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April 30, 2009

JustQuotes: SocketSite Says...The Senate Gets One Right (So Far)

"The U.S. Senate rejected legislation letting U.S. bankruptcy judges cut mortgage terms to help borrowers avoid foreclosure, a victory for banks and credit unions that said the measure would lead to higher loan costs."

Senate Defeats Mortgage ‘Cram-Down’ as Democrats Balk [Bloomberg]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:00 PM | Comments (47)

2009 Decorator Showcase (2830 Pacific) Opens Its Doors And Kimono

2830 Pacific Avenue

San Francisco's 2009 Decorator Showcase at 2830 Pacific simultaneously opened its doors this past weekend and hit the market this week. As a plugged-in reader noted, now listed at an official $12,900,000 and rather uniquely presented in all its design glory online.

2830 Pacific: Family Room

If you like what you see, go see it for yourself and report back. It is a fundraiser after all.

2830 Pacific: Roof Deck

At this point we count at least five other recent Decorator Showcase homes on the market in addition to 2830 Pacific including 2500 Divisadero and 2601 Broadway.

UPDATE: According to a plugged-in tipster the property was being shopped at $15.5M about 6 months ago.

∙ Listing: 2830 Pacific (7/6) - $12,900,000 [sfproperties.com] [MLS]
Another Ex-Decorator Showcase Is Officially Listed: 2500 Divisadero [SocketSite]
Decorator Showcase Miss 2000 Officially Hits The Market On Broadway [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Comments (37)

The Bourn Boardinghouse (A Lesser Known Sequel)

As if the Bourn Mansion wasn’t intriguing enough, a plugged-in reader reports:

I met some guy in the park several weeks ago who just seemed bored and desperate for conversation. He told me he was renting a room from an eccentric older woman who lived in a gigantic house on Pacific Av. He told me he was not allowed to be in the home during the daytime and he was not allowed to hang in the immediate area of the home (hence, he was walking in Lafayette Park instead of Alta Plaza Park). And, yes, he said that there were quite a few boarders at the home. He was wondering why the woman was renting rooms in such a large Pacific Heights home.

And yes, it's safe to assume he wasn't referring to 2830.

Bourn To Run Party: A San Francisco Mansion Of Ex-Glory And Dreams [SocketSite]
2830 Pacific: 2009 Decorator Showcase Opens Its Doors (And Kimono) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM

I’ll See Your $800 Per Square Foot And Raise Lower You $200 At 235

235 Berry: Address (www.SocketSite.com)

Purchased for $1,052,500 in February 2007, 235 Berry #416 returned to the market 34 days ago and is asking $1,295,000 ($804/sqft). Purchased for $757,000 in February 2007, 235 Berry #317 returned to the market 14 days ago and is asking $838,000 ($783/sqft).

And as a plugged-in tipster notes, yesterday 235 Berry #413 aggressively joined the two three five resale fray. Purchased for $950,000 in June of 2007 (which at $18,900 under what the developer was asking might have seemed like a good negotiation at the time), the two-bedroom condo has returned to the market asking $789,000 ($639/sqft).

∙ Listing: 235 Berry #416 (2/2.5) 1,610 sqft - $1,295,000 [MLS]
∙ Listing: 235 Berry #317 (2/2) 1,070 sqft - $838,000 [MLS]
∙ Listing: 235 Berry #413 (2/2) 1,235 sqft - $789,000 [MLS]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Comments (22)

Peninsula Residents Aim To Slow Down High-Speed Development

Menlo Park and Atherton are plaintiffs, and Palo Alto is backing the lawsuit that objects to the proposed routing of high-speed rail through the Peninsula. The best case scenario for high-speed rail to San Francisco if the lawsuit is successful, a two to three year delay.

High-speed rail opposition picks up speed [San Francisco Examiner]
While San Francisco Might Get High-Speed Rail, Will The Transbay? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Comments (76)

April 29, 2009

Bourn To Run Party: A San Francisco Mansion Of Ex-Glory And Dreams

2550 Webster (www.SocketSite.com)

The listing of 2525 Webster sparked a discussion about 2550 Webster (a.k.a. The Bourn Mansion). And while we could have sworn we had previously profiled the San Francisco landmark clinker brick property, alas we had not.

