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November 26, 2008

Warm Thoughts Of A Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner (2008 Edition)

958 Sanchez: Stove

We’re making it Thanksgiving time tradition: a recent reduction (listed on 11/06 for $1,175,000, reduced to $1,098,000 on 11/21) and a gorgeous old stove.

Here's to hoping your pantry is plentiful along with your family and friends. Safe travels if you are (traveling). And we'll see you next week.

∙ Listing: 956-958 Sanchez (4/2) - $1,098,000 [Virtual Tour] [MLS]
Conjuring Up Warm Thoughts Of A Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:00 PM | Comments (11)

New Woodwork (And Price?) To Rival That Of Old: 3960 20th Street

3960 20th Street: Kitchen

The woodwork (“vertical grain fir to complete the turn-of-the century craftsman design”) caught our fancy.

3960 20th Street: Living

Was the recent reduction (from $2,295,000 to $1,995,000) enough to catch yours?

∙ Listing: 3960 20th Street (4/3.5) - $1,995,000 [MLS]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:30 PM | Comments (26)

The SocketSite Penthouse Plan Challenge: From At To Over The Top

SocketSite's ORH Penthouse Plan Challenge: The Lifebox plan as rendered by Steel Blue and NEORAMA

As if the floor plan and 3D rendering submitted by the Lifebox, Steel Blue and NEORAMA team to our unofficial One Rincon Hill penthouse challenge weren’t enough, they’ve taken it upon themselves to render the penthouse design as a slice of the building. And with that we've officially moved from at to over the top.

SocketSite’s Unofficial Penthouse Plan Challenge: Life(box) At The Top [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM

Behind The Facade And Renovation Of 224 Mississippi (But NFS)

224 Mississippi

Not for sale, but a chance to peek behind the facade and renovation of 224 Mississippi.

224 Mississippi: Kitchen

Batles' Potrero Hill home echoes the past [SFGate] [Photos]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Comments (9)

Eastern Neighborhoods/Candlestick Plans Yea! (Mirant Retrofit Nea!)

Eastern Neighborhoods Map

It was a busy week for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors as the Eastern Neighborhoods plan was unanimously approved as lending, new development and sales across the City continue to slow down.

Chronicle Graphic: Hunters/Candlestick Point Redevelopment Plan

The financial plan for Lennar to develop Candlestick Point was approved 10-1 (with only Supervisor Daly opposing).

Potrero Hill Power Plant:Aerial (Image Source: local.live.com)

And the knife was turned on the Mayor’s proposal to retrofit Mirant’s Potrero Hill power plant, but with no clear alternative in sight.

Eastern Neighborhoods Plan, It's Not Just For Policy Wonks Anymore [SocketSite]
JustQuotes: The Redevelopment Of Hunters/Candlestick Point [SocketSite]
JustQuotes: Potrero Hill Power Plant Plan Paused (For A Week) [SocketSite]
Land Use Supes Oppose Mirant Retrofit, Lennar Seeks Higher IRR [SocketSite]
Supes OK plan for thousands of new homes [SFGate]
Candlestick Point project’s $2 billion funding plan approved [Examiner]
S.F. supervisors kill mayor's power plant plan [SFGate]

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

November 25, 2008

New S&P/Case-Shiller Condo Price Index: San Francisco MSA Falling

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

According to the newly released S&P/Case-Shiller Condo Price Index, condo values in the San Francisco MSA fell 3.3% from August ’08 to September '08, are down 15.0% on a year-over-year basis, have fallen 17.2% from a high in October 2005, and have dipped below levels last seen in October 2004.

The SocketSite S&P/Case-Shiller condo footnote: The Condo Price Index includes San Francisco, San Mateo, Marin, Contra Costa, and Alameda in the "San Francisco" index (i.e., the greater MSA) and is imperfect in factoring out changes in property values due to improvements versus actual market appreciation (although they try their best).

S&P Launches Condo Indices; Adds Seasonally-Adjusted Data [S&P]
September S&P/Case-Shiller: San Francisco MSA Decline Continues [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:00 PM | Comments (63)

It's Like The Fed (And Taxpayers) Just Bought You A Couple Of Points

"U.S. mortgage rates fell more than three-quarters of a percentage point today after the Federal Reserve said it will buy as much as $600 billion of debt."

