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October 30, 2009

One More Year! For Super Conforming Limits Assuming Obama Signs

As far as we know President Obama has yet to sign the bill, but congress has passed an extension of the $729,750 "super conforming" loan limit for high cost areas through the end of 2010. Considering the extension was attached to legislation without which most federal agencies will have to shut down by midnight tomorrow, we’re guessing it’s signed.

Congress Passes Stopgap Funding Plan, Higher Mortgage Limits [Bloomberg]
If Lowering Rates Isn’t Working, Perhaps Increasing Limits Will [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:00 PM | Comments (16)

The Power Of Threes For A Remodeled 1155 Vallejo In Russian Hill

1155 Vallejo Kitchen

Three stories, three decks, three bedrooms and three (and one half) baths for the remodeled 1155 Vallejo asking just under three million ($2,995,000) in Russian Hill.

∙ Listing: 1155 Vallejo (3/3.5) - $2,995,000 [1155vallejo.com] [MLS]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:30 AM | Comments (22)

San Francisco’s Commercial Sublease Snapshot: November 2009

According to Colliers, 2,411,525 square feet of commercial sublease space is currently on the market in San Francisco, down 248,159 square feet over the past 30 days but once again driven by withdrawn listings rather than absorption (negative 89,527 square feet).

The percentage of space available for sublease that is currently vacant is 53 percent.

San Francisco’s Commercial Sublease Snapshot: October 2009 [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Comments (1)

First Refreshed, Now Reduced For One Rincon Hill #806

425 1st Street #806

Speaking of refreshed listings, withdrawn from the MLS in July after almost 120 days on the market at $945,000, the resale listing for One Rincon Hill (425 1st Street) #806 returned to the MLS two weeks ago asking $908,000.

Yesterday the list price was reduced to $899,000 for an official "15 days on the market" and a "$9,000" reduction from its "original" list. The resale of One Rincon Hill #1306 closed escrow in June with a reported contract price of $930,000 (tax records suggest an initial purchase from the developer at just over $975,000 in 2006).

If the sale of 425 1st Street #806 closed escrow tomorrow at its reduced ask, all MLS based aggregate statistics and market reports published by the San Francisco Association of Realtors, or Redfin, or Altos Research, or the likes of The RE Report would reflect a total of "16 days on the market" and a sale at "100% of list price" for this data point.

∙ Listing: 425 1st Street #806 (2/2) - $899,000 [MLS]
An 06 Comp (In More Ways Than One) At One Rincon Hill [SocketSite]
Quantifying The Impact Of Not Allowing Realtors To Reset DOM [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:45 AM | Comments (72)

Twenty Percent Off Sale Around Union Square

"There are close to two dozen vacancies in the Union Square area, and the vacancy rate stands at 10 percent, with 4 percent more available for sublease, said Julie Taylor of Cornish & Carey.

And while very few long-term deals have been signed, flexible or shorter-term leases are being inked for about 20 percent below asking rate, according to Kazuko Morgan of Cushman and Wakefield."

Union Square goes on sale for retailers [San Francisco Business Times]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:30 AM | Comments (2)

It’s March Margarita Margarido Madness As 5950 Goes Live At $5.5M

With the flick of a switch and a plugged-in tip, The Margarido House (5950 Margarido Drive, Oakland) has officially gone from coming soon to on the market online.

The marketing site features a full gallery, plans and description for the five bedroom, five bath and 4,665 square foot LEED Platinum certified house in the Oakland Hills. The only detail that's conspicuously missing from the site, an official asking price.

UPDATE: Make that an official $5,500,000 (and the next time we spell Margarido correctly when searching Redfin).

∙ Listing: 5950 Margarido Drive (5/5), Oakland [themargaridohouse.com] [Redfin]
There’s Green (And Perhaps Even Platinum) Up In Them Thar Hills [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Comments (33)

October 29, 2009

Trauma Doesn’t Survive, But Will This Scene?

Trauma No Stopping Sign (www.SocketSite.com)

NBC has cancelled its San Francisco based series "Trauma." According to The Hollywood Reporter, however, "NBC plans to continue airing the show for now, and will produce all 13 episodes from its current order."

