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January 31, 2011

Could It Really Be An Unlucky 13 (Years) For 1269 Lombard In 2011?

1269 Lombard 2011 (www.SocketSite.com)

While the Planning Commission has approved all the necessary permits and variances necessary to raze and rebuild at 1269 Lombard, and the proposed project has survived three Discretionary Reviews and a number of appeals over the past year, the project is back in front of San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors tomorrow as an opponent is now challenging the Planning Department’s determination that the current property is not a historic resource and as such should be subject to an extensive Environmental Review.

As we wrote this past June:

First approved for development and excavated in 1998, the twelve year saga of 1269 Lombard involves a failed development attempt, a two year foreclosure battle (the property went back to the lenders in 2004), a four year approval process with Planning (that’s not yet over), and steadfast opposition from a neighboring tenant (yes, tenant).

1269 Lombard site plan as proposed

As proposed, the project will "demolish the existing single-family, two-story building located towards the rear of the lot and construct two new single-family buildings, located at the front and rear of the lot separated by an open yard."

1269 Lombard as Proposed

With a design that's backed by the Russian Hill Neighbors Association and all adjacent property owners, it’s on to our Planning Commission this Thursday to rule on the neighboring tenant's requested Discretionary Review opposing the project as well as front setback and rear yard variances for the design as proposed.

As noted above, the Planning Commission is now on board, but will the Board be as well or could it really be an unlucky 13 years in the making for the project as proposed?

Will 1269 Lombard Finally Break Free From Its Suspended State? [SocketSite]
San Francisco Board of Supervisors Agenda: February, 1 2011 [sfbos.org]
1269 Lombard Street: Appeal of Exemption from Environmental Review [sfbos.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:00 PM | Comments (13)

An Uptick In Activity (Versus Values) At One Rincon Hill

While a couple weeks behind in updating their listings on the MLS, it would appear the sales office at One Rincon Hill has had a relatively busy January.

In terms of two-bedrooms, sales have included 425 1st Street #4306 for $985,000 ($796 per square), it had been listed for $1,383,000 nine months ago; 425 1st Street #5101 for $965,000 ($926 per square); and 425 1st Street #5104 for $948,000 ($752 per square).

In terms of three-bedrooms, an upgraded #5302 closed escrow six days ago with a reported contract price of $2,065,500 ($1,047 per square foot). As a potential point of reference, the sales office sold the three-bedroom #5204 for $2,916,000 ($1,498 per square) in August of 2008.

According to one source, the One Rincon Hill sales team has around 40 more units to sell.

From Failed To Foreclosure Flip (And Five Others) At One Rincon Hill [SocketSite]
One Rincon Hill '08's Appear To Have Slipped More (Not Less) In 2010 [SocketSite]
"The Last" Of The Last One Rincon Hill 02’s [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:45 PM | Comments (11)

3953 Sacramento Returns Anew Again

3953 Sacramento Kitchen

As we wrote this past August:

Purchased out of probate as a vacant two-unit building in need of TLC and sold "as-is" with "no further responsibility/liability implied or expressed whatsoever" this past January, 3953 Sacramento has returned to the market asking $3,525,000 as a "renovated to the studs" single-family home with "au pair" unit below.
Permits would suggest that the two-bedroom on the third floor was relocated to the first while the one-bedroom on the second floor was combined with the third, although the new listing notes three bedrooms on the third floor and only one on the first.

Withdrawn from the market in December without a reported sale, according to a plugged-in tipster the property should return to the market this week with new photography, new floor plans, and a new lower list price of $3,200,000.

∙ Listing: 3953-3955 Sacramento (4/4.5) - $3,200,000 [presidioheightsmodern.com]
3953 Sacramento Returns As A Single-Family Home Plus "Au Pair" [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:30 AM | Comments (7)

2600 Pacific: The "Inside" Scoop

While a number of plugged-in readers have collectively made a pretty good case for who they believe was behind the masked purchase of 2600 Pacific for $15,500,000 last month, another provides the "inside" scoop:

I don't know who purchased the house but I do know who sold it - the estate of a very odd, ill-tempered Alabaman spinster named Nina Ireland who inherited her massive wealth from her father. She purchased the house in the early 90's and died in late 2010.
The house was designed in 1936 by the renowned Bay Area architect William Wurster and it was beautifully updated and re-decorated in the mid-90's by The Wiseman Group who also does all the design work for the Schwab's houses. It's a fantastic house, beautifully laid out and simply detailed - perfectly scaled and not pretentious at all which is typical of Wurster.
The living room has tall picture windows that overlook both the Bay and the walled front garden; the south and east facing dining room - with more floor to ceiling windows - overlooks the private walled front garden. There's a beautiful curved staircase in entry foyer that leads up to the bedrooms and there's a large lower floor "studio" - just below the living room - with windows that also overlook the Bay.
You'd never guess from the unassuming exterior how lovely, simple and refined the house is on the inside.