Designed by Willis Polk (think the landmark Hallidie Building, 2820 Pacific, and Filoli down south) and built for William Bourn (think gold mines, PG&E, and the aforementioned Filoli as well) in 1896, the 27-room Pacific Heights mansion has since fallen into disrepair.

2550 Webster: Detail (www.SocketSite.com)

It is, however, currently home to the eccentric Arden Van Upp and her cats.

With its enormous second-floor ballroom, and two-story stained-glass windows, the Bourn Mansion was an ideal place for throwing wild parties in the '70s. Great meals, fine wines, good drugs, the promise of sex in the air. Celebrities showed up: the Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, Sly Stone, the Pointer Sisters. Porn films were shot there.
But that's all over now. The four-story Bourn Mansion stands in extreme disrepair. An estimated $2 million of work is needed to meet earthquake safety codes, more than the building is worth. The roof leaks and the wallpaper peels. Recent visitors say everything stinks of cat urine. The back yard is knee-deep in weeds, and garbage is heaped in a compost pile. Raccoons poke around in the filth. The party's over.

Above estimates in 1998 dollars. And purchased for a reported $185,000 in 1973.

UPDATE: A plugged-in reader's firsthand account:

I actually interviewed for a roommate position there in about 1979. Even then it it seemed a little toooo weird, and that is really saying something.
The women who I assume was Arden (based on the old SF Weekly article) told me at the time she paid $250,000 or so for it. Now that was a fabulous sum in 1979. I ended up looking at this because she was showing a one bedroom rental on upper Ashbury and I commented on the nice old wide plank floors; and she said that I seemed to know architecture and I might be interested in being her roommate....
I remember a huge full building width living room with a cheap little ghetto blaster stereo sitting on "one" of the walk-in size fireplace hearths. On the same floor was a conservatory room straight out of the Elizabeth Taylor "suddenly Last Summer".

A Completely Renovated And Then Remodeled 2525 Webster Returns [SocketSite]
I Can See For Miles And Miles And Miles And Miles (2820 Pacific) [SocketSite]
San Francisco Landmark 37: Hallidie Building [noehill.com]
The Fortress on the Hill [SF Weekly]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:00 PM | Comments (76)

Apples To Apples (To Un-Upgraded Apples) On Mallorca In The Marina

228 Mallorca Way: Kitchen

Down in the heart of the Marina in May 2000 a three-bedroom and two-bath condo at 228 Mallorca Way changed hands for $1,100,000. According to a plugged-in tipster, the owner then remodeled to the tune of around $200,000.

In May 2004 the upgraded condo with two parking spaces was sold for $1,225,000.

Returning to the market this January asking $1,395,000, the listing has been delisted, relisted, and reduced twice. Now asking $1,195,000. In the words of our tipster, is this the one "prime" condo the bull market forgot (or simply a nod to the new realty reality)?

∙ Listing: 228 Mallorca Way (3/2) - $1,195,000 [MLS]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:00 AM | Comments (56)

1536 Pacific: From Coming To Coming Along To Six New Condos Here

1536 Pacific Avenue (www.SocketSite.com)

Plugged-in people knew what was coming, how they were coming along, and now that they’re here. As a tipster notes, the six new condos at 1536 Pacific hit the open house circuit this afternoon yesterday with prices starting at $1,250,000 for unit #3.

∙ Listing: 1536 Pacific Avenue #3 (2/2) - $1,250,000 [Alain Pinel]
The Community Delivers Once Again: 1536 Pacific Drawings/Details [SocketSite]
1536 Pacific Rising: Pictorial Progress To Date (And Recap) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:30 AM | Comments (24)

A Completely Renovated And Then Remodeled 2525 Webster Returns

2525 Webster

Purchased for $4,000,000 in July 2005, the 7,500-7,800 square foot 2525 Webster was completely renovated over the course of a year and then returned to the market asking $7,150,000 in August 2006.

