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August 31, 2011

The Rather Short Sale On Sotelo (That Took A Rather Long Time)

56 Sotelo Avenue

As we wrote about 56 Sotelo this past March:

It’s been ten months since 56 Sotelo Avenue first hit the market asking $1,995,000 having been purchased for $1,900,000 in 2007 and then remodeled incorporating new wrought iron gates imported from South America amongst other updates.
Relisted, reduced a few times and eventually listed as a short sale for "$1,599,000," the listing for 56 Sotelo was withdrawn from the MLS on Monday despite having been in contract since mid-February according to the MLS.
Don’t fret if your "fussiest clients" never had a chance to see it, however, for the next day 56 Sotelo was listed anew with a new brokerage at $1,835,000 and an official "Days on the Market" count of one.

Yesterday, the sale of 56 Sotelo closed escrow with a reported contract price of $1,470,000, twenty-three percent ($430,000) below its pre-remodeled sale price recorded in 2007.

56 Sotelo Shortly Returns A Little Less Short [SocketSite]
There Were Bids For The Before Will There Be Bids For The After? [SocketSite]
No Bids So A New Listing And (Another) Reduction Up On Sotelo [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:45 PM | Comments (14)

A Gentle Reminder That New Paint Does Not Equal Remediation

A plugged-in reader reports with respect to a home currently on the market in Noe:

One of the neighbors got a sneak peak at the place after the tenants moved out and saw evidence of a leaky roof in several places and extensive mold on the walls in most of the rooms – imagine what’s going on behind the drywall. However, what is most interesting is that during the open house you can see the wallpaper is still there, so apparently whoever did the remodeling work just painted over the existing moldy walls.

As we can’t confirm the before, or what exactly what happened during, let’s just consider this a general reminder not to skimp on your inspections, especially when dealing with a newly remodeled home, which might seem counterintuitive.

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Comments (39)

August 30, 2011

Conforming Loan Limit Extension Gains Obama's Support

As plugged-in people are well aware, the super/jumbo conforming loan limits that provide for federally backed mortgages up to $729,750 in high cost areas like San Francisco were first passed as part of an economic stimulus bill back in 2008, were extended by President Obama last year, and are currently set to expire on September 30, 2011.

This past May, the New York Times quoted an Obama administration’s position paper on reforming the housing market stating: "Larger loans for more expensive homes will once again be funded only through the private market." In other words, another extension was not to be expected.

Today, it’s a plugged-in reader that points to a research note by Capital Alpha Partners in Washington DC that suggests the Obama Administration has decided to support a two-year extension for the higher conforming loan limits.

If Lowering Rates Isn’t Working, Perhaps Increasing Limits Will [SocketSite]
Another Year For Super Conforming Limits (Assuming Obama Signs) [SocketSite]
Super Conforming Limits In San Francisco Set To Expire September 30 [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:30 PM | Comments (133)

How To Acquire "Free" Money: Borrow, Then Don’t Pay It Back...

1945 Franklin (www.SocketSite.com)

Speaking of "free" foreclosure living in San Francisco, it was a year ago that we first wrote about 1945 Franklin, the six bedroom Pacific Heights home whose previous owners have included Nicholas Cage, Howard Grossman, and Patricia Arquette.

Purchased in June of 2005 for $3,000,000 by way of a $2,350,000 first mortgage and a $790,000 construction loan second (yes, that's over 100% financed), the property was refinanced in September 2006 to the tune of $5,000,000 to which a $500,000 home equity line of credit was added three months later.

Scheduled to hit the courthouse steps last September with $5,684,086 owed as of August 2009, the balance due on the $5,000,000 first was up to $6,157,795 as of this past January. And no, we don’t believe any payments have been made since.

As plugged-in people know, that infamous Excalibur seen about town with "ACQUIRE" license plates currently resides in the garage (alongside a Range Rover). Once again, apparently "BorrowSpendDefault" didn’t fit nor have the same ring to it.

The Pacific Heights home is currently scheduled to be un-acquired by way of the courthouse steps in two weeks. And yes, Washington Mutual underwrote the loan for 1945 Franklin as it did for 869 Alvarado. We’ll keep you plugged-in.