In other words, you still might get to see the scene shot up around Pacific and Divisadero last week. To which a reader challenges, and we bring it back to real estate, can you guess from inside which Pacific Heights house?

NBC cancels 'Trauma'; might finish current run [thrfeed.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:30 PM | Comments (28)

Who’s The Comp Now? (160 Westgate Drive Closes Escrow)

160 Westgate Drive

Advertising "priced below neighborhood comps" at $1,025,000 in August, the bank-owned sale of 160 Westgate Drive closed escrow on 10/27 with a reported contract price of $1,040,000. That’s 1% over asking for the single-family Mount Davidson Manor home.

Of course that's also 19.7% under its purchase price in 2005 which didn’t account for its 2007 remodel, a few appliances from which were missing this time around.

160 Westgate Drive: Kitchen

So who’s the comp now?

Five Years Of Appreciation Under Its Un-Renovated Year 2005 Price [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:45 PM | Comments (3)

Will The Stimulated Economy Be As "Sticky" As Real Estate?

"The U.S. economy grew in the third quarter for the first time in more than a year, propelled by stimulus-driven gains in consumer spending and home building."

UPDATE (10/30): "Americans cut spending for the first time in five months and a gauge of confidence weakened, signaling consumers will make a limited contribution to the recovery without government incentives."

Economy in U.S. Expands for First Time in a Year [Bloomberg]
"Credits For Condos" (And Other New Homes) A Clunker As Well? [SocketSite]
From ‘Sticky’ To ‘Slippery’: A Fundamental Change In The Housing Market? [SocketSite]
U.S. Economy: Consumer Spending, Confidence Fall [Bloomberg]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:45 AM | Comments (29)

A New Dashiell Hammett Mystery: The Single-Family Short Sale

33 Dashiell Hammett

A single-family Edwardian "tucked away on quiet street between Nob Hill and Downtown neighborhoods," 33 Dashiell Hammett sold for $1,275,000 in January of 2007.

According to our tipster, it "looks like the current owner did minimal work on the house" since it's last sale, but did do a bit of repainting and "updated" the kitchen with new appliances.

Listed for $1,795,000 earlier this year and then $1,595,000 (with photos), the single-family home is now seeking $1,095,000 as a short sale.

∙ Listing: 33 Dashiell Hammett (3/2) - $1,095,000 [MLS] [Previous Listing with Photos]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Comments (13)

The Scene Opens Sitting In The Palms' Sales Office Two Years Ago…

Back in October of 2007 when The Palms was advertising "Only 8 Left!" a plugged-in reader had submitted an offer on one of the units. From the reader at the time:

I offered 13% less than listing price. The sales agent was not even interested in looking at my offer even though I explained him that I had excellent credit and income and was not using an agent. He said that the [seller] will never consider the offer and decided not even to offer it to the builder.

We don’t know if #920 was the one on which our reader had made an offer (it was one of the eight). But we do know that 555 4th Street #920 recently closed escrow with a reported contract price of $480,000 (24% less than its "Only 8 Left!" list price of $631,000).

The Palms Finds More Inventory And A Resale Hits The Market [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Comments (15)

Three Years Later And A Thirteen Percent Drop At 1635 California

1635 California #63

Unable to sell out in 2006, a number of 1635 California’s 36 condos quietly headed to the rental market. As we wrote that February:

1635 California opened its doors over three months ago and at least 7 of the units are still on the market (with more yet to be “released”). And although we were not able to secure a full pricing sheet (the agents staffing the open house seemed downright defensive when asked), nor any property statements (none were made available), we’ve still got some numbers for our readers…

One of those numbers was for 1635 California #63, listed for $835,000 at the time. It's back on the market with Vanguard again but now asking $729,000 (a drop of 13%).

As some might recall, we featured the apples to apples sale of 1635 California #33 last year, purchased for ~$780,000 in 2006 and re-sold for $740,000 in 2008 (a drop of 5%).