2525 Webster: Kitchen

Closing escrow in January 2007 with a recorded contract price of $6,300,000, the home is back on the market asking $6,750,000 with a few changes in-between. For example, plugged-in people might recall that the kitchen wasn’t open to the dining room in 2006.

∙ Listing: 2525 Webster (7/6.5) - $6,750,000 [2525websterst.com] [MLS]
Coming Soon: 2525 Webster [SocketSite 8/06]
Inside 2525 Webster [SocketSite 8/06]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:30 AM | Comments (34)

April 28, 2009

SocketSite’s S&P/Case-Shiller Bonus: San Francisco’s Thin Red Line

S&P/Case-Shiller San Francisco Index Performance to February 2009 (www.SocketSite.com)

It’s a SocketSite bonus chart based on February’s S&P/Case-Shiller data for the San Francisco MSA and a chance to focus the discussion on analysis and numbers.

Plotted above, the percentage difference in index value compared to February 2009 for the top third of San Francisco MSA single-family home sales (by price) and all condominiums. Below the thin red line and the index on that date is "underwater" compared to February 2009, over and it’s above.

Once again, according to the Index single-family home values for the top third of the market in the San Francisco MSA have retreated to November 2003 levels having fallen 28% from a peak in August 2007. And Condo values in the San Francisco MSA have retreated to January 2004 levels having fallen 28.4% from an October 2005 high.

A closing thought to consider: according to a 2008 California Association of Realtors survey of 500 first-time home buyers in California, the average buyer planed on holding onto their purchase for just 43.6 months prior to selling.

February S&P/Case-Shiller: San Francisco MSA Continues Slide [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:30 PM | Comments (86)

The King Debunks Seven San Francisco Architecture Myths

John King's list of seven San Francisco architecture myths and misconceptions:

1. This is a liberal city where anything goes
2. Everything new looks old
3. San Franciscans hate everything new
4. Big-name outsiders have all the fun
5. Affordable housing = dull design
6. By law, all new towers must be clad in glass
7. San Franciscans hate the Transamerica Pyramid

And of course, his reality.

S.F. architecture myths debunked [SFGate]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:30 PM | Comments (5)

February S&P/Case-Shiller: San Francisco MSA Continues Slide

S&P/Case-Shiller Index Change: February 2009 (www.SocketSite.com)

According to the February 2009 S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index (pdf), single-family home prices in the San Francisco MSA fell 3.3% from January ’09 to February '09, down 31.0% year-over-year and down 44.9% from a peak in May 2006.

For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values fell 2.1% from January to February and are down 31.6% from a peak in June 2006 (down 18.8% year-over-year).

Looking at the data from peak-thru-February 2009, Dallas has suffered the least, down 11.1% from its peak in June 2007; while Phoenix is down 50.8% from its peak in June of 2006. The rates of decline from the respective peak of each market are evidence of how much each market has given back from the gains earned in the past 10-15 years. All of the 20 metro areas are in double digit declines from their peaks, with ten of the MSA’s posting declines of greater than 30% and seven of those -- Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Phoenix, San Francisco and San Diego -- in excess of 40%.

San Francisco MSA single-family home prices continued to fall across all three price tiers.

S&P/Case-Shiller Index San Francisco Price Tiers: February 2009 (www.SocketSite.com)

The bottom third (under $281,438 at the time of acquisition) fell 3.7% from January to February (down 37.7% YOY); the middle third fell 2.9% from January to February (down 22.4% YOY); and the top third (over $501,978 at the time of acquisition) fell 4.1% from January to February (down 19.4% YOY).

According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA have retreated to below June 2000 levels having fallen 59% from a peak in August 2006, the middle third has fallen below April 2002 levels having fallen 40% from a peak in May 2006, and the top third has fallen to November 2003 levels having fallen 28% from a peak in August 2007.

Condo values in the San Francisco MSA fell 1.1% from January ’09 to February '09, down 23.3% on a year-over-year basis and down 28.4% from an October 2005 high.

