September 18, 2009

54 South Park Sells (And We Think Alpha Rather Than Beta)

54-58 South Park Facade

As a plugged-in tipster let us know last night, the sale of 54 South Park has closed escrow with a reported contract price of $3,375,000. As far as we know that’s a new high on a dollar per square foot basis for South Park (over $1,000 per square foot). But in and of itself that’s not proof the “the market” is up.

It’s what we’ll call real estate alpha versus beta (the financial Greeks for those who are unfamiliar), and to a certain extant “mix” (i.e., a new product that really never before existed in the neighborhood – high-end modern – and is relatively rare in San Francisco).

No word on number 56.

54-58 South Park: The Inside Scoop (Both Literally And Figuratively) [SocketSite]
From A Peek To A Poke For 54 And 56 South Park [SocketSite]

First Published: September 18, 2009 4:15 PM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

Hmm, a positive sign and a new high in South Park . How does SS spin it...they provide excuses why "the market isn't up". Seems like this site is as biased as the rest of the media in America. Why not present the facts and let the people make their own conclusions? Novel concept

Posted by: K&L at September 18, 2009 5:14 PM

ahhh i see you were at 431 tehama last night... highest price south of market, outside of a high rise building.

Posted by: b at September 18, 2009 5:15 PM

that is a shockingly high price

Posted by: steve at September 18, 2009 5:18 PM

Any word on who bought this player palace?

Posted by: dd at September 18, 2009 5:32 PM

wow - serious coin there

list was around 3.8 no? so it's about 10-15% off of the intended list - at least acording to the last SS post

in nay event, seriously nice place, serious coin.

if the sky has fallen, lots of folks seem to be doing just fine.

Posted by: polip at September 18, 2009 5:37 PM

No offense to the RE Bulls, but I call shenanigans on this sale. With the SF market down as it is, the idea that any sane buyer would spend 1k per square foot is ridiculous.

of course, I could be wrong ... but until someone ponies up some insider info I am going with shenanigans.

Posted by: badlydrawnbear at September 18, 2009 5:59 PM

Your link to the Financial Greeks is for the option greeks (delta, gamma, theta, vega, rho) and not the alpha/beta greeks, which relate to broader market performance. Basically, beta is what "the market" is doing (S&P +15% this year, SF Real Estate -20% since 2007, etc.) while alpha is the over or under performance of a specific member of the broader market or a portfolio of holdings that is meant to compete against the market. So for example, if the SF Area Case-Schiller is "the market" and it is down 20% from 2007, but you are able to sell the house you bought in 2007 for 15% less than what you paid for it, you actually earned 5% of alpha. Using that analogy, if the market for SOMA housing is trading around an average price of $750 psf and this one sells for $1000 psf there is $250 of alpha in that transaction.

Hope that clears things up a bit. I will say that using alpha & beta for the housing market is a bit unusual. In fact this is the first time I've seen it referenced in that way.

[Editor's Note: Good catch with respect to the link (and since corrected).]

Posted by: The Drizzler at September 18, 2009 6:35 PM

of course, I could be wrong ... but until someone ponies up some insider info I am going with shenanigans.

The burden of proof is on you, I think...?

Posted by: REpornaddict at September 18, 2009 6:55 PM

SS is unapologetic about its renter bias.

Posted by: jd at September 18, 2009 11:23 PM

SS spin here somewhat off-putting.

Speaking as a bubble-head renter cheering the crash on the sidelines.

Posted by: Troy at September 19, 2009 12:06 AM

"of course, I could be wrong ... but until someone ponies up some insider info I am going with shenanigans."""

Yes, definitely blame this sale on all the unethical sfar agents. there they go again, lying to people.

Posted by: anon$random at September 19, 2009 7:35 AM

I have to agree with the observations about SS spin. As someone whose always laughed about "real SF" I guess I hadn't really noticed before, but I find it odd to treat a sale that has to be a 25% higher than anyone would have predicted with alpha / beta bs.

Maybe SS can make an effort to post some "I can't believe it sold for that much" threads to go with the new wave of REO apples?

Posted by: steve at September 19, 2009 8:55 AM

... but give SS some editorial credit for featuring the sale.

