CATEGORY ARCHIVE: Trends

April 22, 2014

Existing US Home Sales Slip Again, Slowest Pace Since 2012

While the number of homes on the market in the US is now 9.5 percent higher on a year-over-year basis, and "the weather" is no longer an even remotely credible excuse, existing-home sales slipped again in March and are now running 7.5 percent lower year-over-year, the slowest pace of sales since July of 2012.

The pace of existing-home sales in the West fell 3.7 percent from February to March and is running 13.4 percent lower on a year-over-year basis versus 10.1 percent lower last month.

Posted by socketadmin at 11:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

April 18, 2014

San Francisco Employment Within 200 Hires Of An All-Time High

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With the number of San Francisco residents with jobs having increased by 4,100 since the beginning of the year, the unemployment rate in the city has dropped to 5.2 percent and overall employment in San Francisco is within 200 hires of an all-time high.

The number of employed San Francisco residents now totals 465,300, an increase of 13,200 people with jobs over the past year, and the labor force has grown to 490,900 versus 480,000 at the end of 2000 when 465,500 people employed at the dot-com peak and the unemployment rate in the city measured 3 percent, according to California's Employment Development Department.

The unemployment rate in San Francisco topped out at a little over 10 percent in January of 2010 when 57,600 fewer San Francisco residents were employed than today.

The unemployment rate in Marin ticked down to 4.7 percent in March while the rate in San Mateo was unchanged at 5.0 percent. The unadjusted unemployment rate for California fell from 8.5 to 8.4 percent in March as the labor force increased by 64,200 and employment increased by 65,400.

Posted by socketadmin at 9:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

April 17, 2014

Mortgage Rates Drop To Six-Week Low

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The average rate for a conforming 30-year mortgage ticked down from 4.34 to 4.27 percent over the past week to a six-week low, 31 basis points below the three-year high rate of 4.58 percent recorded this past August.

Having averaged 6.67 percent since 1990, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.41 percent at this time last year. The all-time low of 3.31 percent was recorded in November of 2012.

The National Association of Realtors Pending Home Sales Index has been dropping since June of 2013, the very month in which the average rate for a fixed 30-year mortgage returned above 4 percent for the first time since 2011.

Posted by socketadmin at 9:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

NAR Pivots To "Welcome Signs For Buyers" As Home Sales Slow

Last month, the National Association of Realtors characterized an uptick in the inventory of homes for sale across the country as a sign of "seller confidence" and "an indication of a strong early beginning to the spring home buying season."

NAR's Pending Home Sales Index subsequently fell to its lowest level since 2011.

With inventory having ticked up another 5.6 percent over the past month and currently running 9.5 percent higher - and moving 23 percent slower - on a year-over-year basis, NAR is now characterizing the upticks as "welcome signs for spring buyers."

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

April 16, 2014

Bay Area Home Sales Slow, Except In San Francisco

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While Bay Area home sales were down 12.9 percent on a year-over-year basis last month, the slowest March in terms of sales volume since 2008, recorded home sales were up 8.2 percent on a year-over-year basis in San Francisco as contracts in a number of new condo buildings started to close (see last paragraph below).

That being said, sales volume in San Francisco has increased an average of 41.1 percent from February to March over the past decade and last month's gain represented a sub-par seasonal increase of 19.3 percent versus the month before.

The median price paid for a property in San Francisco was $937,500 in March, down 0.8 percent from a record $945,000 in February but 14.6 percent higher year-over-year, driven in part by an increase in the mix of higher priced home sales. As always, keep in mind that while movements in the median sale price are a great measure of what's in demand and selling, they're not a great measure of actual appreciation despite what the headlines might say.

Having peaked at $665,000 in July of 2007, the median sale price for a home in the Bay Area increased 7.2 percent to $579,000 in March, up 23.2% year-over-year and the highest median price since December of 2007. The median price had fallen to $290,000 in March of 2009.

With San Francisco the only Bay Area county to have recorded a gain, Napa recorded the second best outcome with respect to sales, dropping 8.5 percent year-over-year. Sales in Solano County were down 28.3 percent in March, the greatest Bay Area decline. The median in Solano was up 30.4 percent to $300,000 in March, the greatest Bay Area percentage gain. The median in San Mateo County was up 13.5 percent to $767,000, the smallest Bay Area gain.

As always, keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed ("sold") months prior but are just now closing escrow (or being recorded) and any properties that were sold "off market."

Posted by socketadmin at 12:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | (email story)

Why SF Rent Board Stats Undercounted Evictions By 42% Last Year

A new analysis prepared for Supervisor Campos has determined that the effective number of eviction proceedings filed in San Francisco last year was 73 percent higher than reported to the City's Rent Board, and that’s a number you’re likely to start hearing bandied about.

The drivers of the difference between the 1,981 eviction notices reported to San Francisco's Rent Board in 2013 and the 3,423 Unlawful Detainer filings reported by the Superior Court, however, are important to understand: Evictions from non-rent controlled units do not need to be reported to the Rent Board, nor do evictions for non-payment of rent.

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (23) | (email story)

April 11, 2014

Office Rents In San Francisco Approaching Dot-Com High

The average asking rent for office space in San Francisco has ticked up to $56 per square foot on an annual basis, 21.5 percent more expensive than at the same time last year.

The least expensive area for office space in the city remains around Mid-Market (Yerba Buena) with an average asking rent of $49.90 per square foot, while the most expensive area is around the Ball Park (and Caltrain) with an average asking rent of $58.50, all according to Cassidy Turley

Cassidy Turley is expecting average office rents to approach $60 per square foot by the end of 2014, a mark only observed in San Francisco once before - during the "tech boom" of 2000. As plugged-in people know, employment in San Francisco is within reach of its all-time high as well.

Posted by socketadmin at 3:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | (email story)

April 10, 2014

Mortgage Rates Tick Down, Demand Remains Down As Well

The average rate for a conforming 30-year mortgage ticked down from 4.41 to 4.34 percent over the past week and is 24 basis points below the three-year high rate of 4.58 percent recorded this past August.

Having averaged 6.67 percent since 1990, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.43 percent at this time last year while the all-time low of 3.31 percent was recorded in November of 2012.

In terms of the rate for Jumbo loans, Wells Fargo is currently advertising a rate of 4.25 percent for mortgages over $625,500, a discount of 0.25 percentage points as compared to the 4.5 percent rate they're advertising for both regular conforming and super conforming loans over $417,000 in high cost areas like San Francisco.

And in terms of mortgage activity across the nation as we head into the spring homebuying season, mortgage application volume for home purchases is running 14 percent lower versus the same time last year according the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

April 9, 2014

Demand For Office Space Around Oakland Doubles

While the vacancy rate for office space in the East Bay Oakland market was relatively unchanged in the first quarter of 2014, demand for office space in the East Bay has spiked over the past three months.

The active demand for office space around Oakland now measures nearly one million square feet, double the demand at the end of 2013, according to Cassidy Turley.

A big driver of the spike: companies relocating from San Francisco where the average asking rent is around $4.25 per square foot versus $2.30 a foot in the Oakland market.

Posted by socketadmin at 1:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

The Gentrification Of San Francisco And Oakland By Neighborhood

The Development Without Displacement: Resisting Gentrification in the Bay Area report by Causa Justa maps the gentrification of San Francisco and Oakland by zip code and stage.

While the report aims to highlight which neighborhoods in the Bay Area are "vulnerable or at risk to gentrification" and is positioned as "a tool to stop gentrification in your neighborhood," it's also a rather good guide as to which Bay Area neighborhoods are ripe for change with rising property values and rents (click the map to enlarge).

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (82) | (email story)

April 7, 2014

Unaffordable Housing Mark Hits $1.5 Million In San Francisco

The owner of the three-bedroom condo #22A at the Four Seasons Residences in San Francisco purchased the adjoining 836 square foot one-bedroom in October of 2008 and would like to merge the two units to create a 3,743 square foot four-bedroom home.

As the proposed merger will result in the loss of a legal dwelling unit, it needs to be approved by Planning. And in order to be approved without a formal hearing, the least expensive of the units to be merged would need to be deemed "demonstrably unaffordable or financially inaccessible housing."

While the one-bedroom recently appraised for $1,350,000, believe it or not, that's no longer considered to be demonstrably unaffordable or financially inaccessible housing in San Francisco. And as such, a formal hearing for the proposed merger will be held this week, a merger that the Planning Department recommends be denied.

Set at 80 percent of the combined land and structure values of single-family homes in San Francisco, the threshold for "demonstrably unaffordable and financially inaccessible housing" in the city is now $1,506,000, up from $1,342,000 nine months ago.

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (35) | (email story)

April 4, 2014

Ellis Act Eviction Activity In San Francisco By The Numbers

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3,610 housing units were removed from the rental market in San Francisco by way of an Ellis Act eviction from 1997 to 2013, according to a new report by Tenants Together. That's an average of 226 units Ellised a year.

In 2013, a total of 250 units in San Francisco were Ellised, roughly 11 percent above the sixteen-year average. In 2012, a total of 109 units were Ellised in San Francisco, 52 percent below average which might help explain why the year-over-year numbers have jumped.

Since 1997, 30 percent of Ellis Act activity in San Francisco has been by way of an owner having invoked the Ellis Act for more than one building. While characterized as "Serial Evictors" in the Tenants' report, keep in mind that a long-time landlord or estate with more than one building moving to exit the rental business would fall under the "serial evictor" category as well.

And over the past five years, 51 percent of the Ellis Act evictions were invoked within a year of purchasing a building, affecting a total of 297 units since 2009. Unfortunately, the Tenants' report doesn't include a comparison with respect to the average length of ownership prior to invoking the Ellis Act from 1997 to 2009.

The Speculator Loophole: Ellis Act Evictions in San Francisco [tenantstogether.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (36) | (email story)

March 27, 2014

NAR's Forward-Looking Indicator Drops To Lowest Level Since 2011

The National Association of Realtors has just revealed that their Pending Homes Sales Index has actually declined for eight months in a row and the "forward-looking indicator" is at its lowest level since October 2011.

A week ago, the Association revealed that the number of homes for sale across the country is currently 10 percent higher than at the same time last year, characterizing it a sign of "seller confidence" and "an indication of a strong early beginning to the spring home buying season."

As we noted at the time of the Association's "strong early beginning" report, however, the Mortgage Bankers Association's measure of mortgage application volume for buyers was running 15 percent lower on a year-over-year basis.

The Realtors' Index for pending home sales is currently down 10.5 percent on a year-over-year basis, down 16.5 percent year-over-year in the West.

Posted by socketadmin at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

Mortgage Rates Move Up As Expected

Mortgage Market Survey 3/26/14 (www.SocketSite.com)

As expected, the average rate for a conforming 30-year mortgage ticked up from 4.32 to 4.40 percent over the past week. The current 30-year rate is within 18 basis points of the 34-month high rate of 4.58 percent recorded this past August.

Having averaged 6.67 percent since 1990, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.57 percent at this time last year while the all-time low of 3.31 percent was recorded in November of 2012.

In terms of the rate for Jumbo loans, Wells Fargo is currently advertising a rate of 4.25 percent for mortgages over $625,500, a discount of 0.25 percentage points as compared to the 4.5 percent rate they're advertising for both regular conforming and super conforming loans over $417,000 in high cost areas like San Francisco.

Posted by socketadmin at 7:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

March 26, 2014

New Home Sales Drop Despite A 25 Percent Increase In Inventory

The seasonally adjusted annual pace of new single-family home sales in the U.S. dropped to 440,000 in February, down 3.3 percent from the 455,000 pace as measured in January and 1.1 percent lower on a year-over-year basis. The pace of new single-family home sales as measured in February peaked at 1,319,000 in 2005.

At the same time, the inventory of new single-family homes for sale in the U.S. is up 24.3 percent, year-over-year.

Posted by socketadmin at 10:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

Purchase Mortgage Activity Ticks Up, But Drops Year-Over-Year

The Mortgage Bankers Association's Purchase Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume for home purchases across the country, ticked up 3 percent over the past week. At the same time, the Purchase Index fell two points on a year-over-year basis and application volume is 17 percent lower than during the same week last year.

Having characterized it as a sign of "seller confidence" and "an indication of a strong early beginning to the spring home buying season," last week the National Association of Realtors revealed that the number of homes for sale across the country is currently 10 percent higher than at the same time last year, as we first reported last month.

Posted by socketadmin at 7:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

March 25, 2014

San Francisco Single-Family Home Prices Tick Up, Condo Values Slip

According to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, single-family home values in the San Francisco MSA ticked up 0.5% from December 2013 to January 2014. Up 22.1% on a year-over-year basis, the San Francisco Index remains 16.9% below a May 2006 peak.

For the broader 10-City composite, home values were unchanged from December to January and are up 13.5% year-over-year but remain 20.4% below a June 2006 peak.

The Sun Belt showed the five highest monthly returns. Las Vegas was the leader with an increase of 1.1% followed by Miami at +0.7%. San Diego showed its best January performance of 0.6% since 2004. San Francisco and Tampa trailed closely at +0.5% and +0.4%. Elsewhere, New York and Washington D.C. stood out as they continued to improve and posted their highest year-over-year returns since 2006. Dallas and Denver are the only cities to have reached new record peaks while Detroit remains the only city with home prices below those of 14 years ago.

While home values ticked up for the top and bottom thirds of the San Francisco market, they slipped for the middle tier, the third consecutive decline for the middle of the market which hasn't happened since the third quarter of 2011.

S&P/Case-Shiller Index San Francisco Price Tiers: January 2014 (www.SocketSite.com)

The bottom third (under $488,183 at the time of acquisition) gained 0.6% from December to January (up 32.8% YOY); the middle third dropped 0.5% from December to January (up 21.9% YOY); and the top third (over $788,312 at the time of acquisition) gained 1.0% from December to January, up 20.0% year-over-year.

According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA are back above August 2003 levels (37% below an August 2006 peak); the middle third slipped back to August 2004 levels (18% below a May 2006 peak); and the top third is just below July 2005 levels and within 4% of an August 2007 peak.

Condo values in the San Francisco MSA slipped 0.3% from December to January 2014, the fourth month in a row without any gains. That being said, condo values are up 23.9% year-over-year and within 5.1% of their December 2005 peak.

S&P/Case-Shiller Condo Price Changes: January 2014 (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).

Posted by socketadmin at 6:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (24) | (email story)

March 21, 2014

San Francisco Employment Within Reach Of All-Time High

With the number of San Francisco residents with jobs having increased by 3,400 since the beginning of the year, the unemployment rate in San Francisco has dropped to 5.2 percent and employment in the city is within 1,000 people of San Francisco's all-time high.

With a current labor force of 490,100, the number of employed San Francisco residents now totals 464,600, an increase of 11,500 residents with jobs over the past year and within 900 of the 465,500 people employed at December 2000's dot-com peak when the unemployment rate in the city measured 3 percent.

The unemployment rate in San Francisco topped out at a little over 10 percent in January of 2010 when 56,900 fewer San Francisco residents were employed than today.

The unemployment rates in Marin and San Mateo ticked up 0.1 percentage points to 4.8 percent and 5.0 percent respectively in February while the unadjusted unemployment rate for California was unchanged at 8.5 percent as a 70,300 person increase in the labor force was met with 74,700 new jobs.

Posted by socketadmin at 9:40 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

March 20, 2014

Existing-Home Sales Slip Again While Inventory Ticks Up

While the number of existing-homes on the market across the country is now 10.1 percent higher on a year-over-year basis, existing-home sales slipped again in February and are running 7.1 percent lower year-over-year, the slowest pace since July of 2012.

The pace of existing-home sales in the West did increase 5.9 percent from January to February but remains 10.1 percent lower year-over-year.

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

Mortgage Rates Tick Down, But Likely Headed Back Up This Week

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The average rate for a conforming 30-year mortgage ticked down from 4.37 to 4.32 percent over the past week and remains 26 basis points below the 34-month high rate of 4.58 percent recorded this past August. That being said, the rate on the 10-year treasury increased around 10 basis points following the Fed’s announcement of another round of stimulus cuts yesterday, a move which is likely to drive mortgage rates up this week.

Having averaged 6.71 percent since 1990, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.54 percent at this time last year while the all-time low of 3.31 percent was recorded in November of 2012.

In terms of the rate for Jumbo loans, Wells Fargo is currently advertising a rate of 4.250 percent for mortgages over $625,500, a discount of 0.375 percentage points as compared to the 4.625 percent rate they're advertising for both regular conforming and super conforming loans over $417,000 in high cost areas like San Francisco.

Posted by socketadmin at 7:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

March 19, 2014

NAR Indicates Strong Buying Season, MBA Reveals Drop In Activity

Characterizing it a sign of "seller confidence" and "an indication of a strong early beginning to the spring home buying season," the National Association of Realtors has just revealed that the number of homes for sale across the country is currently 10 percent higher than at the same time last year, as we reported last month.

At the same time, having dropped 1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association's measure of buyer's purchase mortgage application volume is currently running 15 percent lower on a year-over-year basis.

Posted by socketadmin at 9:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

March 17, 2014

Number Of Homes For Sale In SF Hits New Low, But Ticking Up

Having closed the gap in the fourth quarter of 2013, the number of single-family homes and condominiums listed for sale in San Francisco (389) is back to being lower on a year-over-year basis, down 21 percent and a new low in the absolute for the Ides of March.

In fact, the number of homes currently listed for sale in San Francisco is roughly a quarter the number which were listed at the same time in 2009 (1,648), the year in which spring inventory levels last peaked.

That being said, the number of new listings has outpaced the number of sales over the past two months, inventory levels are ticking up, and the number of new listings last week was nearly three times the number listed over the same week a year before. Inventory levels in San Francisco will typically build from the beginning of the year through June or July.

Posted by socketadmin at 12:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (13) | (email story)

March 13, 2014

San Francisco Home Sales Spike, Record Median Price Nears A Million

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With seasonality in play, the number of homes sales in San Francisco has increased an average of 13 percent from January to February over the past decade. Last month, the number of recorded home sales in San Francisco jumped 27.4 percent from the month before and February's sales volume was 26.7 percent higher on a year-over-year basis, the first year-over-year increase in four months.

The median price paid for a property in San Francisco jumped to a record $945,000 in February, up 6.8 percent from January and 34.9 percent higher year-over-year, largely driven by an increase in the mix of higher priced home sales. As always, keep in mind that while movements in median sales price are a great measure of what's in demand and selling, they're not a great measure of actual appreciation despite what the headlines might say.

For the greater Bay Area, recorded sales volume increased an anemic 5.7% from January to February and remains 8.2 percent lower on a year-over-year basis, the slowest February since 2008. At the same time, the median sales price for a home in the Bay Area increased 2.9 percent to $540,000 and is up 33.3% year-over-year.

Opposite San Francisco, Solano County recorded a 26.7 percent year-over-year drop in sales volume, the greatest Bay Area decline. Second to San Francisco in terms of gains, the median sale price in Contra Costa County increased to $405,000 in February, up 30.2 percent year-over-year.

As always, keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed ("sold") months prior but are just now closing escrow (or being recorded) and any properties that were sold "off market."

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (17) | (email story)

March 12, 2014

Mortgage Application Volume Dips, Down 17 Percent Year-Over-Year

The Mortgage Bankers Association's Purchase Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume for home purchases across the country, dropped 1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis last week. On an unadjusted basis, the index increased 1 percent but remains down 17 percent year-over-year.

While a lack of inventory continues to be fingered for the slowdown in applications, according to the National Association of Realtors' accounting, inventory levels of existing-homes for sale are up 10.9 percent year-over-year.

Posted by socketadmin at 7:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (12) | (email story)

March 10, 2014

A New Peak For A Well-Designed Noe Valley Home

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Listed for $2,599,000 last month, the John Maniscalco designed home at 836 Alvarado has closed escrow with a reported contract price of $3,400,000 ($1,037 per square foot). Yes, that's $801,000 "over asking," but more meaningfully, that's 27 percent over its purchase price of $2,700,000 in August of 2007, about a half year before the last cycle peak.

Posted by socketadmin at 2:00 PM | Permalink | (email story)

March 7, 2014

San Francisco Employment Hits Second Highest Level In History

Having dropped to 4.8 percent in December, its first time below 5 percent since early 2008, the unemployment rate in San Francisco ticked back up to 5.3 percent in January.

The up-tick in San Francisco’s unemployment rate, however, was driven by a 4,100 person increase in the labor force and the number of employed in the city actually increased by 1,400 from December to January and is now at its second highest point in history.

With a current labor force of 488,300, the number of employed residents in San Francisco now totals 462,600, an increase of 14,000 people with jobs over the past year and within 2,900 of the 465,500 people employed at December 2000's dot-com peak when the unemployment rate measured 3 percent.

The unemployment rate in San Francisco topped out at a little over 10 percent in January of 2010 when 54,900 fewer San Francisco residents were employed than today.

The unemployment rates in Marin and San Mateo ticked up to 4.7 percent and 4.9 percent respectively in January while the unadjusted unemployment rate for California jumped from 7.9 to 8.5 percent as 68,100 jobs were lost across the state.

Posted by socketadmin at 9:05 AM | Permalink | Comments (37) | (email story)

February 28, 2014

Pending Home Sales Drop While Inventory Is On The Rise

While the National Association of Realtor's Pending Home Sales Index edged up 0.1 percent in January, it's down 9.0 percent on a year-over-year basis with a lack of inventory continuing to be fingered for much of the decline.

At the same time, the inventory of existing homes on the market was up 10.9 percent on a year-over-year basis and the inventory of new homes on the market is up 23.5 percent year-over-year.

And while "ongoing disruptive weather patterns" is also sharing the blame for a lack of sales, the pending home sales index for the West is down 17.5 percent year-over-year and our weather has been relatively mild.

Posted by socketadmin at 3:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (6) | (email story)

February 27, 2014

Fixed Mortgage Rates Tick Up, Jumbos Remain Relatively Cheap

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The average rate for a conforming 30-year mortgage ticked up from 4.33 to 4.37 percent over the past week and is within 21 basis points of the 33-month high rate of 4.58 percent recorded this past August.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.51 percent at this time last year while the all-time low of 3.31 percent was recorded in November of 2012.

In terms of the rate for Jumbo loans, Wells Fargo is currently advertising a rate of 4.125 percent for mortgages over $625,500, a discount of 0.375 percentage points as compared to the 4.5 percent rate they're advertising for both regular conforming and super conforming loans over $417,000 in high cost areas like San Francisco.

Posted by socketadmin at 7:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | (email story)

February 26, 2014

New Homes Sales Up In January, Inventory Up Even More

The seasonally adjusted pace of new single-family home sales in the U.S. increased to an annual rate of 468,000 in January, up 2.2 percent year-over-year and the highest rate since 2008. The pace peaked at 1,309,000 in July of 2005.

The inventory of new single-family homes for sale is up 23.5 percent year-over-year. Inventory is up 33.3 percent in the West while sales in the West were down 23.4 percent.

Posted by socketadmin at 4:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

Home Loan Purchase Activity At Lowest Level Since 1995

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Mortgage Bankers Association's Purchase Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume for home purchases in the U.S., has fallen to its lowest level since 1995. On an unadjusted basis, the index is down 15 percent year-over-year having ticked up a nominal 0.1 percent over the past week.

To quote MBA's Chief Economist, Mike Fratantoni: "Purchase applications were little changed on an unadjusted basis last week, but this is the time of a year we would expect a significant pickup in purchase activity, and we are not yet seeing it."

While a lack of inventory is certain to be fingered for the slowdown in applications, according to the National Association of Realtors' own data, inventory levels of existing-homes for sale are up 10.9 percent on a year-over-year basis.

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

February 25, 2014

A Couple Of Interesting Notes For Tomorrow's Home Price Reports

A couple of things to keep in mind when reading tomorrow's reports of home prices in San Francisco having gained 22.6 percent in 2013.

The rate of appreciation has been on the decline for the past nine months and 98 percent of 2013's gains were recorded in the first nine months of the year. In fact, the price index for single-family homes gained less than half a percent in the last quarter of 2013.

And with respect to San Francisco index for condo prices which gained 24.6 percent in 2013, 100 percent of the gain was recorded in the first nine months of the year. The condo price index actually slipped a nominal 0.3 percent in the last quarter of 2013.

Posted by socketadmin at 7:00 PM | Permalink | (email story)

San Francisco Home Price Appreciation Slows, Condo Values Stall

According to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, single-family home values in the San Francisco MSA ticked up a nominal 0.2% from November to December 2013, gaining a total of 0.5% in the fourth quarter of the year. Up 22.6% on a year-over-year basis, the San Francisco Index remains 17.3% below a May 2006 peak.

For the broader 10-City composite, home values were unchanged from November to December and remain up 13.6% year-over-year. At the same time, S&P's summary headline has changed from "Winter Shows No Signs of Cooling in Home Prices" to "Home Prices Lose Momentum" in the course of a month.

"The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index ended its best year since 2005," says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. "However, gains are slowing from month-to-month and the strongest part of the recovery in home values may be over. Year-over-year values for the two monthly Composites weakened and the quarterly National Index barely improved. The seasonally adjusted data also exhibit some softness and loss of momentum.
After 26 months of consecutive gains, Phoenix posted -0.3% for the month of December, its largest decline since March 2011. Phoenix once led the recovery from the bottom in 2012, but Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco were the top three performing cities of 2013 with gains of over 20%. The Sun Belt, with the exception of Dallas, Miami and Tampa, saw lower annual rates in December when compared to their November numbers. The six cities with the highest year-over-year figures saw their rates decline (Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, San Diego and Detroit) and most cities ranked at the bottom improved (Denver, Washington and New York) – Charlotte and Cleveland were the two exceptions."

While home values ticked up for the top and bottom thirds of the San Francisco market, they slipped again for the middle, the second monthly decline since February of 2012.

S&P/Case-Shiller Index San Francisco Price Tiers: December 2013 (www.SocketSite.com)

The bottom third (under $492,740 at the time of acquisition) gained 0.9% from November to December (up 33.5% YOY); the middle third dropped 0.5% from November to December (up 24.6% YOY); and the top third (over $793,393 at the time of acquisition) gained 0.4% from November to December, up 17.8% year-over-year.

According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA are back to July 2003 levels (37% below an August 2006 peak); the middle third is back to September 2004 levels (18% below a May 2006 peak); and the top third is just below June 2005 levels and 5% below its August 2007 peak.

Condo values in the San Francisco MSA were unchanged from November to December 2013, the third month in a row without any gains. That being said, condo values remain up 24.6% year-over-year and within 4.8% of their December 2005 peak.

S&P/Case-Shiller Condo Price Changes: December 2013 (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).

Posted by socketadmin at 6:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (31) | (email story)

February 24, 2014

San Francisco Luxury Home Index Within One Percent Of 2007 Peak

Prestige%20Index%20SF%20Q42013.gif

The First Republic Prestige Home Index for values of "San Francisco" homes worth more than $1.0 million and currently averaging $3.07 million ticked up 1.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 and is 12.4 percent higher on a year-over-year basis, the greatest year-over-year gain since the fourth quarter of 2005.

The luxury home index is now within 0.4 percent of its peak in the third quarter of 2007, up 23.3 percent from the current cycle bottom which occurred in the first quarter of 2011.

Roughly 37 percent of all home sales in San Francisco proper have been above the million dollar mark over the past year.

As always, keep in mind that First Republic's San Francisco Index includes "a cross-section of luxury homes in Alamo, Atherton, Belvedere, Danville, Healdsburg, Hillsborough, Lafayette, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Mill Valley, Moraga, Orinda, Palo Alto, Piedmont, Portola Valley, Ross, St. Helena, San Francisco, Saratoga, Sonoma, Tiburon and Woodside."

Posted by socketadmin at 3:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | (email story)

February 21, 2014

Existing-Home Sales Drop Despite Double-Digit Increase In Inventory

A year ago today, the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, Lawrence Yun, cited "plenty of demand but insufficient inventory" as the reason for a lackluster up-tick in home sales across the country.

While the number of existing homes on the market is now 10.9 percent higher on a year-over-year basis, existing-home sales last month were 5.1 percent lower versus the year before, their lowest level in a year-and-a-half on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Continuing to cite limited inventory as a reason for the decline (despite the double-digit increase in the number of homes for sale), increasing interest rates, higher prices, and disruptive weather patterns also shared the blame for the slowdown this time around.

Existing home sales in the West were down 13.7 percent in January, year-over-year.

Posted by socketadmin at 2:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (31) | (email story)

February 20, 2014

As Mortgage Rates Tick Up, Applications And Home Sales Are Falling

Mortgage%20Market%20Survey%202-20-14.gif

The average rate for a conforming 30-year mortgage ticked up from 4.28 to 4.33 percent over the past week and is now within 25 basis points of the two-year high of 4.58 percent recorded this past August, one percentage point and change above the all-time low of 3.31 percent recorded in November 2012.

The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.56 percent at this time last year, a little over half the 6.71 percent it has averaged since 1990. The fixed 30-year mortgage rate has averaged 8.61 percent over the past 40 years.

As we reported yesterday, despite an increase in the number of existing homes listed for sale in U.S. on a year-over-year basis, applications for mortgages to purchase a home are down 17 percent and the National Association of Realtors Pending Home Sales Index has fallen to its lowest level since 2011, down 8.8 percent year-over-year.

Home sales in San Francisco were down 10.2 percent on a year-over-year basis in January.

Posted by socketadmin at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (15) | (email story)

February 19, 2014

Purchase Loan Activity At Lowest Level Since September 2011

The Mortgage Bankers Association's Purchase Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume for home purchases in the U.S., has fallen to its lowest level since September of 2011 on a seasonally adjusted basis. On a non-adjusted basis, the Purchase Index is down 17 percent year-over-year, as it was at the beginning of February.

As we noted two weeks ago, while a lack of inventory is certain to be blamed for holding back applications, according to the National Association of Realtors' own data, inventory levels are up on a year-over-year basis, with 1.86 million existing homes on the market at the end of December versus 1.82 million homes on the market at the end of 2012.

Posted by socketadmin at 3:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | (email story)

February 13, 2014

Bay Area Home Sales Off To A Slow Start In 2014

San Francisco Home Sales and Median Price: January 2014 (www.SocketSite.com)

Having closed out 2013 with fewer recorded home sales in San Francisco than the year before versus a 25 percent increase from 2011 to 2012, recorded home sales in San Francisco were down 10.2 percent on a year-over-year basis in January. The 33.1 percent drop in sales from December to January was in-line with typical seasonality.

The median price paid for a property in San Francisco was $884,500 in January, up 8.8 percent from the month before and 18.3 percent higher year-over-year, largely driven by an increase in the mix of higher priced home sales. As always, keep in mind that while movements in median sales price are a great measure of what's in demand and selling, they're not a great measure of actual appreciation despite what the headlines might say.

For the greater Bay Area, the recorded sales volume fell 30.1% from December to January and is down 14.6 percent year-over-year, the slowest start since 2008. The overall median sales price fell 4.3 percent to $525,000 but remains 26.5% higher on a year-over-year basis.

The sales volume in Napa was down 29.6 percent on a year-over-year basis last month, the greatest Bay Area decline. And while not a single Bay Area county recorded a year-over-year gain in sales last month, San Mateo was down the least having dropped 2.6 percent.

As always, keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed ("sold") months prior but are just now closing escrow (or being recorded) and any properties that were sold "off market."

Bay Area home sales slowest for a January since 2008 [DQNews]
Fewer San Francisco Homes Sold In 2013 Versus 2012 [SocketSite]
Bay Area Million Dollar Homes Sales Jump, East Bay Jumps The Most [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (12) | (email story)

February 12, 2014

6,000 Housing Units Under Construction In San Francisco, Another 44,000 Units In The Pipeline

While fewer than 2,000 new housing units and 140,000 square feet of commercial space in San Francisco was completed in 2013, there were roughly 6,000 housing units and 2.8 million square feet of commercial space under construction at the end of the year, units which will hit the market over the next year or two.

Permits for another 6,600 housing units to be built in San Francisco have either been approved or requested, units which should start hitting the market in two to four years along with another 4 million square feet of commercial space.

In addition to the nearly 12,600 housing units which are either under construction, ready to break ground or awaiting a permit, another 27,300 units have been approved to be built across the city. The approved projects, however, include 10,500 units by Candlestick, 7,800 units on Treasure Island and 5,680 units in Park-Merced, projects which still have overall timelines measured in decades, not years.

And with proposed plans for an additional 10,500 housing units under the Planning Department’s review, San Francisco's Housing Pipeline currently totals over 50,000 units. For context, a total of roughly 12,000 housing units have been built in San Francisco since 2007, a total of 26,000 new units since 2000.

With respect to commercial development in San Francisco, in addition to the nearly 6.6 million square feet under construction, ready to break ground or awaiting a permit, another 5.9 million square feet of commercial development has been approved and plans for an additional 3.5 million square feet are being reviewed.

A breakdown of the residential developments in the works across San Francisco by neighborhood, not including those at Candlestick, Park-Merced or Treasure Island (click the chart to enlarge):

San Francisco Pipeline Report: Fourth Quarter 2013 [sf-planning.org]
San Francisco's Housing Pipeline Breaks The 50,000 Unit Mark [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (23) | (email story)

February 11, 2014

Bay Area Tops List Of California Incomes, San Francisco Ranks Sixth

Based on 2012 tax returns, the median income for joint filers in California was $70,938, an increase of 4.1 percent over 2011 according to the Franchise Tax Board.

The California county with the highest median income based on joint returns was Marin ($127,471), followed by San Mateo ($109,827), Santa Clara ($109,309), Alameda ($93,557), and Contra Costa ($93,367).

San Francisco ranked 6th with a median income of $87,446 based on joint returns, up 7.7 percent versus 2011 and the largest percentage gain of any county in California.

In terms of individual returns, San Francisco County ranked 4th in California with a median income of $47,655, just above Contra Costa ($47,140) and behind Santa Clara ($49,921), San Mateo ($52,025), and Marin ($54,894). The statewide median for individual returns was $35,910.

Posted by socketadmin at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (53) | (email story)

February 6, 2014

Mortgage Rates Continue To Fall Along With Home Sales

With weaker housing data continuing to weigh on the market, the average rate for a conforming 30-year mortgage fell from 4.32 to 4.23 percent over the past week and is now 35 basis points below the 4.58 percent two-year high rate recorded this past August and within one percentage point of the all-time low of 3.31 percent recorded in November 2012.