1945 Franklin On The Verge Of Being Un-Acquired [SocketSite]
Going On Four Years Of "Free" Foreclosure Living Over In Noe [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:30 AM | Comments (18)

The Sale Price For Smitty Number Three

75 Lansing #3 Living

As we reported in June:

Converted in the year 2000 by Bay Area architects Abrams & Milliken, the largest of three units within the former Smitty Knitting Factory building at 75 Lansing Street hit the market in 2006 listed with 4,000 square feet for $2,995,000 and sold for $2,800,000.
With Venetian plaster, windows galore, and 20 foot ceilings atop; mahogany bookshelves in the library; and a kitchen designed by Pacassa Studios, the unit returned to the market in 2008 listed with 3,298 square feet for $3,850,000 and sold for $3,500,000.
75 Lansing #3 is back on the market today listed for $3,250,000 without any square footage. The agent's notes for other agents does, however, note 3,100 square feet. And tax records suggest it's 3,132.

The sale of 75 Lansing #3 has closed escrow with a reported contract price of $3,250,000, at asking but 7 percent under its 2008 value on an apples-to-apples basis.

Smitten For The Smitty (And Its Incredible Shrinking Square Feet) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Comments (4)

S&P/Case-Shiller San Francisco: SFH’s Tick Up, Condos Down In June

S&P/Case-Shiller Index Change: June 2011 (www.SocketSite.com)

According to the June 2011 S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, single-family home prices in the San Francisco MSA increased a nominal 0.4% from May ’11 to June '11 but remain down 5.4% year-over-year (YOY), the sixth consecutive month of year-over-year declines and down 38.2% from a peak in May 2006.

For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values increased 0.8% from May to June but remain down 3.8% year-over-year, down 31.6% from a June 2006 peak.

"This month’s report showed mixed signals for recovery in home prices. No cities made new lows in June 2011, and the majority of cities are seeing improved annual rates. The National Index was up 3.6% from the 2011 first quarter, but down 5.9% compared to a year-ago," says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices.
"Looking across the cities, eight bottomed in 2009 and have remained above their lows. These include all the California cities plus Dallas, Denver and Washington DC, all relatively strong markets. At the other extreme, those which set new lows in 2011 include the four Sunbelt cities – Las Vegas, Miami, Phoenix and Tampa – as well as the weakest of all, Detroit. These shifts suggest that we are back to regional housing markets, rather than a national housing market where everything rose and fell together."

On a month-over-month basis, prices rose across all three price tiers in the San Francisco MSA for the second time in twelve months. On a year-over-year basis, however, values remained down across all three tiers.

S&P/Case-Shiller Index San Francisco Price Tiers: June 2011 (www.SocketSite.com)

The bottom third (under $317,976 at the time of acquisition) increased 0.5% from May to June (down 6.6% YOY); the middle third increased 0.6% from May to June (down 8.1% YOY); and the top third (over $594,261 at the time of acquisition) ticked up a nominal 0.2% from May to June but remain down 3.7% year-over-year.

According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA are just below June 2000 levels having fallen 59% from a peak in August 2006, the middle third is just below April 2002 levels having fallen 40% from a peak in May 2006, and the top third remains at February 2004 levels having fallen 25% from a peak in August 2007.

Condo values in the San Francisco MSA fell 0.8% from May ’11 to June '11, down 6.8% year-over-year versus a 5.4% drop in May and down 32.2% from a December 2005 peak.

S&P/Case-Shiller Condo Price Changes: June 2011 (www.SocketSite.com)

Our 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).

S&P/Case-Shiller: Nationally, Home Prices Went Up in Q2 2011 [Standard & Poor's]
May S&P/Case-Shiller San Francisco: Seasonality Or Solid Trend? [SocketSite]
San Francisco’s Condo "Double Dip" Is (Or Was) Here [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:30 AM | Comments (4)

August 29, 2011

Going On Four Years Of "Free" Foreclosure Living Over In Noe Valley

869 Alvarado

Speaking of kicking the foreclosure can down the road, as we first wrote in May 2008:

Described as a “gut check for SF realtors” when it sold on 6/1/2005 (establishing a new Noe Valley neighborhood comp at $1,500,000), 869 Alvarado appears to have been refinanced a few times since closing escrow. And if PropertyShark is correct, the property is currently facing foreclosure with an unpaid mortgage balance of $1,497,746.

