215 Moulton: Kitchen
As we wrote a little over a year ago:

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.

As we wrote two months ago:

215 Moulton “in the heart of Cow Hollow” appears to have been bought back by the bank with a loan balance of $1,893,000 this past July.

And while the contract price for its previous sale in November of 2007 doesn’t appear to be public, we will note a 2008 tax assessed value of $1,800,000 for this District 7 single-family contemporary townhouse.

Listed in April prior to foreclosure for $1,895,000, reduced to $1,795,000 in July, and currently asking $1,750,000.

And as we write today: the sale of 215 Moulton closed escrow on 11/14/08 with a reported contract price of $1,725,000. That’s $168,000 less than its last loan balance. And $75,000 less than its last tax assessed value.
Which Five Years Will The Next Five Years More Likely Resemble? [SocketSite]
Cow Hollow Contemporary (And Apparent Foreclosure): 215 Moulton [SocketSite]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by ok

    I’m actually very surprised to see this house sell for that much right now…I think the bank was lucky. $1.5M seems about right…

  2. Posted by Foolio

    Some unlucky millionaire just caught a falling knife.

  3. Posted by spencer

    more like a falling guillotine…

  4. Posted by chuckie

    Although we don’t know the final price yet (I don’t think), IMO the applepicker picked a better apple at a better price.
    http://www.socketsite.com/archives/2008/11/another_pluggedin_reader_picks_an_apple_for_himself.html
    I would go with $1.5M too..
    Pays to be plugged-in, I guess :)

  5. Posted by tipster

    Agreed, great price — for the bank.
    When you consider they added a bath and some space since then, this has now officially sold for about its 2000 price, and it looks like it’s too high!

  6. Posted by John

    Actually, isn’t it showing that SF didn’t participate the bubble? 1.6M in 2000, 1.672M in 2005, that’s hardly any appreciation.
    Then we get 1.725M……
    If if you want 2000 price, you didn’t need to wait. It was probably 1998 price (after adjustment for inflation) in 2005, and 1997 price in 2008.

  7. Posted by San FronziScheme

    John,
    One comp doesn’t make a market. You could also find examples of places that sold for a miser in 98 and that sold for 4 times that in 2005-2007 but it wouldn’t mean that the city gained 300%.
    2000 was the dot-com apex. A lot of crazy things happened that year.
    I believe SF did participate in the bubble. Of course there are fundamentals and trends that make this less obvious than Vegas or Miami. But it’s a bubble OK.
    A clue: how many can afford a home at the current salaries/prices? That is called the “affordability index” and it has been abysmal for a while.
    Here is a spreadsheet from the NAHB/Wells Fargo for SF Metro (released this AM)
    http://www.nahb.org/page.aspx/category/sectionID=135

  8. Posted by Gregg

    Which means that it’s still $1.2 million overpriced. Anybody that thinks $1.8 million for a *townhouse* is reasonable is out of their mind.

  9. Posted by viewlover

    supply and demand, both are limited in SF and the equilibrium is beyond many of us. that is a nice house; large, move-in condition, nice hood, parking, luxury stuff everywhere. there isnt that much out there that fits this description. as far as it being still too much, some bank (in this credit crisis) just bet that it isnt, again, unless its a cash sale.

  10. Posted by DanRH

    agree with viewlover…location location location.

  11. Posted by Foolio

    “as far as it being still too much, some bank (in this credit crisis) just bet that it isnt, again, unless its a cash sale.”
    Yeah, and we all know how spot-on the banks’ valuation models have been the past few years.

  12. Posted by john

    San FronziScheme,
    A while ago, I read through the affordability index historical data (Wells Fargo one). The SF affordability index was lowest in 2000. The number actually looked better now.
    You can go to that link and dig more.
    Forget about apple or comp. From the affordability index, it would indicate SF didn’t participate in the bubble since the affordability index improved during 2005 to 2007.
    That doesn’t mean SF didn’t have a bubble of its own. It just means it is separate from the national one.
    [Editor’s Note: The average Wells’ index value from 1997 to 2000 was 19; the average from 2000 to 2003 was 7.4; the average from 2003 through 2007 was 9.4; and the average so far in 2008 has been 14.3. This data would actually suggest the exact opposite, that there was in fact a “bubble.”]