Cheers and all comments on our original post.

The Secretive Sale Of 2600 Pacific [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM

San Francisco Listed Housing Inventory Update: January 31, 2011

San Francisco Listed Housing Inventory: 1/31/11 (www.SocketSite.com)

Inventory of listed single-family homes, condos, and TICs in San Francisco increased 6.9% over the past two weeks to 1,341 active listings. Over the past five years listed inventory levels have increased an average of 5.5% in San Francisco during the same two weeks.

Current listed inventory is up 31% on a year-over-year basis, up 24% versus the average of the past five years, up 67% as compared to 2006. At the same time, listed sales last month appear to have been just over 400, down a few percentage points year-over-year.

The inventory of single-family homes for sale in San Francisco is up 41% on a year-over-year basis to 544 while listed condo inventory is up 25% to 797.

The percentage of all active listings in San Francisco have undergone at least one price reduction dropped two points to 34% while the percentage of active listings that are either already bank owned (90) or seeking a short sale (192) dropped a point to 21%, down 10% on an absolute basis over the past two weeks.

Think "new" listings for previously unsold properties (with respect to the percentage of reductions) and holiday moratoriums (with respect to bank-owned activity).

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).

San Francisco Housing Inventory: Starting 2011 At A Six-Year High [SocketSite]
Will Pent-Up Demand Outstrip Pent-Up Supply? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:30 AM | Comments (66)

January 28, 2011

Like The Swallows To Capistrano, 830 El Camino Del Mar Returns

830 El Camino Del Mar

We never get tired of the image. If only we could say the same about the listing. That’s right, like the swallows returning to San Juan Capistrano, 830 El Camino Del Mar has returned to the MLS for the sixteenth time since 1998 without a single sale.

Asking $8,500,000 in 1998, the property hit a peak list price of $18,000,000 in 2008, was last listed for $11,500,000 in January 2010 and last asking $9,990,000 before being withdrawn, the price at which it's once again on the MLS in 2011 with an official thirteen years "one" day on the market.

As a plugged-in reader notes, perhaps it's time to add a stanza or two to the poem.

∙ Listing: 830 El Camino Del Mar (2/2.5) - $9,990,000 [830elcaminodelmar.com]
Would You Believe Fifteen For 830 El Camino Del Mar (And Not Million) [SocketSite]
Unlucky Lucky Number Thirteen For 830 El Camino Del Mar? [SocketSite]
Behind The Great Wrought Iron Wooden Gate At 830 El Camino Del Mar [SocketSite]
Will The Twelfth Time Be The Charm? 830 El Camino Del Mar Returns [SocketSite]
830 El Camino Del Mar Moves Away From 2008 And Closer To 2002 [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:00 PM | Comments (35)

12 Auburn Comes Up Short On Nob Hill

12 Auburn

So there's no deeded parking and Nob Hill, but it is a rather cute little two-bedroom at 12 Auburn that’s just returned to the market after a one-month hiatus, only it's now listed as a short sale for "$699,000" having been purchased for $700,000 in May 2005.

The property had been listed for as much as $898,000 just four months ago prior to three prices reductions and then being withdrawn from the MLS at the end of December.

We might suggest structuring any offer to include the contents of the "wine cellar." If you're successful, don't forget those invitations to the housewarming. And as design aside, we are rather enamored with their urban gate.

12 Auburn Gate

∙ Listing: 12 Auburn (2/1) – "$699,000" (short sale) [MLS]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 PM | Comments (25)

1855 Laguna: Nudged To Market In Lower Pacific Heights

1855 Laguna

Purchased for $2,660,000 in April 2006 with 25 percent ($532,000) down but a second added for $182,000 two months later, the fully remodeled Victorian home at 1855 Laguna with a big Viking and Sub-Zero in the kitchen returned to the market a week ago.

Now listed as a short sale for "$2,195,000," three weeks ago a notice of default was filed on the Lower Pacific Heights property with $57,667 past due.