That balance due of $1,497,745 grew to $1,638,054 in 2009; to $1,800,473 in 2010; and to $1,878,099 as of three months ago. Keep in mind that’s simply the amount owed on the first mortgage which was written for $1,350,000 in 2006. There's also a 2006 vintage second mortgage for $300,000 and a 2008 vintage third for $133,000.

Next Tuesday, 869 Alvarado is once again scheduled to hit the courthouse steps. While we’re not holding our breath, it’s always better to be prepared (and plugged-in, of course).

A "Gut Check" Then And Now? (869 Alvarado Facing Foreclosure) [SocketSite]
Apparently They’re Selling Expensive Lemon Trees At 861 Alvarado [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:00 PM | Comments (15)

Another Round Of Reductions (And "New" Listings) At 1299 Bush

1299 Bush (www.SocketSite.com)

On the MLS for 171 days at $679,000, last month the listing for 1299 Bush Street #303 was withdrawn. This past Friday, however, the Axis two-bedroom was listed anew at an "original" list price of $659,000 and an official "one day" on the market according to industry statistics.

While the new listing for #303 now omits the square footage, according to the previous listing and condo map, the two-bedroom measures 995 square feet.

The 995 square foot unit one floor above (1299 Bush Street #403) sold for $675,000 last month having last been listed for $697,000 while the 995 square foot unit above that (1299 Bush Street #503) sold for $692,000 having been listed for $715,000.

As plugged-in people know, the 940 square foot #203 was listed for $795,000 when the building formerly known as "Citadine" first hit the market in 2009 and was listed as new for $675,000 when the building relaunched as Axis ten months ago. Number 203 is now listed for $639,000 with an official two years "105 days" on the market.

∙ Listing: 1299 Bush Street #203 (2/2) 940 sqft - $639,000 [MLS]
∙ Listing: 1299 Bush Street #303 (2/2) 995 sqft - $659,000 [MLS]
1299 Bush Tries Again As Citadine AXIS San Francisco [SocketSite]
Citadine (1299 Bush): Current Pricing And A Peek Inside [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:30 AM | Comments (9)

Shadow Government Inventory (So To Speak)

"Government-run Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration now own about a third of the country’s nearly 800,000 foreclosed properties. With that inventory predicted to grow, they are looking for new ways to cope.

In a joint public appeal this month, the agencies invited the public to send in suggestions for managing the inventory, particularly ideas for turning foreclosed homes into rentals.

Karen Petrou, managing partner of Federal Financial Analytics Inc., said the unusual appeal is a sign the agencies recognize the backlog of distressed properties has grown so large that it can’t be sold off without inundating the market and depressing prices."

U.S. Government Struggles As The Biggest Seller of Homes [SocketSite]
Scheduled Auctions Flat As Pre-Foreclosure Activity Ticks Down [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:30 AM | Comments (14)

Apples-To-Apples (And Wood) In The Inner Sunset: 1383 11th Avenue

1383 11th Avenue: Dining

The new kitchen and half bath at the bottom of the stairs were slotted in to the well kept old Edwardian in the year 2000, shortly after being purchased for $550,000.

1383 11th Avenue: Landing

Six years later, the three-bedroom home traded for $1,000,000 in late 2006. And as a tipster notes, 1383 11th Avenue is now back on the market and listed for $1,099,000.

∙ Listing: 1383 11th Avenue (3/2.5) 1,848 sqft - $1,099,000 [MLS]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Comments (15)

August 26, 2011

David Baker's ZeroCottage Rising

ZeroCottage Design

The goal, to build the first "Net Zero Energy, LEED Platinum, Green Point Rated, Living Building Challenge Certified, PassivHaus Certified Residence in San Francisco."

Zero Cottage Rising

The approach, a three story addition designed by David Baker + Partners and dubbed the ZeroCottage to built on the lot behind the existing dwelling at 337 Shotwell, which some might recognize as the residence of the architecture firm’s namesake.