  13. Posted by Laughing Millionaire Renter in Marin

    “as far as it being still too much, some bank (in this credit crisis) just bet that it isnt, again, unless its a cash sale.”
    Maybe, but that’s probably not true. Banks in this environment are requiring much larger down payments, especially for properties in this price range, and are documenting income. Unlike in 2005, they are making a bet on the borrower, not the asset.
    Banks are not dumb. (Even though it might seem like they were in 2003-2006, chew over the idea that the 5 investment banks alone paid out $313 BILLION in compensation to their employees, while losing value over the whole period – basically 2 went bankrupt, and all are way below their valuations in 2002.)
    The banks today know that home buyers are generally financially unsophisticated. They will be reluctant to walk away from a property that they placed a lot of money down to buy. They are loss averse and want to protect their “equity”. They can be counted on riding the market straight down, paying their loans all the while….

  14. Posted by San FronziScheme

    The Well’s Fargo index is for SF Metro.
    Some areas have become much more affordable (think 40% decreases in prices in some of CC and others) while others stayed pretty constant.
    A city where the median family income is less than 70K and median homes are in the 700Ks is not affordable. This will be a bubble until this equation corrects.

  15. Posted by view lover

    I know banks require large down-payment, specially for properties over 1.5M, but they would not lend any money if they did not believe the property was worth the loan value plus the down payment. And yes, maybe they are stupid, but I don’t think so. We are in the middle of a financial meltdown and brink of depression and these properties are still being bought by apparently qualified buyers at pretty high prices. I was just making a point against so much of the negativity. Yes, prices have started to come down, but they are still pretty high and the country and local economy would have to be in shambles before prices drop the 30% people are still predicting and hoping for. I guess some will find value in living in a nice place in the middle of a disaster. I saw a place on Roosevelt Sunday for 1.4M, unbelievable in what is supposed to be a bear market.

  16. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    A comment from “that other SFRE blog” :
    There are properties that are getting into contract for ridiculously low prices compared to six months ago, and when they close escrow, some jaws will drop. Buyers are negotiating everything under the sun, and most sellers that are selling in this market do not have the luxury of waiting it out.
    This comment is based on information that has not yet hit public data sources as it comes from a realtor with inside info.
    I think a little male calf is about to be born.
    [Editor’s Note: It’s good to see that they’re finally figuring out what plugged-in people have known (and have actually been acting on) for quite some time: values have been falling. But “ridiculous?” No. Oh, and in terms of not having the luxury of waiting: From ‘Sticky’ To ‘Slippery’ Revisted: The SocketSite Original.]

  17. Posted by San FronziScheme

    viewlover,
    1 – they would not lend any money if they did not believe the property was worth the loan value plus the down payment.
    If recent history teaches us something, it’s that banks do not have a good track record of risk assessment.
    2 – I saw a place on Roosevelt Sunday for 1.4M, unbelievable in what is supposed to be a bear market.
    I assume you’re referring to 484 Roosevelt Way
    2195sf for 1.395M or $635/sf. Not really a mind-blowing price for a good neighborhood. And again, it’s an asking price…

  18. Posted by lolcat_94123

    Off topic – any updates on the huge place near the balboa and the fire station?
    [Editor’s Note: Still available, asking $1,545,000 (purchased for $1,800,000 at the end of 2005), and a little more than near…]

  19. Posted by view lover

    recent history tell us that very few have a good handle on risk assessment, equity losses are everywhere.
    The RV place did not seem that large to me, maybe the stairs, but agree that the sf is low for that neighborhood.
    I can’t tell how big the CH place on this thread is but it looks large and is well done and has parking and a nice yard. I did not see it but if RV Way is worth anywhere over 1.2, then I can see where this townhouse could seem reasonable at 1.725.

  20. Posted by tipster

    Now listed for UNDER its 2000 price: 213 Moulton in Cow Hollow. Sold in 2000 for 1.6, listed for the last two weeks for 1.599, and now listed for 1.550.
    ~I’m gonna party like it’s 1999~! Woo hoo!
    http://www.redfin.com/search#lat=37.789297&long=-122.436812&market=sanfrancisco&search_location=213%20Moulton%20St%20San%20Francisco%2094123-3408&sf=1%2C2&status=3&time_on_market_range=1-&v=4&zoomLevel=15

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