December 28, 2009

A Pair Trio Of Bank-Owned Penthouses Atop The Watermark

501 Beale (www.SocketSite.com)

As we wrote in April:

Two months after its initial sale for $1,250,000 in October of 2006 Watermark (501 Beale) Penthouse #2B was flipped for $1,375,000. (Ah, the good old days.) It's now a little over two years later and the top floor condo is back on the market and asking $1,094,500.
The listing notes both short sale and bank owned (we believe it’s the former) and the condo failed to sell earlier this year when seeking $1,195,000. Keep in mind that the identical "penthouse" unit a floor below (#PH1B) sold for $1,300,000 in October of 2006 and was likely a supporting comp for the flip of #PH2B. And so on. And so forth.

501 Beale #PH2B ended up selling for $950,000 this past October. That same month 501 Beale #PH1B was returned to the bank, it's now back on the market and asking $940,500.

Plugged-in people should have seen it coming (and been prepared). Those too busy whining about our "unfair apples" probably would have missed it (or perhaps were simply trying to sell you something else).

We also expect the bank-owned Watermark Penthouse #1E to return to the market soon, while bank-owned units #1D and #6C remain active and available as well.

∙ Listing: 501 Beale #PH1B (2/2) - $940,500 [Redfin]
From Flippy To Floppy For Watermark (501 Beale) Penthouse #2B [SocketSite]
A Pair Of Bank-Owned Penthouses Atop The Watermark (501 Beale) [SocketSite]
Another Bank Owned Watermark Comp To Be: 501 Beale #6C [SocketSite]

First Published: December 28, 2009 3:45 PM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

Where are all the commentators who want to argue that these are not comps! Did you take this week off? I want to hear now why SF property won't continue to decline....

Posted by: calhousingbear at December 28, 2009 4:31 PM

Like anonn says, condos and houses are completely different.

These are (pent)houses. They are very different from condos. The fact that (pent)houses dropped 35% means NOTHING to those of us in condos.

My condo in this same building on the floor below is probably worth the same amount I paid for it in 2006. Man, I sure am glad I own a condo and not a (pent)house!

Posted by: tipster, aka Mr. Denial at December 28, 2009 4:36 PM

On the prior thread, I think I predicted that 2B would go for $900K, so I wasn't far off on that one.

Name of the game at this point seems to be getting the price as close to the bailout line (FHA financing) as you can, then hoping someone falls in love with it + has enough scratch to cover the delta (or downpayment assistance, or dumb parents, etc.). Just my anecdotal observation on the Soma condo market.

Still, our benevolent central planners seem to have most folks believing that they've stabilized the market, so I wouldn't be surprised if this place goes close to asking at this stage. I'll guess $900K here, with the caveat that I have not seen this unit.

Posted by: Legacy Dude at December 28, 2009 5:12 PM

A nice development (cough, cough) for high speed rail.

Posted by: kaya at December 28, 2009 6:38 PM

Legacy Dude wrote:

> Still, our benevolent central planners seem to have most folks
> believing that they've stabilized the market…

Word is that the “central planners” may be making it a little harder to get a loan in 2010 since the increase in FHA loans has helped home sales, but not helped the government balance sheet:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_pMscxxELHEg/SzlHENw2q2I/AAAAAAAAHIA/JYD3JhLbgW4/s1600-h/FannieMaeDelinquencyOct.jpg

More from the “central planners”:

Housing Tax Credit: Ends June 30, 2010
Treasury MBS Purchase Program: Ends Dec 31, 2009
Fannie / Freddie 125 percent LTV Ends June 10, 2010
Fannie and Freddie's holiday foreclosure moratoria Ends Jan 3, 2010
Citi's holiday foreclosure moratoria ends Jan 17, 2010…

Posted by: FormerAptBroker at December 28, 2009 7:15 PM

^^^

I forecast a 2010 extension of all centrally planned things house-finance related

Posted by: Debtpocalypse at December 28, 2009 7:48 PM

how can a 22 story tower have a penthouse on anything other than the 22nd floor?

Posted by: james at December 29, 2009 8:50 AM

Nobody denied anything. If you don't think the supply of very nice condos in the 1M+ condo market has anything to do with anything being shown that's OK for you. That's the toughest market in the city right now, and if you stopped to parse the shock and awe of the frequent Socketsite postings from within that market maybe you'd actually come up with a critical thought that was worthwhile. Instead of rote snideness and intentionally misrepresented bad math.

Posted by: anonn at December 29, 2009 8:50 AM

This building is well-located but I understand new buildings will go on the triangular parcel and block the views. Does anyone know for sure?

The pier that is visible in the above photo is destined to become an amazing park -- another "marina green."

Posted by: midcentfan at December 29, 2009 8:54 AM

Also, in SS terminology the pejorative "flipped" means to do nothing and sell within a year for a profit or loss. "Developed" -- always with pejorative scare quotes around -- means wholescale changes were done by a very stupid person every bear on the internet is much more intelligent than.

Posted by: anonn at December 29, 2009 8:56 AM

The only snide remarks, and contentless to boot, are yours, flujie boy. Note comment about whiners, above.

Posted by: anon at December 29, 2009 8:59 AM

Didn't the Treasury MBS program get extended to March 31?

But sadly, we may see an extension for many of those things that FAB listed. Very sad situation.

We really need to get back to 20% down on a normal 30 year fixed with 28/36 ratios instead of this re-bubbling nouveau subprime crap. And federally subsidized loans need to go back to the conforming limit (which is still ridiculously high for many parts of the nation anyway...).

Posted by: anon at December 29, 2009 9:00 AM

Contentless? Hardly. I'm saying to look at the specific market. And I don't see a whiners comment in this thread. Oh to be able to view everything I read just the way I want it to sound.

Posted by: anonn at December 29, 2009 9:11 AM

james' question "how can a 22 story tower have a penthouse on anything other than the 22nd floor?"

The explanation is called marketing. Back in the dot.com days before the sub-prime collapse, some noveau riche would pay more for a condo if it was called a pent house even if it was only on the second to the highest, not the top, floor.

Those days are gone. Savvy buyers are not only looking for deals but for value at the same time. they will wait until the sellers or banks get realistic to make their offers which will be at prices that are realistic, not hopeful.

Posted by: RSVP at December 29, 2009 9:47 AM

"Didn't the Treasury MBS program get extended to March 31?"

Correcting myself here -- the *Treasury* program ends Dec 31 as FAB said. The *Fed* program ends March 31:

http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2009/12/government-housing-support-update.html

As you can see, the Fannie/Freddie and FHA programs right now are basically Bubble Redux right now.

Posted by: anon at December 29, 2009 1:06 PM

I agree with Debtpocalypse that there will be 2010 extensions of all centrally planned things house-finance related.

Hopefully the current loan qualifying requirements will be re-examined and adjusted so more may qualify to buy. It takes both elements to turn the current real estate downturn around. Otherwise, it will be stay more of the same.

Posted by: RSVP at December 29, 2009 2:16 PM

The list price for 501 Beale #PH1B has been reduced by $47,025 (5%) to $893,475. Once again, purchased for $1,300,000 in October 2006 (a drop of 31.3%).

Posted by: SocketSite at January 11, 2010 4:09 PM

per an email from the listing agent the bank accepted an offer on #PH1B. no other details yet, nor any change in the MLS.

Posted by: Rob Regan at January 21, 2010 1:53 PM

#PH1B now pending

Posted by: Rob Regan at January 23, 2010 3:17 PM

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