The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.53 percent at this time last year, a little over half the 6.71 percent it has averaged since 1990. The fixed 30-year mortgage rate has averaged 8.61 percent over the past 40 years.

As we reported yesterday, despite an increase in the number of existing homes listed for sale in U.S. on a year-over-year basis, applications for mortgages to purchase a home are down 17 percent and the National Association of Realtors Pending Home Sales Index has fallen to its lowest level since 2011, down 8.8 percent year-over-year.

Posted by socketadmin at 9:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (30) | (email story)

February 5, 2014

More Homes On The Market, But Loan Applications Are Down

While the application volume for home purchase loans in the U.S. increased 14 percent last week versus the week before, a typical seasonal move, the volume is down 17 percent year-over-year according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's latest survey.

While a lack of inventory is certain to be blamed for holding back applications, according to the National Association of Realtors' own data, inventory levels are actually up on a year-over-year basis, with 1.86 million existing homes on the market at the end of December versus 1.82 million homes on the market at the end of 2012.

Posted by socketadmin at 8:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

January 31, 2014

East Bay Asking Rents Slip Overall, But Studios Set A New Record

The average asking rent for an apartment in the East Bay ticked down a few dollars from $1,686 to $1,674 a month in the fourth quarter of 2013 but remains 8 percent higher on a year-over-year basis, according to Cassidy Turley.

The average asking rent for a studio in the East Bay, however, is up to $1,322 a month, a new record and 12 percent higher versus the fourth quarter of 2012.

Posted by socketadmin at 12:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

Bay Area Million Dollar Homes Sales Jump, East Bay Jumps The Most

The number of California homes that sold for a million dollars or more rose to 39,175 last year, the highest level since 2007 when the number totaled 42,505, but 28 percent fewer than the all-time high of 54,773 in 2005. A quarter of the sales were all-cash transactions.

In the Bay Area, home sales over the million dollar mark were up 40.6 percent from the year before and the most since 2007, up 29 percent in Santa Clara to 4,806; up 34 percent in San Francisco to 2,483; up 39 percent in San Mateo to 2,815; up 63 percent in Contra Costa to 9,130; and up 70 percent in Alameda to 1,721.

The number of Bay Area homes which traded for over two million dollars totaled 2,604 in 2013, up 28 percent from 2012 and an all-time high.

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

January 30, 2014

Mortgage Rates Dip On Weakness While The Fed Cuts On Strength

The average rate for a conforming 30-year mortgage ticked down from 4.39 to 4.32 percent over the past week, 26 basis points below the 4.58 percent two-year high rate recorded this past August but 1.01 percentage points higher than the all-time low of 3.31 percent in November 2012.

The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.53 percent at this time last year, a little over half the 6.71 percent it has averaged since 1990. The fixed 30-year mortgage rate has averaged 8.61 percent over the past 40 years.

While the move in rates has been attributed to weaker housing data, yesterday the Federal Reserve announced another $10 billion reduction in their monthly bond purchase program based on "underlying strength in the broader economy."

Posted by socketadmin at 9:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

A Doubling Indeed

1422%20Rhode%20Island.jpg

As we wrote about the Potrero Hill home at 1422 Rhode Island earlier this month:

Purchased as a "classic" two-bedroom, one-bath home of 1,095 square feet with "separate living and dining rooms...and [a] bonus room downstairs" for $820,000 four months ago, 1422 Rhode Island is already back on the market for $1,495,000 as a "fully renovated 4 bed/3.5 bath beauty."

1422%20Rhode%20Island%20Kitchen.jpg

A great room encompasses the living room, dining room, den and kitchen, "the highlight" of the now 2,250 square foot Potrero Hill home according to its listing.

On tuesday, the sale of 1422 Rhode Island closed escrow with a reported contract price of $1,610,000. And that's how you move the median.

Highlighting The Great Room Trend And Doubling Down In Potrero [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | (email story)

January 28, 2014

San Francisco Home Prices Tick Up, Condos And Middle Market Slip

According to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, single-family home values in the San Francisco MSA ticked up 0.4% from October to November 2013. Up 23.2% year-over-year, the San Francisco Index remains 17.5% below a May 2006 peak.

For the broader 10-City composite, home values dropped a nominal 0.1% from October to November and are up 13.8% year-over-year but remain 20.4% below a June 2006 peak.

Despite the slight decline, the 10-City and 20-City Composites showed their best November performance since 2005. Prices typically weaken as we move closer to the winter. Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Phoenix stand out as they have posted 20 or more consecutive monthly gains.
Beginning June 2012, we saw a steady rise in year-over-year increases. November continued that trend with another strong month although the rate of increase slowed. Looking at the year-over-year returns, the Sun Belt continues to push ahead with Atlanta, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco and Tampa taking eight of the top nine spots. Detroit continues to recover but remains the only city with prices below its 2000 level.

While home values ticked up for the top and bottom thirds of the San Francisco market, they slipped a bit at the middle, the first month-over-month decline since February of 2012.

S&P/Case-Shiller Index San Francisco Price Tiers: November 2013 (www.SocketSite.com)

The bottom third (under $496,154 at the time of acquisition) gained 0.3% from October to November (up 34.5% YOY); the middle third dropped 0.2% from October to November (up 25.3% YOY); and the top third (over $800,957 at the time of acquisition) gained 1.0% from October to November, up 18.5% year-over-year.

According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA are back to July 2003 levels (37% below an August 2006 peak); the middle third is back to September 2004 levels (18% below a May 2006 peak); and the top third is just below June 2005 levels and 5% below its August 2007 peak.

Condo values in the San Francisco MSA slipped 0.3% from October to November 2013 but remain up 24.8% year-over-year and are within 4.8% of a December 2005 peak.

S&P/Case-Shiller Condo Price Changes: November 2013 (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).

Winter Shows No Signs of Cooling in Home Prices [Standard & Poor's]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (7) | (email story)

January 27, 2014

New Home Sales Drop In December But Ended 2013 Up Overall

New%20Home%20Sales%2012-13.gif

The seasonally adjusted annual pace of new single-family home sales in the U.S. dropped to 414,000 in December, down 7.0 percent from 445,000 in November but 4.5 percent above the December 2012 pace of 396,000 and the strongest December since 2007 when the pace measured 619,000. The December pace peaked at 1,242,000 in 2004.

An estimated 428,000 new homes sold in 2013 versus 368,000 in 2012, up 16.4 percent.

Down 2.8 percent from November to December, the inventory of new single-family homes for sale in the U.S. is currently up 14 percent year-over-year.

Posted by socketadmin at 7:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (15) | (email story)

January 24, 2014

San Francisco Unemployment Rate Under 5%, First Time Since 2008

The unemployment rate in San Francisco fell from 5.2 percent in November to 4.8 percent in December, the first time the unemployment rate in the city has been below 5 percent since May of 2008 when 432,700 people out of a labor force of 454,100 were employed.

With a current labor force of 484,200, the number of employed residents in San Francisco now totals 461,200, up by 13,400 workers over the past year and within 4,300 of the 465,500 people employed at December 2000's dot-com peak when the unemployment rate measured 3 percent. The unemployment rate in San Francisco topped out at a little over 10 percent in January of 2010 when 53,500 fewer San Francisco residents were employed than today.

The unemployment rates in Marin and San Mateo are down to 4.2 percent and 4.6 percent respectively while the unadjusted unemployment rate for California has fallen to 7.9 percent.

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

January 21, 2014

San Francisco Named Third Least Affordable Major Housing Market, Worldwide

Demographia%2010th%20Annual%20Survey.gif

According to the 10th Annual Demographia Housing Affordability Survey of 360 housing markets worldwide, "San Francisco" is the third least affordable major metropolitan area, behind only Vancouver and Hong Kong, the least affordable market by a wide margin.

The Demographia rankings are based on "Median Multiples," median house prices
divided by gross annual median household incomes. The major markets are those with populations over a million. And for the purposes of Demographia's survey, San Francisco includes Oakland as part of the greater metropolitan area.

Demographia ranked Pittsburgh as the most affordable major housing market in the word, followed by Detroit. In fact, the ten most affordable major markets were all in the United States.

Including areas with under a million in population, Honolulu, which should soon break through the one million mark, ranked as less affordable than San Francisco, as did Santa Barbara, and was the absolute least affordable metropolitan area in the United States, the third worldwide.

Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey 2014 [demographia.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (57) | (email story)

January 16, 2014

Mortgage Rates Drift Down Amid Signs Of Weakening Recovery

The average rate for a conforming 30-year mortgage ticked down from 4.51 to 4.41 percent over the past week, 17 basis points below the 4.58 percent two-year high rate recorded this past August but 1.10 percentage points higher than the all-time low of 3.31 percent in November 2012.

The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.38 percent at this time last year, roughly half the 6.71 percent it has averaged since 1990. The fixed 30-year mortgage rate has averaged 8.61 percent over the past 40 years.

As we wrote two weeks ago: "While money remains historically cheap, the pace of pending home sales in the U.S. has slowed and is down 1.6 percent on a year-over-year basis. Recorded home sales in San Francisco were down 14 percent on a year-over-year basis in November and the city is on track to close 2013 with fewer recorded sales than in 2012."

December home sales have since been reported and 2013 has closed with 3.5 percent fewer recorded home sales in San Francisco than the year before. And in the words of Freddie Mac's Chief Economist this morning, "Mortgage rates drifted downward this week amid signs of a weakening economic recovery."

Posted by socketadmin at 7:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (6) | (email story)

January 15, 2014

Fewer San Francisco Homes Sold In 2013 Versus 2012

SF%20Home%20Sales%20YOY%202013.gif

In line with the drop in listed home sales we noted yesterday, the number of recorded San Francisco home sales in 2013 was 3.5 percent lower than the year before versus a 25 percent increase from 2011 to 2012.

The recorded sales volume of San Francisco homes in December was 529 according to DataQuick, down 17.7 percent on a year-over-year basis for a total of 6,423 properties sold in 2013.

The median price paid for a property in San Francisco was $813,000 in December, down 3.6 percent from the month before but 12.9 percent higher year-over-year. As always, keep in mind that while movements in median sales price are a great measure of what's in demand and selling, they're not a great measure of actual appreciation despite what headlines might say.

For the greater Bay Area, the recorded sales volume of homes in December was down 12.7 percent year-over-year for a total of 88,291 properties sold in 2013, down 2.9 percent versus 2012. The median sales price for a Bay Area home was $548,500 in December, down 0.3 percent from November but 23.9 percent higher year-over-year.

As always, keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed ("sold") months prior but are just now closing escrow (or being recorded) and any properties that were sold "off market."

Bay Area Home Sales Drop to Six-Year Low; Prices Still Up Sharply Yr/Yr [DQNews]

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

Mortgage Bankers Lower Forecast As Mortgage Applications Drop

"Despite an economic outlook of steady growth and a recovering job market, mortgage applications have been decreasing – likely due to a combination of rising rates and regulatory implementation, specifically the new Qualified Mortgage Rule."

As such, the Mortgage Bankers Association has lowered its forecast for mortgage originations in the US and is now expecting a 3.8 percent increase in dollar volume for purchase loans in 2014 versus 2013.

The MBA's index for purchase loans was 10 percent lower last week as compared to the same week a year before.

Posted by socketadmin at 8:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (16) | (email story)

January 14, 2014

Listed Home Sales In San Francisco Slipped In 2013

With an inventory gap which started the year down 50 percent versus 2012 but closed to just about even in the last quarter of the year, the sales volume of listed homes sold in San Francisco closed 2013 down 2 percent versus the year before, the first year-over-year drop in transaction volume since 2009.

With roughly 5,650 listed single-family homes and condos sold in 2013, listed sales last year were up nearly 40 percent versus 2009 but 19 percent lower than in 2004, the peak year in terms of listed sales volume in San Francisco.

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | (email story)

January 9, 2014

Office Rents In San Francisco Are Up 65 Percent Since 2010

With a current vacancy rate of just over 8 percent, the lowest rate since the fourth quarter of 2000, the average asking rent for office space in San Francisco is just over $51 a square foot per year, up 19 percent over the past year and up 65 percent since early 2010 according to Cassidy Turley.

With a little over 1.1 million square feet of net office space leased in 2013, the rate of absorption has significantly slowed as compared to 2012, however, when over 2 million square feet of space was absorbed and is roughly a third the 3.2 million square feet of net space leased in 2011, driven in part by a backlog in the pipeline of new construction which is set to start flowing over the next couple of years.

As we noted yesterday, the East Bay is poised to gain from the spike in San Francisco’s rents.

Posted by socketadmin at 12:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

January 8, 2014

Oakland Market Set To Gain As Companies Exit San Francisco

Oakland’s Central Business District ended 2013 with an office vacancy rate of 12.6 percent and an average asking rent of just over $2.50 a square foot versus closer to $4.25 per square foot in San Francisco according to Cassidy Turley.

With many companies in San Francisco having signed deals for office space in 2009 and 2010 now facing renewals and rent increases in excess of 50 percent, expect the East Bay office market to heat up in 2014 as both established companies in San Francisco and startups seek out less expensive space, particularly in areas with easy access to BART such as Oakland.

Posted by socketadmin at 11:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (44) | (email story)

January 2, 2014

Mortgage Rates Are Back Above 4.5 Percent And Sales Have Slowed

The average rate for a conforming 30-year mortgage ticked up to 4.53 percent over the past week to within 5 basis points of the 4.58 percent two-year high recorded this past August. The 30-year rate is now 1.22 percentage points higher than the all-time low of 3.31 percent in November 2012.

The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.34 percent at this time last year, less than half the 6.71 percent it has averaged since 1990. The fixed 30-year mortgage rate has averaged 8.61 percent over the past 40 years.

While money remains historically cheap, the pace of pending home sales in the U.S. has slowed and is down 1.6 percent on a year-over-year basis. Recorded home sales in San Francisco were down 14 percent on a year-over-year basis in November and the city is on track to close 2013 with fewer recorded sales than in 2012.

Posted by socketadmin at 10:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (33) | (email story)

December 31, 2013

San Francisco Home Price Index Slips, Condos Values Hold

Having been slowing for five months following the record setting gains recorded in April and May, single-family home values in San Francisco ticked down in October according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, the first decline since February of 2012. At the same time, San Francisco condo values were flat in October, the first month without a month-over-month gain in almost two years.

Up 24.6% year-over-year, the index for single-family home values in the San Francisco MSA recorded a 0.2% decline from September to October 2013 and ticked down to 17.8% below a May 2006 peak.

For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values gained 0.1% from September to October and are up 13.6% year-over-year but remain 20.3% below a June 2006 peak.

"Home prices increased again in October," says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. "Both [the 10 and 20-city] Composites’ annual returns have been in double-digit territory since March 2013 and increasing; now up 13.6% in the year ending in October. However, monthly numbers show we are living on borrowed time and the boom is fading.
"The year-over-year figures increased slightly from last month. Thirteen cities and both Composites posted double-digit annual returns. Cities at the top of the range (Las Vegas, San Diego and San Francisco) saw smaller annual increases. On the other hand, cities that have been relatively underperforming (Cleveland, New York and Washington) saw their annual gains grow. Miami showed the most improvement. Chicago recorded its highest annual rate (+10.9%) since December 1988. Charlotte and Dallas posted annual increases of 8.8% and 9.7%, their highest since the inception of their indices in 1987 and 2000.
"The key economic question facing housing is the Fed’s future course to scale back quantitative easing and how this will affect mortgage rates. Other housing data paint a mixed picture suggesting that we may be close to the peak gains in prices. However, other economic data point to somewhat faster growth in the new year. Most forecasts for home prices point to single digit growth in 2014."

While prices actually ticked up for the lower two tiers of San Francisco properties in October, a decline at the top offset their gains for the index as a whole.

S&P/Case-Shiller Index San Francisco Price Tiers: October 2013 (www.SocketSite.com)

The bottom third (under $495,051 at the time of acquisition) gained 0.4% from September to October (up 37.5% YOY); the middle third gained 0.2% from September to October (up 26.9% YOY); and the top third (over $806,285 at the time of acquisition) fell 0.5% from September to October, up 17.7% year-over-year versus 19.3% in September.

According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA are back to July 2003 levels (37% below an August 2006 peak); the middle third is back above August 2004 levels (18% below a May 2006 peak); and the top third remains just above April 2005 levels and 6% below its August 2007 peak.

Condo values in the San Francisco MSA were unchanged from September to October but are up 26.1% year-over-year and to within 4.6% of their December 2005 peak.

S&P/Case-Shiller Condo Price Changes: October 2013 (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).

Home Prices Stage Advance According to the S&P/Case-Shiller Index [Standard & Poor's]
San Francisco House And Condo Values Tick Up But Slow Their Roll [SocketSite]

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December 30, 2013

While Still Cheap, Higher Mortgage Rates Are Slowing Home Sales

The National Association of Realtors Pending Home Sales Index inched up a nominal 0.2 percent in November, the second lowest level for the seasonally adjusted index in 2013 and down 1.6 percent on a year-over-year basis, the third year-over-year decline in as many months.

As we wrote in August: Rising Rates Start Reeling In Pending Home Sales.

While higher borrowing costs are bearing the brunt of the blame for the slowdown in home sales, and mortgage rates have increased 35 percent from an all-time low of 3.31 percent in November of 2012 to around 4.5 percent today, keep in mind mind that mortgage rates remain over 30 percent lower than their average of 6.7 percent since 1990 and are nearly 50 percent lower than average over the past 40 years.

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (4) | (email story)

December 23, 2013

Having Peaked In 2012, Foreclosures Plummeted In 2013

As we first reported last December, with over 500 homes being taken back by the bank or sold to a third party on the courthouse steps, 2012 was the peak for homes being foreclosed upon in San Francisco and we expected foreclosure activity to dry up in 2013.

Having forecast fewer than 100 foreclosures in 2013, a drop of 80 percent from 2012 and fewer foreclosures than occurred in 2007, San Francisco in on track to end the year with just over 80 properties having been foreclosed upon in 2013, a drop of 84 percent versus the previous year.

There are currently just over 100 properties scheduled for auction in San Francisco versus 330 at the same time last year, 39 percent of which are in District 10*. Roughly 85 percent of scheduled auctions were cancelled over the past year versus 70 percent in 2012 and the number of San Francisco properties in pre-foreclosure currently totals 160 versus 286 at the same time last year.

*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.

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

December 20, 2013

San Francisco Is Closing In On Dot-Com Days Peak Employment

The unemployment rate in San Francisco ticked down from 5.3 percent in October to 5.2 percent in November, matching the lowest unemployment rate in the city since June of 2008 when 434,000 people out of a labor force of 457,800 were employed.

With a current labor force of 483,700, the number of employed residents in San Francisco now totals 458,800, up by 14,300 workers over the past year and within 6,700 of the 465,500 people employed at December 2000's dot-com peak when the unemployment rate measured 3 percent. The unemployment rate in San Francisco topped out at a little over 10 percent in January 2010 when 51,100 fewer San Francisco residents were employed than today.

The unemployment rates in Marin and San Mateo are down to 4.6 percent and 5.0 percent respectively while the unadjusted unemployment rate for California remains at 8.3 percent.

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

December 19, 2013

Mortgage Rates Tick Up On Taper Talk

Mortgage%20Market%20Survey%2012-19-13.gif

The average rate for a conforming 30-year mortgage ticked up to 4.47 percent over the past week to within 11 basis points of the 4.58 percent two-year high recorded this past August. The 30-year rate is now 1.16 percentage points higher than the all-time low of 3.31 percent in November 2012.

The 10-Year Treasury rate with which the 30-Year mortgage rate typically moves ticked up another 4 basis points today following yesterday’s announcement from the Fed. Having averaged 6.71 percent since 1990 and 8.61 percent over the past 40 years, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.37 percent at this time last year.

In terms of the 30-year rate for Jumbo loans over $625,500, Wells Fargo is currently advertising a rate of 4.50 percent, a discount of 0.25 percentage points as compared to the 4.75 percent rate they’re advertising for both regular conforming and super conforming loans over $417,000 in high cost areas like San Francisco.

Posted by socketadmin at 1:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

Existing Home Sales Drop Year-Over-Year For First Time Since 2011

The seasonally adjusted pace of existing-home sales in the U.S. fell 4.3 percent from a downwardly revised pace of 5.12 million in October to a 4.90 million pace in November, the third drop in as many months and 1.2 percent below the 4.96 million unit pace recorded in November of 2012, the first time in 29 months the pace has been lower on a year-over-year basis.

The median sale price for existing-homes in the U.S. fell 1.6 percent from $199,500 in October to $196,300 in November but remains up 9.4 percent year-over-year. The median was up 12.8 percent on a year-over-year basis in October. Distressed sales in November accounted for 14 percent of sales volume, unchanged from October and down from 24 percent in November 2012.

With 2.09 million homes on the market at the end of November, the inventory of homes for sale is down 0.9 percent from October, down 2.9 percent year-over-year. With the slowdown in sales, the current inventory represents a 5.1-month supply of homes, up from a 4.9-month supply in October and a 4.8-month supply at the same time last year. On a national level, around six months of inventory has historically been considered to be a "balanced" market.

Having dropped a seasonally adjusted 8.5 percent from October to November, existing home sales in the West are down 10.1 percent on a year-over-year basis versus a 13.9 percent drop for recorded homes sales in San Francisco.

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | (email story)

December 17, 2013

San Francisco's Housing Pipeline Breaks The 50,000 Unit Mark

Pipeline%20Q32013%20Image.jpg

While only 1,600 new housing units were completed in San Francisco over the past year and commercial space in the city declined by 183,000 square feet (due to conversions to residential use), there are now over 6,000 housing units under construction in the City which should hit the market over the next year or two along with 900,000 feet of commercial space.

Building permits for another 9,500 housing units in San Francisco have either been approved or requested, units which should start hitting the market in two to four years along with another 5,000,000 square feet of commercial space.

In addition to the nearly 16,000 housing units which are either under construction, ready to break ground, or waiting for a permit, another 27,000 housing units have been entitled to be built in San Francisco which includes 10,500 units by Candlestick, 7,800 units on Treasure Island and 5,680 units in Park-Merced, projects which still have timelines measured in decades, not years.

And with plans for an additional 7,650 housing units on the boards, San Francisco's Housing Pipeline currently totals over 50,000 units. For context, a total of roughly 12,000 housing units have been built in San Francisco since 2007; a total of 26,000 new units since 2000.

With respect to commercial development in San Francisco, in addition to the nearly 6,000,0000 square feet already under construction, ready to break ground or awaiting a permit, plans for another 6,000,000 square feet of commercial development have been approved.

A breakdown of the residential developments in the works across San Francisco by neighborhood, not including those at Candlestick, Park-Merced or Treasure Island (click the chart to enlarge):

San Francisco Pipeline Report: Third Quarter 2013 [sf-planning.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (42) | (email story)

Home Sales In San Francisco Slide Year-Over-Year

SF%20Median%20Price%2011-13.gif

While a seasonal decline in home sales from October to November is to be expected with an average drop in San Francisco of 4.8 percent over the past ten years, the recorded sales activity for homes in San Francisco not only fell 6.7 percent from this past October to November but dropped 13.9 percent year-over-year, the second greatest year-over-year decline in over two years.

The median price paid for the 544 San Francisco homes that closed escrow in November was relatively unchanged from October, down a nominal 0.2 percent to $843,000 which is up 15.8 percent year-over-year. As always, keep in mind that while movements in median sales price are a great measure of what's in demand and selling, they're not a great measure of actual appreciation despite what headlines might say.

For the greater Bay Area, the recorded sales volume of homes in November dropped 12.3 percent from October and fell 10.9 percent year-over-year. The Bay Area’s median sales price was up 1.9 percent to $550,000 from October to November, up 25.6 percent year-over-year.

The resale of foreclosed upon properties and short sales across the Bay Area made up 12.8 percent of the market in November, down from 13 percent in October and roughly a third of the 35.7 percent at the same time last year.

As always, keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed ("sold") months prior but are just now closing escrow (or being recorded) and any properties that were sold "off market."

Bay Area Home Sales Slow, Prices Continue to Rise [DQNews]
San Francisco Sales Tick Up, Median Gain Declines To 15 Month Low [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (4) | (email story)

December 11, 2013

Adjustable-Rate Activity Up As Applications For Mortgages Decline

With mortgage rates continuing to tick up and the current 30-year rate hovering around 4.6 percent, mortgage applications to purchase property in the U.S. were down 10 percent on a year-over-year basis last week while the share of adjustable-rate mortgage activity has increased to 8.1 percent, the highest level since July of 2008.

Posted by socketadmin at 8:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | (email story)

December 6, 2013

Designs For Group Housing On Market Street 2.0

1700%20Market%20Street%20Site%202.jpg

As we first reported last month, plans to raze the two-story FastFrame building on the northwest corner of Market and Gough and build a 7-story building with 42 "single room occupancy" units over 1,500 square feet of ground floor retail have been submitted to Planning for review.

1700%20Market%20Street%20Design.gif

While the Market Octavia plan requires 40 percent of all new developments in the area to be two-bedrooms, group housing is exempted from the rule. And with "limited individual kitchen facilities" in each of the 42 proposed units rooms and a shared kitchen and gathering area, the 1700 Market Street project is positioned as group housing with market-rate rents.

The concept floor plans for the rooms which range in size from 280 to 530 square feet:

1700%20Market%20Street%20Floor%20Plan.gif

The proposed mezzanine level with the communal "group" kitchen, lounge and meeting room:

1700%20Market%20Street%20Mezzanine.gif

And the ground floor plan with parking for 25 bikes and no autos:

1700%20Market%20Street%20First%20Floor.gif

A shared 1,500 square foot roof deck would serve as the required open space for the building.

Posted by socketadmin at 1:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (88) | (email story)

December 5, 2013

Mortgage Rates Tick Up To Near Two-Year High

Mortgage%20Market%20Survey%2012-5-13.gif

As we wrote two weeks ago:

Absent any big negative economic news, the Fed’s talk of tapering its bond purchase program will likely cause mortgage rates to tick back up despite the Fed's concerns and intentions.

The average rate for a conforming 30-year mortgage has since ticked up from 4.22 to 4.46 percent and to within 12 basis points of the 4.58 percent two-year high recorded this past August, 1.15 percentage points higher than the all-time low of 3.31 percent recorded in November of 2012.

The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.34 percent at this time last year having averaged 6.71 percent since 1990 and 8.61 percent over the past 40 years.

In terms of the 30-year rate for Jumbo loans over $625,500, Wells Fargo is currently advertising a rate of 4.125 percent, a discount of half a percent as compared to the 4.625 percent rate they’re advertising for both regular conforming and super conforming loans over $417,000 in high cost areas like San Francisco.

Fixed Mortgage Rates Jump [Freddie Mac]

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December 4, 2013

San Francisco's Yellow Cab Cooperative Could Be Cashing Out

1200%20Mississippi%20Street%20Site.gif

With revenues for taxi companies in San Francisco having dropped an estimated 30 percent over the past year thanks to "ridesharing" startups such at Lyft, Sidecar and UberX, and land values rebounding (thanks to startups such at Lyft, Sidecar and UberX), the largest cab company in the city, the Yellow Cab Cooperative, has quietly put its six-acre headquarters and parking lot at 1200 Mississippi Street on the market and is offering to deliver it vacant.

The parcel at the southern base of Potrero Hill between 25th Street and Cesar Chavez is currently zoned for Production, Distribution and Repair (PDR) which generally prohibits the building of housing, large office developments or large-scale retail but could support light industrial, small scale retail, office or entertainment uses. A tennis club with 31 courts had been proposed to be built upon the site back in 1974, well before the Yellow Cab Cooperative took control.

1200%20Mississippi%20Aerial.jpg

San Francisco's Yellow Cab Cooperative is seeking $16,000,000 for the six-acre site with Kidder Mathews handling the offering. No word on the Cooperative's next move.

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New Home Sales Surged In October But Remain Below Average

New%20Home%20Sales%2010-13.gif

The seasonally adjusted annual pace of new single-family home sales in the U.S. surged to 444,000 in October, up 25.4 percent from September’s pace of 354,000 and 21.6 percent above the revised pace of 365,000 recorded in October 2012, the third slowest October on record.

The annual pace for new home sales in the U.S. as measured in October has averaged 663,000 since 1963, peaking at 1,336,000 in 2005. Preliminary U.S. new home sales (versus pace) in October were estimated to be 35,000, up from 27,000 in September. October sales peaked in 2005 with 105,000 new homes sold.

In the West, the pace of new home sales ticked up 15.2 percent from September to October but fell 14.2 percent on a year-over-year basis.

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

November 27, 2013

Dorms For Developers In San Francisco?

1532%20Harrison%20Street%20Site.gif

While it was originally reported that Build Inc. was planning to build around 120 rental units on the half-acre SoMa parking lot which fronts 12th, Norfolk and Harrison Streets, plans for the construction of three six-story buildings with 235 group housing suites and up to 470 individual beds, common living areas and shared kitchens have been drafted for the 1532 Harrison Street site.

1532%20Harrison%20Street%20Design.gif

The full scoop on what’s being planned and the rendering for what has been proposed:

In total, the project would construct approximately 235 group housing "suites" designed for single or double occupancy which would be grouped into nine "houses" per building. Each house would each feature common kitchens, dining areas, living areas and balconies.

1532%20Harrison%20Street%20House.jpg

The individual suites would range in size from 227 to 409 square feet and include individual bathrooms, sinks, two-burner "kitchenettes" and balconies for suites above the first floor.

The three proposed buildings would rise up to 65 feet in height and be joined by a series of sky bridges over two mid-block alleys between 12th and Norfolk Streets.

In addition to the housing, just under 5,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space would be constructed at the northern edge of the project off Norfolk Street and at the corner of Harrison and 12th Streets (click the rendering above to enlarge).

The plans which will require Conditional Use Authorization from the Planning Commission to proceed include 480 underground parking spaces for bicycles and only one off-street parking space for car share as well as one space for a handicap van.

Posted by socketadmin at 2:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (98) | (email story)

November 26, 2013

San Francisco House And Condo Values Tick Up But Slow Their Roll

While the pace continues to slow from the record setting gains recorded in April and May, single-family home and condo values in San Francisco continued to tick up in September.

According to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, single-family home values in the San Francisco MSA rose 0.8% from August to September 2013. Up 25.7% year-over-year, the San Francisco Index remains 17.6% below a May 2006 peak.

For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values gained 0.7% from August to September and are up 13.3% year-over-year but remain 20.4% below a June 2006 peak.

"Twelve cities posted double-digit annual returns. Regionally, the West continues to lead with Las Vegas gaining 29.1% year-over-year followed by San Francisco at 25.7%, Los Angeles at 21.8% and San Diego at 20.9%. San Francisco and Los Angeles showed their highest annual returns since March 2001 and December 2005. Although Chicago has not reached double-digit growth, the city recorded its highest year-over-year gain since November 2005.
The strong price gains in the West are sparking questions and concerns about the possibility of another bubble. However the talk is focused on fear of a bubble, not a rush to join the party and buy. Moreover, other data suggest a market beginning to shift to slower growth rather than one about to accelerate. Existing home sales weakened in the most recent report, home construction remains far below the boom levels of six or seven years ago and interest rates are expected to be higher a year from now.
Housing continues to emerge from the financial crisis: the proportion of homes in foreclosure is declining and consumers’ balance sheets are strengthening. The longer run question is whether household formation continues to recover and if home ownership will return to the peak levels seen in 2004."

On a month-over-month basis, prices ticked up across all three San Francisco price tiers but at less than one percent for those in the middle and top tiers.

S&P/Case-Shiller Index San Francisco Price Tiers: September 2013 (www.SocketSite.com)

The bottom third (under $494,717 at the time of acquisition) gained 1.0% from August to September (up 39.2% YOY); the middle third gained 0.4% from August to September (up 27.0% YOY); and the top third (over $814,084 at the time of acquisition) gained 0.6% from August to September, up 19.3% year-over-year versus 18.5% in August.

According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA are back to June 2003 levels (38% below an August 2006 peak); the middle third is back above August 2004 levels (18% below a May 2006 peak); and the top third remains just above April 2005 levels and 6% below its August 2007 peak.

Condo values in the San Francisco MSA rose 0.5% from August to September 2013 and are up 27.2% year-over-year, within 4.6% of their December 2005 peak.

S&P/Case-Shiller Condo Price Changes: September 2013 (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).

Home Prices Advance in Third Quarter [Standard & Poor's]
Home Prices In San Francisco Tick Up But The Pace Is Slowing [SocketSite]

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November 25, 2013

Moving Fast In San Francisco, But Even Faster In San Jose

Just over 43 percent of the homes listed for sale in San Francisco metropolitan area were in contract within two weeks of their listing date last month, up from 41 percent in September but down from 46 percent in October 2012.

Listings in San Jose have been moving even faster, with 49 percent of listings in contract within two weeks last month, but that’s down from 54 percent at the same time last year.

Across the 23 metro areas which Redfin measured, the median time it took a listing to go into contract was 31 days last month, down from 43 days at the same time last year, with 28 percent of new listings pending within two weeks versus 23 percent last year.

Posted by socketadmin at 2:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

Bay Area Commercial Boom: San Francisco Second To Santa Clara

Spending on commercial real estate construction activity around the Bay Area this year is expected to top the record $6 billion mark set in 2000 and could reach as high as $6.7 billion by the end of 2013.

The Bay Area County with the most commercial construction activity is currently Santa Clara County which should cross the $2.1 billion mark by the end of the year, a total which doesn’t include the $1.3 billion Levi's Stadium project for the San Francisco 49ers.

Behind Santa Clara, San Francisco County should just miss the $2 billion mark which would be higher than in 2011 and 2012 but below the spending in 2010.

And at a projected $765 million in 2013, spending on commercial real estate construction in San Mateo County should be six times the amount in 2012 while the projected $681 million to be spent across Alameda and Contra Costa Counties in 2013 would be the lowest in five years.

