2008).
∙ The Californian on Rincon Hill [375 Fremont]
∙ The Californian on Rincon Hill: 375 Fremont St. [SocketSite]
∙ The Californian On Rincon Hill Construction/Sales Pushed Back [SocketSite]
Going Green In The Mission (3280 22nd St.): Prices/Additional Details
A few weeks ago we let you know they were coming (and a reader nailed the tentative pricing). And today, we offer a few more details (Halila limestone, Zuma soaking tubs, and Duravit sinks in the bathrooms; Alpi & Teak cabinetry; hardwood floors made from reclaimed mine timbers), an exact address (3280 22nd Street), and "official" pricing:
∙ 3280 22nd Street #B (2/2) - $899,000
∙ 3280 22nd Street #C (2/2) - $849,000
∙ 3280 22nd Street #D (3/2) - $1,399,000
∙ Going Green (And Modern) In The Mission: 22nd And Valencia [SocketSite]
July 26, 2007
Two TICs And A Thought From A Tipster (222-224 Funston)
A tipster wonders about value ("I guess there is no harm in asking for over [a] million for each of these nicely renovated flats...[w]hether the sellers will actually get over $2.5 million for what is essentially a two flat Edwardian building is another matter."). We just liked looking at (most of) the pictures.
JustQuotes: Three Paragraphs, Two Quotes, One Bad Day
“Wall Street suffered one of its worst losses of 2007 Thursday, leading a global stock market plunge as investors succumbed to months of worry about the mortgage and corporate lending markets. The Dow Jones industrials closed down more than 310 points after earlier skidding nearly 450.
Investors who had been able for months to largely shrug off discomfort about subprime mortgage problems and a more difficult environment for corporate borrowing finally decided it was time to sell after the Commerce Department issued another disappointing home sales report.” (Stocks Skid on Lending Worries)
“The Commerce Department reported Thursday that sales of new single-family homes dropped by 6.6 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 834,000 units. The decline was more than triple what had been expected and was the largest percentage drop since sales fell by 12.7 percent in January.” (New Home Sales Down Substantially)
∙ JustQuotes: Is The Subprime Sickness Spreading? [SocketSite]
The SocketSite Scoop On 3456 Jackson (In Presidio Heights)
So here’s the scoop: 3456 Jackson just hit the open market for the first time in 46 years (having passed from parents to son in the mid 60’s).
It’s a relatively large (4,200+ square feet) 1920s home with a Georgian façade on a flat block in Presidio Heights. And a third floor - which we loved, but won't be everybody's cup of tea - was added in 1961 (think cedar paneled walls, built-in bookshelves, and a glass wrapped central atrium/deck).
Bridge, Presidio, and garden views from all levels of the main residence, and au pair quarters (1/1 of the 5/6.5) in the basement. And while it’s completely livable as-is (unlike that fixer on Clay), we’d probably budget for a remodeling of the kitchen (early 80’s) and at least 4.5 of the 6.5 bathrooms (plus one assuming your au pair really is "au pair").
UPDATE (9/7): Closed escrow for an undisclosed amount on 9/7/07.
More Of Those Emails We Like To Get (For The Most Part)
From buyers to sellers, perhaps there's something to be said for openly managing expectations (and plugging in):
“SocketSite has been helping me feed my San Francisco condo obsession. With our condo now sold, I believe I'm cured. So, I want to say thank you and farewell. [Editor’s Note: As we said, for the most part.]
My illness and its cure:
We bought a high rise condo "north of California Street" in 2004, planning to hold and perhaps downsize and move there in 10 years or so. Both of us had very much liked the building since the 1970s, and leapt when this unit became available. About a year ago, our plans changed, and we decided to sell, summer 2007 being our first opportunity. Our hand isn't being forced by interest rate adjustments or the like. Nor are we leaving San Francisco. We simply decided we have other things we'd rather do with the money.
We've been expecting unpleasantness for San Francisco condo sellers for some time, so the decision to sell filled me with anxiety, and SocketSite has helped support me as we prepared to go on the market.
Conclusions (others' mileage may vary): 1. Our agent is a goddess, and earned her commission and then some. 2. We were fortunate, i.e., 12 days on the market, closed in 20 days, compound annual growth rate was something more than 6.5% (that's not fabulous but -- in the light of the market -- we're happy). 3. Other agents' feedback was that our building's relatively high HOA charges ($8.50/sq. ft./year) were scaring away a greater than expected proportion of otherwise interested shoppers.
Thanks again and best wishes."
Our pleasure (and thank you). Now about being “cured” and that all too frivolous farewell…
∙ The Kind Of Email We Love To Get (And An Odeon Question) [SocketSite]