U.S. Mortgage Rates Fall on $600 Billion Fed Plan [Bloomberg]
As Lenders (And Consumers) Hoard, The Fed Commits Another $800B [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:00 PM | Comments (7)

A Pacific Heights Apple Up In The Tree: 2155 Buchanan #9

2155 Buchanan #9

Top floor, corner, renovated, parking and in Pacific Heights. Purchased for $1,000,000 (said with best Dr. Evil accent) in June of 2006, listed for $950,000 last week, and into our apple cart it'll go. Make the call before it closes escrow or forever hold your peace.

UPDATE: And for those who could only rationalize a plugged-in spencer’s rent paying for a shag carpeted 1970’s hovel with popcorn ceiling…

∙ Listing: 2155 Buchanan #9 (2/1) - $950,000 [MLS]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:30 PM | Comments (38)

Early San Francisco Sales Numbers For November: Down Almost 50%

San Francisco Listed Sales And Inventory 5 Year Comparison: November 1-21 (www.SocketSite.com)

Last week we calculated a 38% single week decline in San Francisco listed sales volume with inventories up 28.4% year-over-year. And now according to a plugged-in reader, listed sales volume in San Francisco for the month of November is currently running 47% lower on a year-over-year basis based on early counts for the first three weeks of the month, while the median sales price has fallen 15% (now in line with 2004).

SocketSite's San Francisco Listed Housing Update: 11/17/08 [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:15 PM | Comments (20)

Did We Mention How Much That Third Party Matters?

835 Foerster

From the plugged-in listing agent for 835 Foerster:

We received an offer several months [ago] for $855,000. It took months to negotiate this sale price with the lenders (both a 1st and a 2nd), not to mention other costs such as back taxes, expenses, commissions, etc., etc...
The lenders unfortunately took too long to approve the payoff (and their losses), and the buyers just pulled out of the deal, citing personal and financing reasons. So yes, the lenders did approve the $855,000 price, but since the contract was submitted several months ago, we've experienced a big market shift.
We lowered to asking price to $788,000 [yesterday] and hope to take a new offer(s) to the lenders, and re-open negotiations.

As we said, while a seller and lender might agree, it's that third party (i.e., the buyer) that really matters. Once again, purchased with loans totaling $950,000 in July of 2006 up in Miraloma Park (District 4). And as always, thank you for plugging in.

∙ Listing: 835 Foerster (3/2.5) - $788,000 [MLS]
While Those Two Agree, It’s A Third That Really Matters [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:30 AM | Comments (13)

"Foreign Buyers" Never Materialized And Now Tourist Dollars Decline

“The dollar’s resurgence, as well as a drop in home and stock values outside the U.S., will discourage foreign shoppers into next year as the global financial crisis intensifies, [Stifel Nicolaus & Co. analyst David Schick] said. He estimates sales will decline 8 percent at Tiffany’s Fifth Avenue store in New York in the third and fourth quarters, versus gains of 25 percent and 10 percent a year earlier.”

Saks, Neiman May Slump More as Tourist Spending Slows [Bloomberg]
Recap: What’s The Scoop On Foreign Investment In San Francisco? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:15 AM | Comments (4)

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

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

According to the September 2008 S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index (pdf), single-family home prices in the San Francisco MSA fell 3.9% from August ’08 to September '08 and are down 29.5% year-over-year. For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), year-over-year price growth is down 18.6% (having fallen 1.9% from August).

Phoenix was the weakest market, reporting an annual decline of 31.9%, followed by Las Vegas, down 31.3%, and San Francisco at -29.5%. Miami, Los Angeles, and San Diego did not fair much better with annual declines of 28.4%, 27.6% and 26.3%, respectively.

Prices continued to fall across all three price tiers in the San Francisco MSA.

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

The bottom third (under $386,320 at the time of acquisition) fell 3.1% from August to September (down 43.2% YOY); the middle third fell 2.2% from August to September (down 27.3% YOY); and the top third (over $647,565 at the time of acquisition) fell 1.2% from August to September (down 14.4% YOY).

And according to the Index, home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA have retreated to March 2001 levels, the middle third has returned to July 2003 levels, and the top third has fallen to January 2005 levels.