∙ Listing: 1855 Laguna (4/3.5) – "$2,195,000" (short sale) [MLS]
San Francisco Bucks CA Foreclosure Trends, But Not In A Good Way [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:15 AM | Comments (8)

Highly Leveraged In 2005 And Now An LPS Flag Flies In Noe

1688 Dolores LPS Tag

As we wrote this past October:

Purchased in April 2005 for $1,227,000 with 95 percent leverage and 5 percent ($61,400) down, the single-family home at 1688 Dolores was briefly listed this past March for $1,050,000 before being withdrawn.
Yesterday the Noe Valley home returned to the MLS listed for "$1,050,000" as a short sale and with one day on the market once again.

As a plugged-in tipster captures in a scene more commonly associated with Detroit than Noe, the short sale doesn’t appear to be going too well despite a reduction to "$975,000," confirmed by the notice of default filed by the first mortgage holder four weeks ago.

And while we previously noted the 95 percent leverage at purchase, we just noticed what appears to be a third for an additional $500,000 two years after in July 2007.

∙ Listing: 1688 Dolores (2/2) 1,450 sqft – "$1,050,000" (short sale) [MLS]
Highly Leveraged In '05 And Now Selling Short? Certainly Not In Noe… [SocketSite]
San Francisco Bucks CA Foreclosure Trends, But Not In A Good Way [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:15 AM | Comments (23)

January 27, 2011

The Secretive Sale Of 2600 Pacific

2600 Pacific

For the past three weeks we’ve been inundated with questions about the recorded sale of 2600 Pacific for $15,500,000 late last year. Or more accurately, a recorded transfer tax of $232,500 in December which translates to said sale price.

And while we couldn’t get past the hidden buyer to confirm ("HOS Pacific LLC" anyone?), neither could the Wall Street Journal. So with that we’re calling it a day and leaving it up to any plugged-in readers with the inside scoop or better sleuthing skills to weigh in.

Big Spenders Buoy Housing [wsj.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:30 PM | Comments (29)

There’s Adjacent And Then There’s Adjacent At Planning Today

226 Cabrillo Neighbors

With today’s Planning Commission meeting just about to get started, the adjacent neighbor to the east of 226 Cabrillo writes:

We're direct neighbors to the proposed structure, and it's funny how mention of the neighborhood commission and "neighbor" opposing the construction makes it sound like we're the ones opposing it. Couldn't be further from the truth.
We've been waiting with baited breath for someone, ANYONE, to demolish that unsightly shack and put up something new. From Day One, I've been in communication with the architect about their plans, and have written supportive letters and emails to and for them. They were kind enough to show us the building plans early on, and we're excited to see it go up.
I'll be attending the hearing today at City Hall, so there's no doubt "the adjacent neighbors" are on their side.

Cheers. And so which "adjacent neighbor" is objecting to the project as proposed? That would be one with an address on 4th Avenue to the west (across the gap to the left above).

UPDATE: A plugged-in reader reports, "The Planning commission with clarity and swiftness voted 5-1 in favor of demolishing the existing cottage and approving the new building." Double cheers.

Words Of Planning Wisdom With Respect To 226 Cabrillo As Proposed [SocketSite]
San Francisco Planning Commission Calendar: September 30, 2010 [sf-planning.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:30 PM | Comments (12)

An Estimated 2,500 Units Entering 2011 Condo Conversion Lottery

With an estimated 2,500 units entering San Francisco’s 2011 condominium conversion lottery (up 15 percent from 2,179 in 2010), just under one in twelve of the units will win one of the two hundred rights to convert versus just over one in five when 994 units applied in 2003.

At the same time, according to Plan C San Francisco which plans to hold a condo conversion reform rally on the steps of City Hall before the February 2 lottery drawing at 9am, no fault evictions in San Francisco have dropped from 703 in 2003 to 159 last year.

A bit of conversion background:

In 1982, in response to the conversion of large apartment complexes, then Mayor Feinstein, rather than place a moratorium on condo conversions, recommended legislation to allow only 200 conversions per year and limit conversions to buildings with 6 units or fewer.
Interestingly though, Mayor Feinstein’s recommendation was based upon her understanding that "the figure 200 is realistic under present economic conditions in that it covers the actual number of residential units converted in the past two years in this category."

As always, we’ll keep you plugged-in.

