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April 30, 2008

A Plugged-In Reader's Report: Crime Starts Hitting Closer To Home

A plugged-in reader reports:

I was in Baretta restaurant on 23rd and Valencia last night while it was robbed at gunpoint. The gunman had us all lie on the floor and look down. He proceeded to rob the till. Very scary stuff. I know of a recent home invasion on North Potrero. A friend of mine had his wife's laptop stolen while he was in the shower in his own home in Noe Valley. Then there's the rash of muggings in Bernal and Glen Park. I saw a guy roll up on another guy and then get shot at by the driver of the car he meant to himself assail two weeks ago on the corner of Cesar Chavez and South Van Ness. They sped off down Cesar Chavez street at 100 mph. One of the kids who was killed by that asshole over pizza in the Sunset lived in a friend of mine's building. He was shot in the face. The killer remains at large because his girlfriend wouldn't i.d. him. That was the best they could come up with. San Francisco needs to step up the policing. It's getting ridiculous.

And ads: "[T]hat octopus risotto [at Baretta] is awesome."

UPDATE (5/2): "My neighbor in Ashbury Heights was mugged at gun point last night at 10:00, half a block from her house. We're all very shaken."

High Crime Rates Are One Thing, Random Muggings Quite Another [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:58 PM | Comments (105)

Transit Center District Plan Workshop: Initial Ideas Tonight (4/30/08)

San Francisco's Transit Center District Boundaries

Via San Francisco’s Planning Department:

In late 2007 the Planning Department began a planning effort for the southern portion of downtown San Francisco in the vicinity of the Transbay Transit Center. The Plan is considering increasing development capacity around the improved regional transit facility to support transit usage and to raise revenue for the transit project, modifying the downtown skyline, and proposing public realm improvements to support this high-activity area.
After some study and analysis, the Department now has information and initial ideas regarding land use, urban form, historic preservation, streets and open spaces. We would like to share these with the public and gather feedback.
Date: Wednesday April 30, 2008
Time: 6:30-8:30pm
Place: 536 Mission Street (Golden Gate University), Room 2201

To paraphrase in part: recommended building heights for the competition winning 1,200 foot Transbay Tower and environs.

Transit Center Tower Height

UPDATE: From a plugged-in reader in attendance: "The presentation was conservative as to height. Only the new proposed TransBay terminal to be perhaps 1,000 to 1,200 ft. With all future buildings to be shorter. Say good bye to the Renzo Piano project!!"

Transbay Transit Center: Community Insight (And Involvement) [SocketSite]
Reaching for the sky South of Market [SFGate]
Hines And Pelli Clarke Pelli Bid The Most (And Get The Transbay Nod) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:15 AM | Comments (12)

A Total Noe Fixer/Tear-Down (For A Little Less Than Two Years Ago?)

1409 Sanchez

It’s a "total fixer" or "tear-down" which makes pricing a bit tricky as “potential” value is not only in the eyes, but also the hands of the beholder.

That being said, over in Noe Valley 1409 Sanchez was briefly in contract this past January when listed for $1,100,000. After falling out of contract, however, the list price for the property was subsequently reduced to $995,000 in February, to $940,000 in March, to $849,500 two weeks ago, and to $799,500 yesterday.

As a plugged-in reader notes, the property last changed hands on 12/30/05 for $868,000. But we don't know whether or not it would have been considered a "total fixer" or "tear-down" at the time. Or if anybody has attempted to pursue either path since.

UPDATE: From a plugged-in reader: "I really like this area of Sanchez and Duncan and remember when it was sold in late 2005. The owner had died and the place was a total mess. No garage, a small lot, and a complete tear down." And with that we have an apple.

∙ Listing: 1409 Sanchez (2/1) - $799,500 [MLS]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:00 AM | Comments (44)

April 29, 2008

Apparently The Market Couldn’t See Past The Paint (Or Could It?)