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

National Trend of Home Price Declines Continues Through the Third Quarter of '08 [S&P]
August S&P/Case-Shiller: San Francisco MSA Decline Accelerates [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:45 AM | Comments (38)

As Lenders (And Consumers) Hoard, The Fed Commits Another $800B

As lenders and consumers continue to hoard, the Fed announces a $800B spending spree:

The central bank will purchase as much as $600 billion in debt issued or backed by government-chartered housing-finance companies. It will also set up a $200 billion program to support consumer and small-business loans, the Fed said in statements today in Washington.

Yet across the pond Libor continues to rise:

Libor’s declines are stalling on concern the U.S. government’s attempts to contain the financial crisis won’t be sufficient to revive bank lending.

And not included in that $800B is the $230B of taxpayer funds the Fed has put at risk with the bailout of Citigroup this week.

Fed Commits $800 Billion More to Unfreeze Lending [Bloomberg]
Libor Drop Stalls as Bailout Concern Fuels Bank-Cash Hoarding [Bloomberg]
Citigroup gets a monetary lifeline from feds [SFGate]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:30 AM | Comments (4)

November 24, 2008

The Latest Cow Hollow Condo Comp (And Apple) Closes Escrow

1968 Greenwich

What plugged-in people have known for a week, all agents on the MLS now know as well: 1968 Greenwich officially closed escrow on 11/21/08 with a reported contract price of $1,750,000.

Purchased for $2,100,000 in May of 2005, in addition to $350,000 in acquisition cost our plugged-in buyer will be saving (and the City will be losing) approximately $4,000 a year in property taxes as compared to the party who sold.

The sale of this property was considered a legitimate neighborhood "comp" (comparable sale) in 2005. The implications for today?

A Plugged-In Reader Picks An Apple For Himself (1968 Greenwich) [SocketSite]
A Renovated Cow Hollow Apple On The Tree: 1968 Greenwich Street [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:30 PM | Comments (19)

Symphony Towers Update: Slashing Success And Words On The Street

Contracts were written on 18 of the 20 reduced units in the Turk Street tower of Symphony Towers the weekend before last.

The unofficial word on the street is that a construction loan might have motivated the “slashing” (sound familiar?). While an official word is that there are currently “no plans” for another slashing of prices on the 25-30 units that remain in the Van Ness tower.

As always, we’ll keep you plugged-in (and ahead of everyone else).

Price Cuts Of Up To 30% At Symphony Towers (750 Van Ness) [SocketSite]
RandomRumors: Calling On That Guy And The Guy He Heard It From [SocketSite]
Symphony Towers Update: Buying Love (But Dropping Prices Too) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:30 AM | Comments (14)

Must Have Limited Income (But Be Able To Afford $710/mo In HOAs)

501 Beale #5F: Bedroom

It’s a Mayor’s Office of Housing two-bedroom unit in the Watermark (which explains the appliances). And while the income restricted price is well below market rate ($287,375), keep in mind the monthly HOA dues are not ($710).

∙ Listing: 501 Beale #5F (2/1) - $287,375 (BMR) [MLS]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Comments (29)

Congestion Pricing Concept For San Francisco Inches Forward

"The [concept of congestion pricing] will inch forward Tuesday, when the [San Francisco County Transportation Authority's] directors - a group made up of the city's 11 elected members of the Board of Supervisors - will be presented with various pricing scenarios and toll-zone locations, and an analysis of the potential benefits and disadvantages."

Planners to consider S.F. congestion charge [SFGate]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Comments (74)

November 21, 2008

SocketSite’s Unofficial Penthouse Plan Challenge: Life(box) At The Top

SocketSite's Unofficial ORH Penthouse Floor Plan Challenge: Lifebox Studios Entry (click to enlarge)

A team of plugged-in professionals have responded to our unofficial One Rincon Hill Penthouse Floor Plan Challenge with an official ORH “OMG!” entry. And this time, it’s not only the floor plan above (click to enlarge), but design notes and 3D rendering that follow.