Condo Conversion 2011: Are You Feeling Lucky Punk? Well, Are You? [SocketSite]
It's Golden Ticket Day For 200 Condo Conversions In San Francisco [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Comments (22)

2041 Sacramento Sells (For Reals This Time) At 38% Under 2007

2041 Sacramento Top: Living

As plugged-in people know, the MLS reported "sale" of 2041 Sacramento for $1,950,000 this past October wasn’t actually a sale but rather the bank foreclosing upon the remodeled top floor Pacific Heights condo back. And not even at that "price."

2041 Sacramento Top: Roof Deck

Yesterday, however, a legitimate sale of 2041 Sacramento appears to have closed escrow with a reported contract price of $1,418,000. The sale represents a 38 percent ($868,500) drop in value for the property since its purchase for $2,286,500 in June 2007.

The "beautiful house-like top floor 2-level 3BR/3BA condo in prime location across from Lafayette Park" was last listed for $1,499,000 ("DRASTIC REDUCTION for quick sale!!!").

While The MLS Reports A "Sale," Public Records Report A Foreclosure [SocketSite]
A Year Later An Apple Falls In Pacific Heights (2041 Sacaramento) [SocketSite]
An Apples To Apples (And Rather Prime) Update For 2041 Sacramento [SocketSite]
North To South (And Apples To Apples) From Atop 2041 Sacramento [SocketSite]
2041 Sacramento Cuts Again But Gains Three Exclamation Points!!! [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Comments (58)

11 Offers And 27% Over Asking Yields 9% Under 2001 On Potrero Hill

146 Connecticut

With a reported eleven or twelve offers, the sale of 146 Connecticut #3 closed escrow yesterday with a reported contract price of $665,000. While that's 27 percent "over asking and with multiple offers," the sale price for the Potrero Hill condo was also 24 percent under its sale for $880,000 in 2004 and 9 percent under its sale for $729,000 in 2001.

From a plugged-in reader with respect to the top-floor condo three weeks ago:

I put out some feelers on this property and was told the final sales price is going to be in the high 600k range, so it should sell close to it's 2001 price. views from this place were absolutely top notch.

And once again, the 50 percent larger but lower floor (i.e., without those absolutely top notch views) unit #1 at 146 Connecticut sold for $980,000 in October 2005 having originally sold for $699,000 (4 percent less than #3) in May 2001.

An Offer Inciting Potrero Hill Price At 40 Percent Under 2004 [SocketSite]
The SocketSite Reality Check For CBS’s Infamous "42 Offer" Home [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:15 AM | Comments (52)

January 26, 2011

Behind The Sperling’s Shocking "Sale" Of 2323 Hyde For $9,000,000

2323 Hyde

A reader perusing Redfin is a bit shocked to come across the reported sale of 2323 Hyde Street for $9,000,000 two weeks ago, a nearly 9,000 square foot Russian Hill home that was listed for $18,700,000 for most of last year.

The least expensive of three big San Francisco properties accumulated by the Sperlings of University of Phoenix fame and fortune over the past decade, 2323 Hyde Street had been purchased by Peter and Stephanie Sperling in 2003. The home had been listed for $15,000,000 at the time.

And while we can’t confirm the exact purchase price in 2003, we will note a $15,420,495 tax assessed value in 2009 which would suggest a price around $14 million.

So was it really a $5,000,000 and 36 percent drop in value for the Hyde Street house as reported? Yes and no. While 2323 Hyde did in fact sell for $9,000,000 this past November with $225,000 in transfer taxes paid, the buyers were John and Peter Sperling, the co-trustees of a John Sperling Irrevocable Trust. We don’t believe their offer was countered.

Keep in mind that the difference between a $14,000,000 and $9,000,000 tax basis would be about $60,000 a year and transfer taxes for properties valued over $5 million in San Francisco increased at the beginning of this year with the passage of Proposition N.

Save A Collective $21,700,000 On Hyde And Upper Broadway [SocketSite]
The Day After: November 2 Real Estate Related Election Results [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:45 PM | Comments (39)

Calling All Mormons To 676 San Jose

676 San Jose

Purchased for $875,000 in 2005, the Victorian home at 676 San Jose was taken "to the studs," expanded (including a new two-bedroom unit below) and modernized in 2006.

676 San Jose Kitchen

Now boasting seven bedrooms and three (although we seem to count four) bathrooms over 3,701 square feet and listed for $1,595,000 ($431 per square) in 2011.