Posted by socketadmin at 9:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | (email story)

The Soul Of San Francisco And The Backlash By The Bay

"As the center of the technology industry has moved north from Silicon Valley to San Francisco and the largess from tech companies has flowed into the city — Twitter’s stock offering unleashed an estimated 1,600 new millionaires — income disparities have widened sharply, housing prices have soared and orange construction cranes dot the skyline. The tech workers have, rightly or wrongly, received the blame." (Backlash by the Bay: Tech Riches Alter a City)

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (64) | (email story)

November 22, 2013

San Francisco Unemployment Drops But Employment Drops As Well

The unemployment rate in San Francisco ticked down to 5.3 percent in October, the second lowest level since the 5.2 percent rate in June of 2008 when 434,000 people out of a labor force of 457,800 were employed in the city.

The drop in San Francisco’s October unemployment rate, however, was driven by a 4,100 person decrease in the current labor force to 481,900 rather than an increase in employment, with the number of employed in San Francisco dropping by 3,600 as the number of unemployed dropped by 500. That being said, some impact from the Federal shutdown was likely in play.

The number of employed in San Francisco now totals 456,400 which is up by 12,600 workers on a year-over-year basis but is 9,100 workers below a December 2000 dot-com peak at which point the unemployment rate measured 3 percent. The unemployment rate in San Francisco peaked at 10.1 percent in January of 2010 when 48,700 fewer San Francisco residents were employed than today.

The unadjusted unemployment rate in California ticked up to 8.3 percent from September to October as the number of unemployed increased by 7,600 and employment fell by 152,600. The unemployment rate in Marin ticked up by 0.1 points to 4.8 percent while it remained at 5.1 percent in San Mateo.

Posted by socketadmin at 10:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

November 21, 2013

A Year Ago Mortgage Rates Hit An All-Time Low, And Now?

Mortgage%20Market%20Survey%2011-21-13.gif

The average rate for a conforming 30-year mortgage ticked down to 4.22 percent over the past week, 36 basis points lower than the two-year high of 4.58 percent measured in August. Absent any big negative economic news, the Fed’s talk of tapering its bond purchase program will likely cause mortgage rates to tick back up despite the Fed's concerns and intentions.

The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.31 percent at this time last year, the all-time recorded low, having averaged 6.71 percent since 1990 and 8.61 percent over the past 40 years.

In terms of the 30-year rate for Jumbo loans over $625,500, Wells Fargo is currently advertising a rate of 4.125 percent, a discount of .375 points as compared to the 4.50 percent rate they’re advertising for both regular conforming and super conforming loans over $417,000 in high cost areas like San Francisco.

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | (email story)

November 14, 2013

Plans For An Upscale Seven-Story SRO Building On Market Street

1700%20Market%20Street%20Site.jpg

Plans to raze the two-story commercial building occupied by Fastframe and a few offices on the northwest corner of Market and Gough and build a 7-story mixed-use building on the parcel has quietly been submitted to San Francisco’s Planning Department for review.

The proposed 75-foot-high building to rise at 1700 Market Street includes 42 "single room occupancy" units which would be market rate but with limited individual kitchen facilities and a communal kitchen, gathering areas, and 1,498 square feet of ground floor retail below.

While the proposed building does not include any off-street parking spaces for autos, it does include a room for 25 bikes. And of course, residents would still be able to apply for permits to park their cars on the street.

If Off-Street Parking Is Limited, Should On-Street Parking Be Limited As Well? [SocketSite]

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Census Bureau Survey Says: San Francisco Has The Highest Rents

According to the U.S. Census Bureau's latest American Community Survey, the median monthly rent being paid for an apartment in San Francisco was $1,463 at the end of 2012, the highest in the nation.

Second place goes to San Jose at $1,441 month, followed by Boston ($1,260), Washington D.C. ($1,236) and then New York ($1,187).

Of the 376,653 housing units in San Francisco, 58 percent (217,452) are occupied by renters with 38 percent of those paying more than 35 percent of their household income in rent.

At the same time, the average list price to newly rent an apartment in San Francisco is currently $3,226 a month, up 18 percent over the past year with the average asking price for a studio in the city over $2,400 a month.

Posted by socketadmin at 9:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (79) | (email story)

A Rush To Restrict Ellis Act Evictions And Buyouts In San Francisco

Reacting to the recent rise in Ellis Act evictions of rent controlled tenants in San Francisco, Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor David Campos are in a race to draft proposed legislation making it more difficult to invoke the Ellis Act or even establish an outright moratorium on the evictions if possible.

Lee's staff said the idea is to make Ellis Act evictions so expensive for property owners that there is little incentive to pursue them. Options include requiring additional permits or hearings or placing limits on the sale and resale of a property after an Ellis Act eviction.
Campos is drafting legislation that would make it much more difficult - and less attractive - for a landlord to remove a tenant through a buyout, in part by preventing the property owner from charging market rate in the future.
He is also working on a proposal that would substantially raise the relocation payments owners must give tenants in an Ellis Act eviction. The current payment in an Ellis Act eviction in San Francisco is about $5,200 per person.

And while landlords in San Francisco can currently offer tenants a cash buyout to vacate an apartment in order to circumvent the restrictions associated with an official eviction, Campos' proposal "would require the city to track buyouts and place them under the category of "just cause/no fault" evictions, preventing the landlord from charging market rate to new tenants."

As Evictions Triple In SF, Mayor Triples Eviction Fighting Fund [SocketSite]
S.F. politicians: Restrict Ellis Act evictions [SFGate]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (85) | (email story)

November 13, 2013

San Francisco Sales Tick Up, Median Gain Declines To 15 Month Low

San Francisco Home Sales and Median: October 2013 (www.SocketSite.com)

Having dropped 21 percent on a year-over-year basis in September, recorded sales activity for San Francisco homes ticked up 3.7 percent on a year-over-year basis in October, up 14.1 percent from September and versus an average seasonal gain of 3.4 percent over the past ten years.

Having dropped for three months in a row, the median price paid for a home in San Francisco ticked up 3.0 percent in October to $845,000 and is up 6.4 percent on a year-over-year basis, the smallest year-over-year change since July of 2012. Keep in mind that while movements in median sales price are a great measure of what's in demand and selling, they're not a great measure of actual appreciation despite what many headlines might say.

For the greater Bay Area, recorded sales volume in October gained a seasonal 6.4% from September but fell 3.9 percent year-over-year while the median sales price gained 1.8 percent to $539,000 in October and is up 29.7 percent year-over-year.

Foreclosure resales and short sales made up 14 percent of the Bay Area market in October, up from 12.2 percent in September but versus 35 percent at the same time last year.

As always, keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed ("sold") months prior but are just now closing escrow (or being recorded) and any properties that were sold "off market."

Bay Area Home Sales Ease Back; Median Sale Price Edges Higher [DQNews]
Home Sales In San Francisco Slip Again In September [SocketSite]

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November 8, 2013

Mortgage Rates Tick Up But Remain Near Four-Month Lows

Mortgage%20Market%20Survey%2011-07-13.gif

The average rate for a conforming 30-year mortgage ticked up to 4.16 percent last week, up 6 basis points from the four month low of 4.10 percent last week on the heels of the federal shutdown and a softening housing market. The current rate remains 42 basis points below the two-year high of 4.58 percent in August, 81 basis points above the historic low of 3.35 percent in May.

The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.40 percent at this time last year having averaged 6.75 percent since 1990 and 8.61 percent over the past 40 years.

In terms of the 30-year rate for Jumbo loans over $625,500, Wells Fargo is currently advertising a rate of 4.00 percent, a discount of half a point as compared to the 4.50 percent rate they’re advertising for super conforming loans over $417,000 in high cost areas like San Francisco, a discount of 0.375 points compared to a 4.375 percent rate for regular conforming loans.

Fixed Mortgage Rates Rebound Higher [Freddie Mac]
Spike In Sales Due To, Rather Than Despite, A Spike In Rates [SocketSite]

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November 6, 2013

Rent Growth Slows In San Francisco Amid New Developments And Resistance

While the development of 8 Washington Street might have hit a (no) wall in San Francisco, over 1,000 new housing units will be finished the fourth quarter of 2013 for a total of nearly 3,500 new units in San Francisco this year, five times the number completed in 2012.

With construction in San Francisco continuing to ramp up and “renter resistance” to rents in the city starting to surface, Marcus & Millichap is expecting the average effective rent in San Francisco to end the year at $2,490 a month, up 4.7 percent over the past year versus 9.9 percent in 2012.

"Effective rents dipped in two of the past three quarters, and broader use of leasing inducements could occur at properties directly affected by nearby construction in 2014. Average effective rents at 2000s-vintage assets have climbed to 45 percent of median household income, up from 37 percent just two years ago. As renters commit to an extra $6,000 per year in rent payments, the incentive to "double up" or move to more affordable communities with mass transit options is rising."

Also noted: "With rents so high, the cost of vacancy is exacerbated in the current climate, giving apartment managers further incentive to proactively reset monthly rates to avoid loss to lease," which might be a bit counterintuitive and a little leverage for leaseholders to keep in mind.

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (27) | (email story)

November 4, 2013

Visa Is Moving Its Tech Team Out Of The "Void" And Back To SF

One%20Market%20Plaza.jpg

Having moved out of San Francisco and from 44,000 square feet at 595 Market Street in 2012, Visa has just signed a lease for 111,000 square feet at One Market Plaza and will be moving its engineering team back into the city.

In the words of J.K. Dineen at the San Francisco Business Times:

"…it seems that the company, which describes itself as a "global payments technology company," is heading back to the city to help with the recruitment of the young urban engineers who are increasingly unwilling to commute to a generic suburban office park devoid of culture or street life."

Visa's top executives will remain in Foster City and we'll let you know if The Foster City Chamber of Commerce responds.

Posted by socketadmin at 3:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (54) | (email story)

Listings And Price Reductions In San Francisco, Year-Over-Year

Down 3 percent in the aggregate and 6 percent over the past week, the number of single-family homes listed for sale in San Francisco is back to being 2 percent higher on a year-over-year basis while the number of condos listed for sale in San Francisco is down by 7 percent.

Prices for 21 percent of the listings on the MLS in San Francisco have been reduced at least once, down from the 42 percent high for the first week of November which was recorded in 2011 but even versus the same time last year.

Posted by socketadmin at 2:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

October 31, 2013

The Proposal To Pack More People And In-Laws Into The Castro

With San Francisco’s population rising and rents rising even more, Supervisor Wiener is sponsoring an amendment to San Francisco's Planning Code which would waive existing density restrictions and Code requirements to "allow the construction of an additional dwelling unit or units within the existing envelope of a residential building or auxiliary structure on the same lot (In-Law Units) on any parcel in the Castro Street Neighborhood Commercial District and within 1,750 feet of the District boundaries."

While constructed after 1979, any newly created units under the ordinance would still be subject to Rent Control if the existing building or any of the existing units within the existing building in which the new units built are currently subject to Rent Control.

As we wrote back in 2007: "Going green might be trendy (and we’re all for it), but as far as we’re concerned it’s a focus on density (and infill) that will define the next era in San Francisco's development, neighborhoods, and lifestyle."

San Francisco's Land Use and Economic Development Committee will review the proposed ordinance next week.

Posted by socketadmin at 1:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (79) | (email story)

San Francisco’s Key Economic, Building, And Transportation Trends

San%20Francisco%20Commerce%20and%20Industry%202012.gif

The summary bullet points from the Planning Department’s just completed 2012 Commerce and Industry Inventory for San Francisco which covers a 10-year time-series of data, including population, employment, wages, business growth, retails sales, government expenditures/revenues, building, and transportation trends:

• Employment, the simplest key indicator of economic activity, grew 5% in 2012 to 586,250 jobs (27,250 additional jobs versus 2011) while the unemployment rate fell to 7.8% from 8.6%. [Editor's Note: As plugged-in people know, the unemployment rate in San Francisco is now under 6% and employment is up by 16,600 jobs on a year-over-year basis, up by 49,400 since 2010.]
• The number of business establishments increased slightly in 2012 to 55,470 firms, 0.4% growth over 2011.
• Workers’ earnings in the San Francisco economy increased to $49 billion, almost 9% over 2011, with average earnings per job increasing to $83,500 per worker, up 1% since last year.
• Building permit applications increased by 7% over 2011 levels to 24,300 applications in 2012 and the estimated value or spending those projects represent in terms of project cost (not all of which will be spent locally in San Francisco) increased to $4 billion, or 16% over 2011. [Editor's Note: San Francisco's current construction pipeline.]
• Taxable retail sales increased 4% over 2011 levels, to $16 billion in 2012.
• City revenue was $4.26 billion in 2012, up 3% over 2011. City expenditures were $4.06 billion in 2012, up 7% from last year.

San Francisco’s population was estimated to have hit 825,100 in 2012, up 1.5% from 2011, with daily transit ridership at roughly 664,326 trips, up 1.1% since 2008 with ridership on the 9-San Bruno line up 25 percent since 2008 and the most used transit line in the City with 59,900 daily trips. The 38-Geary is the second most used Muni line in the city with 55,000 daily trips.

The full report will be presented to San Francisco's Planning Commission next week.

San Francisco’s 2012 Commerce and Industry Inventory [sfplanning.org]
Unemployment Drops In San Francisco, But Employment Drops As Well [SocketSite]
The 48,000 San Francisco Units In The Works By Neighborhood [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (36) | (email story)

October 30, 2013

Bay Area Rents Climb, East Bay Jumps 10 Percent In 3 Months

While the vacancy rate for apartments throughout the Bay Area has ticked up from 3.1 to 3.9 percent, according to Cassidy Turley the average rent has ticked up from $1,851 to $1,897 a month, two percent below its first quarter peak of $1,941.

The average rent in San Francisco is now $3,266 a month, up 3 percent over the past three months and 18 percent higher year-over-year. The average studio in San Francisco now rents for $2,434 and one-bedrooms for $2,980. The vacancy rate in San Francisco is currently 3.6 percent, up from 3.3 percent in the second quarter of 2013.

The average East Bay rent jumped 10 percent in the third quarter and now averages $1,681 a month with studios renting for $1,268. The average rent is up to $1,674 in the North Bay.

And while the vacancy rate has increased from 3.1 to 4.6 percent in San Mateo, the average rent has ticked back up to $2,148 per month, even year-over-year. Studios in San Mateo now rent for an average of $1,446 a month and apparently a number of new projects on the Peninsula won't even consider prospective tenants that earn less than $75,000 per year.

Over the past two years, the average rent in San Mateo has increased by 15 percent, it's up by 17 percent in the East Bay and it's up by 27 percent in San Francisco.

Posted by socketadmin at 4:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | (email story)

October 29, 2013

Home Prices In San Francisco Tick Up But The Pace Is Slowing

While the pace of increases continues to slow from the record setting gains recorded in April and May, single-family home and condo values in San Francisco continued to tick up in August.

According to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, single-family home values in the San Francisco MSA rose 0.9% from July to August 2013. Up 25.4% year-over-year, the San Francisco Index remains 18.2% below a May 2006 peak.

For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values gained 1.3% from July to August and are up 12.8% year-over-year but remain 21.0% below a June 2006 peak.

"Las Vegas and California continue to impress with year-over-year increases of over 20%. Denver and Phoenix posted 20 consecutive annual increases; Miami and Minneapolis 19. Despite showing 26 consecutive annual gains, Detroit remains the only city below its January 2000 index level.
The monthly percentage changes for the 20-City composite show the peak rate of gain in home prices was last April. Since then home prices continued to rise, but at a slower pace each month. This month 16 cities reported smaller gains in August compared to July. Recent increases in mortgage rates and fewer mortgage applications are two factors in these shifts.
Denver and Dallas again set new highs. All the other cities remain below their peaks. Boston and Charlotte are the two MSAs closest to their peaks with only 8-9% left to go. Las Vegas is still down 47.1% from its peak level."

On a month-over-month basis, prices ticked up across all three San Francisco price tiers but only nominally for those in the top tier.

S&P/Case-Shiller Index San Francisco Price Tiers: August 2013 (www.SocketSite.com)

The bottom third (under $486,084 at the time of acquisition) gained 3.0% from July to August (up 40.6% YOY); the middle third gained 1.0% from July to August (up 28.6% YOY); and the top third (over $808,660 at the time of acquisition) gained 0.1% from July to August, up 18.5% year-over-year versus 18.8% in July.

According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA are back to June 2003 levels (38% below an August 2006 peak); the middle third is back above August 2004 levels (18% below a May 2006 peak); and the top third remains just above April 2005 levels and 6% below its August 2007 peak.

Condo values in the San Francisco MSA rose 1.4% from July to August 2013 and are up 27.7% year-over-year, within 5.0% of their December 2005 peak.

S&P/Case-Shiller Condo Price Changes: August 2013 (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).

Home Prices Rise Further in August 2013 [Standard & Poor's]
San Francisco's Top Tier Homes And Condos Within 6% Of Peak [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (8) | (email story)

October 28, 2013

Number Of Homes For Sale In San Francisco Tightens Up

Down by 4 percent over the past three weeks, in line with normal seasonality, the inventory of listed homes for sale in San Francisco is back to being down on a year-over-year basis, 2 percent lower for single-family homes and 7 percent lower for condominiums.

At the same time, the percentage of listings which have been reduced in price at least once has ticked up to a little over 20 percent which is even year-over-year.

The number of active listings in San Francisco is currently a third the levels of 2010.

Posted by socketadmin at 12:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

Pending Home Sale Index Slips To 2013 Low, Down Year-Over-Year

The National Association of Realtors Pending Home Sales Index fell 5.6 percent in September, down 1.2 percent on a year-over-year basis overall and 9.8 percent lower in the West despite a year-over-year increase in listed inventory levels.

It's the fourth month in the row the Pending Home Sales Index has declined, the lowest level for the index since December 2012, and the first year-over-year decline for the index in 29 months.

As we wrote in August: Rising Rates Start Reeling In Pending Home Sales.

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

October 22, 2013

A Contemporary Potrero Hill And Mortgage Comparison: 2007 To Today

2130 24th Street

As we wrote in July of 2012:

Having hit the market in late 2006 asking $1,295,000, the 1,792 square foot 2130 24th Street #A sold for $1,274,000 in the middle of 2007.
With its Scavolini cabinets, Carrara marble counters, and Black Walnut floors still looking rather fresh, the contemporary Potrero Hill condo is back on the market and listed for $1,389,000.
With twenty percent down and a thirty-year mortgage at current rates, the monthly mortgage payment would be around $5,300 a month at asking. In 2006, the payments on the purchase would have been closer to $6,500 at rate of 6.56 percent.

Having failed to sell in 2012, the Potrero Hill condo is back on the market today and listed for $1,499,000. With the current rate for a 30-year Jumbo loan running around 4.0 percent, the monthly mortgage payment with 20 percent down at asking is now around $5,700 a month, 12 percent less than in 2006 but 8 percent higher than at asking in 2012.

2130 24th Street Kitchen

UPDATE: Our original calculation of a $6,700 monthly payment at asking today included property taxes and HOAs which should not have been included for the sake of comparison and has since been updated above.

∙ Listing: 2130 24th Street #A (3/2) 1,792 sqft - $1,499,000 [Redfin]
Apples-To-Apples: Prices, Rates And Payments...Oh My! [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (7) | (email story)

Making It Harder To (Legally) Merge Or Convert Units In SF

On the agenda for San Francisco's Planning Commission this week, an ordinance to tighten-up the language in San Francisco's Planning Code which governs the legal demolition, merger and conversion of existing residential units in San Francisco, intended to preserve the stock of affordable housing within the city.

Fearing an increase in Ellis Act evictions to clear multi-unit buildings in order to make way for their conversion to TIC units or merger into large single-family homes, Supervisor Avalos is proposing an entirely new amendment which would prohibit the demolition, merger or conversion of units, conforming or not, should the building have had any "no-fault" eviction within the past ten years.

While San Francisco’s Planning Department supports Supervisor Avalos' new amendment, they are recommending the prohibition only apply to evictions that occur as of the effective date of the proposed ordinance versus to those within the past ten years, and that the prohibition, when triggered, only last for five rather than ten years.

The actual enforcement of illegal conversions and mergers remains unaddressed.

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (106) | (email story)

October 21, 2013

Existing U.S. Home Sales Slip In September, Median Drops 6%

The seasonally adjusted pace of existing-home sales in the U.S. fell 1.9 percent from a downwardly revised pace of 5.39 million in August to a 5.29 million pace in September but remains 10.7 percent above the 4.78 million unit pace recorded in September of 2012.

As the pace of sales has slowed, the inventory of existing homes on the market has remained unchanged from August with 2.21 million homes on the market at the end of September, a 5.0 month supply versus 4.9 months in August and versus a 5.4 month supply in June 2012 with inventory up 1.8 percent year-over-year. On a national level, around six months of inventory has historically been considered to be a "balanced" market.

The median sale price for existing-homes fell 6.0 percent in September from $212,100 to $199,200 but remains up 11.7 percent year-over-year versus 14.7 percent in August. Distressed sales in September accounted for 14 percent of sales volume, up from 12 percent in August and versus 24 percent at the same time last year.

Existing-home sales in the west rose 1.6 percent from August to September versus an unadjusted 20.9 percent drop in San Francisco, up 7.8 percent on a year-over-year basis versus a 1.0 percent drop in San Francisco with a median sales price that's 16.8 percent higher year-over-year (10.1 percent in San Francisco).

Existing-Home Sales Down in September but Prices Rise [realtor.org]
Home Sales In San Francisco Slip Again In September [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (4) | (email story)

October 17, 2013

Silicon Valley Rents Remain Up But Pressure Is Building

The average monthly rent for an apartment in a complex with 50 or more units in Santa Clara County remains up 8.1 percent year-over-year with rents in San Jose averaging $2,105 a month, up $26 in the third quarter.

With a backlog of new developments hitting the market in Silicon Valley, however, the occupancy rate in Santa Clara has dropped 1 percentage point year-over-year to 94.4 percent and the occupancy rate in San Jose has dropped to 93.4 percent, down 2.1 points which should put some downward pressure on rents over the next quarter.

Silicon Valley's red-hot rental market shows signs of cooling [Business Times]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

Home Sales In San Francisco Slip Again In September

SF%20Median%20Price%2009-13.gif

Having slipped 10 percent on a year-over-year basis last month following a a nine-year high in July with interest rates ticking up, recorded sales activity for San Francisco homes fell 20.9 percent from August to September, down 1.0 percent on a year-over-year basis to 511 recorded sales. Although sales volume in San Francisco typically drops from August to September, the drop has averaged closer to 13 percent over the past decade.

At the same time, the median price paid for a home in San Francisco ticked down another 0.6 percent in September to $820,000 but remains up 10.1 percent year-over-year. Keep in mind that while movements in median sales price are a great measure of what's in demand and selling, they're not a great measure of actual appreciation despite what the headlines might say.

For the greater Bay Area, recorded sales volume in September fell 17.1% from August but was up 3.6 percent on a year-over-year basis. The median sales price fell 1.9 percent to $530,000 but remains 23.5% higher on a year-over-year basis. In the words of DataQuick:

"The surprisingly high home price appreciation we saw over the last year stemmed largely from very low mortgage rates, a very slim inventory of homes for sale, and very high levels of investor purchases. But in recent months we’ve seen each of these forces reverse a bit: Interest rates are higher, the inventory has risen, and investors now account for a lower share of all sales."

Foreclosure resales and short sales made up 12.2 percent of the Bay Area market last month, down from 15 percent in August and 38 percent at the same time last year.

As always, keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed ("sold") months prior but are just now closing escrow (or being recorded) and any properties that were sold "off market."

Bay Area Median Price Dips Month-to-Month Again; Still Way Up From Yr Ago [DQNews]
Home Sales Spike In San Francisco To Nine Year High In July [SocketSite]
Spike In Sales Due To, Rather Than Despite, A Spike In Rates [SocketSite]
Having Spiked In July, San Francisco Home Sales Slide In August [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

October 16, 2013

Protecting San Francisco’s Historic Fabric Amid Its Boom

Historic%20Preservation%20In%20San%20Francisco.jpg

With the population of San Francisco projected to grow by 20 percent over the next two decades, hitting the one million mark around 2035, many new buildings will need to be built and existing buildings repurposed.

Believing that it’s critical to protect the historic fabric of the city while supporting growth and change, San Francisco Architectural Heritage and SPUR have examined "the city’s processes for preservation planning, project review and decision-making." The conclusion of their joint policy report which is being presented to San Francisco’s Historic Preservation Commission this afternoon:

San Francisco has many wonderful historical resources worthy of protection. However, the process of reviewing proposed changes to historical resources in existing, identified and potential historic districts is in need of improvement. In particular, the way the CEQA process relates to historic preservation issues can be murky and complex, especially in areas that have not undergone a formal historic survey process.

The report’s 19 recommendations to improve the historic preservation process and create rules and guidelines that are "clear, consistent and transparent" in San Francisco:

1. Complete a citywide [Historic Resource] survey.
2. Conduct [Historic Resource] surveys early in the area plan process so that the survey results can be used to help inform planning activities.
3. Solicit public input in the development of context statements and themes.
4. Notify the public, district property owners, residents and business owners at the outset of the survey process. Explain why the survey is occurring, the potential benefits and impacts of being part of a survey area and how survey data will be used.
5. Publish community outreach standards and policies for historic resource surveys.
6. Develop a user-friendly grievance process.

7. Publish planning department community engagement policies and procedures for historic districts in a new administrative bulletin.
8. Develop clear design guidelines that interpret how best to apply the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties to individual historic districts.
9. Provide a clear mechanism to enable project applicants to request advisory opinions from the San Francisco Historic Preservation Commission’s Architectural Review Committee (ARC) in order to obtain the group’s input on compliance with design guidelines early in the process.
10. Expand local access to historic preservation incentives, including state Mills Act property tax relief for historic property owners.

11. Publish guidelines that identify significant historical themes, associated property types and thresholds of significance for the purpose of making CEQA determinations on individual buildings.
12. Revise Preservation Bulletin 16 to provide clear guidelines on how to evaluate the impacts of major alterations or demolition of contributors within historic districts.
13. Encourage collaboration between planning department staff and property owners (and their architects) so that compliance with the Secretary’s Standards can be achieved more quickly and efficiently.
14. Provide a clear mechanism to enable project applicants to seek an advisory opinion from the ARC when they cannot reach agreement with planning department staff on interpretation of the Secretary’s Standards.
15. Complete a citywide survey so that historical resources are identified systematically and prospectively, rather than on an ad hoc basis during CEQA review (as per Recommendation No. 1).
16. Develop a new administrative bulletin defining the process for conducting historic resource evaluations (HREs). This bulletin should include guidance on when HREs should or should not be required for projects in designated historic districts, in potential historic districts or adjacent to or within view of historic districts.
17. Clarify the conditions under which the planning department can require project sponsors to complete their own survey work in an unsurveyed area; define the appropriate geographic boundaries and level of detail.
18. Clarify how alteration and development projects that are adjacent to landmarks and to designated, identified and potential districts (but not actually within one of these districts) should be treated for the purposes of CEQA review.
19. Complete the development of local interpretations and design guidelines based on the Secretary’s Standards per the recent update to Articles 10 and 11 of the San Francisco Planning Code.

The full report and details behind the recommendations: Historic Preservation In San Francisco.

Posted by socketadmin at 3:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (9) | (email story)

October 15, 2013

Mid-Market Tech Migration Continues, Non-Profits Are Priced Out

While the vacancy rate for office space in San Francisco remains at 8.4 percent as the net demand for space was offset by 264,000 new square feet in the third quarter of 2013, average rents ticked up 1 percent to $50.30 per square foot across all classes of space according to Cassidy Turley, up 16 percent year-over-year, up 60 percent from the post-recession lows of early 2010, and 15 percent higher than on the eve of the recession in 2008.

As technology firms and start-ups continue their migration to Mid-Market, a migration which has accelerated over the past few months, professional, business service users, and non-profits have been giving up space in the city, "many of whom have relocated either in San Mateo County, or the East or North Bay."

Cassidy Turley expects vacancy rates to continue to fall and rents to climb over the next year.

Posted by socketadmin at 3:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | (email story)

Pushback In Pacific Heights

1915%20Sacramento%20Floor%20Plan.gif

Purchased for $2,325,000 in November of 2007, the single-family Pacific Heights home at 1915 Sacramento Street has since been remodeled, including the addition of a new bath on the lower level which was added without a permit and isn’t included in the official bathroom count of two.

1915%20Sacramento%20Kitchen.jpg

Returned to the market two weeks ago listed for $2,600,000, the "offers due date" has come and gone and the list price has been reduced to $2,395,000. It's the fourth Pacific Heights property to have unsuccessfully set an "offers due" date over the past couple of weeks of which we're aware.

∙ Listing: 1915 Sacramento Street (3/2) 2,340 sqft - $2,395,000 [via Redfin]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | (email story)

October 11, 2013

Mortgage Rates Hold Near Three Month Lows

Mortgage%20Market%20Survey%2010-11-13.gif

With the Federal debt impasse having yet to be resolved, the average rate for a conforming 30-year mortgage ticked up to 4.23 percent last week, a nominal 1 basis point above last week’s three month low of 4.22 percent and 35 basis points below the two-year high of 4.58 percent recorded in August.

The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.39 percent at this time last year having averaged 6.75 percent since 1990.

Fixed Mortgage Rates Little Changed [Freddie Mac]
Spike In Sales Due To, Rather Than Despite, A Spike In Rates [SocketSite]

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

October 10, 2013

From Classic To Contemporary And Close To $3,000 A Square Foot

2755%20Fillmore%202013.jpg

Having undergone a high-end but traditional styled renovation, the 4,064 square foot home at 2755 Fillmore Street was listed for $4,995,000 in July of 2010 and sold for $4,970,000 that August.

2755%20Fillmore%20Kitchen%202013.jpg

Having been renovated anew over the past three years, this time in a more contemporary style, the Pacific Heights home is back on the market and asking $12,500,000 as first noted by a plugged-in reader last week.

2755%20Fillmore%20Bedroom%202013.jpg

While not listed with the square footage this time around, in the words of our reader: "The footprint of this property didn't really allow for much expansion. The spa room seems new, but that's about it." If that's the case, call it close to $3,000 a square foot.

2755%20Fillmore%20Spa%202013.jpg

As plugged-in people know, the record setting price for 2950 Broadway on San Francisco’s Billionaires Row was roughly $3,182 per square foot.

∙ Listing: 2755 Fillmore (4/4.5) - $12,500,000 [2755fillmorest.com]
Now Playing At The On Fillmore: Big Views And The Blues [SocketSite]
A Record Setting Sale On Billionaires Row [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (19) | (email story)

October 9, 2013

Home Sales In San Francisco Appear To Be Holding Steady

Having spiked in July and then slid in August, if recorded sales activity matches what has happened with the market for properties listed on the MLS last month, expect the recorded sales volume for San Francisco homes to have held relatively steady on a year-over-year basis in September with double-digit gains month-over-month versus a typical seasonal drop.

At the same time, the inventory of listed homes for sale in San Francisco is holding steady on a year-over-year basis as well.

Posted by socketadmin at 2:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

October 7, 2013

San Francisco Housing Inventory Holding Even Year-Over-Year

Having dipped a little after Labor Day, the inventory of listed homes for sale in San Francisco is back to being even on a year-over-year basis. And for the first time in over two years, the inventory of listed single-family homes is higher year-over-year, albeit up a nominal 2 percent and about half the levels of 2010.

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

October 3, 2013

As Evictions Triple In SF, Mayor Triples Eviction Fighting Fund

With the number of Ellis Act evictions in San Francisco having more than tripled over the past three years, from 72 units in fiscal year 2011 to a projected 342 units in the current year, Mayor Ed Lee has tripled the City’s fund for free legal advice to those who are facing an eviction to $375,000 and released $700,000 in funding for eviction prevention services.

“An Ellis Act eviction is unbeatable,” [San Francisco Tenants Union executive director Ted Gullicksen] said. “The problem is they are legal, but bad law. You can’t beat them in court. You will lose in summary judgment. But it’s important to have a lawyer to represent tenants and (the money) helps with that. At it very least it can buy additional time and additional relocation money.”

The Ellis Act is the California State law which allows a landlord to clear a building of all tenants, rent controlled or not. And while an apartment which has been cleared by way of the Ellis Act cannot be re-rented for more than the amount the evicted tenant was paying for a period of five years, and an Ellis Act eviction can affect a building’s ability to condo covert, there are no such restrictions on selling the units as tenancies in common or the like.

S.F. mayor commits money to fight evictions [San Francisco Business Times]
Ellis Act Evictions in San Francisco [San Francisco Tenants Union]
Potentially Problematic Condo Conversion Legislation Approved [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (155) | (email story)

September 27, 2013

Mortgage Rates Drop To Two Month Low

FHA%20Mortgage%20Market%20Survey%209-26-13.gif

As expected, the average rate for a conforming 30-year mortgage fell 18 basis points last week to 4.32 percent, its lowest level since July and 0.26 points below the two-year high of 4.58 percent recorded last month.

The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.40 percent at this time last year having averaged 6.75 percent since 1990.

While the advertised rate for a conforming 30-year loan at Wells Fargo has fallen to 4.375 percent, their rate for a Jumbo 30-year loan of over $625,500 in San Francisco remains at 4.125 percent, unchanged from the week before.

Fed Backs Off Tapering Talk, Expect Mortgage Rates To Ease [SocketSite]
30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage at Nine Week Low [Freddie Mac]
Spike In Sales Due To, Rather Than Despite, A Spike In Rates [SocketSite]
Mortgage Rates Dip And The Discount For Borrowing More Grows [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

September 24, 2013

San Francisco's Top Tier Homes And Condos Within 6% Of Peak

While the pace of increases has continued to slow from the record setting gains recorded in April and May, single-family home and condo values in San Francisco continued to climb in July.

According to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, single-family home values in the San Francisco MSA rose 2.2% from June to July 2013. Up 24.8% year-over-year, the San Francisco Index remains 19.0% below a May 2006 peak.

For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values gained 1.8% from June to July and are up 12.3% year-over-year but remain 22.0% below a June 2006 peak.