S&P/Case-Shiller Condo Price Changes: February 2009 (www.SocketSite.com)

The standard SocketSite S&P/Case-Shiller footnote: The S&P/Case-Shiller home price indices include San Francisco, San Mateo, Marin, Contra Costa, and Alameda in the "San Francisco" index (i.e., greater MSA) and are imperfect in factoring out changes in property values due to improvements versus appreciation (although they try their best).

The Pace of the Decline in Residential Real Estate Prices Slowed in February [S&P]
January S&P/Case-Shiller: San Francisco MSA Decline Accelerates [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:30 AM | Comments (88)

April 27, 2009

Nice Gold Mine Hill Neighbor (And 1960's Design Lover) Seeks Same

Gold Mine Hill (click to enlarge) via SocketSite.com)

Designed by Fisher-Friedman Associates and constructed up in Diamond Heights as part of an "urban renewal" project in 1967, “Gold Mine Hill" is a collection of fifty-three units in four different styles (a duplex, two single-family houses, and a townhouse).

Fom a plugged-in reader:

I am a fellow homeowner in an award-winning '60's development in Diamond Heights. I wanted to send this info in as 2 houses in it are for sale and it would be great if the people that bought the houses were lovers of '60's design.
They are actually great deals for the amount of space they have. 38 Topaz has a power retractable roof over an upstairs atrium. 43 Topaz is huge and has a sauna and hot tub.
These 2 houses are great and I'd love it if the people who bought them knew about their history. I've attached a pdf of some of the background of the neighborhood. We are nice neighbors!

Don't forget those invitations to the housewarming(s). And more importantly, don’t forget our invitations to the next neighborhood block party. We'll bring the hula hoops.

Gold Mine Hill (click to enlarge) via SocketSite.com

Editor’s Note: We'll have the aforementioned pdf online soon tomorrow.

∙ Listing: 38 Topaz Way (3/2.5) 1,792 sqft - $849,000 [MLS]
∙ Listing: 43 Topaz Way (5/4.5) 3,338 sqft - $1,688,000 [MLS]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:00 PM | Comments (30)

A Relative Value Of Two High-Rise Rentals Around $12,000 Redux

In December we featured a mid-floor three bedroom, three bath at the St. Regis with a view of One Rincon asking $11,950 a month and a high-floor two bedroom, two bath at One Rincon with a view of the Bay Bridge for fifty bucks more ($12,000 a month).

Today it's another three-bedroom at the St. Regis seeking $12,000 a month, and as a tipster notes, that same high-floor two-bedroom at One Rincon Hill now asking $7,350.

The Relative Value Of Two High-Rise Rentals Around $12,000 A Month [SocketSite]
$12000 / 3br - Luxury 3 bed 3 bath - St. Regis Residences [Craigslist]
$7350 / 2br - LUXURY PENTHOUSE SUITE [Craigslist]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Comments (62)

Catching Up On A Few Closings And Early April Apples About Town

921 Elizabeth

We hadn’t originally featured it as an apple but rather an interesting Noe Valley space and photography. But as a plugged-in reader points out, the sale of the contemporary 921 Elizabeth closed escrow on 4/7/09 with a recorded contract price of $1,155,000 or 14.4% under its previous sale price of $1,350,000 in June of 2006.

Other activity over the first few weeks of the month for previously featured apples: 835 Foerster up in Miraloma Park closed escrow with a recorded contract price of $750,000 (21.1% under its previous purchase price of $950,000 in July of 2006), and the bank owned 279 Flournoy closed escrow with a recorded contract price of $340,000 (22.7% under its last previous purchase price of $440,000 in October of 2003).

As we wrote last November when 835 Foerster was listed for $855,000 and the listing noted "Lender-approved short sale...After many months of negotiations, sale price has been set! Must be sold immediately! Property was marketed for $1,049,000 last year!":

[W]hile it’s good to know the seller and lender have come to terms (but perhaps not grips), we’re more interested in whether or not the market (i.e., a buyer) will agree.

Apparently the seller and lender were still off by 12.3%. That’s not too bad, however, when compared to the person who set the list price last year and missed by twice that (28.5%).

