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September 28, 2007

We’re Suckers For Dramatic Before And After Shots (And Renovations)

Façade Before:
52-54 Iris: The Original Facade

Façade After:
52-54 Iris: The New Facade

It’s a top-to-bottom contemporary deco remodel of a two-unit building in Laurel Heights (52-54 Iris). And yes, it’s sure to elicit strong reactions (one way or the other). A couple of features that stand out: glass entry doors, new aluminium windows and garage doors; textured walls; and a glass wrapped Ipae terrace above (with surprisingly good views).

And even if it’s not your style, but you’re considering a remodel of your own, do pay particular attention to the transformation of what were single bathrooms (on the main floors) into two.

Continue on for a few more before and after shots (as well as comments).

Kitchen Before:
52-54 Iris: The Original Kitchen

Kitchen After:
52-54: The New Kitchen

Living Room Before:
52-54 Iris: The Old Living Room

Living Room After:
52-54 Iris: The New Living Room

∙ Listing: 52 Iris (3/3.5) - $1,869,000 (TIC) [decolaurelflats.com] [MLS]
∙ Listing: 54 Iris (2/2) - $1,379,000 (TIC) [decolaurelflats.com] [MLS]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:32 PM | Comments (37)

The Irony Continues: Another $400,000 Off Of The Old Droubi HQ

4128 24th Street: The Ex-Droubi Real Estate HQ

As a plugged-in tipster notes, the list price on 4128 24th Street (the former home of Droubi Real Estate) was just reduced another $400,000 (13.4%). It’s now listed at $2,595,000 (25.8% below original) and advertising: "Seller will carry second deed of trust."

And while it might simply have been priced too high to begin with, we once again find ourselves biting our tongues. Oh, and re-reading a few of the comments the last cut evoked in a whole new light.

∙ Listing: 4128 24th Street (4/2) - $2,595,000 [droubiteam] [MLS]
The Droubi Noe Valley Victorian (4128 24th): Coming Soon [SocketSite]
From No Real Story To A Bit Of Understated Irony (4128 24th) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:40 PM | Comments (26)

The SocketSite Scoop: Half Of The Sunset Idea House Hits The Market

A plugged-in tipster forwards an email exchange between two incredulous San Francisco real estate watchers. The basic gist:

A: Half of that “freaky-eco project” on Alabama and 25th just hit the market. Open this weekend. For free!
M: $900/sqft for a TIC in this part of the Mission? And after selling tickets to see it this past Sunday? That’s so wrong.
A: No, that’s some funny sh&*! [And destined for SocketSite]

That’s right, 1303 Alabama (half of Sunset’s 2007 San Francisco Idea House) will be open this Sunday (9/30). No ticket (or donation) necessary. Although tips (email tips@socketsite.com) are always appreciated.

And no, we can't imagine Sunset is all too pleased.

∙ Listing: 1303 Alabama (2/2.5) -$1,089,000 (TIC) [MLS]
Sunset’s 2007 San Francisco Idea House: 3027 25th Street [SocketSite]
Lotus House Rising (And A Plug For SF’s Build It Green Home Tour) [SocketSite]
An Early Peek Inside “La Casa Verde” (a.k.a. The Future Idea House) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:12 AM | Comments (33)

Frederick Knows His Piers (A.K.A. Cruise Ships Closer To Pier 27)

Pier 27

According to the San Francisco Business Times, a “blue-ribbon panel on the future of San Francisco's cruise ship industry” (“led by former Port Commissioner Frankie Lee and Chamber of Commerce President Steve Falk”) agrees with what Frederick noted back in April: San Francisco’s new cruise ship terminal will likely dock on Pier 27.

And yes, it’s a definite boost for the proposed development of Piers 27-31 (now in the hands of Shorenstein Properties).

S.F. cruise terminal finds new berth [Business Times]
The Port, The Piers, The Parking And The Terminal [SocketSite (4/07)]
Proposed SF Cruise Ship Terminal Sunk [SocketSite (9/06)]
Pier Wars [SocketSite (10/05)]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:00 AM | Comments (5)

JustQuotes: Don’t Shoot (But Feel Free To Debate) The Messenger(s)

“A recession within the next 12 months is likely and its impact on the Bay Area will be "sharp but short" due to the area's strong economic underpinnings, according to a new forecast.”