337 Shotwell Rear

339 Shotwell ZeroCottage: Construction Drawings [dbarchitect.com]
ZeroCottage Blog [zerocottage.net]

Posted by socketadmin at 5:30 PM | Comments (16)

The Gutterson Designed Kitchen Was Gutted A Decade Ago

1495 Monterey Living

The Henry Gutterson designed home at 1495 Monterey Boulevard was purchased for $1,200,000 in 2001 at which point its original kitchen was demolished and rebuilt.

1495 Monterey Kitchen

Soon thereafter, the English Tudor home sold for $1,528,000 in June of 2002. In 2006 a permit to expand up and out was approved but then cancelled in 2009.

And now after a nine year apples-to-apples hold, the St. Francis Wood three-bedroom home is back on the market and listed for $1,395,000 (9% below its 2002 purchase price).

∙ Listing: 1495 Monterey Boulevard (3/2) - $1,395,000 [MLS]

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

No New Stimulus For You! (At Least Not This Month)

According to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, although problems still exist (think unemployment and sagging home prices), "the growth fundamentals of the United States do not appear to have been permanently altered by the shocks of the past four years" and the Chairman remains "optimistic" as the U.S. economy grew at a 1 percent pace in the second quarter of 2011, down from a previously estimated 1.3 percent.

And while Bernanke set the stage for more stimulus back in July, he didn’t signal any intent to let the stimulus players take the stage at this point but implied the curtain, or at least script, could be raised next month.

Ben Drops The D Word (And Sets The Stage For More Stimulus) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:10 AM | Comments (37)

A Forty-Four Percent Hit For 1825 Webster

1825 Webster

As we wrote this past May:

Purchased for $1,500,000 in June 2006 with two loans and $225,000 down, a year later a third mortgage for $200,000 was added to the property at 1825 Webster.
Taken back by the bank with no bidders at $1,242,890 this past March, the "prime" Lower Pacific Heights single-family home is now back on the market and listed for $999,900.

Yesterday, the sale of 1825 Webster closed escrow with a reported contract price of $835,000. That's $665,000 (44 percent) below its 2006 sale price which hopefully was never used as a comp (but would have been included in average and median price reports).

From $225,000 To $25,000 "Down" And Bank-Owned At 1825 Webster [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 AM | Comments (18)

August 25, 2011

311 Marina Boulevard Sells On The Steps For Half What Was Owed

311 Marina Boulevard

A perennial favorite which plugged-in people have been keeping an eye on since we first featured it back in 2006, yesterday 311 Marina Boulevard sold to a third party on San Francisco’s courthouse steps for $1,845,000 cash versus an opening bid of $1,700,000.

As plugged-in people know, the prime Marina district home had been purchased for $2,350,000 in 2004 and then refinanced a number of times since, most recently in 2007 with a first mortgage for $2,583,000 and a second for $500,000.

The transfer of the property that was recorded in 2007 with a sale price of "$3,690,000" appears to have been between family members. And at the beginning of this month, the balance due on the first mortgage had grown to $2,928,035 including fees.

Don't forget those invitations to the housewarming (and the America's Cup).

PropertyShark Launches San Francisco Foreclosure Listings [SocketSite]
Scheduled Auctions Flat As Pre-Foreclosure Activity Ticks Down [SocketSite]
The Scope Of Development For San Francisco’s First America’s Cup [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:30 AM | Comments (8)

Scheduled Auctions Flat As Pre-Foreclosure Activity Ticks Down

Pre-foreclosure activity in San Francisco has dropped from 576 properties in the pipeline in June to 549 today, 32 percent of which are in District 10*, down from 34 percent in January but up from 30 percent in March.

That being said, the number of properties actually scheduled for auction has remained relatively flat over the past two months at 691 today versus 689 in June, 43 percent of which are in District 10 (versus 41 percent in June).

And once again, while 39 percent of San Francisco foreclosures last year were in District 10, that’s down from 48 percent in 2009, and down from 58 percent in 2008.

Editor’s Note: In an attempt to match and map two disparate data sets, we include 94124, 94134 and 94112 in "District 10," which results in a slightly larger area than the District as defined by the San Francisco Association of Realtors.