The Southwest continues to lead the housing recovery. Las Vegas home prices are up 27.5% year-over-year; in California, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego are up 24.8%, 20.8% and 20.4% respectively. However, all remain far below their peak levels.
Since April 2013, all 20 cities are up month to month; however, the monthly rates of price gains have declined. More cities are experiencing slow gains each month than the previous month, suggesting that the rate of increase may have peaked.
Following the increase in mortgage rates beginning last May, applications for mortgages have dropped, suggesting that rising interest rates are affecting housing. The Fed’s announcement last week that QE3 bond buying will continue for the time being may have only a limited, though favorable, impact on housing.

On a month-over-month basis, prices ticked up across all three San Francisco price tiers.

S%26P%20Case-Shiller%20Tiers%207-13.gif

The bottom third (under $474,575 at the time of acquisition) gained 4.2% from June to July (up 40.0% YOY); the middle third gained 2.5% from June to July (up 28.6% YOY); and the top third (over $799,304 at the time of acquisition) gained 1.7% from June to July, up 18.8% year-over-year versus 18.1% in June.

According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA are back near April 2003 levels (40% below an August 2006 peak); the middle third is back near August 2004 levels (19% below a May 2006 peak); and the top third is back above April 2005 levels (6% below their August 2007 peak).

Condo values in the San Francisco MSA rose 2.3% from June to July 2013 and are up 29.1% year-over-year, within 6.4% of their December 2005 peak.

S%26P%20Case-Shiller%20Condos%207-13.gif

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).

Home Prices Steadily Rise in July 2013 [Standard & Poor's]
Spike In Sales Due To, Rather Than Despite, A Spike In Rates [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (8) | (email story)

September 20, 2013

Unemployment Drops In San Francisco, But Employment Drops As Well

Having ticked up to 5.9% in July, the unemployment rate in San Francisco ticked down to 5.6% in August but was driven by a loss of 2,000 people from the labor force and the number of people employed in San Francisco fell by 500 as well. The unemployment rates in Marin and San Mateo fell by 0.3 and 0.4 points respectively.

The number of employed in San Francisco now totals 457,100 which is up by 16,600 workers on a year-over-year basis but 8,400 workers below a December 2000 dot-com peak at which point the unemployment rate measured 3 percent. The unemployment rate in San Francisco peaked at 10.1 percent in January of 2010 when 49,400 fewer San Francisco residents were employed than today.

The unadjusted unemployment rate in California ticked down to 8.8% in August as the number of unemployed fell by 93,600 and employment increased by 58,900 people.

Unemployment Up In San Francisco, But Employment Up Even More [SocketSite]
San Francisco Employment Trends And Dot-Com Context [SocketSite]
Monthly Labor Force Data for Counties: August 2013 (Preliminary) [EDD]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (53) | (email story)

September 19, 2013

Mortgage Rates Dip And The Discount For Borrowing More Grows

Mortgage%20Market%20Survey%209-19-13.gif

Having ticked up to 4.57 percent last week and to within one basis point of last month's 4.58 percent rate, the highest average rate in over two years, the average rate for a conforming 30-year mortgage has ticked back down to 4.50 percent and should fall at least another ten basis points based on the Fed's move yesterday.

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate which has averaged 6.75 percent since 1990 was 3.49 percent at this time last year.

As the advertised rate for a conforming 30-year loan at Wells Fargo has ticked down to 4.50 percent, the rate for a Jumbo 30-year loan of over $625,500 in San Francisco has ticked down to 4.125 percent and the discount for a Jumbo loan has widened to 0.35 percentage points versus a historical premium for the larger non-conforming loans.

Mortgage Rates Move Lower [Freddie Mac]
Spike In Sales Due To, Rather Than Despite, A Spike In Rates [SocketSite]
Fed Backs Off Tapering Talk, Expect Mortgage Rates To Ease [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

September 18, 2013

Fed Backs Off Tapering Talk, Expect Mortgage Rates To Ease

Concerned that rising interest rates might stall the consumer spending and economic growth which the Federal Reserve engineered by driving down the cost of borrowing and incentive to save, the Fed is backing away from hints that a tapering in their bond buying program will commence before the end of the year which should cause mortgage rates to ease over the next few weeks.

Posted by socketadmin at 1:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | (email story)

September 13, 2013

Having Spiked In July, San Francisco Home Sales Slide In August

SF%20Median%20Price%2008-13.gif

Having hit a nine-year high in July with sales volume up over 31 percent on a year-over-year basis and interest rates ticking up, last month sales activity for San Francisco homes fell 10.0 percent from the month before, down 12.6 percent on a year-over-year basis to 646 recorded sales in August. Sales volume in San Francisco typically ticks up from July to August, up an average of 6.9 percent since 2004.

At the same time, the median price paid for a home in San Francisco ticked down 1.8 percent in August to $825,000 but remains up 17.9 percent year-over-year. Keep in mind that while movements in median sales price are a great measure of what's in demand and selling, they're not a great measure of actual appreciation despite what the headlines might say.

For the greater Bay Area, recorded sales volume in August fell 7.7% from July, down a nominal 0.6 percent on a year-over-year basis. The median sales price fell 3.9 percent to $540,000 but remains 31.7% higher on a year-over-year basis. Foreclosure resales and short sales made up about 15 percent of the Bay Area market last month, even with July but down from 37.8 percent at the same time last year.

As always, keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed ("sold") months prior but are just now closing escrow (or being recorded) and any properties that were sold "off market."

Bay Area August Home Sales Dip; Median Price Eases Back From July [DQNews]
Home Sales Spike In San Francisco To Nine Year High In July [SocketSite]
Spike In Sales Due To, Rather Than Despite, A Spike In Rates [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (20) | (email story)

Post-Labor Day Listing Activity Not Keeping Pace

While the inventory of listed homes for sale in San Francisco was even on a year-over-year basis for the first time in over two years at the beginning of August, the seasonal uptick in post-Labor Day listing activity isn't keeping pace and our early count puts the current inventory level at 10 percent lower than at the same time last year at which point it was 47 percent lower than the year before.

If you've seen reports of a sudden deluge of listings, understand the difference between seasonality and a systemic change in the market.

UPDATE (9/16): While our early count of the number of homes listed for sale in San Francisco was running 10 percent lower on year over year basis Friday morning, inventory levels ended up ending the week down 2 percent versus the same time last year.

Inventory levels are currently 8 percent lower for single-family homes but 3 percent higher for condos.

For The First Time In Over Two Years, Inventory Is Even In SF [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (4) | (email story)

September 11, 2013

San Francisco Home Sales Set For Double-Digit Drops

Following two months of year-over-year declines in sales volumes while inventory levels have been ticking up, homes sales in San Francisco spiked in July, a spike which was driven by, rather than despite, a spike in mortgage rates.

If recorded sales activity matches what has happened with the market for properties listed on the MLS, however, expect the recorded sales volume for San Francisco homes to have once again dropped by double digits in August, both month-over-month and year-over-year.

Home Sales Spike In San Francisco To Nine Year High In July [SocketSite]
Spike In Sales Due To, Rather Than Despite, A Spike In Rates [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (6) | (email story)

September 9, 2013

Crime Doesn't Climb In San Francisco

Crime%20Climb%20Map.jpg

Mapping the 15,000 incidents reported to the San Francisco Police Department in January and February of this year, Gordon Wintrob and Peter Reinhardt attempted to analytically answer the question: does "crime climb" in San Francisco? Or in other words, do higher elevations provide a natural barrier to crime?

Segmenting the 15,000 reported incidents based on the elevation at which they occurred, the two found that crime levels drop off sharply at higher elevations:

Crime%20Climb%20Chart.gif

From the team:

One flaw in this analysis is that it could be a byproduct of the fact that there is less land mass in the city at these higher altitudes. In other words, if 90% of the city is at an elevation less than 25m, then 90% of the crime would occur at lower altitudes, assuming an even distribution of incidents. To correct for this problem, we took a distributed sample of 10,000 locations in San Francisco and divided the number of incidents in each elevation range by the number of locations in that bucket.

When normalizing for land mass at different elevations, the trend of lower crime at higher elevations was equally as dramatic:

Crime%20Climb%20Normalized.gif

Unfortunately the duo's analysis didn't also normalize for the difference in densities at the various elevations, a correlation which tends to be rather strong.

Crime Doesn't Climb [github.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (14) | (email story)

September 5, 2013

As Mortgage Rates Tick Up, Discount For Borrowing More Grows

Mortgage%20Market%20Survey%209-5-13.gif

Having ticked down to 4.51 percent last week, the average rate for a conforming 30-year mortgage has ticked back up to 4.57 percent versus 3.55 percent at the same time last September, within one basis point of last month’s 4.58 percent rate which was the highest average rate in over two years.

As the advertised rate for a conforming 30-year loan at Wells Fargo has ticked up to 4.875 percent, the rate for a Jumbo 30-year loan of over $625,500 in San Francisco has only ticked up to 4.625 percent and the discount for a Jumbo loan has widened to 0.25 percentage points versus a historical premium for the larger non-conforming loans.

Mortgage Rates up on Signs of Stronger Economic Recovery [Freddie Mac]
Spike In Sales Due To, Rather Than Despite, A Spike In Rates [SocketSite]
Premium For Going Big Is On The Decline, Cheaper In Some Cases [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (14) | (email story)

August 30, 2013

The Top Ten Areas For New Development In San Francisco

SF%20Development%20Top%20Ten.gif

Removing the approved redevelopments of Candlestick/Hunters Point, Treasure Island, and Park Merced from the ranking, three long-term projects which represent nearly 24,000 of the 48,000 housing units in San Francisco's current development pipeline, the top ten areas being targeted for the near-term development of new housing in San Francisco are:

10. The Mission (930 new units)
9. South Central (1,210 units)
8. Western Addition (1,240 units)
7. Transbay (1,340 units)
6. East SoMa (1,480 units)
5. Mission Bay* (2,088 units)
4. Rincon Hill (2,370 units)
3. Market/Octavia (2,410 units)
2. Showplace Square/Potrero Hill (2,950 units)

And with nearly 4,000 units either under construction, approved, or proposed to be built, the number one area for new housing development in San Francisco is "Downtown" which includes Mid-Market and the Tenderloin.

*UPDATE: While the Planning Department includes the Giants' proposed Mission Rock Development as part of "South of Market, Other," we've moved it to Mission Bay and updated the table and map above.

The 48,000 San Francisco Units In The Works By Neighborhood [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | (email story)

Rising Rates Start Reeling In Pending Home Sales

The National Association of Realtors Pending Home Sales Index fell 1.3 percent in July with the greatest decline in the West which fell 4.9 percent and is down 0.4 percent on a year-over-year basis despite an increase in listed inventory levels.

At the same time, the pace of closed sales ticked up 6.5 percent in July, up 13.2 percent year-over-year in the West as the Pending Home Sales Index jumped in May alongside mortgage rates.

Repeating two of our headlines from earlier this month: Home Sales Spike In San Francisco To Nine Year High In July, and Spike In Sales Due To, Rather Than Despite, A Spike In Rates.

The average 30-year rate is currently hovering around 4.5 percent. While that's up from 3.35 percent in May (which was within four basis points of an all-time low), the 30-year fixed mortgage has averaged 6.75 percent since 1990, 8.67 percent since 1971.

Posted by socketadmin at 11:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

August 29, 2013

The 48,000 San Francisco Units In The Works By Neighborhood

Pipeline%20Q22013%20Image.jpg

Roughly 1,500 new housing units were built and hit the market in San Francisco over the past four quarters. At the same time, commercial space in the city declined by 187,000 square feet as 172,000 square feet of existing space was converted to residential use.

Today, there are nearly 4,900 more new housing units under construction in San Francisco, most of which are market rate and will hit the market over the next year, numbers which shouldn't catch any plugged-in people by surprise.

Building permits for another 4,000 units having been approved and permits for another 3,800 units have been requested, a total of nearly 8,000 more housing units on top of those already under construction and which should start hitting the market in two to four years.

Another 28,000 housing units have been approved to be built by Planning which includes 10,500 units by Candlestick, 7,800 units on Treasure Island and 5,680 units in Park-Merced, projects which still have timelines measured in decades, not years.

And with plans for an additional 7,000 housing units on the boards, San Francisco’s total Housing Pipeline currently totals over 48,000 units. For context, around 12,000 housing units have been constructed in San Francisco since 2007; 26,000 new units constructed since 2000.

With respect to the pipeline of commercial development in San Francisco: 620,000 square feet are under construction; building permits for 2,000,000 square feet have been issued; building permits for another 3,800,000 square feet have been requested; and plans for another 5,600,000 square feet of commercial development have been approved.

A breakdown of all the development in the works across San Francisco, both residential and commercial, by neighborhood (click the table to enlarge):

San Francisco Pipeline Report: Second Quarter 2013 [sf-planning.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (20) | (email story)

August 28, 2013

A Decade Of Data Points And New Peak For A Twin Peaks Home

243%20Romain.jpg

Having sold for $925,000 in 2005 and then again for $899,000 in early 2008, the touched up Twin Peaks home at 243 Romain was listed for $1,195,000 this past April.

Withdrawn from the market without a sale and relisted for $995,000 in June, and then again for $975,000 in July, the sale of 243 Romain closed escrow this past Monday with a reported contract price of $1,100,000, up a little over 20 percent on an apples-to-apples basis since 2008 (or 2005).

Having also sold for $700,000 in 2003, call it total appreciation of 57 percent or average annual appreciation of 4.5 percent over the past decade for the San Francisco home, with some ups and downs between.

Touched Up In Twin Peaks [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (7) | (email story)

August 27, 2013

San Francisco's Top Tier Homes And Condos Within 8% Of Peak

While the pace of price increases has slowed from the record setting gains in April and May, single-family home and condo values in the San Francisco MSA continued to climb in June.

According to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, single-family home prices in the San Francisco MSA rose 2.7% from May to June 2013. Up 24.5% year-over-year, the San Francisco Index remains 20.8% below a May 2006 peak.

For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values gained 2.2% from May to June and are up 11.9% year-over-year but remain 23.4% below a June 2006 peak.

The Southwest and California have consistently led the recovery with Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix and San Francisco posting at least 15 months of gains. Looking at the cities, New York recorded its highest monthly return since 2002. Atlanta was up the most at +3.4% and Washington DC had the lowest return at +1.0%. In terms of annual rates of change, San Francisco lost its leadership position with Las Vegas showing the highest post-recession gain of 24.9%.
Overall, the report shows that housing prices are rising but the pace may be slowing. Thirteen out of twenty cities saw their returns weaken from May to June. As we are in the middle of a seasonal buying period, we should expect to see the most gains. With interest rates rising to almost 4.6%, home buyers may be discouraged and sharp increases may be dampened.

On a month-over-month basis, prices ticked up across all three San Francisco price tiers.

S%26P%20Case-Shiller%20SF%20SFH%20Tiers%2006-13.gif

The bottom third (under $457,184 at the time of acquisition) gained 5.4% from May to June (up 37.6% YOY); the middle third gained 2.7% from May to June (up 28.2% YOY); and the top third (over $781,428 at the time of acquisition) gained 2.1% from May to June, up 18.1% year-over-year versus 17.2% in May.

According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA are back to September 2002 levels (43% below an August 2006 peak); the middle third is back to June 2004 levels (21% below a May 2006 peak); and the top third is back near April 2005 levels (8% below an August 2007 peak).

Condo values in the San Francisco MSA rose 3.3% from May to June 2013 and are up 28.8% year-over-year, 8.5% below a December 2005 peak.

S%26P%20Case-Shiller%20Condo%20Tiers%2006-13.gif

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).

Home Prices Continue Climbing in June [Standard & Poor's]
San Francisco Home Values Gain At Near Record Pace [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (75) | (email story)

August 22, 2013

Spike In Sales Due To, Rather Than Despite, A Spike In Rates

Mortgage%20Market%20Survey%208-22-13.gif

Commenting on the second-highest level of sales for previously owned U.S. homes in more than six years last month, a former senior vice president at Fannie Mae notes:

It’s not unusual, when you see a spike in mortgage rates, to see a couple months later a spike in closed sales. People saw the beginning of the trend and accelerated their pattern of buying. In all likelihood, within a month or two, you're likely to see the pace of sales slow.

It was at the beginning of June we first noted the average 30-year rate had ticked up to over 4 percent for the first time since 2011, up from an all-time low of 3.31 percent this past November and 3.35 percent this past May. And in July, homes sales in San Francisco spiked to a nine-year high.

As of today, the average 30-year rate is hovering around 4.6 percent, up from 4.4 percent the week before. The rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage has averaged 6.75 percent since 1990, 8.67 percent since 1971.

Sales of U.S. Existing Homes Rise to Highest Since 2009 [Bloomberg]
Fixed Mortgage Rates Tick Up To Near Two-Year High [SocketSite]
Home Sales Spike In San Francisco To Nine Year High In July [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (4) | (email story)

August 21, 2013

Sierra Club Files Suit Challenging Bay Area Growth Plan

The Sierra Club along with Earthjustice and Communities for a Better Environment have filed a third lawsuit in opposition to Plan Bay Area, the approved framework for building 660,000 new housing units across the Bay Area by 2040.

While "Bay Area Citizens" fear the plan calls for too much building, the Building Industry Association believes the plan calls for too little, and the Sierra Club is concerned about the environmental impacts of the plan regardless.

From the press release for the latest lawsuit: "The Plan does not spend enough on public transportation, and instead invests in building new highways. The current Plan will result in more time on the roads and increased greenhouse gas emissions. The Plan also fails to protect West Oakland and other vulnerable communities from the health effects of cars, trucks, ships and rail that pass through their communities."

Bay Area Plan To Support 2 Million More People Up For Vote [SocketSite]
Builders Follow Citizens' Suit, Challenge Plan For Bay Area Growth [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (14) | (email story)

August 20, 2013

San Francisco Luxury Home Index Within Reach Of 2007 Peak

Prestige%20Index%20SF%20Q22013.gif

The First Republic Prestige Home Index for "San Francisco" homes valued at more than $1 million and currently averaging $2.96 million ticked up 5.0 percent in the second quarter of 2013 and is up 10.9 percent on a year-over-year basis.

The luxury home index is now within 4 percent of its third quarter of 2007 peak and is up 18.9 percent from the current cycle bottom which occurred in the first quarter of 2011.

Over the past year, roughly 25 percent of all home sales in San Francisco proper have been above the million dollar mark.

As always, keep in mind that First Republic's "San Francisco" index includes "a cross-section of luxury homes in Alamo, Atherton, Belvedere, Danville, Healdsburg, Hillsborough, Lafayette, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Mill Valley, Moraga, Orinda, Palo Alto, Piedmont, Portola Valley, Ross, St. Helena, San Francisco, Saratoga, Sonoma, Tiburon and Woodside."

First Republic Prestige Home Index: San Francisco [firstrepublic.com]
San Francisco Prestige Index Closing In On 2008 Levels [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

August 19, 2013

Builders Follow Citizens' Suit, Challenge Plan For Bay Area Growth

BIA%20Plan%20Bay%20Area%20Suit.gif

Earlier this month, a citizens group calling themselves "Bay Area Citizens" filed a lawsuit in Alameda County Superior Court challenging the approved Plan Bay Area which calls for up to 660,000 new housing units to be built around the Bay Area over the next thirty years, 92,480 of which would be built in San Francisco alone, double San Francisco's current pipeline of development.

The underlying concern of the Citizens: the impact on their property values.

This past Friday, the Building Industry Association of the Bay Area literally followed suit and filed a lawsuit of their own in Superior Court, charging that Plan Bay Area "illegally locks future workers out of the Bay Area housing market and relies on hundreds of thousands more commuters driving long distances from outside the region to get to work."

According to the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) conducted by the agencies themselves, Plan Bay Area would result in a massive increase in the number of Bay Area workers who would commute long distances by freeway. In fact, the FEIR shows that by 2040, Plan Bay Area will result in 40,000 more individual inbound trips a day (14.6 million each year) than an alternative approach also studied in the FEIR that plans for more housing in the region.
The primary contributor, the FEIR shows, was the series of decisions by regional planners at [the Association of Bay Area Governments and Metropolitan Transportation Commission] to artificially reduce the total number of new housing units provided for under Plan Bay Area—which started out at 902,000 but was ratcheted down to 660,000 in the final version.

It's not exactly an altruistic challenge, however, as the Building Industry Association is angling for the adopted plan to be dismissed and a competing plan that provides for the construction of 770,000 new housing units be adopted instead.

Bay Area Plan To Support 2 Million More People Up For Vote [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (27) | (email story)

San Francisco Foreclosures On Track For 80 Percent Drop

As we first reported this past December, with over 500 homes foreclosed upon in San Francisco last year, 2012 was actually the high-water mark for homes being taken back by the bank, up 27 percent from 2011. But with a decline in San Francisco's pre-foreclosure pipeline, we expected foreclosure activity to dry up in 2013.

Pre-foreclosure activity in San Francisco has since fallen 50 percent, from 286 properties at the end of December to 140 today, 38 percent of which are in District 10*. On a year-over-year basis, pre-foreclosure activity is down 63 percent with 378 properties in the foreclosure pipeline at the same time last year, 33 percent of which were in District 10.

The number of properties currently scheduled for auction in San Francisco has dropped 52 percent since the end of 2012, from 332 to 158 (42 percent of which are in District 10 versus 39 percent at the end of 2012), down from 591 a year ago (at which point 42 percent were in District 10).

Keep in mind that roughly 69 percent of scheduled foreclosure auctions in San Francisco were cancelled in 2012, down one point from a 70 percent cancellation rate in 2011 and versus a 66 percent rate in 2010, a 55 percent rate in 2009, a 53 percent rate in 2008, and a 49 percent cancellation rate in 2007.

And if our forecast is correct, there will be fewer than 100 San Francisco homes actually foreclosed upon in 2013, down eighty percent from last year and fewer than in 2007.

*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.

Foreclosures In San Francisco Peaked In 2012, Set To Fall In 2013 [SocketSite]
San Francisco Foreclosure Trends And 2011 Retrospective [SocketSite]
San Francisco Foreclosure Activity Climbs Outside Of District 10 [SocketSite]
San Francisco Association Of Realtors New Neighborhood Map [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

August 16, 2013

Unemployment Up In San Francisco, But Employment Up Even More

Having ticked up to 5.7% in June, the unemployment rate in San Francisco ticked up another 0.2 points to 5.9% in July as the number of unemployed in San Francisco increased by 1,100 to 28,800. The unemployment rate in Marin and San Mateo increased last month as well, up 0.2 and 0.3 points to 5.3% and 5.7% respectively.

While the ranks of the unemployed ticked up, however, the number of employed in San Francisco ticked up even more, increasing 2,100 to 456,600 as the total labor force increased by 3,200 to 486,400.

Employment in San Francisco is currently up by 17,300 workers on a year-over-year basis and is now only 7,900 workers below a December 2000 dot-com peak at which point the unemployment rate measured 3 percent. The unemployment rate in San Francisco peaked at 10.1 percent in January of 2010 when 49,900 fewer San Francisco residents were employed than today.

The unadjusted unemployment rate in California ticked up to 9.3% in July as the number of employed fell by 92,400 and the number of unemployed increased by 89,600.

SF Employment Slips In June To 10,000 Workers Below Peak [SocketSite]
San Francisco Employment Trends And Dot-Com Context [SocketSite]
Monthly Labor Force Data for Counties: July 2013 (Preliminary) [EDD]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

Home Sales Spike In San Francisco To Nine Year High In July

San Francisco Median Price: July 2013 (www.SocketSite.com)

Having hit a record $883,000 in June, the median price paid for a home in San Francisco slipped 4.9 percent to $840,000 in July, up 17.6 percent year-over-year. Keep in mind that while movements in median sales price are a great measure of what's in demand and selling, they're not a great measure of actual appreciation despite what many headlines might say.

While the median sales price slipped in San Francisco, the recorded sale volume spiked in July, jumping 43.6 percent from 500 sales in June to 718 in July, up 31.3 percent year-over-year and the highest July sales count since 2004. The July sales volume in San Francisco has averaged 550 sales since 2004.

The inventory level of single-family homes and condos for sale in San Francisco has ticked up over the past month as well and is even on a year-over-year basis for the first time in two years.

For the greater Bay Area, recorded sales volume in July was up 13.3% on a year-over-year basis, up 18.3% from June while the median sales price rose 1.3 percent to $562,000, up 33.5% year-over-year. Foreclosure resales and short sales made up about 15 percent of the Bay Area market last month, down from 18 percent in June and 38.9 percent a year ago.

As always, keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed ("sold") months prior but are just now closing escrow (or being recorded) and any properties that were sold "off market."

Bay Area Posts Highest July Home Sales in Eight Years [DQNews]
Another Record In San Francisco And Sales Volume Decline [SocketSite]
For The First Time In Over Two Years, Inventory Is Even In SF [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

Bank-Owned A Block From Dolores Park

152%20Hancock%20Street.jpg

Purchased for $1,150,000 in 2005 with 25 percent down, in January of 2012 the three unit property at 152 Hancock Street was taken back by the bank with no bidders at $850,000 in cash on the courthouse steps.

With two of the three one-bedroom units currently occupied and the building in need of a bit of work, the bank-owned building a block from Dolores Park is now back on the market and listed for $1,100,000.

Our countdown to the "contemporization" of 152 Hancock has begun. And we're not simply referring to its facade.

∙ Listing: 152 Hancock Street - $1,100,000 [Redfin]
Eureka Valley Contemporized [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (9) | (email story)

August 9, 2013

For The First Time In Over Two Years, Inventory Is Even In SF

Make no mistake, the number of single-family homes and condos which are currently listed for sale in San Francisco (570) is still roughly half the number which were on the market at this time of the year back in 2007 (1,190), a number which increased by another thirty percent by 2010 (1,600) and then started to drop in 2011 as the typical turnover of homes and the supply of new listings was upended by an inability to sell for more than had been paid.

At this time last year, however, there were roughly 570 homes on the market in San Francisco, which means that while inventory is still a third of what it was at its peak, it's now even on a year-over-year basis for the first time in over two years.

On an absolute basis, the supply of homes for sale in San Francisco typically spikes in September, peaks in October and then drops through the end of the year.

Posted by socketadmin at 4:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (11) | (email story)

August 8, 2013

The State Of San Francisco's Downtown: Housing, Jobs, Parking

San%20Francisco%20Downtown%20Zone.gif

Of the roughly 1,300 new housing units which were built in San Francisco last year, up from only 269 the year before, 900 were within the greater Downtown area. There are now 1,750 units under construction in San Francisco's Downtown with another 567 permitted or approved to be built.

While overall employment in San Francisco increased 4% last year, it was actually flat Downtown with a slight loss in the number of office jobs offset by an increase in retail. Expect the count of Downtown office jobs to jump by the end of 2013, driven by a push to Mid-Market.

And in terms of parking, at the end of 2012 there were 33,400 off-street parking spaces Downtown, no change from 2011 and roughly 20% of the 166,520 spaces citywide. The city has a stated goal of limiting the number of off-street parking spaces to the number that existed in 1984 by restricting the supply of spaces within any new development.

The Planning Department's full Monitoring Report for San Francisco's Downtown will be presented to San Francisco's Planning Commission this afternoon.

Posted by socketadmin at 3:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (30) | (email story)

East Bay Building Boom And Outlook For Rents

Last year, roughly 800 new rental units popped up in and around Oakland. And by the end of 2013, another 2,100 new units will have been constructed in the East Bay.

Despite increasing demand, the new construction is expected to help slow the nearly 7 percent increase in rents last year, with Marcus & Millichap expecting East Bay rents to end the year up a little over 3 percent in 2013.

Rents for apartments in large buildings in Oakland proper are up closer to 11 percent since the second quarter of 2012 and now average just over $2,000 a month.

Posted by socketadmin at 7:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (5) | (email story)

August 7, 2013

Unreal Expectations For Castro Street Corner Of Condos

With approved designs for 24 condos to be built at 376 Castro Street now in hand, the owner of the gas station site is trying to sell the parcel for $12,000,000, not including the cost of construction, a whopping $500,000 per door (industry speak for potential unit).

Keep in mind that the average cost per door for entitled land deals of this size in San Francisco is currently running around $150,000. And while that's up from closer to $50,000 per door in 2010, it's still a long way from $500,000 which would be quite a record and could spell trouble for those hoping for a quick development of the corner.

That being said, according to the listing on craigslist, "financing for 12,000,000 may be available depending on down payment & credit," so there's that.

The Refined Designs For A Prime Market And Castro Street Corner [SocketSite]

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

The Actual Appreciation For A Single-Family San Francisco Home

14%20Ventura%20Avenue.jpg

Two months ago, the already remodeled and nicely kept single-family Forrest Hill home at 14 Ventura Avenue hit the market listed for $1,495,000 having been purchased for $1,680,000 in May of 2012, a year-over-year and "apples-to-apples" sale in the making.

As we noted at the time, since May of 2012 the oft-quoted "median price" for single-family homes in San Francisco has increased 36 percent while the median price in Forrest Hill’s District 4 is up nearly 32 percent, changes which are frequently misreported as representing changes in values.

Last week, the sale of 14 Ventura Avenue closed escrow with a reported contract price of $1,950,000, up 16 percent on an apples-to-apples basis since May of 2012, a little less than half the movement of the median.

And yes, having been listed for less than its 2012 purchase price, the sale was amazingly "over asking" and attracted a fair amount of attention, as the listing was designed to do.

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (8) | (email story)

August 6, 2013

San Francisco Tops Silicon Valley In VC Investment

Two great maps (click to enlarge) and top ten lists from the Atlantic Cities (Why San Francisco May Be the New Silicon Valley) with respect to where the venture dollars are flowing and the deals are getting done across the Bay Area.

The city of San Francisco is the leader with $4.39 billion in venture capital investment, roughly a third of the Bay Area total. This is by far the largest amount of venture investment of any jurisdiction in the region, and a whopping 16 percent of total venture investment nationally. Palo Alto is a distant second with $1.29 billion (4.8 percent of the national total), followed by Redwood City ($1.06 billion), Mountain View ($918 million), Sunnyvale ($800 million), Santa Clara ($733 million), and San Jose ($688 million).
Investment has also begun to spread up and down the Peninsula, filling in the cities that stretch between San Jose and San Francisco proper. And, within the Bay Area broadly, according to these zip code level data, the San Francisco metro attracted nearly 70 percent more venture capital ($8.5 billion) than the Silicon Valley region ($5 billion).

The top ten zip codes into which the venture dollars flowed in 2011, with San Francisco's 94107 (Potrero Hill, South Beach, South Park) atop the list:

1. 94107 (Potrero Hill, South Beach, South Park) San Francisco - $1,885.8M
2. 94105 (Rincon Hill, Embarcadero South) San Francisco - $693M
3. 94043 (Suburban Mountain View, including Google headquarters) Mountain View - $660.5M
4. 94063 (Centennial, Stambaugh Heller, Redwood Village, Friendly Acres) Redwood City -$575.2M
5. 94103 (South of Market) San Francisco - $554.6M
6. 95054 (Suburban Santa Clara, north) Santa Clara - $548.3M
7. 94065 (Redwood Shores) Redwood City - $433.5M
8. 94301 (Crescent Park, University South, Old Palo Alto) Palo Alto - $412.7M
9. 94085 (North-central Sunnyvale) Sunnyvale - $389.7M
10. 94089 (North Sunnyvale, including Lakewood, Lockheed Martin HQ) Sunnyvale - $378.2M

The Bay Area attracted $13.5 billion in venture investment in 2011, "more than four times that of greater Boston or greater New York, the nation's second and third largest centers for venture capital investment." Have we mentioned that the number of employed in San Francisco has grown by 47,800 since the beginning of 2010 and is closing in on a December 2000 dot-com peak?

Why San Francisco May Be the New Silicon Valley [theatlanticcities.com]
SF Employment Slips In June To 10,000 Workers Below Peak [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (31) | (email story)

August 2, 2013

Forecast For San Francisco Rents: Plateau, Flatline And Dip

The current vacancy rate for apartments in San Francisco is holding at under 4 percent, driven by a backlog in development while employment in the City has jumped, leading to an expected spike in rents.

As plugged-in people know, a wave of new units are on the way with over 800 new units delivered last quarter and another 6,000 to be delivered over the next two years.

Noting the pipeline of new development and income growth which hasn't kept pace with the increase in rents, Cassidy Turley is expecting rental rates in San Francisco to plateau over the next couple of months, flatline in early 2014, and then dip a bit, but not by much.

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (15) | (email story)

August 1, 2013

Average Rent For A Studio In San Francisco: Over $2,300 A Month

The average rent for a studio in San Francisco is now $2,312 a month, up 8.7 percent year over year according to the latest report from Cassidy Turley.

The average rent for a San Francisco apartment in general is $2,899 a month, up 3.4 percent from the first quarter of 2013 and 6 percent higher year-over-year, with one-bedrooms averaging $2,782 a month and two-bedrooms with two baths up to $3,791.

Posted by socketadmin at 2:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (125) | (email story)

Mortgage Rates Seesaw On Parsed Words, Tick Back Up This Week

Having ticked down to 4.31 percent from 4.51 percent three weeks ago, the average rate for a conforming 30-year mortgage ticked back up to 4.39 percent last week as rates seesaw on parsed words and speculation as to when the Fed will end their commitment to the bond buying program which was engineered to keep rates low.

At the same time, while the advertised rate for a conforming 30-year loan at Wells Fargo has ticked back down to 4.5 percent, the rate for a Jumbo 30-year loan of over $625,500 in San Francisco has dropped to 4.375 percent, maintaining a discount of 0.125 percentage points versus a historical premium for the non-conforming larger loans.

It's Cheaper To Borrow More, Not Less, This Week [SocketSite]
Mortgage Rates Seesaw [Freddie Mac]
Premium For Going Big Is On The Decline, Cheaper In Some Cases [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

July 30, 2013

San Francisco Home Values Gain At Near Record Pace

On the heels of record setting gains in April, home and condo values in San Francisco continued to rise in May. According to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, single-family home prices in the San Francisco MSA rose 4.3% from April to May 2013. Up 24.5% year-over-year, the San Francisco Index remains 22.9% below a May 2006 peak.

For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values gained 2.5% from April to May and are up 11.8% year-over-year but remain 25.0% below a June 2006 peak.