∙ Listing: 1635 California Street #63 (2/2) - $729,000 [MLS]
1635 California Street [SocketSite]
Another Apple Speaks On The Edge Of Nob Hill (1635 California #33) [SocketSite]

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

Lembi's Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas

"According to the Clark County, Nev., district attorney's office, there is a warrant out for Walter Lembi, managing director of the financially troubled Lembi Group, for allegedly passing $298,500 worth of bad checks earlier this year at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas."

UPDATE: "Under [a] deal, Lembi has agreed to pay the full amount, plus fees, for a total of $328,450, in a payment plan beginning Friday..."

Real estate leader's name on bad-check warrant [SFGate]
Lembi's markers met [SFGate]
The Chronicle Reports "Dozens," A Plugged-In Source Says Over 100 [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:10 AM | Comments (11)

Citadine Cuts Between Four And Ten Percent For Listed Condos

1299 Bush #802 Living

While at least one of its 26 condos appears to be in contract (one-bedroom #204), after a month on the market list prices for 1299 Bush ("Citadine") were just reduced between four ($70,000 off #802) and ten ($80,000 off #203) percent.

The "Citadine" Flags Are Flying At 1299 Bush [SocketSite]
Citadine (1299 Bush): Current Pricing And A Peek Inside [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Comments (4)

October 28, 2009

Patrick Blanc "Living Wall" Testimonial And Broderick Street Blueprint

Patrick Blanc Living Wall Madrid (www.SocketSite.com)

A plugged-in reader returns from Madrid armed with a few photos of a Patrick Blanc "Living Wall" in action. From our reader with respect to the wall designed in conjunction with Herzog and de Meuron's new CaixaForum near the Prado Museum:

It covers the end of a very mundane apartment building and forms one side of a new plaza that has become a major tourist attraction. It is an extraordinary piece of work and...I think your readers might appreciate the Drew School proposal a bit more if they actually saw what a living wall really looks like.
I am a specialist in Victorian restoration design and I consider the Broderick Street building a mediocre example of the style at best. A Patrick Blanc living wall would certainly add an interesting new element to San Francisco's expanding modernist scene.

For the record, we couldn’t agree more (vermin habitat or not). Now if only our fair city would actually encourage rather than restrict the modernist scene of which our reader speaks (and we embrace).

Destruction Before Construction: Drew School Expansion [SocketSite]
Drew School Expansion Plans Pass Their Appeals Test(s) [SocketSite]
Drawings For A Proposed Drew School Expansion Along Broderick [SocketSite]
The Drew School Addition Rendering Scoop: Its Living Wall And All [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:00 PM | Comments (11)

Quantifying The Impact Of Not Allowing Realtors To Reset DOM

It’s not a San Francisco based study, and we haven’t had a chance to review the research, but a plugged-in tipster directs us to a report on the impact of eliminating the ability to reset "days on the market" for a property’s listing.

In April 2006, the real estate listing service in Massachusetts adopted a new policy that prohibits home sellers from resetting their property’s “days on market” to zero through relisting. We study the effect of this new policy on single-family home sales along the Massachusetts-Rhode Island border, using homes in Rhode Island, which did not change its policy, as the control group.
We find that the policy change leads to a relative sale price reduction of around $11,000 for affected homes in Massachusetts. Homes caught in the middle of the policy change are the hardest hit; the sudden release of the cumulative days on market information lowers the average sale price by $21,500. Sellers respond to the new policy by reducing the listing price to shorten their property’s days on market.

A percentage rather than absolute impact might have be more meaningful. And while the San Francisco Association of Realtors does not prohibit the relisting practice, it is supposed to enforce a one month waiting period between relistings (unless the broker has changed).

As we originally wrote in 2006 when the National Association of Realtors responded to an inquiry into the practice:

We begrudgingly accept the practice, but to justify it by taking the position that "MLSs [and by extension their listings] are not considered advertising vehicles?" Sorry folks, but that’s an utterly asinine argument. And it’s disappointing to say the least.
At the risk of pointing out the obvious, consider any marketing materials, websites, or press releases that reference an MLS derived statistic such as average days on the market (DOM), or selling price to list price ratio (SP/LP). If any of the underlying data has been "refreshed," do these statistics really "present a true picture" and representation of the market?