402 Sanchez

The original (and still active) listing photos for 402 Sanchez: Above
The new price: $1,234,050 (previously $1,299,000, originally $1,350,000)
The new notes: “Interior has been repainted with neutral colors” and “Now on lockbox!”
The last pre non-neutral paint and remodel sale: $1,200,000 (on 10/24/2006)

∙ Listing: 402 Sanchez (2/2) - $1,234,050 [MLS]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:48 PM | Comments (13)

Perspective On California Foreclosures And The Current Housing Cycle

California Mortgage Foreclosures: Q1 2008 (Image Source: Bubble Markets Inventory Tracking)

Get over the source of the graph (Bubble Markets Inventory Tracking) and the fact that the epicenter of foreclosure activity is centered down south (at least currently), it’s still relevant perspective regarding this housing cycle (and at some level will most likely matter to you).

And while foreclosures did only account for 5% of all resales in San Francisco County (not MSA) last quarter versus 33% Statewide, do keep in mind that’s two points higher than what was recorded Statewide in the first quarter of 2007 (3%).

CA Foreclosures 2008 Q1 [Bubble Markets Inventory Tracking]
California home foreclosures hit a record [Los Angeles Times]
Yes, The Greater California Housing Market Does Matter To You [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:00 PM | Comments (19)

Being Median In San Francisco Doesn’t Afford Anyone Much Of A Home

According to the California Franchise Tax board, the median household income for married couples filing joint returns in the county of San Francisco was $71,529 in 2006. That’s 22% less than in Contra Costa, 33% less than in San Mateo, and 63% less than in Marin.

And assuming a 20% down payment, that $71,529 in income would most likely qualify said couple to purchase a home worth somewhere around $300,000.

Bay Area home to the state's elite - 8 counties place in wealthiest dozen [SFGate]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:59 AM | Comments (41)

Building Permit Fees To Increase, But Process To Be Streamlined

Assuming the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approves the latest proposal from the Building Inspection Commission, building permit fees in San Francisco will increase (but hardly "soar") within the next five months.

Under the new fee proposal, the price for a basic electrical-permit fee for a bathroom or kitchen remodel would nearly double to $160. The maximum fee for a permit for up to $50,000 worth of home improvements would increase 29 percent to $1,600.

At the same time, “a 188-point action plan to improve service and speed up turnaround times for permit applications, including new online services” will also be adopted. It’s an entirely equitable tradeoff as far as we’re concerned (and long overdue).

Cost of home-improvement permits to soar [Examiner]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:27 AM | Comments (5)

February S&P/Case-Shiller: San Francisco MSA Decline Accelerates

S&P/Case-Shiller Index Change: February 2008 (www.SocketSite.com)

According to the February 2008 S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index (pdf), single-family home prices in the San Francisco MSA fell 5.0% from January '08 to February ’08 and are down 17.2% year-over-year. For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), year-over-year price growth is down 13.6% (having fallen 2.8% from January).

For the month of February, markets in the West were the biggest decliners. San Francisco [-5.0%], Las Vegas [-4.8%], and Los Angeles [-4.3%] were the worst performers. Each had a negative return in excess of 4%. Charlotte remains the only market that has a positive return over the past 12 months, but it too has seen negative returns in each of the last six months and is in the midst of growth deceleration.

Prices fell across all three price tiers for the San Francisco MSA with the rate of decline accelerating across the board.

S&P/Case-Shiller Index Price Tiers: February 2008 (www.SocketSite.com)

The bottom third (under $513,218 at the time of acquisition) fell 5.9% from January to February (down 32.0% YOY); the middle third fell 5.9% from January to February (down 20.6% YOY); and the top third (over $756,420 at the time of acquisition) fell 2.5% from January to February (down 6.0% YOY).

And according to the Index, home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA have returned to December 2003 levels, the middle third to May 2004 levels, and the top third to March 2005 levels.

The standard SocketSite S&P/Case-Shiller footnote: The HPI 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).