∙ Listing: 676 San Jose (7/3) 3,701 sqft - $1,595,000 [MLS]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:00 AM | Comments (52)

U.S. New Home Sales: Down 7.6% In December (YOY), 14.2% in 2010

The pace of new single-family home sales in the U.S. jumped 17.5 percent from a revised 280,000 annual rate in November 2010 to 329,000 in December but remains 7.6 percent below the 356,000 rate in December 2009.

An estimated 321,000 new single-family homes were sold throughout the U.S. in 2010, down 14.2 percent from an estimated 375,000 in 2009 and the lowest level in 47 years.

UPDATE: A few points we shouldn't have missed, preliminary U.S. sales (versus pace) in December 2010 were estimated to be 22,000 (give or take 8 percent), the lowest December on record since 1966.

In the West, December sales were up 40 percent from 5,000 in 2009 to 7,000 (give or take 14 percent) in 2010 while total sales for the year fell 16 percent from 87,000 in 2009 to 73,000 in 2010.

New Residential Sales: December 2010 [census.gov]
New Residential Sales Since 1963 [census.gov]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:15 AM | Comments (7)

Puttin' On The Ritz-Carlton At Under Eight Seven Hundred A Square

690 Market #1502

As we wrote this past October:

Purchased for $1,481,000 in October 2007 ($1,239 per square) and then taken back by the bank this part March with $1,234,899 due, the two-bedroom Ritz-Carlton Residences (690 Market) #1502 returned to the market six months ago.
Asking $999,900 ($837 per square) over the past 37 days, as a plugged-in reader notes, the list price was reduced to $949,905 ($795 per square) today. A sale at asking would represent a 36 percent decline in value for the luxury unit over the past three years.
And while "still not cheap" at almost $800 per square, we’re guessing that’s of little solace to those who were sold on $1,200 or more.

And as a plugged-in reader noted late last night, the bank-owned "auction" resale of 690 Market #1502 closed escrow on Monday with a reported contract price of $805,000.

Call it $674 per square foot and a 46 percent ($676,000) drop in value for the 1,195 square foot Ritz-Carlton two-bedroom since October 2007.

And yes, the Sub-Zero was still in place (as were all the cabinets).

Puttin' On The Ritz (And Pressure) At Under Eight Hundred A Square [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:15 AM | Comments (88)

January 25, 2011

Fresh & Easy Headed For The Mission, Could The Castro Be Next?

1245 South Van Ness (Image Source: MapJack.com)

With San Francisco's first two Fresh & Easy locations scheduled to open their doors in Bayview and the Outer Richmond early this year, according to the San Francisco Business Times Fresh & Easy is also close to inking a lease for the (not so long) shuttered DeLano's Market at 1245 South Van Ness in the Mission.

And while there's no official word on the newly defunct DeLano's Market in the Castro, according to a plugged-in reader early last month:

I heard Tesco's Fresh & Easy is interested in the closing Delano's on 18th in the Castro. Ralphs Supermarkets sub-leases the building to DeLano's. They evicted them because they owe back rent on the store plus 5 others.

Could this be one DeLano's down for Fresh & Easy with five to go?

NOTE: As a plugged-in reader adds, if you want to lobby Trader Joe's to open in the Castro (or elsewhere in San Francisco) you might start by filling out a location request form.

UPDATE: Apparently the new new rumor has it that Mollie Stones will be taking over the defunct DeLano’s in the Castro but a lease has yet to be signed. If so, perhaps that’s how Fresh & Easy is ending up in the Mission (and why we don't typically cover the changing of exisiting grocery store flags). Cheers.

Fresh & Easy San Francisco In The Outer Richmond By Early Next Year [SocketSite]
5800 Third Street Scoop: Sales, Restaurants, And Fresh & Easy Soon
Could DeLano’s Loss Be A Trader Joe’s Gain For The Castro? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 5:45 PM | Comments (17)

The 34th America’s Cup Race Schedule You've Known To Expect

As we wrote when we broke the news three weeks ago with respect to the proposed course for the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco’s bay: "Races will be held July through mid-September in both 2012 and 2013 with up to three races each day beginning at 1:00pm and ending by 6:00pm."

According to an America’s Cup Race Management notice released today, the America’s Cup Challenger Series (The "Louis Vuitton" Cup) is tentatively scheduled to commence on July 13, 2013 with the 34th America’s Cup Match starting September 7, 2013.

We'd file it under "breaking news" but plugged-in people have known what to expect for weeks.

The Proposed 34th America’s Cup Course For San Francisco’s Bay [SocketSite]
34th America’s Cup Regatta Dates [americascup.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:45 PM | Comments (6)


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