In the words of our plugged-in architect, Thomas Pippin of Lifebox Studios:

I approached the 5,900 S.F. penthouse by identifying the ideal buyer: "The Executive", and then conceptualizing the layout to accommodate his/her particular needs. The office & teleconferencing suite essentially becomes the center-piece. The suite enables the executive to seamlessly conduct business internationally from his/her home, and also embraces the work demands of a part-time assistant managing the executive's philanthropic-based activities.
At first glace, the initial location of living spaces made sense. Due to the eastern skewed perimeter, the largest social gathering potential is in the northwest corner, and is designated as the Living Room. The southeast corner with views to the bay and minimal telescopic invasion lends best use as the Master Bedroom, and also the adjacent two additional bedrooms with similar views and privacy. The remaining spaces fall into place by functional arrangement...
Composing uninterrupted visual pathways between opposite sides of the building sustains a sense of place and orientation for the occupant. A gallery provides ambient views that lead to a prominent master bedroom entry while generating a north/south visual path on the east side. The north/south visual path on the west side is established through a pair of glass doors to the intimate Lounge and could be an optional 3rd bedroom with a private balcony.
The media room and two bedrooms can be closed off from the rest of the house via a large sliding partition for black-tie events allowing the private spaces to remain functional while entertaining. The media room posed problematic western exposures, but after investigating several options, I found other solutions resulted in a hotbed of winding hallways. So I addressed the issue with motorized black-out shades and a heavy drape.
Special consideration has been given to the plumbing locations and incorporated based on the four individual penthouse plans. The master bath and shower take advantage of the bay views. It appears a drain exists at the interior shaded column. I believe the shower could be raised one step to accommodate a post-p-trap tub drain slope and connection.
Since the main entry is located on the North side, the corridor connecting the master bedroom could be privatized but accessible and rated for egress as required. Laundry and pantry room have been located near the service entry for convenient delivery of goods and housekeeping services.
Thank you SocketSite, I've enjoyed the creative exercise and look forward to reading the comments that will follow.

No, thank you. And as if that wasn’t enough, the floor plan as rendered by Kim Chalmers of Steelblue LLC in collaboration with Neorama (once again, click to enlarge):

SocketSite's Unofficial ORH Penthouse Floor Plan Challenge: Lifebox Studios entry as rendered by Steel Blue and NEORAMA (click to enlarge)

And no, this isn’t the first time this team has collaborated. Thomas was intimately involved in the design of the Penthouse atop the St. Regis while at Orlando Diaz-Azcuy Design Associates. And it was through that project that our players first met.

Even if you’re not in the market for an eight-figure penthouse, some great ideas to file away. And once again, cheers to all who participated (including Ryan and flaneur), we have rather high expectations of our readers and yet again you didn't disappoint.

The One Rincon Hill Design(s) For The 60th Floor Of Tower One [SocketSite]
Lifebox Studios [lifeboxstudios.com]
Steel Blue LLC [steelbluellc.com]
NEORAMA [neorama.com]
Inside The St. Regis Penthouse: The Rendering Scoop And Details [SocketSite]
The Unofficial One Rincon Hill Floor Plan Challenge: Ryan Responds [SocketSite
The Unofficial One Rincon Hill Floor Plan Challenge: It’s Flaneur Time [SocketSite]]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:45 PM | Comments (48)

Tough Times For The Fledgling Fillmore Jazz District's Rebirth

"Thus far, four nightlife establishments that received funding from the [San Francisco Redevelopment Agency] — Yoshi’s, 1300 On Fillmore, Sheba Lounge and Rassales — have all approached the agency looking for additional loans and to restructure debt to survive what may be a prolonged economic recession. All four businesses are seeing revenues 10 percent to 20 percent below projections, according to the memo."

Fillmore businesses ask redevelopment agency for loans [San Francisco Business Times]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:30 PM | Comments (19)

JustQuotes: As Come Commercial Realities, Will Go Residential?

"Next year, we're going to have the sublease swap meet of the century," said David Klein, a partner with San Francisco brokerage firm NAI BT Commercial. "Sublessors competing for the same tenant (will) all say, 'I can do the deal cheaper than you,' and the landlords will be playing catch-up. It's the harsh reality of a recession."

WaMu to shut Pleasanton center, cut 1,600 staff [SFGate]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:15 AM | Comments (5)

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