Two cities set new highs, surpassing their pre-crisis levels and five cities – Atlanta, Chicago, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle – posted monthly gains of over three percent, also a first time event.
The Southwest and the West saw the strongest year-over-year gains as San Francisco home prices rose 24.5% followed by Las Vegas (+23.3%) and Phoenix (+20.6%). New York (+3.3%), Cleveland (+3.4%) and Washington DC (+6.5%) were the weakest.
Monthly numbers before seasonal adjustment showed all 20 cities experienced rising prices. San Francisco (+4.3%), Chicago (+3.7%) and Atlanta (+3.4%) were the leaders. However, two cities – Cleveland and Minneapolis were down slightly after seasonal adjustment.

On a month-over-month basis, prices jumped across all three San Francisco price tiers.

S%26P%20Case-Shiller%20Condo%20Tiers%2005-13.gif

The bottom third (under $438,712 at the time of acquisition) gained 5.1% from April to May (up 33.6% YOY); the middle third gained 4.2% from April to May (up 27.2% YOY); and the top third (over $760,236 at the time of acquisition) gained 3.7% from April to May, up 17.2% year-over-year versus 16.4% in April.

According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA are back above May 2002 levels (46% below an August 2006 peak); the middle third is back near May 2004 levels (23% below a May 2006 peak); and the top third is back to March 2005 levels (10% below an August 2007 peak).

Condo values in the San Francisco MSA rose 3.1% from April to May 2013 and are up 27.6% year-over-year but remain 11.4% below a December 2005 peak.

S%26P%20Case-Shiller%20Condo%20Tiers%2005-13%202.gif

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).

Home Prices Continue to Increase in May [Standard & Poor's]
San Francisco Posts Record Monthly Home Price Gain [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (38) | (email story)

San Francisco Rents Climb In Second Quarter, Cross $2K In Oakland

Having ticked up a few dollars from $2,741 in the fourth quarter of 2012 to $2,790 in the first quarter of 2013, the average apartment rent in San Francisco jumped 5.8 percent to $2,952 in the second quarter, up 8 percent year-over-year according to RealFacts.

Over in Oakland, the average monthly rent is up 10.8 percent year-over-year to $2,033 per month while down in San Jose it's now $1,989, up 9.9 percent on a year-over-year basis.

Keep in mind that RealFacts’ figures are based on surveys of professionally managed apartment complexes with 50 or more units (which aren't necessarily the norm in San Francisco) and reflect asking rather than effective rents after incentives.

San Francisco Rents Reverse Fourth Quarter Dip, Jump In Oakland [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (13) | (email story)

July 22, 2013

Existing U.S. Home Sales Slip In June While Inventory Ticks Up

The pace of seasonally adjusted existing-home sales in the U.S. fell 1.2 percent from a downwardly revised pace of 5.14 million in May to a 5.08 million pace in June but remains 15.2 percent above the 4.41 million unit pace recorded in June 2012.

Total housing inventory at the end of March increased 1.9 percent to 2.19 million existing homes actively on the market, a 5.2 month supply and up from a 5.0 month supply in May but versus a 6.4 month supply in June 2012. On a national level, around six months of inventory has historically been considered to be a "balanced" market.

The median sale price for existing-homes was up 3.0 percent in June from $208,000 to $214,200, up 13.5 percent year-over-year versus 11.6 percent in May as distressed sales accounted for 15 percent of sales volume, down from 18 percent in May and 26 percent in June 2012.

Existing-home sales in the west fell 1.6 percent from May to June but remain up 11.0 percent on a year-over-year basis with a median sales price that's 19.9 percent higher on a year-over-year basis.

June Existing-Home Sales Slip; Prices Up [realtor.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

Now Hear This: A Plan For Muni To Keep Pace With San Francisco?

Muni%20Map.gif

On the agenda for San Francisco’s Land Use and Economic Development Committee this afternoon, a hearing to discuss the City’s plan "to ensure transit service keeps pace with current and future development."

"In light of significant planned development, population growth, and job growth, as well as Muni’s current lack of sufficient, reliable service capacity," the Mayor’s Office, Planning Department, Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA), Transportation Authority, Office of Economic and Workforce Development, the Office of the Controller, and the Port of San Francisco will be asked to discuss "what increase in service levels are needed, how the increase will occur, and how it will be paid for on an ongoing basis to accommodate growth projections."

We'll let you know what the departments say.

The 43,580 New Units In San Francisco's Current Housing Pipeline [SocketSite]
Bay Area Plan To Support 2 Million More People Up For Vote [SocketSite]
Closing In On Peak Employment In San Francisco [SocketSite]
The Plan To Make Muni More Convenient, Reliable, And Attractive [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (45) | (email story)

July 19, 2013

SF Employment Slips In June To 10,000 Workers Below Peak

Having fallen to 5.2% in May, the lowest rate since June of 2008, the unemployment rate in San Francisco reversed course and ticked up 0.5 points to 5.7% in June as the number of employed San Francisco residents fell by 1,600 to 455,500 and the number of unemployed increased by 2,500 to 27,700. The unemployment rate in Marin and San Mateo increased last month as well, up 0.6 and 0.5 points to 5.1% and 5.4% respectively.

Employment in San Francisco is currently up by 19,800 workers on a year-over-year basis versus 22,100 in May, 10,000 workers below a December 2000 dot-com peak at which point the unemployment rate measured 3 percent. The unemployment rate in San Francisco peaked at 10.1 percent in January of 2010 when 47,800 fewer San Francisco residents were employed than today.

The unadjusted unemployment rate in California ticked up to 8.8% in June as the number of employed fell by 41,200 and the number of unemployed increased by 143,500.

Closing In On Peak Employment In San Francisco [SocketSite]
San Francisco Employment Trends And Dot-Com Context [SocketSite]
Monthly Labor Force Data for Counties: June 2013 (Preliminary) [EDD]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

July 18, 2013

Another Record In San Francisco And Sales Volume Decline

San Francisco Median Price: June 2013 (www.SocketSite.com)

Having hit a record $870,000 in May, the median price paid for a home in San Francisco ticked up 1.5 percent to $883,000 in June, up 23.8 percent year-over-year. As always, keep in mind that movement in the median sales price is a great measure of the market’s appetite and what’s in demand, but it’s not a great measure of actual appreciation despite what some headlines might say.

The recorded sale volume of homes in San Francisco continued to drop, however, falling 5.7 percent from May to 500 sales in June, down 24.7 percent year-over-year. The June sales volume in San Francisco has averaged 630 sales since 2004.

At the same time, the inventory level of single-family homes and condos for sale in San Francisco has ticked up over the past month (i.e., the supply of new listings is meeting the sales demand) and is down less than 10 percent year-over-year (i.e., a lack of inventory isn't to blame for the sales decline).

For the greater Bay Area, recorded sales volume in June was down 9.4% on a year-over-year basis, down 7.5% from May while the recorded median sales price rose 6.9 percent to $555,000, up 33.1% year-over-year.

Foreclosure resales and short sales made up about 18 percent of the Bay Area market in June, down from 21 percent in May and 40.5 percent a year ago.

As always, keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed ("sold") months prior but are just now closing escrow (or being recorded) and any properties that were sold "off market."

Record Annual Gain for Bay Area Median As Sales Dip [DQNews]
San Francisco Records A Record Median Home Price In May [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (24) | (email story)

July 17, 2013

Is Caltrain At Risk Of Being Derailed Next Year?

Caltrain%20Weekday%20Ridership.jpg

Speaking of public transportation needed to support the projected growth in Bay Area population and employment over the next 30 years, Caltrain ridership is at an all-time high and some rush hour trains are standing room only.

At the same time, while revenue from riders is also at an all-time high and the electrification of Caltrain is expected to substantially reduce operating costs starting in 2019, ridership revenue only covers half of Caltrain's current operating budget and the "one-time" source of funds from Caltrain's three operating partners (SamTrans, the Santa Clara VTA, and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency) is set to run out at the end of the 2013 fiscal year.

Next week, SamTrans will ask San Mateo's Supervisors for a share of the sales tax increase approved by San Mateo voters last November, funds which could be used to help fund Caltrain, a ballot measure is being considered in San Francisco.

Bay Area Plan To Support 2 Million More People Up For Vote [SocketSite]
Electrifying Mission Bay And Transbay Transit Center News [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (31) | (email story)

Bay Area Plan To Support 2 Million More People Up For Vote

Plan%20Bay%20Area%20Housing.gif

The Bay Area transportation, land-use and housing plan which is based on an expected increase in Bay Area population from roughly 7 million to 9 million people over the next 30 years is up for adoption by the Association of Bay Area Governments and Metropolitan Transportation Commission tomorrow evening.

In order to support another 2 million Bay Area residents by 2040, Plan Bay Area calls for 660,000 new housing units to be built around the Bay. And with the population of San Francisco projected to hit nearly 1.1 million, adding over 200,000 new residents and 190,000 new jobs, the plan calls for 92,480 new housing units in San Francisco alone, double San Francisco’s current housing pipeline.

Atop the table for new Bay Area housing to be built, the plan calls for 129,280 new housing units in San Jose and 51,450 new units in Oakland. The greatest percentage growth is forecast for Milpitas with 12,620 new housing units, an increase of over 60 percent.

And atop the table of projects to support the Bay Area's growth in population and employment, the $8 billion extension of BART to Fremont, Santa Clara, and San Jose.

Plan%20Bay%20Area%20Jobs.gif

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (23) | (email story)

July 11, 2013

It's Cheaper To Borrow More, Not Less, This Week

Having ticked down to 4.29 percent at the begining of July, last week the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage ticked up to 4.51 percent for conforming loans on speculation that the Federal Reserve will reduce future bond purchases following June's strong employment report.

That being said, while the majority of the Federal Open Market Committee participants have shown support for ending the Feds bond buying program by the end of the year, yesterday Ben Bernanke reiterated his commitment to the program which was engineered to keep rates low "for the foreseeable future."

Meanwhile, while the advertised rate for a conforming 30-year loan at Wells Fargo has ticked up from 4.5 to 4.625 percent over the past week, the rate for a Jumbo 30-year loan of over $625,500 in San Francisco is still 4.5 percent as of this morning, a discount of 0.125 percentage points to the rate for smaller conforming loans versus a historical premium.

14 Percent Raise Needed To Keep Pace As Mortgage Rates Rise [SocketSite]
Mortgage Rates Continue Trending Higher [Freddie Mac]
Premium For Going Big Is On The Decline, Cheaper In Some Cases [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

July 3, 2013

Premium For Going Big Is On The Decline, Cheaper In Some Cases

Having jumped to 4.46 percent last week, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage has ticked down to 4.29 percent for conforming loans, up from 3.62 percent at the begining of July last year.

At the same time, the premium for jumbo loans of over $625,500 in San Francisco has ticked down to a six-year low, an average of only 0.16 percentage points over conforming rates as deposit-rich banks seek returns on their capital and suppress rates to compete for wealthy customers.

In fact, Wells Fargo is advertising a 4.5 percent rate for both conforming and Jumbo 30-year fixed mortgages as of this morning, a discount to the 4.625 percent rate they’re advertising for super conforming loans of over $417,000 in high cost areas like San Francisco.

14 Percent Raise Needed To Keep Pace As Mortgage Rates Rise [SocketSite]
Mortgage Rates Reverse Course and Tick Down [Freddie Mac]
Wealthy Americans Benefit From Banks Hunting Jumbos [Bloomberg]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (5) | (email story)

July 2, 2013

14 Percent Raise Needed To Keep Pace As Mortgage Rates Rise

Mortgage%20Market%20Survey%206-27-13.gif

As we first noted two weeks ago, while the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate had eased a few basis points to 3.93 percent, the yield on the 10-year treasury and 30-year mortgage bonds were quickly ticking up in reaction to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s remarks concerning a tapering of the Fed’s Quantitative Easing program.

Over the next week, the average 30-year mortgage rate jumped to 4.46 percent, up from 3.35 percent at the beginning of May.

With 20 percent down, the average mortgage payment for a median priced home purchase in San Francisco, which was $870,000 in May, would be $3,510 per month at last week's rates versus $3,067 at the rates of two months ago.

At 3.35 percent, an income of roughly $140,000 would have been needed to qualify for a $700,000 loan (an $870,000 purchase). At 4.46 percent, it’s closer $160,000 a year. At 5 percent, it’s $170,000 per year. And at 6 percent, call it roughly $190,000.

Looking at it another way, a monthly budget of $3,000 a month which would have covered the payments on a $680,000 mortgage two months ago would now cover the payments on a mortgage for just under $600,000, a drop from $850,000 to $750,000 in purchase price assuming 20 percent down.

Keep in mind that since 1990 the rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage has averaged 6.75 percent, 8.67 percent since 1971. The income needed to qualify for a $700,000 loan at 8.67 percent? That would be around $240,000 a year.

Uneasy Expectations For Higher Mortgage Rates [SocketSite]
Mortgage Rates Roiling From Taper Talk [Freddie Mac]

Posted by socketadmin at 5:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (13) | (email story)

June 28, 2013

Those Amazing Medians Versus An Actual San Francisco Home

14%20Ventura%20Avenue.jpg

Having been listed for $1,495,000, the remodeled single-family Forest Hill home at 14 Ventura Avenue was purchased for $1,680,000 a year ago. Since then, the oft-quoted "median price" for single-family homes in San Francisco has increased 36 percent! The median price in Forrest Hill’s District 4 is up nearly 32 percent.

Today, the four-bedroom home at 14 Ventura returned to the market listed for $1,650,000, two percent under its sale price in May of 2012. Did we mention that the average single-family home in San Francisco sold for "over asking" last month at 108 percent of list price? Go figure.

Posted by socketadmin at 2:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (12) | (email story)

June 25, 2013

San Francisco Posts Record Monthly Home Price Gain

San Francisco home and condo values continue to build upon their big first quarter gains. According to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, single-family home prices in the San Francisco MSA rose 4.9% from March to April 2013. Up 24.0% year-over-year, the San Francisco Index remains 26.1% below a May 2006 peak.

For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values gained 2.6% from March to April, up 11.6% year-over-year, 26.8% below a June 2006 peak.

"The 10- and 20-City Composites posted their highest monthly gains in the history of S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices," says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. "Thirteen cities posted monthly increases of over two percentage points, with San Francisco leading at 4.9%.
"The recovery is definitely broad based. The two Composites showed the largest year-over-year gains in seven years. Atlanta, Las Vegas, Phoenix and San Francisco posted year-over-year gains of over 20% in April. San Francisco was the highest at 23.9%. Phoenix posted 12 consecutive months of double-digit growth. Recent economic data on home sales and inventories confirm the housing recovery’s strength."
"Last week’s comments from the Fed and the resulting sharp increase in Treasury yields sparked fears that rising mortgage rates will damage the housing rebound. Home buyers have survived rising mortgage rates in the past, often by shifting from fixed rate to adjustable rate loans. In the housing boom, bust and recovery, banks’ credit quality standards were more important than the level of mortgage rates. The most recent Fed Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey shows that some banks are easing credit restrictions. Given this, the recovery should continue."

On a month-over-month basis, prices jumped across all three San Francisco price tiers.

S%26P%20Case-Shiller%20SF%20SFH%20Tiers%2004-13.gif

The bottom third (under $417,633 at the time of acquisition) gained 4.9% from March to April (up 30.2% YOY); the middle third gained 4.0% from March to April (up 25.9% YOY); and the top third (over $728,831 at the time of acquisition) gained 4.3% from March to April, up 16.4% year-over-year versus up 15.1% in March.

According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA are back above April 2002 levels (48% below an August 2006 peak); the middle third is back to March 2004 levels (26% below a May 2006 peak); and the top third is back to February 2005 levels, 13% below an August 2007 peak.

Condo values in the San Francisco MSA jumped 5.1% from March to April 2013 and are up 28.0% year-over-year, 14.0% below their December 2005 peak.

S%26P%20Case-Shiller%20Condo%20Tiers%2004-13.gif

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).

Home Prices Set Record Monthly Rise in April 2013 [Standard & Poor's]
San Francisco House And Condo Prices Soar In First Quarter [SocketSite]
Uneasy Expectations For Higher Mortgage Rates [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (66) | (email story)

June 21, 2013

Closing In On Peak Employment In San Francisco

Having fallen to 5.4% in April, the lowest rate since June of 2008, the unemployment rate in San Francisco fell another 0.2 points to 5.2% in May as the number of employed San Francisco residents increased by 1,200 to 455,900 and the number of unemployed fell by 600 to 25,200. The unemployment rate in Marin and San Mateo fell to 4.5% and 4.9% respectively.

The unemployment rate in San Francisco peaked at 10.1 percent in January of 2010 when 49,400 fewer San Francisco residents were employed than today.

Employment in San Francisco is currently up by 22,100 workers on a year-over-year basis versus 20,900 the month before but remains 8,400 workers below a December 2000 dot-com peak at which point the unemployment rate measured 3 percent.

The unadjusted unemployment rate in California fell to 8.1% in May as the number of employed increased by 136,300 and the number of unemployed fell by 68,600.

Nearly 50,000 More Employed In San Francisco Since 2010 [SocketSite]
San Francisco Employment Trends And Dot-Com Context [SocketSite]
Monthly Labor Force Data for Counties: May 2013 (Preliminary) [EDD]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (14) | (email story)

June 20, 2013

Uneasy Expectations For Higher Mortgage Rates

Mortgage%20Market%20Survey%206-20-13.gif

Having ticked up to 3.98 percent last week, the average rate for a 30-year mortgage had eased to 3.93 percent as of this morning but with an extra 0.1 points at origination (up from 0.7 to 0.8).

Over the past two days, however, the yield on the 10-year treasury has ticked up .24 percentage points and the yield on 30-year mortgage bonds has increased by .38 points, a reaction to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s remarks concerning a tapering of the Fed’s Quantitative Easing program.

Last year at this time, the rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage averaged 3.66 percent. Since 1990, the rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage has averaged 6.75 percent, 8.67 percent since 1971.

Fixed Mortgage Rates Tick Up To Near Two-Year High [SocketSite]
Mortgage Rates Ease Slightly [Freddiemac]
What’s The Treasury Got To Do With It? (Quite A Bit) [SocketSite]

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June 13, 2013

San Francisco Records A Record Median Home Price In May

San Francisco Median Price: May 2013 (www.SocketSite.com)

The median price paid for a home in San Francisco measured a record $870,000 in May, up 24.1 percent year-over-year, 6.7 percent month-over-month. Keep in mind that a change in median price is a great measure of how the market's appetite is changing and what people are buying, but it’s not a great measure of actual appreciation.

In terms of the sales volume for homes in San Francisco, according to DataQuick’s latest news release, a total of 530 properties changed hands in May, down 14 percent on both a year-over-year and month-over-month basis. That being said, we’re skeptical of DataQuick’s reported numbers for last May and peg the year-over-year sales decline at closer to 6 percent. An average of just over 600 homes have sold each May since 2004.

While the inventory level of homes and condos for sale in San Francisco remains down around 20 percent on a year-over-year basis (i.e., there's a smaller pool of properties from which buyers can choose), listed inventory has remained relatively unchanged month-over-month (i.e., the supply of new listings is meeting the sales demand).

For the greater Bay Area, recorded sales volume in May was down 4.0% on a year-over-year basis but up 12.1% from the month prior with a recorded median sales price which was up 29.8% year-over-year, up 1.8% month-over-month.

Foreclosure resales and short sales made up about 21 percent of the Bay Area market in May, down from 24 percent in March and 42 percent a year ago.

As always, keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed ("sold") months prior but are just now closing escrow (or being recorded) and any properties that were sold "off market."

Continued Upward Trend for Bay Area Home Prices; Sales Dip [DQNews]
San Francisco Home Sales Well Above Average In April [SocketSite]

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June 11, 2013

San Francisco Prestige Index Closing In On 2008 Levels

San Francisco Prestige Index: Q1 2013 (www.SocketSite.com)

The First Republic Prestige Home Index for "San Francisco" homes valued at more than $1 million and currently averaging $2.82 million ticked up 3.2 percent in the first quarter of 2013 and is up 8.7 percent on a year-over-year basis versus 8.4 percent at the end of 2012.

The index remains down 8.5 percent from a third quarter 2007 peak but is back to second quarter 2005 levels and its highest point since 2008, up 13.3 percent from the current cycle bottom which occurred in the first quarter of 2011, at which point the index was down 19.2 percent from its peak.

Over the past year, roughly 25 percent of all home sales in San Francisco proper have been above the million dollar mark.

And as always, keep in mind that First Republic's "San Francisco" index includes "a cross-section of luxury homes in Alamo, Atherton, Belvedere, Danville, Healdsburg, Hillsborough, Lafayette, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Mill Valley, Moraga, Orinda, Palo Alto, Piedmont, Portola Valley, Ross, St. Helena, San Francisco, Saratoga, Sonoma, Tiburon and Woodside."

First Republic Prestige Home Index: San Francisco [firstrepublic.com]
San Francisco Prestige Index Stalled In Q4 But Ends 2012 Up 8.4% [SocketSite]

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June 7, 2013

Is A Lack Of Diversity Putting San Francisco At Risk Or Ahead?

Quoting an estimated average rent of $3,200 a month for a two-bedroom in San Francisco, or $2,550 for a one-bedroom, and "using the accepted standard that you should not spend more than 30% of your income on housing," Supervisor Alvalos notes that a household salary of $128,000 would be needed to rent the average two-bedroom, an income of $102,000 to rent an average one.

Concerned that "even most professionals cannot afford the current rents, and those who are in rent-controlled housing are feeling very vulnerable to displacement with the increased pressure on their landlords to find some way to evict them and triple their rents," Supervisor Alvalos has prepared these questions for Mayor Ed Lee who will prepare and provide answers next week:

Are you concerned that your administration’s policies to stimulate economic activity, especially supporting the tech industry, have created one-sided development and only jobs for high-income "appsters," and have exacerbated the already extremely limited housing market? Do you have any plans to address the increasing rents, and increasing rate of evictions and displacement of long-time San Francisco renters?

As plugged-in people know, employment in San Francisco is currently up by 20,900 workers on a year-over-year basis, and up by 48,200 since 2010, but remains 9,600 workers below a December 2000 dot-com peak.

Nearly 50,000 More Employed In San Francisco Since 2010 [SocketSite]

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June 4, 2013

Fixed Mortgage Rates Tick Up To Near Two-Year High

Mortgage%20Market%20Survey%206-4-13.gif

At the end of last week, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.81 percent (with 0.8 points), up from 3.63 percent two weeks before, the highest rate in over a year. A year ago the 30-year mortgage rate averaged 3.75 percent. The all-time low of 3.31 percent was recorded this past November.

As we pointed out in January, while rates had been dropping, they were set to start ticking-up this year. And as a plugged-in reader notes, in the past couple of days the average 30-year rate appears to have ticked up to over 4 percent for the first time since 2011.

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate has averaged 8.61 percent over the past forty years.

Mortgage Rates Drop, But Set To Start Ticking Up This Year? [SocketSite]
Fixed Mortgage Rates Highest in a Year [Freddie Mac]

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May 28, 2013

San Francisco House And Condo Prices Soar In First Quarter

San Francisco home and condo values jumped in the first quarter of 2013 according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index. According to the Index, single-family home prices in the San Francisco MSA rose 3.9% from February to March 2013. Up 22.2% year-over-year, the San Francisco Index remains 29.5% below a May 2006 peak.

For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values gained 1.4% from February to March 2013, up 10.3% year-over-year, 28.6% below a June 2006 peak.

Phoenix again had the largest annual increase at 22.5% followed by San Francisco with 22.2% and Las Vegas with 20.6%. Miami and Tampa, the eastern end of the Sunbelt, were softer with annual gains of 10.7% and 11.8%. The weakest annual price gains were seen in New York (+2.6%), Cleveland (+4.8%) and Boston (+6.7%)...
Other housing market data reported in recent weeks confirm these strong trends: housing starts and permits, sales of new home and existing homes continue to trend higher. At the same time, the larger than usual share of multi-family housing, a large number of homes still in some stage of foreclosure and buying-to-rent by investors suggest that the housing recovery is not complete.

On a month-over-month basis, prices jumped across all three San Francisco price tiers.

S&P/Case-Shiller Index San Francisco Price Tiers: March 2013 (www.SocketSite.com)

The bottom third (under $397,383 at the time of acquisition) gained 2.6% from February to March (up 25.7% YOY); the middle third gained 4.6% from February to March (up 23.5% YOY); and the top third (over $697,398 at the time of acquisition) gained 3.5% from February to March, up 15.1% year-over-year versus up 12.9% in February.

According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA are back to March 2001 levels (51% below an August 2006 peak); the middle third is back to January 2004 levels (29% below a May 2006 peak); and the top third is back to just below October 2004 levels, 17% below an August 2007 peak.

Condo values in the San Francisco MSA jumped 4.5% from February to March 2013 and are up 28.5% year-over-year but remain 18.2% below a December 2005 peak.

S&P/Case-Shiller Condo Price Changes: March 2013 (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: Home Prices See Strong Gains Q1 of 2013 [Standard & Poor's]
San Francisco Single-Family Home Prices Tick Up, Condo Values Jump [SocketSite]
Housing Starts Slump But Permit Activity Jumps To June 2008 Levels [SocketSite]
San Francisco Home Sales Well Above Average In April [SocketSite]
San Francisco Foreclosure Activity: Falling As Forecast In 2013 [SocketSite]

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May 22, 2013

San Francisco Foreclosure Activity: Falling As Forecast In 2013

As we first reported this past December, with over 500 homes foreclosed upon in San Francisco last year, 2012 was actually the high-water mark for homes being taken back by the bank, up 27 percent from 2011. But with a decline in San Francisco's pre-foreclosure pipeline, we expected foreclosure activity to fall in 2013.

Pre-foreclosure activity in San Francisco has since fallen 44 percent, from 286 properties at the end of December to 160 today, 36 percent of which are in District 10*. On a year-over-year basis, pre-foreclosure activity has fallen 67 percent with 480 properties in the foreclosure pipeline at the same time last year, 36 percent of which were in District 10.

The number of properties currently scheduled for auction in San Francisco has dropped 42 percent since the end of 2012, from 332 to 193 (45 percent of which are in District 10 versus 39 percent at the end of 2012), down from 591 a year ago (at which point 42 percent were in District 10).

Roughly 69 percent of scheduled foreclosure auctions in San Francisco were cancelled in 2012, down one point from a 70 percent cancellation rate in 2011 and versus a 66 percent rate in 2010, a 55 percent rate in 2009, a 53 percent rate in 2008, and a 49 percent cancellation rate in 2007.

*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.

Foreclosures In San Francisco Peaked In 2012, Set To Fall In 2013 [SocketSite]
San Francisco Foreclosure Trends And 2011 Retrospective [SocketSite]
San Francisco Foreclosure Activity Climbs Outside Of District 10 [SocketSite]
San Francisco Association Of Realtors New Neighborhood Map [SocketSite]

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May 17, 2013

Nearly 50,000 More Employed In San Francisco Since 2010

Having ticked down to 6.0 percent in March, the lowest rate since November of 2008, the unemployment rate in San Francisco fell another 0.6 points to 5.4% in April as the unemployment rates in San Mateo and Marin and fell to 5.1% and 4.6% respectively.

The unemployment rate in San Francisco peaked at 10.1 percent in January of 2010 when 48,200 fewer San Francisco residents were employed than today.

On the heels of a drop of 1,000 in March, the number of employed San Francisco residents increased by 3,800 in April to 455,900, the number of unemployed fell by 3,100 to 25,800.

Employment in San Francisco is currently up by 20,900 workers on a year-over-year basis versus 19,500 the month before but remains 9,600 workers below a December 2000 dot-com peak (at which point the unemployment rate measured 3 percent).

The unadjusted unemployment rate in California fell to 8.5% in April as employment fell by 20,900 and the number of unemployed fell by 161,500.

SF Unemployment Rate Drops To 6.0% For First Time Since 2008 [SocketSite]
San Francisco Employment Trends And Dot-Com Context [SocketSite]
Monthly Labor Force Data for Counties: April 2013 (Preliminary) [EDD]

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May 16, 2013

Housing Starts Slump But Permit Activity Jumps To June 2008 Levels

US Housing Starts History (www.SocketSite.com)

The annual pace of housing starts in the U.S. fell 16.5 percent from March to April but remains up 13.1 percent on a year-over-year basis. The pace of single-family home starts slipped 2.1 percent from March to April but remains up 20.8 percent year-over-year while the pace of construction for structures with five or more units slumped 37.8 percent in April and is down 2.5 percent year-over-year.

The number of structures with five or more units on which construction commenced fell nearly 40 percent to 19,100 last month having averaged 30,100 a month since 1963, peaking at 87,200 in May of 1973 and measuring 83,900 that March. Construction on 56,900 single-family homes started last month having averaged 87,400 a month since 1959, peaking at 170,400 in May of 2005 and measuring 133,400 that March.

Total housing starts which measured 76,700 in April have averaged 122,500 a month since 1959, hitting 227,300 in early 2006 and peaking at 249,400 in early 1972.

While starts slumped in April, permit activity to start construction jumped 14.3 percent, up 35.8 percent year-over-year with applications for single-family homes up 27.5 percent, up 54.5 percent for multi-family housing. Adjusted for seasonality, permit activity hit a 1,017,000 pace, up 14.3 percent from the month before and the highest since June 2008.

In the west, starts were up 43.2 percent year-over-year, up 40.0 percent for single-family homes, while permit activity was up 38.4 percent, up 25.7 percent for single-family homes.

New Residential Construction Statistics [doc.gov]
Single-Family Housing Starts Slip But Multi-Family Starts Surge [SocketSite] 

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May 15, 2013

San Francisco Home Sales Well Above Average In April

San Francisco Sales Volume And Median Price: March (www.SocketSite.com)

Following two months of declines, recorded home sales in San Francisco jumped 16.3% on a year-over-year basis last month (615 recorded sales in April 2013 versus 529 sales in 2012), up 23.7% as compared to the month prior and versus an average March to April drop of 0.7% over the past nine years, 15% above the average number of San Francisco homes that have traded hands in April since 2004 when sales volume hit 863.

While the inventory level of homes and condos for sale in San Francisco remains down around 20 percent on a year-over-year basis (i.e., there's a smaller pool of properties from which buyers can choose), listed inventory has increased 8 percent month-over-month (i.e., the supply of new listings has outpaced the increased sales demand).

San Francisco's median sales price was $815,000 in April, up 16.4% on a year-over-year basis, down 0.4% as compared to March in which the median was up 25.8% YOY.

For the greater Bay Area, recorded sales volume in April was down 0.6% on a year-over-year basis but up 4.9% from the month prior (7,621 recorded sales in April '13 versus 7,667 in April ’12 and 7,263 in March '13) with a recorded median sales price which was up 30.8% year-over-year, up 17.0% month-over-month.

Foreclosure resales and short sales made up about 24 percent of the Bay Area market in April, down from 30 percent in March and 43 percent a year ago.

At the extremes for the Bay Area in April, Marin recorded an 18.2% year-over-year increase in sales volume, a gain of 53 transactions with a median price that was 29.3% higher while San Mateo recorded a 14.9% drop in volume, a loss of 99 transactions with a median sales price which was up 32.0%.

As always, keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed ("sold") months prior but are just now closing escrow (or being recorded) and any properties that were sold "off market."

Bay Area Median Sale Price Back Over $500,000; Sales Dip [DQNews]
San Francisco Home Sales See Seasonal Spike, Slip Year-Over-Year [SocketSite]

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May 8, 2013

Where Will San Francisco's Working Class Live?

Since the 2000 census, the population of San Francisco’s Excelsior district has grown by an estimated 6,300 people while construction of new homes in the area has been minimal. From the Examiner:

About 33 percent of single-family homes in the Excelsior district contain secondary rental spaces commonly known as “in-law” units, according to a survey conducted by the Asian Law Caucus.
Contrary to U.S. Census Bureau figures that indicate the neighborhood is primarily comprised of homeowners, the Excelsior is nearly 70 percent tenants – half of whom live in illegal in-law units, according to the “Our Hidden Communities” report released Tuesday.
Previous estimates suggested only 23 percent of San Francisco homes contained in-law units, said caucus staff attorney Omar Calimbas.

Characterized by the Excelsior's Supervisor John Avalos as housing of "last resort" for people squeezed out of other neighborhoods, while there might be many more in-law units than previously estimated, as tech employment in San Francisco continues to surge along with the development of market rate condos and apartments targeting the high-wage workers, will there be enough in-law units for all of San Francisco's working class to live?

San Francisco likely has tens of thousands of people living under the stairs [Examiner]

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May 1, 2013

Contemporary Noe Valley And Facebook Year-Over-Year

1507 Noe 2012

In February of 2012, the newly constructed 3,400 square foot home at 1507 Noe Street hit the market listed for $2,750,000 and sold for $2,950,000 that March. The faceless buyer of the Noe Valley home was officially "Hangar Labs LLC," which we reported was formed by a single Facebook engineer.

Two months after the purchase of 1507 Noe and just before Facebook went public at $38 a share, a two million dollar mortgage was taken out on the property. And with Facebook trading around $24 a share, this past November 1507 Noe quickly returned to the market listed for $3,599,000.

Reduced to $3,399,000 in January, the sale of 1507 Noe Street closed escrow on Monday with a reported contract price of $3,230,000, up 9 percent on an apples-to-apples basis, roughly 8.4 percent when annualized.

Facebook closed the day at $27.43 per share, down roughly 28 percent year-over-year while the S&P 500 is up 13.6 percent and the workforce in San Francisco has grown by 19,500 over the past twelve months.

SF Unemployment Rate Drops To 6.0% For First Time Since 2008 [SocketSite]
The Dow Hits An All-Time High, S&P 500 Comes Close [SocketSite]

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San Francisco Rents Reverse Fourth Quarter Dip, Jump In Oakland

Having ticked down a few dollars from $2,768 in the third quarter of 2012 to $2,741 in the fourth quarter, the average apartment rent in San Francisco ticked back up to $2,790 per month in the first quarter of 2013, up 4.8 percent on a year-over-year basis according to RealFacts.

Over in Oakland, the average monthly rent is up 14.6 percent year-over-year to $1,947 per month while down in San Jose it's $1,873 per month, up 8 percent year-over-year.

Keep in mind that RealFacts’ figures are based on surveys of professionally managed apartment complexes with 50 or more units (which aren't necessarily the norm in San Francisco) and reflect asking rather than effective rents after incentives.