“A recession will be brought on by slowing consumer spending prompted by a cooling housing market, said economist Jon Haveman. "People who have seen their house values rise 10 to 15 percent annually have been spending accordingly," he said. The Bay Area housing market is overpriced and Haveman expects prices to drop by as much as 20 percent by 2009 before stabilizing.”

“While the forecast, presented to business executives this month, predicts a relatively short recessionary period, there are risks to the local economy. Among them is the commercial real estate market, Haveman said.

Low interest rates allowed unprecedented speculation on office space. If lease rates dip, that could trigger an unraveling of mortgage-backed securities in the commercial market, the forecast said. "The same excesses in the mortgage markets have also been seen in commercial markets," Haveman said.” (Bay Area may be in for short, sharp shock)

Posted by socketadmin at 2:30 AM | Comments (14)

If Only We Could Get This One “Un-Remodeled” (21 Parsons)

21 Parsons

So while it was the $299,000 garden studio that first caught (and then lost) our attention, it was the juxtaposition between the original woodwork (which we love) and the very un-original kitchen (no comment) up that landed 21 Parsons on the site.

There's nothing quite like having to budget for a remodel of a remodel (and wondering what was lost the first time around).

∙ Listing: 21 Parsons #A (0/1) – $299,000 (TIC) [MLS]
∙ Listing: 21 Parsons (2/1) - $685,000 (TIC) [MLS]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:15 AM | Comments (3)

Take Two For Twenty-Seven Twenty-Two Sutter Street

2722 Sutter Street

And speaking of new beginnings, 2722 Sutter Street has quickly returned to the market (after being withdrawn) with a new website (2722sutterst.com), a new price (reduced $116,000), and (perhaps not too surprisingly) a new agent.

And yes, it's also a new start for its days on the market and the baseline from which they'll measure "over asking." So if you thought it was well priced earlier this month

∙ Listing: 2722 Sutter (4/2.5) - $1,579,000 [2722sutterst.com] [MLS]
A San Francisco Edwardian With An Asian Influence (2722 Sutter) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:10 AM | Comments (6)

Kicked To The Curb(ed)

Sorry, it was just too damn easy. Anyway, Curbed SF has re-launched with a new Editor, a new found enthusiasm (not to mention attitude), and an entirely new lease on life.

Posted by socketadmin at 2:00 AM | Comments (2)

September 27, 2007

The SocketSite Scoop On The 8 Washington Street Project

8 Washington Street Project Area

Pacific Waterfront Partners and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System have been working on plans to redevelop the area “bounded by The Embarcadero, Washington and Drumm Streets.”

8 Washington Street Rendering

And as proposed, the 8 Washington Street Project would replace a surface parking lot (which could be a problem considering it's Seawall lot 351) and the current Golden Gateway Tennis and Swim Club with 170 housing units above street level retail and restaurants; public green space; and underground parking (both public and private). And yes, it also provides for a new and improved Tennis & Swim Club as well.

8 Washington Street Project [8washington.com] [Fact Sheet (pdf)]
Did The Port Get Punked? (San Francisco Seawall Lot Redevelopment) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:45 AM | Comments (31)

JustQuotes: The Bigger Picture Is Looking A Bit Bleak

“Fannie Mae Chief Executive Officer Daniel Mudd said the [national] housing slump will last beyond next year, dragging down home prices and increasing credit losses at the largest provider of financing for U.S. mortgages. ‘We don't think we hit a bottom until the end of '08 and then we have some period of time to work our way back up again,’ Mudd said today in an interview in Washington.”

“Sales of new homes in the U.S. dropped more than forecast in August and prices plunged by the most since 1970, underscoring the Federal Reserve's concern about the broader economy. Purchases declined 8.3 percent to an annual pace of 795,000, the lowest level in more than seven years, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. The median price dropped 7.5 percent from a year ago.”