UPDATE: Back by popular demand, the San Francisco price tiers plotted logarithmically:

S&P/Case-Shiller Index Price Tiers: February 2008 (www.SocketSite.com)

Steep Declines in Home Prices Continued in February 2008 [Standard & Poor’s]
January S&P/Case-Shiller: San Francisco MSA Continues Decline [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:16 AM | Comments (113)

Yes, The Greater California Housing Market Does Matter To You

“Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Monday that California faces a budget gap that could approach $20 billion through June 2009, a dizzying projection that adds further confusion to the depth of California's financial crisis.”

“The estimated gap for the fiscal year that begins July 1 already has prompted talk in Sacramento of tax increases and spending cuts that could hit classrooms, law enforcement and health care.

The new figure essentially doubles the Republican governor's deficit projection from just days ago. California's economy has been hammered by the slumping housing market, while soaring gas prices have cut into consumer spending.”

Schwarzenegger says Calif. faces $20 billion budget deficit [SFGate]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:00 AM | Comments (24)

April 28, 2008

The SocketSite Scoop On One (1) Ecker Place: Going Condo Rental

 One Ecker: Exterior (Image Source: oneecker.com)

From a plugged-in tipster:

One Ecker is going the route of Apartments. After pre-selling 10 of 51 units, the building refunded deposits and is going to rent instead of sell.

No word on the proposed rents nor whether or not the official explanation will be unexpected strength in the rental market (versus unexpected weakness in demand for the condos).

One (1) Ecker Place Update: Sales Office Open (And A Few Details) [SocketSite]
A Heller Manus Renovation Of 1 Ecker Place [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:31 AM | Comments (28)

High Crime Rates Are One Thing, Random Muggings Quite Another

While the Chronicle reports a recent spike in Glen Park and Bernal Heights muggings, according to a couple of plugged-in tipsters and local residents the rash of armed robberies (often at the end of a shotgun) have been going for months (not weeks).

Muggings spike in Glen Park, Bernal Heights [SFGate]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:33 AM | Comments (93)

SocketSite's San Francisco Listed Housing Inventory Update: 4/28/08

San Francisco Housing Inventory: 4/28/08 (www.SocketSite.com)

Inventory of Active listed single-family homes, condos, and TICs in San Francisco increased 5% over the past two weeks and is currently running 36% higher on a year-over-year basis. Keep in mind that our listed inventory count does not include listings in any stage of contract (even those which are simply contingent) nor do they include multi-family listings (unless the units are individually listed).

And once again, while recorded sales activity was off by a little over 20% last month (on a year-over-year basis), listed sales activity was off by over 30%.

SocketSite's San Francisco Listed Housing Inventory Update: 4/14/08 [SocketSite]
San Francisco Recorded Sales Activity In March: Down 20.6% YOY [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Comments (55)

April 25, 2008

Don’t Confuse The Market’s "Appreciation" With Ours: 2140 Bush #5

2140 Bush #5: Living

While we featured 2140 Bush Street #5 two years ago when it was listed for $1,195,000, the fact that it’s back on the market today for $1,695,000 doesn’t actually speak to market appreciation (think complete overhaul and another aspect of "mix").

2140 Bush Street #5: Bath

The higher resale price will, however, contribute to a higher average sales price for properties in the neighborhood (and industry reports of said "appreciation"). But the only appreciation of which we can be absolutely certain is ours (for the pad).

∙ Listing: 2140 Bush Street #5 (1/1.5) - $1,695,000 [MLS]
Loft Style Living In Pacific Heights [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 PM | Comments (28)

Symphony Towers: 65% Sold / “Penthouse” Release This Weekend

Symphony Tower: Courtyard

According to the sales office, Symphony Towers is currently 65% sold (or in contract), 50% occupied, and will be releasing their “penthouse” units this weekend. That’s roughly 26 net new sales over the past four months with 46 left to move.