Scheduled Auctions Up, But Pre-Foreclosure Activity Ticks Down In SF [SocketSite]
San Francisco Bucks CA Foreclosure Trends, But Not In A Good Way [SocketSite]
San Francisco Foreclosure Activity Climbs Outside Of District 10 [SocketSite]
San Francisco Association Of Realtors New Neighborhood Map [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:30 AM | Comments (7)

August 24, 2011

The Penthouse Atop 540 Delancey Completes Its Two Year Trip

540 Delancey #403 Media

As we wrote about the Cape Horn Lofts building at 540 Delancey last year:

It was sixteen condos before units #402 and #403 were combined to form a 2,900 square foot unit with over 1,000 square feet of outdoor space. In contract (and so noted) at the time we profiled #401, 540 Delancey #402/3 sold for $3,100,000 in October 2008.

As we added this past June:

Listed for $3,295,000 at the end of 2009, and then for $2,995,000 last June, the Cape Horn penthouse unit known as #402/403 is back on the market and asking $2,899,000.

And as a plugged-in tipster notes today, the sale of 540 Delancey #402/403 closed escrow yesterday with a reported contract price of $3,000,000, an official $101,000 (3.5 percent) over asking but $100,000 (3.2 percent) below October 2008.

540 Delancey #402/403 Comes Back Around (At) The Cape Horn [SocketSite]
Cape Horn Lofts (540 Delancey) In General, And #401 In Specific [SocketSite]
Back Around The Cape (Horn Lofts Penthouse) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:00 PM | Comments (2)

Capital Preservation Versus Cash Flow At 310 Townsend

Last listed as a short sale for $410,000 following twelve price changes and relistings since March of last year, and having been purchased for $640,000 in 2007, 310 Townsend #309 is back in contract for the fifth time. The unit remains scheduled to hit the courthouse steps in two weeks with $516,043 owed on a first mortgage and $69,240 in other debt.

At the same time, 310 Townsend #408 has just hit the market listed as a short sale for $425,000 having been purchased for $665,000 in 2007 as well. From the listing: "Currently tenant occupied, the condo commands $3100 per month in rent, making it an excellent investment vehicle for cash flow." Of course, there's also capital preservation to consider.

∙ Listing: 310 Townsend #408 (1/1) 803 sqft - $425,000 (short sale) [MLS]
Shorter Still For 310 Townsend From The Beginning To End Of 2010? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:15 AM | Comments (8)

1285 Sutter Approved For Imminent Demolition And Reconstruction

1285 Sutter Rendering

Permits to demolish the long shuttered Galaxy Theater at 1285 Sutter Street and erect a 13-story building with 107 condominiums over 10,000 square feet of retail (Trader Joe’s lease for which expired) and basements for 127 parking spaces were approved last week.

As a plugged-in tipster reports, the site which was purchased by Portland, Oregon based developer Gerding Edlen for $9.25 million (versus an $18 million ask in 2008) has since been fenced off and demolition is imminent.

If all goes as currenlty scheduled, the new building should be construction complete and ready for occupany and retailing in early 2013. As always, we'll keep you plugged-in.

1285 Sutter Street Rendering

UPDATE: As a couple of plugged-in readers quickly note, while Trader Joe's was once slated to occupy the ground floor retail at 1285 Sutter as rendered above, it's rather unlikely they'll do so considering their plans to open at 1401 California.

1285 Sutter: Fully Entitled, Retail Pre-Leased, And...On The Market [SocketSite]
From Cala To Condos To Trader Joe's At 1401 California [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:45 AM | Comments (33)

August 23, 2011

3208 Pierce: Foreclosure Redux And Apples To Apples Reduction

3208 Pierce

While the courthouse sale of 3208 Pierce Street #407 has once again been postponed (now scheduled for September 23), today the list price for 3208 Pierce #102 was reduced to $995,000. The 1,277 square foot #102 had been listed at $1,085,000 for the past 39 days having been purchased for $1,200,000 in June 2007.

∙ Listing: 3208 Pierce #102 (2/2.5) 1,277 sqft - $995,000 [3208pierce102.com] [MLS]
Apples To Apples (And Foreclosure) At 3208 Pierce In The Marina [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 5:15 PM | Comments (13)

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