Have San Francisco Rents Hit A Real Wall? [SocketSite]

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April 30, 2013

San Francisco Single-Family Home Prices Tick Up, Condo Values Jump

San Francisco home prices ticked up in February and condo values jumped according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index. According to the Index, single-family home prices in the San Francisco MSA rose 0.5% from January to February 2013. Up 18.9% year-over-year, the San Francisco Index remains 32.1% below a May 2006 peak.

For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values gained 0.3% from January to February 2013, up 8.4% year-over-year, 29.9% below a June 2006 peak.

Phoenix, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Atlanta were the four cities with the highest year-over-year price increases. Atlanta recovered from a wave of foreclosures in 2012 while the other three were among the hardest hit in the housing collapse. At the other end of the rankings, three older cities - New York, Boston and Chicago - saw the smallest year-over-year price improvements.
Despite some recent mixed economic reports for March, housing continues to be one of the brighter spots in the economy. The 2013 first quarter GDP report shows that residential investment accelerated from the 2012 fourth quarter and made a positive contribution to growth. One open question is the mix of single family and apartments; housing starts data show a larger than usual share is apartments.

On a month-over-month basis, prices rose across all three San Francisco price tiers.

S&P/Case-Shiller Index San Francisco Price Tiers: February 2013 (www.SocketSite.com)

The bottom third (under $384,759 at the time of acquisition) gained 0.6% from January to February (up 21.6% YOY); the middle third gained 1.8% from January to February (up 18.8% YOY); and the top third (over $677,427 at the time of acquisition) gained 0.6% from January to February, up 12.9% year-over-year versus up 10.8% in January.

According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA are back to February 2001 levels (52% below an August 2006 peak); the middle third is back to July 2003 levels (32% below a May 2006 peak); and the top third is back to May 2004 levels, 20% below an August 2007 peak.

Condo values in the San Francisco MSA jumped 2.3% from January to February 2013 and are up 28.1% year-over-year but remain 21.7% below a December 2005 peak.

S&P/Case-Shiller Condo Price Changes: February 2013 (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: Home Prices Rise in February 2013 [Standard & Poor's]
Following A Strong 2012, SF Home Prices Moderate Entering 2013 [SocketSite]
Single-Family Housing Starts Slip But Multi-Family Starts Surge [SocketSite]

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April 26, 2013

Are The Big Plans For San Francisco's Central Corridor Big Enough?

Central%20Corridor%20Graphic.gif

With a pressing need to support the City's projected job growth and continued economic development, San Francisco's Planning Department has spent the past two years developing the growth plan and strategy for San Francisco's Central Corridor, "a high-demand area with excellent regional transit accessibility, adjacency to existing job centers, diverse urban amenities and connectivity to San Francisco’s well-educated workforce."

Central%20Corridor%20Area%202013.gif

As it stands, the 260 South of Market (SoMa) acres bounded by Market, Sixth, Second, and Townsend Streets, and bisected by the Central Subway project, are already zoned to support the building of 8,225 new residential units and office space for 19,140 workers.

By removing land use restrictions to emphasize office uses in the central portion of the Plan Area, selectively increasing height limits on certain sites (primarily south of Harrison Street), and modifying the system of area streets and circulation to meet the needs of a dense transit-oriented district, the proposed Central Corridor plan will add the potential for another 3,490 housing units and office space for 27,820 jobs to be built within the area.

It’s a great start, but with San Francisco projected to add 190,000 new jobs by 2040, filled in part by a projected 150,000 new residents by 2035, and for which 92,000 housing units will need to be built, are the plans for San Francisco's Central Corridor with excellent regional transit accessibility adjacent to existing job centers and urban amenities big enough?

Aiming to maintain "the predominant character of SoMa as a mid-rise district," reducing the presence of high-rises by actively "limiting their distribution to transit stations," and limiting heights "in areas with a high concentration of historic buildings and unique character," the Draft Plan identifies two height options for the Plan Area:

In general, Option A would increase heights along Fourth, Harrison, and Bryant streets from 65 feet to 85 feet. Option A would also allow for towers between 130 and 320 feet on certain sites, mostly located south of Harrison Street, increasing height limits on those sites by 45 to 235 feet.
Option B would be similar to Option A, except that Option B would increase tower height limits for certain sites south of Harrison Street to between 115 and 400 feet, increasing height limits on those sites by about 60 to 315 feet.

The rendered view of downtown San Francisco from Dolores Park under existing conditions and as it would be under the Central Corridor plan as proposed, click to enlarge:

Conceding Planning’s principal that area heights "should be sculpted mindful of views through and across the Area from surrounding areas with views of the Bay, East Bay Hills, and other key features," might there be a bit more room to grow?

Central Corridor Draft Plan [sf-planning.org]
Planning For A Projected 190,000 New Jobs In San Francisco By 2040 [SocketSite]
If San Francisco Grows By 150,000 People, Where Will Everyone Live? [SocketSite]
The Big Plans For This East SoMa Block, Bigger Than Planned In Fact [SocketSite]

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Peak To Trough And Back In The Heights

1705 Broderick Street (www.SocketSite.com)

Near the end of 2007, the Lower Pacific Heights home at 1705 Broderick Street, two doors down from the Full House façade at 1709 Broderick, was purchased for $2,800,000. The 2,648 square foot Victorian returned to the market today listed for $2,895,000.

1705%20Broderick%20Kitchen.jpg

Over in Bernal, 442 Anderson Street was purchased for $1,230,000 in June of 2007. The Mid-Century boned home is back on the market today listed for $1,195,000.

By most accounts and measures, home values in Bernal and Pacific Heights peaked in early 2008 and bottomed at the end of 2011, falling 15 to 20 percent between.

∙ Listing: 1705 Broderick Street (3/3.5) 2,648 sqft - $2,895,000 [1705broderick.com]
A Modern Worldly Renovation In Bernal Heights (442 Anderson) [SocketSite]

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April 22, 2013

Existing U.S. Home Sales Slip In March As Median Sale Ticks Up

The pace of seasonally adjusted existing-home sales in the U.S. fell 0.6 percent from a downwardly revised pace of 4.95 million in February to a 4.92 million pace in March but remains 10.3 percent above the 4.46 million unit pace recorded in March 2012.

Total housing inventory at the end of March increased 1.6 percent to 1.93 million existing homes actively on the market, a 4.7 month supply and up from a 4.6 month supply in February but versus a 6.2 month supply in March 2012. On a national level, around six months of inventory has historically been considered to be a "balanced" market.

The median sale price for existing-homes was up 6.1 percent in March from $173,600 to $184,300, up 11.8 percent year-over-year versus 11.6 percent in February as distressed sales accounted for 21 percent of sales volume, down from 25 percent in February and 29 percent in March 2012.

Existing-home sales in the west fell 1.7 percent from February to March but remain up 4.4 percent on a year-over-year basis with a median sales price that's 26.1 percent higher on a year-over-year basis.

March Existing-Home Sales Slip Due to Limited Inventory [realtor.org]

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April 19, 2013

A Perfectly Average San Francisco Sale And Bubble Talk Revisited

653 Duncan

The sale of 653 Duncan closed escrow today with a reported contract price of $2,251,000. Purchased for $1,550,000 in mid-2004, call it total appreciation of 45 percent for the Noe Valley home since 2004, roughly 4.3 percent per year, with some ups and downs between.

In 2006, prior to the big bust, the average annual appreciation for San Francisco homes since 1949 had been measured at 4.2%. From the "bubble-proof" titled piece by CNNMoney at the time:

If developers were allowed to go all out with building on San Francisco's Treasure Island, Presidio and the Marin Headlands across the Golden Gate Bridge, the price of housing would fall close to the cost of construction. But those pristine natural amenities are the product of one of the most anti-development political cultures in the country - and a perennial magnet for the highest earners.

At least they got the parts about the Marin Headlands, Presidio (for the most part), and San Francisco being a magnet for the highest earners correct.

A Walk Run-Through Of A Minimalist Noe Home [SocketSite]
Expectation Setting: San Francisco Appreciation [SocketSite]
SF Unemployment Rate Drops To 6.0% For First Time Since 2008[SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (14) | (email story)

SF Unemployment Rate Drops To 6.0% For First Time Since 2008

Preliminary labor force counts for San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties peg the current unemployment rates at 6.0%, 5.2% and 5.7% respectively, down 0.3 points from February to March in San Francisco, down 0.2 points in Marin and San Mateo.

Following an 4,500 increase in February, the number of employed dwellers in San Francisco fell by 1,000 in March to 452,100 as the labor force fell by 2,500 to 480,900 and the number of unemployed fell by 1,500 to 28,900.

The unemployment rate in San Francisco hasn't been as low as 6.0 percent since November of 2008, peaking at 10.1 percent in January of 2010 when 43,300 fewer San Francisco residents were employed than today.

Employment in San Francisco is currently up by 19,500 workers on a year-over-year (YOY) basis versus 22,500 the month before but remains 13,500 workers below a December 2000 dot-com peak (at which point the unemployment rate measured 3 percent).

The unadjusted unemployment rate in California fell to 9.4% in March as employment fell by 19,300 and the number of unemployed fell by 69,900.

San Francisco Employment Trends And Dot-Com Context [SocketSite]
Monthly Labor Force Data for Counties: March 2013 (Preliminary) [EDD]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

April 18, 2013

San Francisco Home Sales See Seasonal Spike, Slip Year-Over-Year

San Francisco Sales Volume And Median Price: March (www.SocketSite.com)

Recorded home sales in San Francisco were down 8.5% on a year-over-year basis last month (497 recorded sales in March 2013 versus 543 sales in March 2012) but rose 39.6% as compared to the month prior as seasonality kicked in (the February to March gain has averaged 41.0% over the past nine years). An average of 548 San Francisco homes have traded hands in March since 2004 when recorded sales volume hit 749.

While the inventory level of San Francisco homes and condos for sale is down around 25 percent on a year-over-year basis (i.e., there's a smaller pool of properties from which buyers can choose), listed inventory has increased 4 percent month-over-month (i.e., the supply of new listings has outpaced the sales demand).

San Francisco's median sales price was $818,000 in March, up 25.8% on a year-over-year basis, up 16.8% as compared to February in which the median was up 12.3% YOY.

For the greater Bay Area, recorded sales volume in March was once again down 6.0% on a year-over-year basis, up 34.4% from the month prior on seasonality (7,263 recorded sales in March '13 versus 7,723 in March ’12 and 5,404 in February '13) with a recorded median sales price which was up 21.8% year-over-year, up 7.7% month-over-month.

Foreclosure resales and short sales made up about 30 percent of the Bay Area market in March, down from 35 percent in February and 49 percent a year ago.

Marin was the only Bay Area County to record a year-over-year increase in sales volume in March, up 14.9% (a gain of 40 transactions) with a median price that was 31.0% higher. San Mateo recorded a 17.5% drop in volume, a loss of 126 transactions with a median price that was up 24.8%.

As always, keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed ("sold") months prior but are just now closing escrow (or being recorded) and any properties that were sold "off market."

Bay Area Home Sales Dip Below 2012 Level Again; Median Sale Price Rises [DQNews]
San Francisco Home Sales Drop, Median Moderates [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (7) | (email story)

April 16, 2013

Single-Family Housing Starts Slip But Multi-Family Starts Surge

US Housing Starts History (www.SocketSite.com)

The annual pace of housing starts in the U.S. rose 7.0 percent from February to March, up 46.7 percent on a year-over-year basis. While the pace of single-family home starts remains up 28.7 percent year-over-year, it slipped 4.8 percent from February to March. The pace of construction for structures with five or more units, however, surged 26.9 percent and is up 82.3 percent year-over-year.

The number of structures with five or more units on which construction commenced surged over 60 percent to 32,000 last month having averaged 30,100 a month since 1963, peaking at 87,200 in May of 1973 and measuring 83,900 that March. Construction on 51,700 single-family homes started last month having averaged 87,400 a month since 1959, peaking at 170,400 in May of 2005 and measuring 133,400 that March.

Total housing starts which measured 85,800 in March have averaged 122,500 a month since 1959, hitting 227,300 in early 2006 and peaking at 249,400 in early 1972.

On a year-over-year basis, permit activity to start construction was up 17.3 percent in March with applications for single-family homes up 27.7 percent, up 0.7 percent for multi-family housing. Adjusted for seasonality, permit activity hit a 902,000 pace, down 3.9 percent from the month before.

In the west, starts were up 53.7 percent year-over-year, up 37.4 percent for single-family homes, while permit activity was up 10.7 percent, up 39.2 percent for single-family homes.

New Residential Construction Statistics [doc.gov]
Housing Starts Tick Up, Permit Activity Hits Five-ish Year High [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

April 10, 2013

Bidding Is Back In Style On San Francisco’s Courthouse Steps

To the chagrin of those who had been colluding to rig the outcome of foreclosure auctions in San Francisco, actual bidding is back in style on the courthouse steps.

Purchased for $532,000 in June of 2000, the single-family Central Sunset home at 1879 23rd Avenue was foreclosed upon and hit the courthouse steps yesterday with an opening bid of $386,409. As a plugged-in tipster notes, the property sold for $632,700.

The San Francisco Foreclosure Rigging Four [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | (email story)

March 26, 2013

Following A Strong 2012, SF Home Prices Moderate Entering 2013

Following a year of strong gains, San Francisco home prices moderated in January according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index. According to the Index, single-family home prices in the San Francisco MSA rose 0.1% from December 2012 to January 2013. Up 17.5% year-over-year, the SF Index remains 32.5% below a May 2006 peak.

For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values gained 0.2% from December 2012 to January 2013, up 7.0% year-over-year, down 29.9% from a June 2006 peak.

After more than two years of consecutive year-over-year declines, New York reversed trend and posted a positive return in January. The Southwest (Phoenix and Las Vegas) plus San Francisco posted the highest annual increases; they were also among the hardest hit by the housing bust. Atlanta and Dallas recorded their highest year-over-year gains.
Economic data continues to support the housing recovery. Single-family home building permits and housing starts posted double-digit year-over-year increases in February 2013. Despite a slight uptick in foreclosure filings, numbers are still down 25% year-over-year. Steady employment and low borrowing rates pushed inventories down to their lowest post-recession levels.

On a month-over-month basis, prices rose across the bottom and middle tiers in San Francisco but fell for the top.

S&P/Case-Shiller Index San Francisco Price Tiers: January 2013 (www.SocketSite.com)

The bottom third (under $383,942 at the time of acquisition) gained 1.1% from December to January (up 20.8% YOY); the middle third gained 1.6% from December to January (up 16.4% YOY); and the top third (over $681,776 at the time of acquisition) fell 0.9% from December to January but remains up 10.8% year-over-year versus up 9.1% in December.

According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA are back near February 2001 levels, down 52% from an August 2006 peak; the middle third is back to May 2003 levels, down 33% from a May 2006 peak; and the top third is back to May 2004 levels, 20% below an August 2007 peak.

Condo values in the San Francisco MSA ticked up 0.3% from December 2012 to January 2013 and are up 23.4% year-over-year but remain 23.4% below a December 2005 peak.

S&P/Case-Shiller Condo Price Changes: January 2013 (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: Home Prices Accelerate in January 2013 [Standard & Poor's]
"San Francisco" Home Prices End 2012 Up 14.4%, Condos Up 21.3% [SocketSite]
Housing Starts Tick Up, Permit Activity Hits Five-ish Year High [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (10) | (email story)

March 22, 2013

San Francisco Employment Ticks Up In 2013 (As Does Unemployment)

Preliminary labor force counts for San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties peg the current unemployment rates at 6.9%, 5.8% and 6.3% respectively, up 0.4 points from December to January in San Francisco and up 0.3 points in Marin and San Mateo.

As the size of San Francisco’s labor force increased by 2,800 to 481,600 in January, the number of employed city dwellers increased by 800 to 447,800 while the number of unemployed increased by 2,100 to 33,000.

Employment in San Francisco is currently up by 20,100 workers on a year-over-year (YOY) basis versus 19,800 the month before but remains 16,900 workers below a December 2000 dot-com peak (at which point the unemployment rate measured 3 percent).

The unadjusted unemployment rate in California ticked up to 10.4% in January as the labor force increased by 61,200, employment fell by 60,400, and the number of unemployed increased by 121,300.

Monthly Labor Force Data for Counties: January 2012 (Preliminary) [EDD]
Nearly 20,000 New Jobs For San Franciscans Over The Past Year [SocketSite]
San Francisco Employment Trends And Dot-Com Context [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | (email story)

March 21, 2013

Letting Go Of A Nostalgic Notion And Mixing It Up In San Francisco

344%20Fulton%20Rendering%20Fulton.jpg

Designed to be built with a black tile façade, the Planning Department requested the architects change the color scheme of the proposed building to rise at the corner of Fulton and Gough in order to win the Department's support and recommendation.

344%20Fulton%20Rendering%20Fulton%20White.jpg

Having gone ahead and presented both designs to the Planning Commission, architect David Baker reports on the outcome:

The San Francisco Planning Commission agreed with us on the darker corner and overruled the Planning Department. It should be clear that most of the building will be a light color: just this corner is darker, a variegated gloss glazed clay tile. The sunshades are anodized perforated aluminum. The gloss finish on the curve will produce a dynamic shifting highlight.
The notion that San Francisco is a city of white buildings is nostalgic, and might have been true at some time in the past. The actual condition is quite diverse with great variation in tonal value. Personally I like things mixed up a bit.

We couldn't agree more. In fact, we wouldn’t mind seeing the mixing of even more styles and truly modern design(s) throughout San Francisco.

344%20Fulton%20Rendering%20Gough.jpg

Black And White In Hayes Valley And In The Ayes Of Planning [SocketSite]
A New Hayes Valley Home For The Boys & Girls (And Adults) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (23) | (email story)

March 19, 2013

SF Planning Department’s Annual Report And Performance Stats

According to the Planning Department’s Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2011-2012, a total of 2,548 new housing units were permitted from July of 2011 through June of 2012 with the highest concentration in Mission Bay (click graphic to enlarge).

Over the same period of time, the number of approved building permits for new construction projects fell to 85 from 123 the year before while approved permits for alterations to existing properties increased to 6,348 from 6,207. As plugged-in people know, there are currently 43,580 units in San Francisco’s housing pipeline, nearly double the number of units that have been built in San Francisco since the year 2000.

The Planning Department’s full report, including internal performance and productivity measures, and targets for improvement:

The 43,580 New Units In San Francisco's Current Housing Pipeline [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (5) | (email story)

Housing Starts Tick Up, Permit Activity Hits Five-ish Year High

US Housing Starts History (www.SocketSite.com)

Housing starts in the U.S. rose 0.8 percent from January to February and are up 27.7 percent on a year-over-year basis as single-family home starts ticked up 0.5 percent (up 31.5 percent year-over-year) and construction of structures with five or more units ticked up 0.7 percent (up 18.8 percent year-over-year).

Single-family housing starts ticked up to 41,600 last month having averaged 87,400 a month since 1959, peaking at 170,400 in May of 2005 and measuring 150,700 that October. Starts for structures with five or more units ticked up to 19,400 last month having averaged 30,100 a month since 1963, peaking at 87,200 in May of 1973 and measuring 54,000 that October.

Total housing starts which measured 62,400 in February have averaged 122,500 a month since 1959, hitting 227,300 in early 2006 and peaking at 249,400 in early 1972.

On a year-over-year basis, permit activity to start construction was up 33.8 percent in February with applications for single-family homes up 25.5 percent, up 54.9 percent for multi-family housing. Adjusted for seasonality, permit activity hit a 946,000 pace, the highest since June 2008.

In the west, starts were up 63.4 percent year-over-year, up 62.5 percent for single-family homes, while permit activity was up 60.0 percent, up 51.6 percent for single-family homes.

New Residential Construction Statistics [doc.gov]
Housing Starts Hit Four Year Seasonal High, Remain Below Average [SocketSite] 

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

March 15, 2013

San Francisco Home Sales Drop, Median Moderates

San Francisco Sales Volume And Median Price: February 2013 (www.SocketSite.com)

Recorded home sales in San Francisco fell 13.0% on a year-over-year basis last month (356 recorded sales in February 2013 versus 409 sales in 2012), down 9.6% as compared to the month prior and versus an average January to February gain of 16.0% over the past nine years. An average of 389 San Francisco homes have sold in January since 2004 when recorded sales volume hit 537.

San Francisco's median sales price was $700,500 in February, up 12.3% on a year-over-year basis, up a nominal 0.2% as compared to January in which the median was up 16.0% year-over-year. The median was up 21.1% in December.

For the greater Bay Area, recorded sales volume in February was down 6.1% on a year-over-year basis, the first year-over-year decline in almost two years, and down 1.8% from the month prior (5,404 recorded sales in February '13 versus 5,753 in February ’12 and 5,404 in January '13) on a recorded median sales price which was up 24.6% year-over-year, down 2.4% month-over-month.

At least half of February's 24.6 percent, year-over-year increase in the median sale price is the result of changes in market mix, with sales shifting away from low-cost distress homes toward more mid-market and move-up homes.
Foreclosure resales – homes that had been foreclosed on in the prior 12 months – accounted for 13.6 percent of resales in February, down from a revised 14.1 percent in January, and down from 26.4 percent a year ago. Last month was the lowest since 10.1 percent in November 2007. Foreclosure resales peaked at 52.0 percent in February 2009. The monthly average for foreclosure resales over the past 17 years is about 10 percent.
Short sales – transactions where the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property – made up an estimated 21.4 percent of Bay Area resales last month. That was down from an estimated 21.9 percent in January and down from 27.0 percent a year earlier.

At the extremes, Sonoma was the only Bay Area County to record a year-over-year increase in sales volume, up 6.6% and a gain of 25 transactions with a median price that was 16.9% higher. San Mateo recorded a 16.5% drop in volume, a loss of 82 transactions with a median price that was up 28.9%.

As always, keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed ("sold") many months or even years prior and are just now closing escrow (or being recorded).

Bay Area Home Sales Ease Amid Tight Supply; Median Price Up [DQNews]
Recorded San Francisco Sales Volume Hits Six-Year Seasonal High [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

March 14, 2013

As Mortgage Rates Tick Up, Applications Tick Down

Mortgage Market Survey: 3/14/13

According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rates averaged 3.63 percent (with 0.8 points) for the week ending today, up from 3.52 percent the week before and an all-time low of 3.31 percent in November, but versus 3.92 percent a year ago.

The average 15-year fixed mortgage rate was 2.79 percent, up from 2.76 percent the week before but versus 3.16 percent a year ago.

As rates ticked up, mortgage applications to purchase homes in the U.S. fell 1 percent but remain 9 percent higher on an unadjusted year-over-year basis. Refinancing activity fell 5 percent last week according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Mortgage Rates up on Signs of Improving Economy [Freddie Mac]
Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey [mbaa.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (16) | (email story)

March 12, 2013

The Price Of For Being Evicted In Pacific Heights

Speaking of a potential Owner Move In (OMI) eviction, a reader reports and asks:

I’m being evicted for OMI in Pac Heights after 8 years in the building. Been offered $8k above statutory buyout amounts and will have to leave SF after 20 years. Anyone got any firsthand knowledge about what is a current market offer to accept under the circumstances?

For eviction notices served between 3/1/13 to 2/28/14, the statutory relocation amount due per evicted tenant in San Francisco is $5,207 with a maximum of $15,621 per unit plus $3,472 per elderly or disabled tenant or household with minor child(ren).

As they say, hate the game, not the players. And if you're going to play, play to the best of your abilities but do try to follow the rules.

Circa 2001 In The Sunset But With Tenants Currently In Place [SocketSite]
Relocation Payments for Evictions [sfrb.org]
Landlord or Owner Move In Evictions [sftu.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (96) | (email story)

Foreclosure Activity Plummets In San Francisco

As we reported in December, with over 500 homes foreclosed upon in San Francisco last year, 2012 was the high-water mark for homes being taken back by the bank, up 27 percent from 2011. But with a decline in San Francisco's pre-foreclosure pipeline, we expected foreclosure activity to fall in 2013.

In the first quarter of 2013 to date, pre-foreclosure activity in San Francisco has fallen 40 percent, from 286 properties at the end of December to 172 today, 37 percent of which are in District 10*. On a year-over-year basis, pre-foreclosure activity has fallen 59 percent with 420 properties in the foreclosure pipeline at the same time last year, 30 percent of which were in District 10.

The number of properties currently scheduled for auction in San Francisco has dropped 28 percent since the end of 2012, from 332 to 240 (40 percent of which are in District 10 versus 39 percent at the end of 2012), down from 592 a year ago (at which point 34 percent were in District 10).

Roughly 69 percent of scheduled foreclosure auctions in San Francisco were cancelled in 2012, down one point from a 70 percent cancellation rate in 2011 and versus a 66 percent rate in 2010, a 55 percent rate in 2009, a 53 percent rate in 2008, and a 49 percent cancellation rate in 2007.

*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.

Foreclosures In San Francisco Peaked In 2012, Set To Fall In 2013 [SocketSite]
San Francisco Foreclosure Trends And 2011 Retrospective [SocketSite]
San Francisco Foreclosure Activity Climbs Outside Of District 10 [SocketSite]
San Francisco Association Of Realtors New Neighborhood Map [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

March 5, 2013

If San Francisco Grows By 150,000 People, Where Will Everyone Live?

San Francisco's Housing Pipeline: Q2 2012 (www.SocketSite,.com)

As we first reported last month, San Francisco is expected to add 190,000 new jobs by the end of 2040, new jobs that will be filled in part by a projected 150,000 new residents by 2035 and for which a projected 92,000 new housing units will be needed, double the existing pipeline of units in development throughout San Francisco as mapped above.

And as we first wrote back in 2007: "Going green might be trendy (and we’re all for it), but as far as we’re concerned it’s a focus on density (and infill) that will define the next era in San Francisco’s development, neighborhoods, and lifestyle." That's a bingo.

Planning For A Projected 190,000 New Jobs In San Francisco By 2040 [SocketSite]
The 43,580 New Units In San Francisco's Current Housing Pipeline [SocketSite]
The Next Era In San Francisco’s Development: It’s All About Density [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 5:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (41) | (email story)

The Dow Hits An All-Time High, S&P 500 Comes Close

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the day at 14,253.77, up 8.8 percent for the year and a new all-time high, having doubled in value since 2009. The S&P 500 closed the day at 1,539.79, within 2 percent of an all-time high.

Facebook closed the day at $27.52 a share, 27.58 percent below its IPO price of $38 nine months ago. Speaking of which, having been reduced to $3,399,000 in January and briefly in contract after three months on the market, 1507 Noe is once again active and available.

We've Been Looking Past The Overhyped Facebook Effect, Have You? [SocketSite]
Facebook On The Home Front [SocketSite]
The Facebook Effect On Noe [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (12) | (email story)

February 26, 2013

"San Francisco" Home Prices End 2012 Up 14.4%, Condos Up 21.3%

According to the December 2012 S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, single-family home prices in the San Francisco MSA rose 0.7% from November to December 2012 and ended the year up 14.4% but remain 32.6% below a May 2006 peak.

For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values gained a nominal 0.1% from November to December, up 5.7% year-over-year, down 30.0% from a June 2006 peak.

Housing and residential construction led the economy in the 2012 fourth quarter. In December’s report all three headline composites and 19 of the 20 cities gained over their levels of a year ago. Month-over-month, 9 cities and both Composites posted positive monthly gains. Seasonally adjusted, there were no monthly declines across all 20 cities.
The National Composite increased 7.3% over the four quarters of 2012. From its low in the first quarter, it surged in the second and third quarter and slipped slightly in the 2012 fourth period. The 10- and 20-City Composites, which bottomed out in March 2012 continued to show both year-over-year and monthly gains in December. These movements, combined with other housing data, suggest that while housing is on the upswing some of the strongest numbers may have already been seen.
Atlanta and Detroit posted their biggest year-over-year increases of 9.9% and 13.6% since the start of their indices in January 1991. Dallas, Denver, and Minneapolis recorded their largest annual increases since 2001. Phoenix continued its climb, posting an impressive year-over-year return of 23.0%; it posted eight consecutive months of double-digit annual growth.

On a month-over-month basis, prices rose across the top and bottom tiers in San Francisco but were flat in the middle.

S%26P%20Case-Shiller%20SF%20SFH%20Tiers%2012-12.gif

The bottom third (under $383,919 at the time of acquisition) rose 1.7% from November to December (up 18.6% YOY); the middle third was unchanged from November to December (up 13.4% YOY); and the top third (over $686,706 at the time of acquisition) ticked up 1.0% from November to December, up 9.1% year-over-year versus 7.7% in November.

According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA are back to January 2001 levels, down 53% from an August 2006 peak; the middle third remains at March 2003 levels, down 34% from a May 2006 peak; and the top third is just above May 2004 levels, 19% below an August 2007 peak.

Condo values in the San Francisco MSA ticked up 0.2% from November to December and are up 21.3% year-over-year but remain 23.6% below a December 2005 peak.

S%26P%20Case-Shiller%20Condo%20Tiers%2012-12.gif

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).

Home Prices Closed Out a Strong 2012 According to S&P/Case-Shiller [Standard & Poor's]
San Francisco Home And Condo Prices Gain As US Index Slips [SocketSite] 

Posted by socketadmin at 7:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (76) | (email story)

February 25, 2013

San Francisco Prestige Index Stalled In Q4 But Ends 2012 Up 8.4%

San Francisco Prestige Index: Q4 2012 (www.SocketSite.com)

The First Republic Prestige Home Index for "San Francisco" homes valued at more than $1 million and currently averaging $2.73 million fell a nominal 0.1 percent from the third to fourth quarter of 2012 but ended 2012 up 8.4 percent on a year-over-year basis.

The index remains down 11.3 percent from a third quarter 2007 peak but is back to first quarter 2005 levels, up 9.8 percent from the current cycle bottom which occurred in the first quarter of 2011 at which point the index was down 19.2 percent from its peak.

Over the past year, a little less than 25 percent of all home sales in San Francisco proper have been above the million dollar mark.

And as always, keep in mind that First Republic's "San Francisco" index includes "a cross-section of luxury homes in Alamo, Atherton, Belvedere, Danville, Healdsburg, Hillsborough, Lafayette, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Mill Valley, Moraga, Orinda, Palo Alto, Piedmont, Portola Valley, Ross, St. Helena, San Francisco, Saratoga, Sonoma, Tiburon and Woodside."

First Republic Prestige Home Index: San Francisco [firstrepublic.com]
San Francisco Prestige Index Up 2.4% Last Quarter, Up 8.1% YOY [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | (email story)

Planning For A Projected 190,000 New Jobs In San Francisco By 2040

San Francisco's Central Corridor

With the population of the Bay Area expected to increase from roughly 7 million to 9 million people over the next 30 years, an integrated long-range transportation and land-use/housing plan for the San Francisco Bay Area by Plan Bay Area projects San Francisco will add 190,000 new jobs by 2040.

With an eye on high density, transit served locations to meet the projected growth, enter the Planning Department's plan for the Central Corridor centered on the Central Subway line and Fourth Street in SoMa, between Townsend and Market Streets:

While the City has performed significant planning for housing in recent years, it has been somewhat less proactive in planning space for jobs, whose location have a much stronger correlation with transit usage than does housing location. With significant development occurring since the adoption of [San Francisco’s] Downtown Plan over twenty-five years ago, few significant Downtown building sites remain, and as job types and industries diversify, companies are seeking a wider range of spaces than the typical Downtown model can provide.
The [Planning] Department, in coordination with the Office of Economic & Workforce Development, is looking at a number of areas and opportunity sites around the City to support continued job growth and economic development consistent with regional environmental objectives. The Central Corridor, as a high-demand area with excellent regional transit accessibility, adjacency to existing job centers, diverse urban amenities and connectivity to San Francisco’s well‐educated workforce, is a key part of that comprehensive strategy.
The Central Corridor Plan Area, centered along the Central Subway and the Fourth Street corridor in SoMa between Townsend and Market Streets, offers a unique opportunity for integration of transportation and land use. The Central Corridor Draft Plan will propose changes to land uses and building height controls, public realm and open space improvements, strategies for preservation of neighborhood character and historic resources, and increased environmental sustainability.

Slated for publication early next month, San Francisco’s Planning Department will present an update on the development of their Draft Central Corridor Plan to San Francisco’s Planning Commission on Thursday.

Keep in mind that in order to support 190,000 new jobs, Plan Bay Area projects 92,000 new housing units will be built in San Francisco as well, double San Francisco’s current housing pipeline.

Envisioning San Francisco’s Central Corridor As An EcoDistrict [SocketSite]
The Big Plans For This East SoMa Block, Bigger Than Planned In Fact [SocketSite]
The 43,580 New Units In San Francisco's Current Housing Pipeline [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (7) | (email story)

February 20, 2013

Housing Starts Hit Four Year Seasonal High, Remain Below Average

US Housing Starts History (www.SocketSite.com)

Housing starts in the U.S. fell 8.5 percent from December to January but remain up 23.6 percent year-over-year as single-family home starts ticked up 0.8 percent (up 20.0 percent year-over-year) while construction of structures with five or more units fell 26.1 percent (up 34.7 percent year-over-year).

Single-family housing starts ticked up to 39,600 last month having averaged 87,400 a month since 1959, peaking at 170,400 in May of 2005 and measuring 150,700 that October. Starts for structures with five or more units fell to 17,700 last month having averaged 30,100 a month since 1963, peaking at 87,200 in May of 1973 and measuring 54,000 that October.

Total housing starts which measured 58,500 in January have averaged 122,500 a month since 1959, hitting 227,300 in early 2006 and peaking at 249,400 in early 1972.

On a year-over-year basis, permit activity to start construction was up 35.2 percent in January with applications for single-family homes up 29.2 percent, up 46.7 percent for multi-family housing.

In the west, starts were up 73.0 percent year-over-year, up 46.3 percent for single-family homes, while permit activity was up 72.7 percent, up 40.0 percent for single-family homes.