And while we missed it when it was originally reduced, and it’s now in contract, we’ll note that the list price on 650 Turk Street #T204 was reduced $40,000 (7.6%) which might suggest some room for negotiation on the remaining Symphony Tower’s inventory (which consists of both 750 Van Ness and 650 Turk).

UPDATE (4/28): According to a plugged-in reader the list price on 650 Turk Street #T204 was reduced $40,000 to reflect the unbundling of a deeded parking space (rather than a reduction in unit pricing).

Symphony Towers Update: 45% In Contract And Opening February 08 [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:30 AM | Comments (7)

It’s Already Been Remodeled (And Yet We’re Still Seeing The Bones)

718 Pine Street: Entry

Frederick Meyer designed, solar panels added, and a little leaded glass sprinkled throughout. It’s a nice combination. And not that it’s not already livable (or for that matter remodeled), but we find ourselves focused on the bones and fantasizing about a high-end New York (life) style rebirth.

∙ Listing: 718 Pine Street (3/3.5) - $2,350,000 [McGuire] [MLS]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:22 AM | Comments (2)

April 24, 2008

Officially "Coming Soon" (As In This Afternoon): 1226 2nd Avenue



Alternative (but rejected) headline: “Interactive Floor Plan Porn, Simple But Not Plain.”

∙ Listing: 1226 2nd Avenue - $1,879,000 [1226-2ndavenue.com] [Interactive Floor Plans]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:00 AM | Comments (39)

Past Post And Property Update: Listing For 270 Castenada Withdrawn

270 Castenada: Living

The listing for 270 Castenada was withdrawn from the MLS yesterday. Perhaps it wasn’t only “too beautiful to describe,” but “too beautiful to price” (or with which to part) as well.

A Peek Inside 270 Castenada (And Now About Those Drawings...) [SocketSite]
Too Beautiful To Describe (Except By The Architect): 270 Castenada [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:27 AM | Comments (5)

U.S. New-Home Sales Slide Plunge To Near Seventeen Year Low

“Purchases of new homes in the U.S. plunged more than forecast in March to the lowest level in almost 17 years as stricter loan rules and falling prices caused buyers to hold off. Sales dropped 8.5 percent to an annual pace of 526,000, the fewest since October 1991, from a 575,000 rate the prior month....”

New-Home Sales in the U.S. Plunge More Than Forecast [Bloomberg]
U.S. Existing-Home Sales Slide (This Time Despite The Seasonality) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Comments (44)

“Plans” But No Permits (Or Even Approvals As Best We Can Tell)

616 20th Street (Image Source: MapJack.com)

As best we can tell they’re simply “plans” (i.e., no approvals or permits) to develop the lot.

616 20th Street Plan: Exterior

And as such, these 16 units aren’t part of our pipeline.

616 20th Street Plan: Interior

But the potential (for) development is on our radar along with the rest of the ‘hood.

∙ Listing: 616 20th Street - $2,000,000 [MLS]
SocketSite’s Complete Inventory Index (Cii): Q1 2008 (San Francisco) [SocketSite]

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

Pacific Heights The Sequel (Working Title: "Landlords Gone Wild!")

“A landlord couple have been charged in San Francisco with waging a campaign of terror against their renters in a South of Market building, including cutting out the floor supports at one apartment after the tenant went to court to keep from being evicted, authorities said Wednesday.”

“The charges stem from tactics the [Kip and Nicole Macy] allegedly used after they bought a six-unit, three-story apartment building [at 744-746] Clementina Street for $995,000 in 2005 and started eviction proceedings against the five tenants living there.

When one of the tenants, Scott Morrow, successfully fought eviction, the couple allegedly told workers in September 2006 to cut the beams that supported his apartment's floor. They also shut off Morrow's electricity, cut his phone line and had workers saw a hole in his living room floor from below, prosecutors said. Morrow has since sued the Macys.”

UPDATE (4/28): Additional details emerge.

S.F. landlords charged with tenant terror [SFGate]
Bizarre account of S.F. eviction battle [SFGate]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:30 AM | Comments (106)

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