“Sales fell in two of four regions. The decline was led by a 21 percent slump in the West and a 15 percent drop in the South. Purchases increased 42 percent in the Northeast and 21 percent in the Midwest.”

Housing Slump to Last Beyond 2008, Fannie's Mudd Says [Bloomberg]
U.S. Economy: New-Home Sales Decline 8.3 Percent [Bloomberg]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:30 AM | Comments (5)

The Return Of The Red-Bellied Tudorbethan! (69 Waller)

69 Waller

Could it have been some strange migratory pattern? Or that it got spooked by all the attention? Regardless, the “red-bellied” Tudorbethan (69 Waller) we first spotted last month is back. Only this time it’s listed at $1,149,000 (an increase of $100,000). Go figure (and we're sure you will).

∙ Listing: 69 Waller Street (3/2) - $1,149,000 [MLS]
Honey, Is That A Red Bellied Tudorbethan Behind That Tree? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:00 AM | Comments (32)

September 26, 2007

For The Views, They Are A-Changin' (Not That That's A Bad Thing)


Sometimes we just like the view (or perhaps photo). Just don’t forget about that second One Rincon Hill tower that’s slated to sprout from in the lower left-hand third of this frame. Or the proposed Turnberry tower up the street. Or The Californian across the street. Or perhaps even 340 Fremont a little to the right.

Now if only we could find a good photoshopper with some spare time on his (or her) hands...

∙ Listing: 400 Beale Street #2106 (2/1.5) - $1,025,000 [MLS]
One Rincon Hill: An Unofficial Update On The Timing Of The Two Towers [SocketSite]
Out With The Old: 45 Lansing And The Lot Around Watermark [SocketSite]
True Luxury Condos At 45 Lansing? [SocketSite]
The Californian on Rincon Hill (375 Fremont): Website And Renderings [SocketSite]
New Developments: 340 – 350 Fremont [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:46 AM | Comments (35)

Which Five Years Will The Next Five Years More Likely Resemble?

211-215 Moulton Street (www.SocketSite.com)

213 Moulton is a contemporary single-family home situated down a little alley in Cow Hollow. It first sold for $545,000 in 1995. And ten years later (in 2005) it changed hands for $1,672,000. No doubt about it, that's fantastic long-term appreciation. Then again, it also changed hands in the year 2000 for $1,600,000.

We only mention it now as 215 Moulton (part of the same three home development) has been on the market for a month and has recently reduced its list price $145,000 (or 7.3%). They’re now asking $1,850,000 which includes a new full bath (added in 2006) and reclaimed living space on the ground floor.

∙ Listing: 215 Moulton (3/3.5) - $1,850,000 [MLS]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:45 AM | Comments (17)

RandomRumors And Readers Report: Countrywide Cuts Commence

From a plugged-in tipster: "I talked to my friend who was just let go [at Countrywide]. Seems they're going to go into the direction right now of letting those people go who started after June 11th, 2007. He said company wide so we shall see how it unfolds. Weird to begin letting people go on a Weds as well." And yes, unconfirmed (for now).

From Rumor To Reality: Up To 12,000 Layoffs At Countrywide [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:41 AM | Comments (11)

Will It Stay Or Will It Go? (If It Goes There Will Be Trouble...)

3673 16th Street

3673 16th Street is an “1880's Italianate with most original detailing” intact (although definitely not in the kitchen or out back). But it’s also a single-family home on an 130 foot long lot (“ideal for development”) that’s zoned RH-3.

And so yes, we have to ask, will it stay or will it go? If it goes there will be trouble...

∙ Listing: 3673 16th Street (2/1) - $850,000 [Obeo] [MLS]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:29 AM | Comments (27)

What Ever Happened To That New Attitude Up In Noe?

4733 25th Street

We found it so much more interesting when the listing for 4733 25th Street up in Noe noted: “NEW PRICE! NEW ATTITUDE!” After all, the list price has been dropped $184,000 (15.6%) over the past two months. And “classic single story home on prime noe valley block” is just so generic (and so much less telling).