New Residential Construction Statistics [doc.gov]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

February 14, 2013

Recorded San Francisco Home Sales Hit Seven-Year Seasonal High

San Francisco Sales Volume And Median Price: January 2013 (www.SocketSite.com)

Recorded home sales in San Francisco rose 27.9% on a year-over-year basis last month (394 recorded sales in January 2013 versus 308 sales in 2012 and a seven-year seasonal high), down 39.0% as compared to the month prior and versus an average December to January seasonal drop of 34.3% over the past eight years. An average of 339 San Francisco homes have sold in January since 2004 when recorded sales volume hit 558.

San Francisco's median sales price in January was $699,000, up 16.0% on a year-over-year basis, down 2.9% as compared to December in which the median was up 21.1% year-over-year.

For the greater Bay Area, recorded sales volume in January was up 3.2% on a year-over-year basis, down 29.8% from the month prior (5,501 recorded sales in January '13 versus 5,330 in January ’12 and 7,832 in December '12) on a recorded median sales price which was up 27.3% year-over-year, down 6.3% month-over-month.

A drop in the median sale price from December to January is normal for the season. At least half of the year-over-year increase in the January median is the result of changes in market mix, with sales shifting away from low-cost distress homes toward more mid-market and move-up homes.
The median reached a high of $665,000 in June/July 2007 and then fell to a low of $290,000 in March 2009. On a year-over-year basis, the median dropped more than 30 percent each month from August 2008 through May 2009. At the median's current rate of increase, it will recover about half of its peak-to-trough loss sometime this spring.

At the extremes, while San Francisco recorded a 27.9% increase in sales volume (a gain of 86 transactions), Sonoma recorded a 5.9% decrease (a loss of 25 transactions). Within the Bay Area, the median sales price moved the most in Santa Clara, up 31.6% on a year-over-year basis.

As always, keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed ("sold") many months or even years prior and are just now closing escrow (or being recorded).

Bay Area Housing Market Continues Off—Bottom Bounce [DQNews]
Recorded San Francisco Sales Volume Hits Six-Year Seasonal High [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (5) | (email story)

February 1, 2013

Noe Valley Apples-To-Apples And The S&P Over The Past Two Years

3715 22nd Street

As we wrote about the renovated Noe home at 3715 22nd Street in January:

Listed for sale at $2,750,000 in 2010, the "exquisitely renovated [with] hi-end finishes & impeccable detail" Victorian home at 3715 22nd Street ended up selling for $2,500,000 that October, which included the legal one-bedroom unit below and Noe Valley views.
Back on the market and listed for $2,825,000, a sale at asking would represent annual appreciation of 5.7 percent over the past two years for the Noe Valley property on an apples-to-apples basis, total appreciation of 13 percent since the fourth quarter of 2010.

The sale of 3715 22nd Street closed escrow last week with a reported contract price of $2,890,000. Call it total appreciation of 16 percent since the fourth quarter of 2010 for the Noe Valley single-family home on an apples-to-apples basis, effective annual appreciation of 6.7 percent over the past two years.

Over the same two years the S&P 500 is up 28 percent, up 16 percent since May of 2012 when Facebook, which is currently trading at $30.16, went public at $38 per share. We'll let you decide which is having more of an effect on the market.

Speaking of Facebook and Noe, the list price for the modern home at 1507 Noe Street was reduced to $3,399,000 in January.

Renovated Noe Valley On An Apples-To-Apples Basis Since 2010 [SocketSite]
Look Past The Overhyped Facebook Effect [SocketSite]
Facebook On The Home Front [SocketSite]
The Facebook Effect On Noe [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (8) | (email story)

January 29, 2013

San Francisco Home And Condo Prices Gain As US Index Slips

According to the November 2012 S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, single-family home prices in the San Francisco MSA rose 1.4% from October 2012 to November 2012 and are up 12.7% year-over-year but remain 33.0% below a May 2006 peak.

For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values fell 0.3% from October to November but are up 4.2% year-over-year, down 30.1% from a June 2006 peak.

In the 12 months ended in November, prices rose in 19 of the 20 cities and fell in New York. In 19 cities prices rose faster in the 12 months to November than in the 12 months to October; Cleveland prices rose at the same pace in both time periods. Phoenix led with the fastest price rise – up 22.8% in 12 months as it posted its seventh consecutive month of double-digit annual returns.
Winter is usually a weak period for housing which explains why we now see about half the cities with falling month-to-month prices compared to 20 out of 20 seeing rising prices last summer. The better annual price changes also point to seasonal weakness rather than a reversal in the housing market. Further evidence that the weakness is seasonal is seen in the seasonally adjusted figures: only New York saw prices fall on a seasonally adjusted basis while Cleveland was flat.
Regional patterns are shifting as well. The Southwest – Las Vegas and Phoenix – are staging a strong comeback with the Southeast -- Miami and Tampa close behind. The sunbelt, which bore the brunt of the housing collapse, is back in a leadership position. California is also doing well while the northeast and industrial Midwest is lagging somewhat.

On a month-over-month basis, prices rose across all three San Francisco price tiers.

S%26P%20Case-Shiller%20SF%20SFH%20Tiers%2011-12.gif

The bottom third (under $379,796 at the time of acquisition) rose 2.5% from October to November (up 17.7% YOY); the middle third rose 1.1% from October to November (up 13.7% YOY); and the top third (over $685,147 at the time of acquisition) ticked up 0.4% from October to November, up 7.7% year-over-year (versus 6.2% in October).

According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA are back to December 2000 levels, down 53% from an August 2006 peak; the middle third is back to March 2003 levels, down 34% from a May 2006 peak; and the top third remains at May 2004 levels, 20% below an August 2007 peak.

Condo values in the San Francisco MSA ticked up 0.8% from October to November and are up 18.7% year-over-year but remain 23.7% below a December 2005 peak.

S%26P%20Case-Shiller%20Condo%20Tiers%2011-12.gif

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).

Home Prices Extend Gains According to the S&P/Case-Shiller Index [Standard & Poor's]
While The US Index Slips, San Francisco Home Prices Gain [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (13) | (email story)

January 22, 2013

Have San Francisco Rents Hit A Real Wall?

Average apartment rents in San Francisco were relatively unchanged in the fourth quarter of 2012 while rents actually dropped 1.4 percent in the South Bay according to the latest RealFacts report.

Following a few years of double-digit annual growth, as plugged-in people knew expect, have San Francisco rents "hit a wall" as RealFacts purports?

Do keep in mind that RealFacts’ figures are based on surveys of professionally managed apartment complexes with 50 or more units (which aren't necessarily the norm in San Francisco) and reflect asking rather than effective rents after incentives.

Surprised By A Spike In San Francisco Rents? There's No Excuse. [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (45) | (email story)

January 18, 2013

Nearly 20,000 New Jobs For San Franciscans Over The Past Year

Preliminary labor force counts for San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties peg the current unemployment rates at 6.5%, 5.5% and 6.0% respectively, down 0.2 points from November to December in San Francisco and San Mateo, down 0.3 points in Marin.

As the size of San Francisco’s labor force increased by 2,300 to 478,700 in December, the number of unemployed fell by 1,000 to 30,900 and the number of employed city dwellers increased by 3,300 to 447,800.

Employment in San Francisco is currently up by 19,800 workers on a year-over-year (YOY) basis versus 16,700 the month before, but remains 17,700 workers below a December 2000 dot-com peak (at which point the unemployment rate in San Francisco measured 3 percent).

The unadjusted unemployment rate in California ticked up to 9.7% in December as employment increased by 21,400 but the labor force increased by 50,200 workers and the number of unemployed increased by 28,800.

Monthly Labor Force Data for Counties: December 2012 (Preliminary) [EDD]
Growth Rate Slows, But San Francisco Adds 700 Jobs In November [SocketSite]
San Francisco Employment Trends And Dot-Com Context [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (5) | (email story)

January 16, 2013

San Francisco Home Sales In December Hit An Eight-Year High

San Francisco Median Sales Price and Volume: December 2012 (www.SocketSite.com)

Recorded home sales volume in San Francisco rose 29.5% on a year-over-year basis last month, 646 recorded sales in December 2012 versus 499 sales in 2011, up 23.3% compared to the month prior and versus an average November to December gain of 3.7% since 2004. An average of 518 San Francisco homes have sold in December since 2004 when the recorded sales volume was 646 as well.

San Francisco's median sales price in December was $720,000, up 21.1% on a year-over-year basis, down 1.1% as compared to November in which the median was up 13.0% year-over-year.

For the greater Bay Area, recorded sales volume in December was up 4.5% on a year-over-year basis, up 7.3% from the month prior (7,832 recorded sales in December '12 versus 7,494 in December ’11 and 7,296 this past November). The recorded median sales price was up 32.0% year-over-year, up 1.1% month-over-month.

While last month’s sales count was the highest for any December since 8,372 were sold in 2006, it was still 9.0 percent below the 8,611 average for all Decembers since 1988. December sales have ranged from 5,065 in 2007 to 12,349 in 2003.
The number of homes sold for less than $500,000 decreased 12.6 percent year-over-year, while the number that sold for more than $500,000 shot up 61.2 percent, DataQuick reported.
Last month distressed property sales – the combination of foreclosure resales and “short sales” – made up 34.2 percent of the resale market. That was down from 35.5 percent in November and down from 52.4 percent a year ago.

At the extremes, while San Francisco recorded a 29.5% increase in sales volume (a gain of 147 transactions), Solano recorded a 14.6% drop in volume (a loss of 104 transactions) with a 19.6% increase in median sales price. The median sales price increased 28.8% in Contra Costa County, 10.2% in Napa.

As always, keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed ("sold") many months or even years prior and are just now closing escrow (or being recorded).

Rate of Recovery for Bay Area Real Estate Speeds Up [DQNews]
Recorded San Francisco Sales Volume Hits Six-Year Seasonal High [SocketSite]
San Francisco Sales Activity Ticks Up In December, Median Ticks Down [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (32) | (email story)

January 7, 2013

Mortgage Rates Drop, But Set To Start Ticking Up This Year?

Average 30-Year Mortgage Rates Since 1971

According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rates averaged 3.34 percent (with 0.7 points) last week versus 3.91 percent a year ago, down from 3.35 percent at the end of 2012 and within a few basis points of an all-time low.

The average 15-year fixed mortgage rate dropped to 2.64 percent last week versus 3.23 percent a year ago, down from 2.65 percent at the end of 2012.

At the same time, the price of Fannie Mae-guaranteed securities, which lenders use to price loans, "tumbled last week to the lowest since Sept. 12, the day before the Federal Reserve announced plans to add $40 billion of mortgage debt to its balance sheet each month. The drop, as lawmakers struck a budget deal and the central bank signaled it may conclude the open-ended bond-buying program this year, could lead to further increases in homeowner borrowing costs from the record lows set in December."

Mortgage Rates Start the New Year Near All-Time Record Lows [Freddie Mac]
Cheap Money Era That Saved U.S. Housing Seen Bottoming [Bloomberg]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (38) | (email story)

January 4, 2013

The Annual Return And Returns Of 2170 Pacific Avenue

2170 Pacifc

Not counting its listings in 2007, 2008, 2009, or 2010, the three-bedroom Pacific Heights condo at 2170 Pacific Avenue is back on the MLS with an official one day on the market and once again asking $2,995,000 having been purchased for $2,350,000 in May of 2004.

2170 Pacific: Stairs, dome, and landing

The three-bedroom had been making the rounds on Craigslist asking $8,500 a month when listed in 2010. And according to the latest listing, the condo is currently rented for $8,925, which would be a current CAP Rate of around 2 percent at asking and annualized appreciation of just under 3 percent since 2004.

∙ Listing: 2170 Pacific Avenue (3/3.5) - $2,995,000 [via Redfin]
It's Deja Vu (But Not DJIA) All Over Again: 2170 Pacific Avenue Edition [SocketSite]
The Dow Continues To Move (While 2170 Pacific Still Hasn’t) [SocketSite]
Warm Thoughts Of A Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner (2010 Edition) [SocketSite]
On Tour As New (For The Fifth Time In Two Years): 2170 Pacific [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (4) | (email story)

January 2, 2013

Past Due In Presidio Heights

3829 Clay Street (www.SocketSite.com)

As plugged-in people should be well aware and positioned to take advantage, the majority of foreclosures in San Francisco have occurred outside the boundaries of the oft maligned District 10 over the past few years.

Speaking of which, in and out of foreclosure since 2009, the 3,480 square foot Presidio Heights home at 3829 Clay Street is scheduled to hit the courthouse steps tomorrow with roughly $170,000 past due on a $1,725,000 loan.

Foreclosures In San Francisco Peaked In 2012, Set To Fall In 2013 [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (6) | (email story)

December 31, 2012

Foreclosures In San Francisco Peaked In 2012, Set To Fall In 2013

Over 500 properties were foreclosed upon in San Francisco over the past year, up 27 percent from 2011 and 10 percent higher than in 2010, the previous high-water mark for homes being taken back by the bank.

By our counts, roughly 41 percent of San Francisco foreclosures occurred in District 10 in 2012, down from 42 percent in 2011 and well below the 48 percent recorded in 2009 or the 58 percent recorded in 2008.

In terms of the current foreclosure pipeline, pre-foreclosure activity in San Francisco has fallen from 379 properties in October to 286 today, 36 percent of which are in District 10*. On a year-over-year basis, pre-foreclosure activity has fallen 55 percent with 642 properties in the pipeline at the end of 2011, 38 percent of which were in District 10.

The number of properties currently scheduled for auction in San Francisco has dropped 30 percent over the past three months, from 477 to 332 today (39 percent of which are in District 10 versus 44 percent three months prior), down from 555 a year ago (at which point 40 percent were in District 10).

Over the past year, roughly 69 percent of scheduled foreclosure auctions in San Francisco were cancelled, down one point from a 70 percent cancellation rate in 2011, 66 percent in 2010, 55 percent in 2009, 53 percent in 2008, and 49 percent in 2007.

*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.

San Francisco Foreclosure Trends And 2011 Retrospective [SocketSite]
San Francisco Foreclosure Activity Climbs Outside Of District 10 [SocketSite]
Foreclosure Activity In San Francisco: Pipeline Flattens, Auctions Fall [SocketSite]
San Francisco Association Of Realtors New Neighborhood Map [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | (email story)

December 27, 2012

Pace Of New Home Sales Ticks Up In The US But Dips Out West

November US New Home Sales Since 1963 (www.SocketSite.com)


The seasonally adjusted annual pace of new single-family home sales in the U.S. ticked up to 377,000 in November, up 4.4 percent from a revised rate of 361,000 in October. The pace of sales is up 15.3 percent year-over-year but remains the fourth slowest November on record since 1963.

Annual new home sales in the U.S. have averaged 667,000 since 1963, peaking at 1,283,000 in 2005. Preliminary U.S. new home sales (versus pace) in November were estimated to be 27,000, down from 29,000 in October. November sales peaked in 2005 with 86,000 new homes sold.

In the West, the pace of new home sales fell 17.8 percent from October to November but remains up 13.7 percent on a year-over-year basis versus 33.7 percent in October.

New Residential Sales: September 2012 [census.gov]
Pace Of New Home Sales Slips In October, Remains Below Average [SocketSite]
New Residential Sales Since 1963 [census.gov]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

December 26, 2012

While The US Index Slips, San Francisco Home Prices Gain

According to the October 2012 S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, single-family home prices in the San Francisco MSA rose 0.7% from September to October and are up 8.9% year-over-year but remain 34.0% below their May 2006 peak.

For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values fell a nominal 0.1% from September to October, up 3.0% year-over-year, down 29.8% from a June 2006 peak.

The October monthly numbers were weaker than September as 12 cities saw prices drop compared to seven the month before. The five which turned down in October but not in September, were Atlanta, Dallas, Miami, Minneapolis and Seattle. Among all 20 cities, Chicago was the weakest with prices dropping 1.5%, followed by Boston where prices fell 1.4%. Las Vegas saw the strongest one-month gain with prices up 2.8%.
Annual rates of change in home prices are a better indicator of the performance of the housing market than the month-over-month changes because home prices tend to be lower in fall and winter than in spring and summer. Both the 10- and 20-City Composites and 19 of 20 cities recorded higher annual returns in October 2012 than in September. The impact of the seasons can also be seen in the seasonally adjusted data where only three cities declined month-to-month.

On a month-over-month basis, prices rose across all three San Francisco price tiers.

S&P/Case-Shiller Index San Francisco Price Tiers: October 2012 (www.SocketSite.com)

The bottom third (under $375,355 at the time of acquisition) rose 1.6% from September to October, up 15.0% year-over-year; the middle third rose 0.2% from September to October, up 10.7% YOY; and the top third (over $675,352 at the time of acquisition) rose 0.9% from September to October, up 6.2% YOY.

According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA have returned to November 2000 levels (55% below an August 2006 peak), the middle third has returned to February 2003 levels (35% below a May 2006 peak), and the top third remains at May 2004 levels (20% below an August 2007 peak).

Condo values in the San Francisco MSA gained 0.9% from September to October and are up 17.5% year-over-year but remain 24.3% below their December 2005 peak.

S&P/Case-Shiller Condo Price Changes: October 2012 (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: Home Prices Rise for the Sixth Straight Month [Standard & Poor's]
San Francisco Home And Condos Values Continue To Climb [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (24) | (email story)

December 24, 2012

Growth Rate Slows, But San Francisco Adds 700 Jobs In November

Preliminary labor force counts for San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties peg the current unemployment rates at 6.7%, 5.8% and 6.2% respectively, down 0.1 points in San Francisco and San Mateo from October to November, unchanged in Marin.

With the size of San Francisco’s labor force remaining unchanged at 476,400, the number of unemployed fell by 700 to 31,900 in November as the number of employed city dwellers increased by 700 to 444,500.

Employment in San Francisco is currently up by 16,700 workers on a year-over-year (YOY) basis versus 19,100 the month before and remains 21,000 workers below a December 2000 dot-com peak (at which point the unemployment rate in San Francisco measured 3 percent).

The unadjusted unemployment rate in California ticked down to 9.2% in November as employment increased by 26,500 workers, the labor force fell by 3,500, and the number of unemployed dropped by 30,100.

Monthly Labor Force Data for Counties: October 2012 (Preliminary) [EDD]
San Francisco Added 2,400 New Workers And Jobs Last Month [SocketSite]
San Francisco Employment Trends And Dot-Com Context [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

December 20, 2012

U.S. Housing Starts Slip In November As Sandy Takes A Toll

US Housing Starts History (www.SocketSite.com)

Housing starts in the U.S. fell 3.0 percent from October to November, up 21.6 percent year-over-year as construction of structures with five or more units increased 1.4 percent (up 49.6 percent year-over-year) while single-family home starts fell 4.1 percent (up 22.8 percent year-over-year).

Single-family housing starts fell to 40,000 last month having averaged 87,400 a month since 1959, peaking at 170,400 in May of 2005 and measuring 150,700 that October. Starts for structures with five or more units fell to 23,700 last month having averaged 30,100 a month since 1963, peaking at 87,200 in May of 1973 and measuring 54,000 that October.

Total housing starts which measured 64,600 in November have averaged 122,500 a month since 1959, hitting 227,300 in early 2006 and peaking at 249,400 in early 1972.

On a year-over-year basis, permit activity to start construction was up 26.8 percent in November with applications for multi-family housing up 30.6 percent, up 26.8 percent for single-family homes.

In the west, starts were up 32.6 percent year-over-year, unchanged for single-family homes, while permit activity was up 46.6 percent, up 22.2 percent for single-family homes.

New Residential Construction Statistics [doc.gov]
U.S. Housing Starts Hit Four Year High But Remain Below Average [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

December 13, 2012

Recorded San Francisco Sales Volume Hits Six-Year Seasonal High

SF%20Median%20Price%20and%20Sales%2011-12.jpg

Recorded home sales volume in San Francisco rose 24.2% on a year-over-year basis last month (524 recorded sales in November 2012 versus 422 sales in 2011), down 8.4% compared to the month prior, a slightly higher seasonal drop than the average drop of 7.0% from October to November since 2004. An average of 507 San Francisco homes have sold in November since 2004 when recorded sales volume hit at 682.

San Francisco's median sales price in November was $728,000, up 13.0% on a year-over-year basis, down 8.4% as compared to October in which the median was up 25.1% year-over-year.

For the greater Bay Area, recorded sales volume in November was up 15.5% on a year-over-year basis, down 6.4% from the month prior (7,296 recorded sales in November '12 versus 6,317 in November ’11 and 7,795 this past October). The recorded median sales price was up 20.8% year-over-year, up 5.3% month-over-month.

Last month’s sales count was the highest for any November since 8,042 homes were sold in 2006. November sales have varied from 5,127 in 2007 to 11,906 in 2004. The average for all months of November since 1988, when DataQuick’s statistics start, is 7,873.
Foreclosure resales – homes that had been foreclosed on in the prior 12 months – accounted for 11.5 percent of resales in November, down from a revised 11.7 percent in October, and down from 25.2 percent a year ago. Last month was the lowest since 10.1 percent in November 2007. Foreclosure resales peaked at 52.0 percent in February 2009. The monthly average for foreclosure resales over the past 17 years is about 10 percent.
Short sales – transactions where the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property – made up an estimated 23.0 percent of Bay Area resales last month. That was down from an estimated 23.5 percent in October and down from 24.9 percent a year earlier. While short sales’ share of the overall market does not appear to have changed much, the number of short sales in November was about 6 percent higher than a year ago.

At the extremes, Napa recorded a 34.3% increase in sales volume (a gain of 34 transactions) and a 21.2% increase in median sales price while Solano recorded an 11.9% increase in sales (a gain of 62 transactions) and a 16.6% increase in median sales price. The median sales price increased 26.3% in Contra Costa and 8.4% in Marin.

As always, keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed ("sold") many months or even years prior and are just now closing escrow (or being recorded).

Further Gains for Bay Area Home Sales and Prices [DQNews]
San Francisco Sales Volume Up 27.7% And Above Average In October [SocketSite]
Recorded San Francisco Activity Up 2.9% In November, Median Falls [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (40) | (email story)

December 7, 2012

Three Weeks Left To Discharge Your Mortgage Debt Tax Free

Speaking of the end of the year, the 2007 Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act is set to expire at the end of 2012.

The Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 generally allows taxpayers to exclude income from the discharge of debt on their principal residence. Debt reduced through mortgage restructuring, as well as mortgage debt forgiven in connection with a foreclosure, qualifies for the relief.
This provision applies to debt forgiven in calendar years 2007 through 2012. Up to $2 million of forgiven debt is eligible for this exclusion ($1 million if married filing separately). The exclusion does not apply if the discharge is due to services performed for the lender or any other reason not directly related to a decline in the home’s value or the taxpayer’s financial condition.

While the expected expiration of the Act likely fed the 35 percent increased in short sale volume across the US over the past year, listings of short sales in San Francisco have dropped dramatically from the middle of 2011 when over 225 properties, 14 percent of all listings and the peak of activity in San Francisco, were being offered as short sales.

Currently, less than 20 properties are listed as short sales in San Francisco, 3 percent of all active listings.

The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act and Debt Cancellation [irs.gov]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (6) | (email story)

November 28, 2012

San Francisco Prestige Index Up 2.4% Last Quarter, Up 8.1% YOY

San Francisco Prestige Index: Q3 2012 (www.SocketSite.com)

The First Republic Prestige Home Index for "San Francisco" homes valued at more than $1 million, and currently averaging $2.74 million, gained 2.4 percent from the second to third quarter of 2012, up 8.1 percent year-over-year.

The index remains down 11.3 percent from a third quarter 2007 peak but is back to first quarter 2005 levels, up 9.8 percent from the current cycle bottom which occurred in the first quarter of 2011 at which point the index was down 19.2 percent from its peak.

Over the past year, a little less than 25 percent of all home sales in San Francisco proper have been above the million dollar mark.

And as always, keep in mind that First Republic's "San Francisco" index includes "a cross-section of luxury homes in Alamo, Atherton, Belvedere, Danville, Healdsburg, Hillsborough, Lafayette, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Mill Valley, Moraga, Orinda, Palo Alto, Piedmont, Portola Valley, Ross, St. Helena, San Francisco, Saratoga, Sonoma, Tiburon and Woodside."

First Republic Prestige Home Index: San Francisco [firstrepublic.com]
San Francisco Prestige Index Up 2.9% In Q2 2012, Up 6.6% YOY [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

Pace Of New Home Sales Slips In October, Remains Below Average

October US New Home Sales Since 1963 (www.SocketSite.com)

The seasonally adjusted annual pace of new single-family home sales in the U.S. slipped to 368,000 in October, down a nominal 0.3 percent from a revised rate of 369,000 in September but remains 17.2 percent above the 314,000 pace recorded in October 2011, the second slowest October on record since 1963.

Annual new home sales in the U.S. have averaged 667,000 since 1963, peaking at 1,283,000 in 2005. Preliminary U.S. new home sales (versus pace) in October were estimated to be 29,000, unchanged from September. October sales peaked in 2005 with 105,000 new homes sold.

In the West, the pace of new home sales ticked up 8.8 percent from September to October, up 33.7 percent on a year-over-year basis.

New Residential Sales: September 2012 [census.gov]
New U.S. Home Sales Up From August And An All-Time Low Last Year [SocketSite]
New Residential Sales Since 1963 [census.gov]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

November 27, 2012

San Francisco Home And Condos Values Continue To Climb

According to the September 2012 S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, single-family home prices in the San Francisco MSA rose 0.5% from August to September and are up 7.5% year-over-year but remain down 34.4% from a May 2006 peak.

For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values rose 0.2% from August to September and are up 2.1% year-over-year, down 29.8% from a June 2006 peak.

We are entering the seasonally weak part of the year. The headline figures, which are not seasonally adjusted, showed five cities with lower prices in September versus only one in August; in the seasonally adjusted data the pattern was reversed: one city fell in September versus two in August. Despite the seasons, housing continues to improve.
Phoenix continues to lead the recovery with a +20.4% annual growth rate. Atlanta has finally reversed 26 months of annual declines with a +0.1% annual rate as observed in September’s housing data. At the other end of the spectrum, Chicago and New York were the only two cities to post annual declines of 1.5% and 2.3% respectively and were also down 0.6% and 0.1% month-over-month.
Thirteen of the 20 cities recorded positive monthly returns; Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland and New York saw modest drops in home prices in September as compared to August; Tampa and Washington D.C. were flat. With six months of consistently rising home prices, it is safe to say that we are now in the midst of a recovery in the housing market.

On a month-over-month basis, prices rose across the bottom two San Francisco price tiers with a nominal drop at the top.

S&P/Case-Shiller Index San Francisco Price Tiers: September 2012 (www.SocketSite.com)

The bottom third (under $366,247 at the time of acquisition) rose 2.0% from August to September, up 12.2% year-over-year; the middle third rose 1.7% from August to September, up 10.4% YOY; and the top third (over $666,869 at the time of acquisition) slipped 0.1% from August to September, up 5.6% YOY versus 4.7% in August.

According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA have returned to November 2000 levels (55% below an August 2006 peak), the middle third has returned to February 2003 levels (35% below a May 2006 peak), and the top third remains at May 2004 levels (21% below an August 2007 peak).

Condo values in the San Francisco MSA gained 0.9% from August to September and are up 13.5% year-over-year but remain 25.0% below their December 2005 peak.

S&P/Case-Shiller Condo Price Changes: September 2012 (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: Home Prices Rise for the Sixth Straight Month [Standard & Poor's]
San Francisco Home Values Tick Up, Condos Up 11.1 Percent YOY [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (41) | (email story)

November 20, 2012

U.S. Housing Starts Hit Four Year High But Remain Below Average

US Housing Starts History (www.SocketSite.com)

Housing starts in the U.S. rose 3.6 percent from September to October, up 41.9 percent year-over-year as construction of structures with five or more units increased 10.0 percent (up 62.9 percent year-over-year) while single-family home starts fell 0.2 percent (up 35.3 percent year-over-year).

Single-family housing starts hit 50,800 last month having averaged 87,400 a month since 1959, peaking at 170,400 in May of 2005 and measuring 150,700 that October. Starts for structures with five or more units hit 25,600 last month having 30,100 since 1963, peaking at 87,200 in May of 1973 and measuring 54,000 that October.

Total housing starts which measured 77,900 in October have averaged 122,500 a month since 1959, hitting 227,300 in early 2006 and peaking at 249,400 in early 1972.

On a year-over-year basis, permit activity to start construction was up 29.8 percent in October with applications for multi-family housing up 40.7 percent, up 26.6 percent for single-family homes.

In the west, starts were up 73.1 percent year-over-year, up 77.6 percent for single-family homes while permit activity was up 38.3 percent, up 44.0 percent for single-family homes.

New Residential Construction Statistics [doc.gov]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

November 19, 2012

Existing U.S. Home Sales Tick Up In October, Median Price Ticks Down

The pace of seasonally adjusted existing-home sales in the U.S. rose 2.1 percent from a downwardly revised pace of 4.69 million in September to a 4.79 million pace in October, 10.9 percent above the 4.32 million unit pace recorded in October 2011.

Total housing inventory at the end of October fell 1.4 percent to 2.14 million existing homes actively on the market, a 5.6 month supply, down from a 5.9 month supply in September and versus a 7.6 month supply in October 2011. On a national level, around six months of inventory has historically been considered to be a "balanced" market.

The median sale price for existing-homes fell 2.9 percent in October from $183,900 to $178,600, up 11.1 percent year-over-year as distressed sales accounted for 24 percent of sales volume, unchanged from September, down four points versus October 2011.

Existing-home sales in the west rose 4.4 percent from September to October, up 3.5 percent on a year-over-year basis with a median sales price that's up 21.2 percent year-over-year.

Existing-Home Sales Rise in October [realtor.org]
Existing U.S. Home Sales Tick Down In September [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

November 16, 2012

San Francisco Added 2,400 New Workers And Jobs Last Month

Preliminary labor force counts for San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties peg the current unemployment rates at 6.8%, 5.8% and 6.3% respectively, down 0.1 points in San Francisco and San Mateo from September to October, unchanged in Marin.

While the number of unemployed in San Francisco remains unchanged from September at 32,600, the labor force has grown by 2,400 (from 474,000 to 476,400) as has the number of employed (from 441,400 to 443,800).

Employment in San Francisco is currently up by 19,100 workers on a year-over-year (YOY) basis but remains 21,700 workers below a December 2000 dot-com peak (at which point the unemployment rate in San Francisco measured 3 percent).

The unadjusted unemployment rate in California ticked up to 9.8% in October as employment increased by 41,600 but the labor force increased by 68,500 and the number of unemployed increased by 27,100.

Monthly Labor Force Data for Counties: October 2012 (Preliminary) [EDD]
San Francisco Unemployment Under 7% For First Time Since 2008 [SocketsSite]
San Francisco Employment Trends And Dot-Com Context [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

November 14, 2012

San Francisco Sales Volume Up 27.7% And Above Average In October

San Francisco Sales Volume And Median Price: October 2012 (www.SocketSite.com)

Recorded home sales volume in San Francisco rose 27.7% on a year-over-year basis last month (572 recorded sales in October 2012 versus 448 sales in October 2011), up 16.3% as compared to the month prior and versus an average September to October increase of 1.6% over the past eight years. Since 2004, an average of 543 San Francisco homes have changed hands in the month of October.

San Francisco's median sales price in October was $794,500, up 25.1% on a year-over-year basis, up 6.6% as compared to September.

For the greater Bay Area, recorded sales volume in October was up 21.0% on a year-over-year basis, up 13.8% from the month prior (7,795 recorded sales in October '12 versus 6,444 in October ’11 and 6,650 this past September) with a recorded median sales price which was up 18.9% year-over-year, down 3.0% month-over-month.

In the words of DataQuick President John Walsh, "it’s unclear exactly much of today’s apparent price increase reflects actual growth, and how much reflects a change in market characteristics" (i.e., mix).

Last month distressed property sales – the combination of foreclosure resales and "short sales" – made up about 33 percent of the resale market. That was down from about 38 percent in September and down from about 63 percent in October 2011.
Foreclosure resales – homes that had been foreclosed on in the prior 12 months – accounted for 12.0 percent of resales in October, down from a revised 14.1 percent in September, and down from 25.3 percent a year ago. Last month was the lowest since foreclosure resales were 10.1 percent in November 2007. Foreclosure resales peaked at 52.0 percent in February 2009. The monthly average for foreclosure resales over the past 17 years is about 10 percent.
Short sales – transactions where the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property – made up an estimated 21.4 percent of Bay Area resales last month. That was down from an estimated 23.5 percent in September and down from 24.9 percent a year earlier.

All nine Bay Area counties recorded sales volume gains in October with Napa leading the pack on a percentage basis (a gain of 50 transactions, up 49.0 percent) and Alameda in terms of transactions (a gain of 310, up 23.7 percent).

As always, keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed ("sold") many months or even years prior and are just now closing escrow (or being recorded).

Bay Area Home Sales and Prices Up [DQNews]
San Francisco Home Sales Slip Seasonally But Spike Year-Over-Year [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 5:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (26) | (email story)

November 2, 2012

Key Economic, Building And Transportation Trends

The summary bullet points from the Planning Department’s just completed 2011 Commerce and Industry Inventory for San Francisco which covers a 10-year time-series of data, including population, labor force, employment, wages, business growth, retails sales, government expenditures/revenues, building, land use, and transportation trends:

• Employment, the simplest key indicator of economic activity, grew 2% to 559,000 jobs over employment in 2010 (13,300 additional jobs). The unemployment rate fell to 8.6% from 9.5% in 2010. [Editor's Note: As plugged-in people know, the unemployment rate in San Francisco is now under 7% and employment is up by 19,700 jobs on a year-over-year basis.]
• The number of business establishments increased to 55,250 firms or 5% growth over 2010. The faster rate of establishment growth compared to employment growth indicates more small firm expansion than large firm expansion.
• Citywide income from jobs reporting wages and salaries increased to $45 billion, or 8% over 2010. The average earnings per job in the SF economy increased to $81,000 per worker, or 3% since last year.
• Although building permit applications increased by 3% over 2010 levels to 22,600 applications, the estimated value or spending those projects represent in terms of project cost (not all will be spent locally in San Francisco) increased to $3.4 billion, or 52% over 2010. [Editor's Note: San Francisco's current construction pipeline.]
• Taxable retail sales increased 11% over 2010 levels, to $14.9 billion.
• City revenue was $4.1 billion in 2011, up 8% over 2010 while City expenditures were $3.77 billion and did not change from the previous year.