Posted by: sanfrantim at September 19, 2009 9:35 AM

Durn those nattering nabobs of negativity.

Posted by: diemos at September 19, 2009 10:07 AM

To those who thought this place was overpriced: What do you have to say now?

Posted by: pacific415 at September 20, 2009 1:28 AM

It's still overpriced, but as long as they paid cash I think that's wonderful.

I am all for people throwing away their own money in any way they want.

However, before I use this as a data point I'd like a little more assurance that this was an arm's length transaction. Too much room for shenanigans with developers.

Posted by: diemos at September 20, 2009 7:26 AM

I'm beginning to think the zombification policy is genius.

A parent buying a house near us doesn't "really care" if he loses his downpayment over the next "several years" -- he's tired of renting. The price he's paying would have been competitive in 2006 (he overbid by about 7%). He's not a lottery winner either -- one highish income. I'm assuming he's got a real downpayment on the line, I did not go into that with him.

I'm not sure how long we can borrow 12% of GDP, but we should be able to do that another year or two at least (and maybe much longer).

Hopefully unemployment won't get too high, but even if it does, I think we can be convinced that's okay, especially with all that GDP growth! :)

The solvency tax is being beautifully executed so far.

Posted by: dub dub at September 20, 2009 9:18 AM

I thought it was high on the original ask, the 500k discount on the sell is a bit more realistic. Still high considering lack of water view, but you cannot argue that south park is lovely and very very unique, as was this place. And New Construction always draws out a premium buyer. I'd live there in a heartbeat.

Posted by: eddy at September 20, 2009 9:19 AM

To throw fuel on the unbelievable-sale-price-fire, there is no way this unit had "3,000+ sqft" under roof. The listing virtually had to include the roofdeck footage to achieve that number. At the reported sale price, against a properly calculated sqft, the report is absolutely not credible.

Count me among those calling shenanigans - or congratulating the sellers on finding a buyer who is truly unaffected by reality.

Posted by: Informed Skeptic at September 20, 2009 1:50 PM

"I don't know anything about this, and I don't have anything to back up what I'm saying, but I smell a rat"= precisely nothing

Posted by: anonn at September 20, 2009 2:16 PM

5th of never

Posted by: diemos at September 20, 2009 2:20 PM

O. another. witty. jab. LOL diemos. OK. That was a comment which turned out to be wrong, said in light of a poster speaking out of turn, really. "This property must be getting foreclosed just look at what this tax record suggests" -- that was all he had. Really he knew very little. The Baker street owner might have had a generous uncle willing to bail him out for all Satchel knew. The guy might have had a bad quarter. Who knows? But yes, he turned out to be correct that one time. Not so sage when it came to SF r.e., was your hero? Hey, he got that one right tho. Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while.

What that has to do with, "I don't know anything about anything but I'm still going to say it smells like a rat" I really don't know.

Posted by: anonn at September 20, 2009 3:44 PM

It seems that every time someone makes a reasoned deduction based on the available evidence we get a "fluj's patented sophomoric debating technique". In this case a "You don't know! You just don't know! So stop acting like you do!"

There are many levels and kinds of knowing.

I know that I am typing on my computer because ... well ... because I am typing on my computer. Direct experiential knowledge.

I know that George Washington was the first president of America because that's what all the history books say, even though I wasn't there at his inauguration.

I know that in SF the sun rose in the east last Monday because that's what the sun always does, even if last Monday I wasn't up on the roof at dawn with a compass to verify and write down in my log book what direction it came up in. And who knows? Perhaps last monday was the first time the sun rose in the north, headed south, made a u-turn and headed back north before finally heading west. I wasn't here so I can't know, can I?

Every time that someone takes available information and draws a conclusion from it that you don't like you assert that only direct experiential knowledge is valid. That only if one is standing in the unit with all the original documents in hand can any conclusions be drawn.

Sophomoric debating tactic.

The jab was to remind you that you've deployed this tactic before when certain posters smelled a rat and more often than not there's been one.

Posted by: diemos at September 20, 2009 5:53 PM

I made these comments last May about 54-56 South Park...and I see a buyer decided it was worth investing in....Sorry if I repeat myself here...