∙ Listing: 4733 25th Street (2/1) - $995,000 [MLS]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:00 AM | Comments (20)

September 25, 2007

JustQuotes: It’s Happening With Debt, Could It Happen With Homes?

"Declines in the dollar, which fell to a record $1.4154 against the euro today, are souring some overseas investors on U.S. government debt...."We're shifting money to the euro from the U.S.'' A falling dollar brings losses to investors from outside the U.S. and it may spur inflation in the months ahead, [Satoshi Okumoto, who helps oversee the equivalent of $4.3 billion in non-yen debt at Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance Co. in Tokyo] said."

Treasuries Rise as Consumer Confidence, Home Sales Decline [Bloomberg]
What’s The Scoop On Foreign Investment In San Francisco? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:04 AM | Comments (30)

July S&P/Case-Shiller Index: San Francisco MSA Continues Decline

S&P/Case-Shiller Index: July 2007

And speaking of the S&P/Case-Shiller index (and no, that wasn't a coincidence), according to the July 2007 index (pdf), single-family home prices in the San Francisco MSA slipped 4.1% year-over-year and fell 0.4% from June '07 to July '07. For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), year-over-year price growth is down 4.5% (down 0.5% from May).

S&P/Case-Shiller Index Change: July 2007 (www.Socketsite.com)

The 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).

They're Betting Against San Francisco On The CME [SocketSite]
Summer Swoon Evident in the S&P/Case-Shiller® Home Price Indices (pdf) [S&P]
June S&P/Case-Shiller Index: San Francisco MSA Mimics U.S. Decline [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Comments (9)

Damn Those Direct Comps In The Marina (1307 Bay Street)

1307 Bay Street

Three of four nearly identical Marina condos have sold over the past 29 months in a classic five-unit building at 1307 Bay. Unit #1 sold $1,110,000 in April of 2005. Unit #2 (which is above #1) sold for $1,142,000 in April of 2006. And in November of 2006, unit #4 (which is next to unit #1) sold for $1,170,000.

As such, pricing unit #3 (which is above unit #4 and features a much nicer kitchen and bathrooms than unit #2) at $1,229,000 (as it was almost four months ago) would make perfect sense. Of course that's assuming home values in the Marina have continued to rise.

And yet unit #3 hasn’t sold. Not after the price was reduced to $1,195,000 a month later. Not after subsequently being reduced to $1,179,000. And not since being reduced to $1,139,000 two weeks ago.

Damn those comps.

∙ Listing: 1307 Bay Street #3 (2/2) - $1,139,000 [MLS]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:15 AM | Comments (32)

They're Betting Against Us (San Francisco) On The CME

S&P/Case-Shiller Index: CME Futures 9/24/07 (www.SocketSite.com)

It was a little over a year ago (May 2006) that housing futures based on the S&P/Case-Shiller index for ten Major Metropolitan Areas (as well as a ten city composite) began trading on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME). And it was last week that the market was expanded to include contracts of up to five years in duration.

A few important things to keep in mind: liquidity and open interest in the CME housing markets are painfully low; the “San Francisco” index includes San Francisco, San Mateo, Marin, Contra Costa, and Alameda counties; and the index is based on changes of single-family home values (and not condos). That being said, the market does represent real traders betting real money on movements in the local housing market.

And what say the traders about the San Francisco MSA? Well, as of today traders on the CME are betting home values in the San Francisco will drop almost 7% over the next year; 14% over the next two; and a total of 24% over the next four (down roughly 7% a year). And that’s the second to worst four-year performance of any of the ten markets (with traders betting that Miami will drop 25%).

Again, it’s a thinly traded market with significant bid/ask spreads (especially on the longer duration contracts), and it’s not specific to “San Francisco” county. But these are real dollars at work. It is another data point worth watching (if not for magnitude, then at least for direction). And yes, we'll keep you plugged-in.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Housing [CME]
CME Group Extends Offerings of S&P/Case-Shiller Housing Contracts [CME]
June S&P/Case-Shiller Index: San Francisco MSA Mimics U.S. Decline [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:00 AM | Comments (34)

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