A Contemporary Condo That Caught Our Eyes (You Supply The Story) [SocketSite]
While Those Two Agree, It’s A Third That Really Matters [SocketSite]
Bank Owned For The Past Year But Now On The Market: 279 Flournoy [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Comments (30)

SocketSite's San Francisco Listed Housing Update: 4/27/09

San Francisco Listed Inventory: 4/27/09 (www.SocketSite.com)

Inventory of Active listed single-family homes, condos, and TICs in San Francisco increased a nominal 0.6% over the past two weeks (versus an average gain of 7.5% for the same two week period over the previous three years) and is now running 12.8% higher on a year-over-year basis (flat for single-family homes and up 21.7% for condos/TICs) and 54.2% higher than at the same point in 2006.

Twenty-three percent fewer listings on a year-over-year basis over the past two weeks is partially to blame for the dip, but we continue to see a slight uptick in potential sales activity albeit much less so than over the first two weeks of the month and without any signs of values stabilizing versus continuing to drop.

The standard SocketSite Listed Inventory footnote: Keep in mind that our listed inventory count does not include listings in any stage of contract (even those which are simply contingent) nor does it include listings for multi-family properties (unless the units are individually listed).

SocketSite's San Francisco Listed Housing Update: 4/13/09 [SocketSite]
SocketSite’s Residential Real Estate Outlook For 2009 [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:00 AM | Comments (48)

April 24, 2009

Fit For A King San Francisco Mayor (Or Getty): 1101 Green #2001

1101 Green #2001: Living

Five weeks after a plugged-in reader reported the Mayor’s Bellaire Tower penthouse condo was on the market for $3,200,000 (which Matier & Ross confirmed three weeks later), 1101 Green Street #2001 has been listed. The price, however, has been reduced to $2,995,000.

1101 Green Street #2001: Kitchen

Once again, purchased from Peter Getty for $2,350,000 in February 2006 as a two-bedroom, but "completely remodeled & stripped to the studs & designed by Michael Agins & Assoc Interior Design" since.

1101 Green Street #2001: Bath

Now a rather spectacular 1,693 square foot one-bedroom with one and one-half baths.

∙ Listing: 1101 Green Street #2001 (1/1.5) - $2,995,000 [MLS]
It’s Three Weeks Later And They’re Still Asking Three Point Two [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:45 AM | Comments (54)

715 Cole: A Crispy Cole Valley Apple With Potential On The Tree

715 Cole

We’d at least redo the kitchen and repaint the façade. And based on the lack of bathroom photos we’d probably budget for them as well. But we do like a lot of its original woodwork and bones (if not meat) of 715 Cole.

715 Cole: Interior

On the market for $1,349,000, purchased in July of 2005 for $1,326,000 (hopefully not with "buy, sell, repeat, retire" in mind).

∙ Listing: 715 Cole Street (3/2) - $1,349,000 [MLS]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:30 AM | Comments (42)

One Rincon Hill Sales Update: Phase One 70% Closed Or In Contract

272 of the 390 condos in the first phase of building at One Rincon Hill (376 units in tower one plus 14 townhouses) are either closed or in contract including all units below the 32nd floor.

As we noted earlier this week, that represents little movement in terms of net-new sales since October 2008, but with over 50 new contracts having been written since the beginning of the year it also represents average sales activity of roughly 12 units per month in 2009.

At its peak in late 2007, roughly 98% of tower condos were in contract which would suggest around 45% of "sales" have fallen out of contract at one point or another. And as late as August 2008 roughly 92% of the first tower was either in contract or closed.

Michael Kriozere (ORH) Responds: We're Planning To Pay, Damn It! [SocketSite]
Infinity Versus One Rincon Hill Sales: Strictly By The Numbers [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:30 AM | Comments (16)

Tehama Lofts #304 Takes You Higher (Boom-Shaka-Laka-Laka)

245 5th Street #304

We’re digging the high windows, high-end finishes (including the "sly" fireplace surround), and staircase within the true conversion Tehama Lofts #304 (245 5th Street). Now if only there were a few more windows on that main living level, then boom-shaka-laka-laka...

∙ Listing: 245 5th Street #304 (2/1) - $1,095,000 [Paragon] [MLS]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:15 AM | Comments (14)


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