Now back to 2011 Golden Gate Avenue and its official 370 37 days on the market and $595,000 under $1,000 over asking sale.

Days on Market and Home Sales (pdf) [netinst.org]
Sorry NAR, But No [SocketSite]
From Flippy To Floppy And A Cliché For 2011 Golden Gate Avenue [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:00 PM | Comments (47)

The Rico Suave Sale Price (Including Furnishings) For 12 Rico Way

12 Rico Way

According to a plugged-in tipster, the sale price for 12 Rico Way wasn’t actually confidential but rather indeed at asking ($2,495,000) but with the majority of its furnishings – not including any fine art nor the crib – included in the sale.

12 Rico Way: Kitchen After

No apple, but not a bad comp for completely remodeled and modern homes in the hood.

A Bit Of Before And After And Plugged-In Perspective For 12 Rico Way [SocketSite]
Deconstructed And Reconstructed At 12 Rico Way [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:45 PM | Comments (4)

From Flippy To Floppy And A Cliché For 2011 Golden Gate Avenue

2011 Golden Gate Avenue

The sale of 2011 Golden Gate Avenue closed escrow on 10/15/09 with a reported contract price of $1,800,000 ($413 per square foot). Purchased for $1,350,000 in July of 2007 but then remodeled and expanded (adding legal bathrooms and square feet), 2011 Golden Gate returned to the market in October of 2008 asking $2,395,000.

2011 Golden Gate Avenue: Kitchen

It was subsequently reduced and relisted a number of times, most recently for $1,799,000 this past September. And while not exactly apples to apples on account of the remodeling, call it a likely six-figure loss on the investment when all is said and done.

In terms of industry statistics, however, the sale will be officially recorded and reported as "over asking" with less than 40 days on the market.

And while we generally eschew real estate industry clichés, it’s a good reminder of one which we don’t: "You make money when you buy, not when you sell."

Not To Be Flip, But If It Wasn’t A "Flip" It Looks Like One Now [SocketSite]
Tis’ The Season (September) To Return: 2011 Golden Gate Ave Edition [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:30 AM | Comments (25)

"Credits For Condos" (And Other New Homes) A Clunker As Well?

Car sales rocketed after the government rolled out their "Cash for Clunkers" sales incentive, but then plummeted when it expired.

New home sales rebounded after the government rolled out tax credits for new home purchases, but have already started to fall in the face of a program end.

As a plugged-in reader correctly notes:

Even builders of more upscale homes have felt the impact of the looming deadline. That's because those move-up buyers will have trouble selling their homes without the incentive of the credit.

The only surprising thing about the decline, that it seems to have been "unexpected."

U.S. New-Home Sales Fall as Credit Nears Expiration [Bloomberg]
Whether Or Not Credits Moved The SF Market, Phase Out Hits Home [SocketSite]
Clunker hangover knocks sales down at Chrysler, Ford, GM [USA Today]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Comments (9)

October 27, 2009

The 2151 Green Street Scoop: Wait For It…

2151 Green Street

Still listed on the San Francisco Association of Realtors' MLS last week as an "active listing" despite a plugged-in reader's report that it had actually sold at foreclosure auction two weeks ago, today the MLS listing for 2151 Green Street was...withdrawn.

And if our reader’s source is correct, the buyer at $3,066,001 was...the person who sold it to the foreclosed upon party along with the adjoining empty lot for $9,000,000 in 2007.

Oh, and the listing for said lot now known as 2157 Green Street just went pending (last asking $4,200,000).

Did someone just effectively short the vaunted District 7 residential real estate market in San Francisco and pocket a few million by doing so?

Reader Versus Realtor: Did 2151 Green Street Just Sell At Auction? [SocketSite]
But Hey, $550,000 Is Simply A Rounding Error To A Proper Industrialist [SocketSite]
Another District Seven Mansion Heads For Foreclosure (2151 Green) [SocketSite]
The Scoop On 2157 Green Street (Could You See The Foreshadowing?) [SocketSite]
San Francisco Real Estate Districts: Maps And Neighborhoods [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 5:00 PM | Comments (27)

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