"Aha... South Park... the oasis of the East SoMa. You can see it from the windows of the 1000 dollar + psqft little boxes in the sky.

You can choose to live in a little box in the sky and stare out at the city and South Park or you can choose to live in the city and enjoy life on South Park.

For those that choose to live in a sky box, you can trek down the long hallway to stand and wait for your elevator that takes you to the street lobby of your dream. Once out of your sky box lobby you stroll down sidewalks (that may or may not exist in your new neighborhood) along the busy car clogged streets where you finally get to South Park. Ever changing.. always evolving South Park (founded in 1854).

Those of us that live on South Park enjoy the ebb and flow of the city...the ever changing life of living in a city. From the gritty days of Rock & Rollers, bond fires burning in the park to keep the winos warm to the Dotcom millionaires driven in limos. South Park is city living at it's best.

We like the rumors...it's dangerous...it's kool...it's got...OMG...homeless people living in the trees and drug lords buried under the bushes.

These rumors keep the faint of hart away...well almost. And if you really think it's dangerous... by all means please stay away. We wouldn't want you to get hurt now.

There are those that can and those that can't afford to own and live on South Park. Worry not folks...there is a buyer out there that understands the intrinsic value of owning a place on the Park.

54-58 South Park along with it's new neighbors is accretive by nature. It's funny that South Park always seems to get held up as a model neighborhood by planers and urbanologist. But there will always be those that feel that they have to trash a place they otherwise would love to live on if they could.

By the way the front sliding windows and roof living space is wonderful touch to 54-56. What a wonderful way to enjoy living on South Park.

Been there since the early 80's...wouldn't live anywhere else in the city..blocks to MoMa..the Bay..best transportation...AT&T park...and the best weather in the city. Trash it all you want, but please pick up after your dog."

I reiterate...there are few opportunities to own a place on the park. Even fewer opportunities to purchase a new state of the art residence on the park.

If you are going to buy a home in the city and you intended to live there for the pure enjoyment of city life you can not find a better choice of locations.

South Park will remain a gem in the city for years to come and this price will look cheap years from now....do you really think this slump will last forever? 92' came and went...prices recovered...08'--09'--010' will pass into history South Park will always have lasting intrinsic value not withstanding a nuclear attack.

Posted by: Jacko at September 20, 2009 7:07 PM

Jacko --

Can South Park handle being incorporated into the "Financial District South"? According to our local paid real estate professionals, South Park is no longer located in SOMA.

Posted by: Delancey at September 20, 2009 7:48 PM

"If you are going to buy a home in the city and you intended to live there for the pure enjoyment of city life you can not find a better choice of locations."

ha - that is rediculous. i can think of a dozen better choices of location than south park. i'm not saying it's terrible, but come on.

it's great for a burrito, but living there would suck.

Posted by: lolcat_94123 at September 20, 2009 8:10 PM

it seems that every time someone makes a reasoned deduction

Oh?A reported price from an actual sale results in "I smell a rat."

Somebody says of a property in tax default, "When do you think this will be sold at auction?" And I guess, "never."

If I had a nickel for every time somebody said something would be sold at the courthouse stairs here. Ha. How many of those commentators have actually been to a courthouse stairs auction? I'll go out on a limb and say zero.

The same thing to you? -- oops, sorry, you said "we" didn't you? --) The same thing to you and all your e-pals?

LOL

Posted by: anonn at September 21, 2009 1:51 AM


"Can South Park handle being incorporated into the "Financial District South"? According to our local paid real estate professionals, South Park is no longer located in SOMA."

The rezoning of East SoMa was finalized last year by the city. The last time I checked...South Park, not withstanding 6th street was the hart of East SoMa including South Beach. The only reason 6th street was included in the rezoning was to consolidate the process. 6th street had already undergone the planing process and the city wanted to finalize the zoning changes..hence the consolidation according to Dean Macris, the SF planning director at the time. I know this for a fact.

The REP's can juggle names all they want, in the end does it matter? If you look back 20 years at the maps the REP's were producing then...and I have several...the REP's had already named the East SoMa the "Financial District South".

So to your question....what do I think the new name will do to change the character of South Park? My thought is nothing...didn't make a difference 20 years ago... won't make any difference today or tomorrow.

Check the new height and bulk maps around South Park... we ensured that South Park would not be overrun by high rise development coming from the financial district or Mission bay. Maybe when and if the city does the next rezoning 30 years from now it will matter...

As to the location...I'll take walking to the ballpark,waterfront,financial district, BART, Muni and CalTrain any day of the week. EZ access to the Bay Bridge, SFO are also nice.

Posted by: Jacko at September 21, 2009 6:09 AM

"How many of those commentators have actually been to a courthouse stairs auction?"

Ah, another classic example of "fluj's patented sophomoric debating techniques".

No one can look up the BLS statistics and determine that fishing is a dangerous profession unless they have personally spent 10 years pulling in cod on an alaskan fishing trawler.

No one can figure out that oil is a finite commodity whose production will peak and then decline unless they have personally spent 10 years working as a roughneck on a gulf coast oil platform.

No one can look at central valley home prices and loan terms and figure out that there is a massive bubble unless they have personally spent 10 years as a developer of subdivisions in the valley.

It's a modified form of the "appeal to authority" and it confuses being involved with an industry to understanding an industry.

Posted by: diemos at September 21, 2009 7:55 AM

I'd guess anonn's courthouse comment comes from have one too many of this conversation:

excited young couple: hi mr real estate agent. we have $900K and we'd like one of those really nice dwellified Noe victorians. can you help up?

anonn: no, you'll have to spend $1.8M min

eyc: I'm confused. I read on socketsite they go to auction all the time. can we just go to the courthouse steps?

anonn: no. that's not how it works

eyc: what about short sales and shadow inventory? the chron says every house is about to be foreclosed?

anonn: good luck with the short sale. I won't touch them; they rarely close.

eyc: ok, how about we just buy a normal house at 40% off.

anonn: great: sure, there's some nice stuff in hunter's point, antioch and tracy I can show you

Posted by: steve at September 21, 2009 8:22 AM

Just to get back on topic. This is a beautiful and unique building on a very prime spot on the park. Congrats to the buyer.

Every time I take visitors to South Park, they marvel and say something like -- "it seems like a neighborhood in Europe." It's a unique spot in the city and well located besides.

As for naming the area "East SOMA" or "Financial District South" or whatever, I don't think it matters. Most people just say "South Park" or "near South Park" and people know exactly what they mean.

Posted by: midcentfan at September 21, 2009 8:29 AM

South Park is actually a great concept. The problem is that it's really the only one of its kind in SF. More South Parks please, fewer skyscrapers.

Posted by: scurvy at September 21, 2009 8:50 AM

"it seems that every time someone makes a reasoned deduction..."

Missed the reasoned deduction, as opposed to simple speculation, in your post. Is the reasoned deduction that if a sale price is higher than you predicted, then it must be a fraud? Has a buyer never paid more than you think a property is worth?

It seems to me that the owner of a high rise, with 100 similar units, would have incentive to fake the sale price of one unit, in order to sell the other 99 for more, but I see much less incentive for fraud when there are only 2 (quite different) units for sale. The unit that sold is not really a comp for any other condo.

Posted by: Dan at September 21, 2009 10:43 AM

I would never spend $3 million plus on a home with stacker parking, unless of course I had a full time driver....then we might be able to work something out!

Posted by: anondriver at September 22, 2009 1:28 PM

Unique large new South Park condo sells for a lot of money --> I smell a rat -- >"reasoned deduction"

Corner --->paint ---> diemos

Posted by: anonn at September 23, 2009 12:48 AM

"Missed the reasoned deduction, as opposed to simple speculation, in your post."

Ok, how about we split the difference and call it "informed speculation".

Posted by: diemos at September 23, 2009 8:58 AM

44-46 South Park sells for $6.5 million !!

So as the rest of South Beach plummets downward in price South Park hits another high.

44-46 South Park sells for $6.5 million or roughly just over $1000 a square foot.

Posted by: Jacko at September 16, 2011 6:45 AM

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