San Francisco’s population was estimated to have hit 812,500 in 2011 with daily transit ridership at roughly 650,000 trips, up 2.9% since 2007 with ridership on the 9-San Bruno line having doubled since 2006 and now the most used transit line in the City.

The full report will be presented to San Francisco’s Planning Commission next week.

San Francisco’s 2011 Commerce and Industry Inventory [sfplanning.org]
San Francisco Unemployment Under 7% For First Time Since 2008 [SocketSite]
San Francisco's Housing Pipeline: 4,200 New Units On The Way [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (35) | (email story)

October 30, 2012

Actual Versus "The Index" For A Contemporary Corona Heights Home

438 Roosevelt in 2010 (www.SocketSite.com)

Purchased for $2,275,000 in 2002 and unsuccessfully listed for $2,995,000 in 2007 and $2,295,000 in 2010, the contemporary Corona Heights home at 438 Roosevelt sold last week with a reported contract price of $2,300,000 having been listed for $2,499,000.

438 Roosevelt Interior

Call it an actual apples-to-apples gain of 1.1 percent for the "dramatic and sexy home" since 2002 versus the 0.96 percent gain in the Case-Shiller Index for San Francisco over the same time period, or the 12.9 percent gain in the Index for the top third of homes in the San Francisco MSA or the 22.2 percent gain in the San Francisco Prestige Index.

438 Roosevelt Returns Listed For 24,490 Benjamins [SocketSite]
More Monday Morning Modern (Or Is It Contemporary?) [SocketSite]
The Green Is Gone At 438 Roosevelt [SocketSite]
San Francisco Home Values Tick Up, Condos Up 11.1 Percent YOY [SocketSite]
San Francisco Prestige Index Up 2.9% In Q2 2012, Up 6.6% YOY [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (14) | (email story)

San Francisco Home Values Tick Up, Condos Up 11.1 Percent YOY

According to the August 2012 S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, single-family home values in the San Francisco MSA gained 0.5% from July 2012 to August 2012 and are up 5.3% year-over-year but remain down 34.8% from a May 2006 peak.

For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values gained 0.8% from July to August, up 1.4% year-over-year but remain down 29.9% from a June 2006 peak.

Nineteen of the 20 cities and both Composites showed monthly gains in August. Seventeen cities and both Composites posted positive annual returns in August 2012. In 18 cities and both Composites annual rates improved in August versus July. Dallas’ rate remained unchanged at +3.6% and Chicago worsened slightly from a -1.0% annual rate in July to a -1.6% annual rate in August.
Phoenix continues to lead the home price recovery. It recorded its fourth consecutive month of double-digit positive annual returns with a +18.8% rate for August. Atlanta posted a -6.1% annual rate, however this is significantly better than the nine consecutive months of double-digit declines it posted from October 2011 through June 2012. Las Vegas’ annual rate finally moved to positive territory with a +0.9% annual rate of change in August 2012, its first since January 2007.

On a month-over-month basis, values rose across all three San Francisco price tiers.

S&P/Case-Shiller Index San Francisco Price Tiers: August 2012 (www.SocketSite.com)

The bottom third (under $357,663 at the time of acquisition) gained 2.6% from July to August (up 7.5% YOY); the middle third gained 0.9% from July to August (up 7.3% YOY); and the top third (over $653,509 at the time of acquisition) gained 0.4% from July to August, up 4.7% year-over-year.

According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA have returned to just below October 2000 levels (down 56% from a peak in August 2006), the middle third has returned to June 2002 levels (down 36% from a peak in May 2006), and the top third has returned to just below May 2004 levels (down 21% from a peak in August 2007).

Condo values in the San Francisco MSA gained 2.5% from July to August and are up 11.1% year-over-year but remain 25.6% below their December 2005 peak.

S&P/Case-Shiller Condo Price Changes: August 2012 (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: Home Prices Continued to Rise in August 2012 [Standard & Poor's]
San Francisco Home Prices Gain In July, Condos Up 8.1 Percent YOY [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (18) | (email story)

October 24, 2012

New U.S. Home Sales Up From August And An All-Time Low Last Year

US New Home Sales Since 1963 (www.SocketSite.com)

The seasonally adjusted annual pace of new single-family home sales in the U.S. ticked up to 389,000 in September, up 5.7 percent from a revised rate of 368,000 in August and up 27.1 percent versus the 306,000 pace recorded in September 2011, an all-time low.

Annual new home sales in the U.S. have averaged 667,000 since 1963, peaking at 1,283,000 in 2005.

Preliminary U.S. new home sales (versus pace) in September were estimated to be 31,000 (give or take 7 percent), unchanged from August and up from a record September low of 24,000 last year. September sales peaked in 2005 with 99,000 new homes sold.

In the West, the pace of new home sales ticked up 3.9 percent versus August, up 62.1 percent on a year-over-year basis.

New Residential Sales: September 2012 [census.gov]
New U.S. Home Sales Slip In August But Remain Up 27.7% YOY [SocketSite]
New Residential Sales Since 1963 [census.gov]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:10 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | (email story)

October 19, 2012

San Francisco Unemployment Under 7% For First Time Since 2008

Preliminary September labor force counts for San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties peg the unemployment rates at 6.9%, 5.8% and 6.4% respectively, down 0.5 points in San Francisco and Marin, down 0.4 points in San Mateo. It's the first time unemployment in San Francisco has measured under 7% since 2008.

On a revised basis, the number of unemployed in San Francisco fell by 2,500 in September (from 35,100 to 32,600) as the labor force contracted by 1,600 (from 475,600 to 474,000) and the number of employed increased by 900 (from 440,500 to 441,400).

Employment in San Francisco is up by 19,700 workers on a year-over-year (YOY) basis but remains 24,100 workers below a December 2000 dot-com peak (at which point the unemployment rate in San Francisco measured 3 percent).

Overall unadjusted California unemployment fell to 9.7% in September as employment increased by 109,800, the labor force contracted by 31,300, and the number of unemployed fell by 141,300.

Monthly Labor Force Data for Counties: August 2012 (Preliminary) [EDD]
San Francisco Employment Up By 200 In August, Up 22,100 YOY [SocketsSite]
San Francisco Employment Trends And Dot-Com Context [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

Existing U.S. Home Sales Tick Down In September

The pace of seasonally adjusted existing-home sales in the U.S. fell 1.7 percent from 4.83 million in August to a 4.75 million pace in September but remains 11.0 percent above the 4.28 million unit pace recorded in September 2011.

Total housing inventory at the end of September fell 3.3 percent to 2.32 million existing homes actively on the market, a 5.9 month supply, down from a 6.0 month supply in August and versus an 8.1 month supply in September 2011. Keep in mind that on a national level, around six months of inventory has historically been considered to be a "balanced" market.

The median sale price for existing-homes fell 1.9 percent in September from $187,400 to $183,900, up 11.3 percent year-over-year as distressed sales accounted for 24 percent of sales volume, up two points from August, down six points versus September 2011.

Existing-home sales in the west fell 3.4 percent from August to September, up 0.9 percent on a year-over-year basis with a median sales price that's up 18.4 percent year-over-year.

September Existing-Home Sales Down, Prices Improve [realtor.org]
Existing U.S. Home Sales Pace Hits Two-Year High In August [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

October 15, 2012

San Francisco Home Sales Slip Seasonally But Spike Year-Over-Year

San Francisco Sales Volume And Median Price: September 2012 (www.SocketSite.com)

Recorded home sales volume in San Francisco rose 23.3% on a year-over-year basis last month (492 recorded sales in September 2012 versus 399 sales in September 2011) but fell 21.3% as compared to the month prior, twice the average August to September seasonal drop of 9.8% recorded over the past eight years.

An average of 532 San Francisco homes have sold in September since 2004 when recorded sales volume hit at 763. And while sales volume in San Francisco this past August was the strongest since 2006, September sales volume was eight percent less than in 2009.

San Francisco's median sales price in September was $745,000, up 21.4% on a year-over-year basis, up 6.4% as compared to August.

For the greater Bay Area, recorded sales volume in September was up 1.5% on a year-over-year basis, down 20.2% from the month prior (6,850 recorded sales in September '12 versus 6,749 in September ’11 and 8,579 in August '12) with a recorded median sales price which was up 17.5% year-over-year, up 4.6% month-over-month.

An August-to-September sales decline is normal for the season, although last month’s drop was exaggerated because the month started and ended with a weekend and had fewer business days. Sales for the month of September have varied from 5,014 in 2007 to 13,343 in 2003, while the average for all months of September since 1988, when DataQuick’s statistics start, is 8,572.
Home flipping has picked up this year. The number of Bay Area homes that sold twice on the open market within a six-month period rose to 3.9 percent of all homes sold in September. That was up from a flipping rate of 3.6 percent in August and up from 2.7 percent a year earlier.

At the extremes, San Francisco recorded the greatest increase in Bay Area sales volume while Solano recorded an 11.4% decrease (a loss of 69 transactions) on a 2.6% increase in median sales price, the lowest in the Bay Area. The median sales price increased 27.0% in Contra Costa with a nominal 0.6% increase in sales volume.

As always, keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed ("sold") many months or even years prior and are just now closing escrow (or being recorded).

Bay Area Median Highest in Four Years [DQNews]
August San Francisco Home Sales Highest Since 2006 [SocketSite]
Medians Are Up, But Don’t Confuse That With Increasing "Prices" [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (19) | (email story)

October 11, 2012

Foreclosure Activity In San Francisco: Pipeline Flattens, Auctions Fall

Having fallen 5 percent from July to August, pre-foreclosure activity in San Francisco has remained relatively flat over the past two months with 375 properties in the pipeline, 35 percent of which are in District 10* versus 33 percent two months ago when a total of 378 San Francisco properties were in the pipeline.

On a year-over-year basis, pre-foreclosure activity is down almost 40 percent with over 600 properties in the pipeline at the same time last year, roughly 35 percent of which were in District 10.

The number of properties currently scheduled for auction in San Francisco (477) fell by 7 percent over the past two months, 44 percent of which are in District 10, roughly the same percentage as in 2011.

Last year roughly 70 percent of scheduled foreclosure auctions in San Francisco were cancelled (only one point above the 69 percent cancellation rate for scheduled auctions in District 10), up from a 66 percent cancellation rate in 2010, 55 percent in 2009, 53 percent in 2008, and 49 percent in 2007.

*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.

Foreclosure Activity Falls In San Francisco, Pipeline Down 31 Percent [SocketSite]
San Francisco Association Of Realtors New Neighborhood Map [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | (email story)

September 26, 2012

New U.S. Home Sales Slip In August But Remain Up 27.7% YOY

New U.S. Home Sales Since 1963

The seasonally adjusted annual pace of new single-family home sales in the U.S. slipped to 373,000 in August, down 0.3 percent from a revised rate of 374,000 in July, but remain up 27.7 percent versus the 292,000 pace recorded in August of last year.

Annual new home sales in the U.S. have averaged 667,000 since 1963, peaking at 1,283,000 in 2005, bottoming at 306,000 last year.

Preliminary U.S. new home sales (versus pace) in August were estimated to be 31,000 (give or take 7 percent), down from 34,000 in July and the third slowest August on record but up from an August low of 23,000 in 2010. August sales peaked in 2005 with 110,000 new homes sold.

In the West, the pace of new home sales ticked up 0.9 percent versus July, up 64.6 percent on a year-over-year basis.

New Residential Sales: July 2012 [census.gov]
U.S. New Home Sales Pace Jumps 25.3% Year-Over-Year In July [SocketSite]
New Residential Sales Since 1963 [census.gov]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

September 25, 2012

San Francisco Home Prices Gain In July, Condos Up 8.1 Percent YOY

S&P/Case-Shiller Index Change: July 2012 (www.SocketSite.com)

According to the July 2012 S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, single-family home prices in the San Francisco MSA increased 1.9% from June 2012 to July 2012, up 4.8% year-over-year but 35.1% below their May 2006 peak.

For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values increased 1.5% from June to July, up 0.7% year-over-year, down 30.5% from a June 2006 peak.

Digging into the numbers, 15 cities and both Composites had stronger annual returns in July’s report. New York was the only city with a worse 12-month decline in July than June. Dallas and Washington D.C. saw no change in their annual rates. Cleveland and Detroit saw annual rates decelerate in July versus June, although they remain positive for both cities.
The news on home prices in this report confirm recent good news about housing. Single family housing starts are well ahead of last year’s pace, existing home sales are up, the inventory of homes for sale is down and foreclosure activity is slowing. All in all, we are more optimistic about housing. Upbeat trends continue. For the third time in a row, all 20 cities and both Composites had monthly gains. Stronger housing numbers are a positive factor for other measures including consumer confidence.
Among the cities, Miami and Phoenix are both well off their bottoms with positive monthly gains since the end of 2011. Many of the markets we follow have seen some decent recovery from their respective lows – San Francisco up 20.4%, Detroit up 19.7%, Phoenix up 17.0% and Minneapolis up 16.5%, to name the top few. These were some of the markets that were hit the hardest when the housing bubble burst in 2006,

On a month-over-month basis, prices increased across all three San Francisco price tiers.

S&P/Case-Shiller Index San Francisco Price Tiers: July 2012 (www.SocketSite.com)

The bottom third (under $349,250 at the time of acquisition) rose 2.5% from June to July (up 3.2% YOY); the middle third rose 2.2% from June to July (up 5.7% YOY); and the top third (over $636,666 at the time of acquisition) rose 1.1% from June to July, up 4.3% year-over-year versus 3.7% in June.

According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA are back to August 2000 levels (57% below an August 2006 peak), the middle third is back to June 2002 levels (37% below a May 2006 peak), and the top third is back to just below June 2004 levels (21% below an August 2007 peak).

Condo values in the San Francisco MSA rose 2.1% from June to July, up 8.1% year-over-year but still 27.5% below a December 2005 peak.

S&P/Case-Shiller Condo Price Changes: July 2012 (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: Home Prices Increase Again in July 2012 [Standard & Poor's]
S&P/Case-Shiller San Francisco: Home/Condo Prices Continue Gains [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (27) | (email story)

September 21, 2012

San Francisco Employment Up By 200 In August, Up 22,100 YOY

Preliminary August labor force counts for San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties peg the unemployment rates at 7.4%, 6.3% and 6.8% respectively, down 0.3 points in San Francisco, down 0.4 points in Marin, and down 0.2 points in Marin.

On a revised basis, the number of unemployed in San Francisco fell by 1,400 in August (from 36,500 to 35,100) as the labor force contracted by 1,200 (from 476,800 to 475,600) and the number of employed increased by 200 (from 440,300 to 440,500).

Employment in San Francisco is up by 22,100 workers on a year-over-year (YOY) basis but remains 25,000 workers below a December 2000 dot-com peak (at which point the unemployment rate in San Francisco measured 3 percent).

Overall unadjusted California unemployment fell to 10.4% in August as employment increased by 14,900, the labor force contracted by 80,400, and the number of unemployed fell by 95,100.

Monthly Labor Force Data for Counties: August 2012 (Preliminary) [EDD]
Employment In San Francisco Up By 4,600 In July, Up 24,900 YOY [SocketsSite]
San Francisco Employment Trends And Dot-Com Context [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:10 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

September 20, 2012

Mortgage Rates Return To All-Time Lows

According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rates averaged 3.49 percent (with 0.6 points) for the week ending today, down from 3.55 percent last week, versus 4.09 percent a year ago, and back to the all-time low recorded this past July.

The average 15-year fixed mortgage rate has dropped to a new all-time record low of 2.77 percent, down from 2.85 percent last week and versus 3.29 percent a year ago.

As rates dropped, mortgage applications to purchase homes in the U.S. increased 8 percent last week on an unadjusted basis, year-over-year, but fell 4 percent on an adjusted basis, week-over-week. Refinancing activity increased 1 percent last week according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Mortgage Rates Back To Record Lows [Freddie Mac]
Whoops, They Did It Again: Mortgage Rates Hit New All-Time Lows [SocketSite]
Mortgage Rates Drop to New Survey Lows [mbaa.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (13) | (email story)

September 19, 2012

Existing U.S. Home Sales Pace Hits Two-Year High In August

The pace of seasonally adjusted existing-home sales in the U.S. increased 7.8 percent from 4.47 million in July to a 4.82 million pace in August, up 9.3 percent from the 4.41 million unit pace recorded in August 2011.

Total housing inventory at the end of July increased 2.9 percent to 2.47 million existing homes actively on the market, a 6.1 month supply, down from a 6.4 month supply in July and an 8.2 month supply in August 2011.

The median sale price for existing-homes ticked up a nominal 0.1 percent in July to $187,400, up 9.5 percent year-over-year as distressed sales accounted for 22 percent of sales volume, down two points from July, down nine points versus August 2011.

Existing-home sales in the west increased 8.3 percent from July to August, up 8.3 percent year-over-year with a median sales price that's up 16.3 percent year-over-year, driven by more sales at the upper end of the market.

August Existing-Home Sales and Prices Rise [realtor.org]
Existing U.S. Home Sales Tick Up As Median Ticks Down In July [SocketSite]
August San Francisco Home Sales Highest Since 2006 [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

September 17, 2012

August San Francisco Home Sales Highest Since 2006

San Francisco Sales Volume And Median Price: August 2012 (www.SocketSite.com)

The recorded sales volume of homes in San Francisco rose 29.1% on a year-over-year basis last month (625 recorded sales in August 2012 versus 484 sales in August 2011), up 10.3% as compared to the month prior, the highest August sales volume since 2006 (669 sales). An average of 600 homes have sold each August in San Francisco since 2004 when sales volume peaked at 814.

San Francisco's median sales price in August was $700,000, up 13.2% on a year-over-year basis, down 2.0% as compared to July.

For the greater Bay Area, recorded sales volume in August was up 14.2% on a year-over-year basis, up 1.4% from the month prior (8,579 recorded sales in August '12 versus 7,513 in August ’11 and 8,461 in July '12) on a recorded median sales price which was up 10.8% year-over-year, down 2.6% month-over-month.

Last month 40.2 percent of Bay Area sales were for $500,000 or more, down from a revised 42.0 percent in July, and up from 35.9 percent in August 2011. The low for the current cycle was January 2009, when just 22.7 percent of sales crossed the $500,000 threshold. Over the past 10 years, a monthly average of 48.0 percent of homes sold for $500,000-plus.
Last month distressed property sales – the combination of foreclosure resales and "short sales" – made up about 33.8 percent of the Bay Area’s resale market. That was down from 34.0 percent in July and down from 43.8 percent a year ago.

At the extremes, Napa recorded a 32.2% increase in sales volume (a gain of 39 sales) with a 9.4% increase in median sales price while Contra Costa recorded a 4.6% increased in sales (a gain of 73 sales) with a 15.2% increase in median sales price. The median sales price increased 2.3% in Marin while sales volume increased 29.2%.

As always, keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed ("sold") many months or even years prior and are just now closing escrow (or being recorded).

Bay Area August Home Sales Highest Since 2006 [DQNews]
Recorded San Francisco Sales Up 27.7% In July (Year-Over-Year) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (39) | (email story)

September 13, 2012

A History Of Property Tax Appeals In SF And Tip To Save $30

From 1999 to 2009, the number appeals filed for reductions in assessed value for properties in San Francisco averaged 1,500, hitting 2,257 in 2003 and peaking at 2,476 in 2009. Over the last three years, the number of appeals has averaged 6,357 with 6,399 appeals filed for the 2011-2012 fiscal year.

There is currently a backlog of 7,729 cases yet to be closed with a total of 5,563 cases processed last year.

While down from a 24.5 percent increase in 2010, and a 16.4 percent increase in 2011, the average value of a one-year reduction in assessed value increased 3 percent in 2012 according to the Assessor-Recorder’s office.

A plugged-in reader with a history of successfully appealing offers some guidance and a little known tip to save another thirty bucks. Once again, the deadline for filing an appeal is this Monday.

Deadline For Appealing Assessed Values In San Francisco Nears [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:30 AM | Permalink | (email story)

September 4, 2012

Here To Stay Today, But Likely To Be Gone Tomorrow

446-448 Missouri Street Sign

As we first reported about the sale of 446-448 Missouri Street in July:

The two-unit building at 446-448 Missouri Street is on the market in Potrero and asking $1,199,000 for the whole shebang. According to the listing, however, while "both units enjoy classic details," it's only the upper unit that "enjoy[s] panoramic City views!"
Unfortunately, while the lower two-bedroom unit is vacant, the upper two-bedroom is currently tenant occupied at a rent of $2,119 per month. And as a plugged-in tipster captures, the tenants have recently made their intentions clear.

The sale of 446-448 Missouri Street, which is neither condos or a single-family home, closed escrow on Friday with a reported contract price of $1,290,000. No word on how the "Here to Stay" tenants are being handled or whether or not they're going to get paid.

Full Disclosure Or Poisoning The Well? [SocketSite]
Rent Control In San Francisco: The Real Rules [SocketSite]
Renters get boot with big rate hike [SFGate]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (25) | (email story)

Two More Years (And Three New Trees) For Off Street Parking Off 8th

38 8th Street Lot

With surface area parking lots across San Francisco rapdily giving way to urban infill, a reader wonders what’s in store for the parking lot at 38 8th and Stevenson Streets that has been gated shut since early this year.

While The Holiday Inn, Inc. which owns the lot and adjacent hotel does plan to develop the site at some point in the future ("pending the return of favorable economic conditions"), at present they’re planning to renovate and reopen the lot with entitlements for a legal two-year stint having operated without for the past 26 years, a fact the Planning Department recently brought to the Inn’s attention.

As part of the Project, the lot will be improved to include landscaping and ornamental fencing along the street facing property lines, renovation of the storm drain, a new partial sidewalk on Stevenson Street as part of an accessible path of travel, installation of new street trees...and elimination of the existing curb cut along 8th Street.

With respect to the street trees, San Francisco's Planning Code requires one new tree for every 20 feet of frontage when new parking is entitled. With 190 feet of frontage, ten new trees are required for this project but only three along 8th Street will be installed as the Department of Public Works has recommended the Inn pay an in-lieu fee for the remaining seven "due to several site constraints, such as the narrow sidewalk along Stevenson Street."

Posted by socketadmin at 2:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (7) | (email story)

August 29, 2012

San Francisco Prestige Index Up 2.9% In Q2 2012, Up 6.6% YOY

San Francisco Prestige Index: Q2 2012 (www.SocketSite.com)

The First Republic Prestige Home Index for "San Francisco" homes valued at more than $1 million, and currently averaging $2.67 million, gained 2.9 percent from the first to second quarter of 2012, up 6.6 percent year-over-year.

The index remains down 13.4 percent from a third quarter 2007 peak but is back to first quarter 2005 levels, up 7.2 percent from the first quarter of 2011 current cycle bottom.

As always, keep in mind that the "San Francisco" index includes "a cross-section of luxury homes in Alamo, Atherton, Belvedere, Danville, Healdsburg, Hillsborough, Lafayette, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Mill Valley, Moraga, Orinda, Palo Alto, Piedmont, Portola Valley, Ross, St. Helena, San Francisco, Saratoga, Sonoma, Tiburon and Woodside."

First Republic Prestige Home Index: San Francisco [firstrepublic.com]
San Francisco Prestige Index Down 0.3% In Q4 2011, Down 3.1% YOY [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (22) | (email story)

August 28, 2012

S&P/Case-Shiller San Francisco: Home/Condo Prices Continue Gains

S&P/Case-Shiller Index Change: June 2012 (www.SocketSite.com)

According to the June 2012 S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, single-family home prices in the San Francisco MSA gained 2.8% from May 2012 to June 2012, up 3.0% year-over-year (YOY) but remains 36.3% below a May 2006 peak.

For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values gained 2.2% from May to June, up 0.1% year-over-year, the first YOY gain in twenty (20) months but 31.5% below a June 2006 peak.

Only two cities – Charlotte and Dallas – saw annual rates of change worsen in June. The other 18 cities and both composites saw improvement in this statistic, and 13 of these had a positive trend. There were only six cities – Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York and San Diego – where the annual rates of change were still negative. Boston’s annual rate was flat. We seem to be witnessing exactly what we needed for a sustained recovery; monthly increases coupled with improving annual rates of change. The market may have finally turned around.
The regions showed positive results for June. All 20 of the cities saw average home prices rise in June over May and all were by at least 1.0%. Detroit was up the most, +6.0%, and Charlotte the least, +1.0%. The Composites showed the same increases as last month – the 10-City rose by 2.2% in June and the 20-City by 2.3%. We are aware that we are in the middle of a seasonal buying period, but the combined positive news coming from both monthly and annual rates of change in home prices bode well for the housing market.

On a month-over-month basis, prices increased across all three San Francisco price tiers.

S&P/Case-Shiller Index San Francisco Price Tiers: June 2012 (www.SocketSite.com)

The bottom third (under $336,465 at the time of acquisition) gained 2.3% from May to June (up 1.5% YOY); the middle third gained 2.0% from May to June (up 2.4% YOY); and the top third (over $610,976 at the time of acquisition) gained 1.3% from May to June, up 3.7% year-over-year (versus 2.6% in May).

According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA are back to July 2000 levels (58% below an August 2006 peak), the middle third is back to May 2002 levels (38% below a May 2006 peak), and the top third is back to April 2004 levels (22% below an August 2007 peak).

Condo values in the San Francisco MSA gained 2.3% from May to June, up 4.8% year-over-year but still 28.9% below from a December 2005 peak.

S&P/Case-Shiller Condo Price Changes: June 2012 (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: Home Prices Rose in the Second Quarter of 2012 [Standard & Poor's]
Case-Shiller San Francisco: First Year-Over-Year Gain In 18 Months [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (6) | (email story)

August 27, 2012

Tech Jobs Up By A Third In San Francisco, Filled Mostly By Commuters

From the Examiner, to SFAppeal, to TechCrunch, news sites across the country have been misreporting that the number of tech jobs in San Francisco has tripled from January through June of this year, from 13,000 to 44,000. The actual increase was 13,000, up a third from 31,000 to 44,000.

Directly from San Francisco's Center for Economic Development in response to our inquiry into the reported tripling that simply didn't make any sense:

Since early 2012 the number of workers in San Francisco's tech sector has grown by 13,000 to total 44,000. During the same time period, 150 more technology firms moved to the city, bringing the total number to 1,850. This growing trend is helping eliminate commutes to Silicon Valley for many San Francisco-based workers and, analysts believe, strengthening the city's housing and rental markets.

Note that employment within San Francisco has increased by 6,200 workers from January through June, suggesting that over half of those 13,000 new tech jobs have been filled by workers commuting from housing outside the city.

UPDATE: Four hours after we uncovered the link to the correct data and first published our report, the Chronicle figured it out. The first line of the Chronicle's report: "SF Appeal, Tech Crunch, the Examiner and others are all reporting that tech jobs tripled in San Francisco this year — a growth rate that would be stunning, if only it were true." Stunning, indeed.

Tech jobs in SF triple in first half of 2012 [SF Examiner]
SF Tech Job Numbers Triple In 2012 [SFAppeal]
Tech Jobs Have Tripled In San Francisco Since The Start Of 2012 [TechCrunch]
Employment In San Francisco Up By 4,600 In July, Up 24,900 YOY [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (17) | (email story)

August 23, 2012

U.S. New Home Sales Pace Jumps 25.3% Year-Over-Year In July

The seasonally adjusted annual pace of new single-family home sales in the U.S. rose to 372,000 in July, up 3.6 percent from a revised rate of 359,000 in June, 25.3 percent above the 297,000 pace recorded in July 2011.

Preliminary U.S. new home sales (versus pace) in July were estimated to be 34,000 (give or take 8 percent), unchanged from June and the fourth slowest July on record but a two-year high. July sales peaked in 2005 with 117,000 new homes sold.

Annual new home sales in the U.S. have averaged 671,000 since 1963, peaking at 1,283,000 in 2005, bottoming at 306,000 last year.

In the West, the pace of new home sales fell 0.9 percent versus June but was up 68.3 percent on a year-over-year basis.

New Residential Sales: July 2012 [census.gov]
U.S. New Home Sales: Up 15.1% YOY In June But Drop From May [SocketSite]
New Residential Sales Since 1963 [census.gov]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

August 22, 2012

Existing U.S. Home Sales Tick Up As Median Ticks Down In July

The pace of seasonally adjusted existing-home sales in the U.S. increased 2.3 percent from a downwardly revised 4.37 million in June to a 4.47 million pace in July, up 10.4 percent from the 4.05 million unit pace recorded in July 2011.

Total housing inventory at the end of July increased 1.3 percent to 2.4 million existing homes actively on the market, a 6.4 month supply, down from a 6.6 month supply in July and a 9.3 month supply in July 2011.

The median sale price for existing-homes ticked down 1.1 percent in June to $187,300, up 9.4 percent year-over-year as distressed sales accounted for 24 percent of sales volume, down one point from June and down five points versus July 2011.

Existing-home sales in the west were unchanged from June to July but up 5.9 percent year-over-year with a median sales price that's up 24.5 percent year-over-year, driven by more sales at the upper end of the market.

Existing-Home Sales Improve in July, Prices Continue to Rise [realtor.org]
Existing U.S. Sales Pace And Supply Slip In June As Median Mixes Up [SocketSite]
Existing U.S. Sales Pace And Supply Slip In May, Median Ticks Up [SocketSite]
Recorded San Francisco Sales Up 27.7% In July (Year-Over-Year) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

August 17, 2012

We've Been Looking Past The Overhyped Facebook Effect, Have You?

S&P 500 versus Facebook (8/17/2012)

We took a bit of heat for suggesting our readers Look Past The Overhyped Facebook Effect in February. As we wrote at the time:

Forget the overhyped Facebook effect (a.k.a. "buy now or be priced out forever 2.0") and simply turn your attention to the S&P 500 which closed the day at 1,363.05, just below its April 2011 high of 1,363.61 (its highest close since June 2008) and the Dow’s 12,986.81, its highest close since May 2008.

Having since gone public at $38 a share, Facebook shares closed at $19.05 today.

As a plugged-in reader noted, the current Market Cap for the company is roughly $41 billion according to Google (see UPDATE below), 18 percent less than the $50 billion at which the company was valued by Goldman Sachs in January 2011, since which more than half of the current employees have joined the company and been awarded shares.

That being said, the S&P 500 closed at 1,418.16 today, one point below its four year high, and the Dow closed at 13,275.20. And the number of employed people in San Francisco is currently up by 9,700 over the past five months, up 24,900 over the past year.

UPDATE: As a plugged-in reader quickly points out and assuming Henry Blodget is correct, Google’s share count for Facebook is wrong and should be 2,741,423,185, undercounting the effective number of shares by 22 percent and the market cap by as much as well.

As such, Facebook should have a current market cap of $52 billion, not $41 billion, 4 percent over its $50 billion valuation at the beginning of 2011.

We’ll also take this opportunity to note that of those 2,741,423,185 shares, only 692 million are currently tradable while the potential float will increase by another 1.6 billion shares over the next three months.

Look Past The Overhyped Facebook Effect [SocketSite]
What's The Point? [SocketSite]
Facebook On The Home Front [SocketSite]
Employment In San Francisco Up By 4,600 In July, Up 24,900 YOY [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (95) | (email story)

Employment In San Francisco Up By 4,600 In July, Up 24,900 YOY

Preliminary July labor force data counts for San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties pegs the unemployment rates at 7.7%, 6.7% and 7.0% respectively, down 0.1 points in San Francisco and San Mateo, up 0.1 points in Marin.

On a revised basis, the number of unemployed in San Francisco fell by 200 in July (from 36,700 to 36,500) as the labor force increased by 4,500 (from 472,300 to 476,800) and the number of employed increased by 4,600 (from 435,700 to 440,300).

Employment in San Francisco is up by 24,900 workers on a year-over-year (YOY) basis but remains 25,200 workers below a December 2000 dot-com peak (at which point the unemployment rate in San Francisco measured 3 percent).

Overall unadjusted California unemployment increased to 10.9% in July as employment increased by 3,000 workers but the labor force increased by 41,600.

Monthly Labor Force Data for Counties: June 2012 (Preliminary) [EDD]
San Francisco Employment And Unemployment Both Tick Up In June [SocketsSite]
San Francisco Employment Trends And Dot-Com Context [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:10 AM | Permalink | Comments (5) | (email story)

August 16, 2012

U.S. Housing Starts Up 21.5% Year-Over-Year But Still Below Average

US Housing Starts History (www.SocketSite.com)

Housing starts in the U.S. fell 1.1 percent from June to July but remain up 21.5 percent year-over-year as construction of structures with five or more units increased 9.6 percent (up 30.1 percent year-over-year) while single-family home starts fell 6.5 percent (up 17.0 percent year-over-year).

Single-family housing starts peaked at 170,400 in May of 2005 and measured 158,000 that July versus 49,500 last month. Starts for structures with five or more units which peaked at 87,200 in May of 1973 and measured 75,600 that July were 20,800 last month.

Total housing starts which measured 71,700 in July have averaged 122,700 a month since 1959, hitting 227,300 in early 2006 and peaking at 249,400 in early 1972.

On a year-over-year basis, permit activity to start construction was up 29.5 percent in July with applications for multi-family housing up 47.3 percent, up 23.0 percent for single-family homes.

In the west, starts were up 48.1 percent year-over-year, up 26.1 percent for single-family homes while permit activity was up 53.8 percent, up 44.6 percent for single-family homes.

New Residential Construction: June 2012 [doc.gov]
U.S. Housing Starts Up 23.6% Year-Over-Year But Half Historic Pace [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

August 15, 2012

Recorded San Francisco Sales Up 27.7% In July (Year-Over-Year)

Francisco Sales Volume And Median Price: July 2012 (www.SocketSite.com)

Recorded home sales volume in San Francisco rose 27.7% on a year-over-year basis last month (567 recorded sales in July 2012 versus 444 sales in July 2011), down 3.2% as compared to the month prior but versus an average June to July decrease of 10.6% over the past seven years. An average of 594 San Francisco homes have sold in July since 2004 when recorded sales volume hit 893.

San Francisco's median sales price in July was $714,000, up 5.8% on a year-over-year basis, up 0.1% as compared to June in which the median was up 7.3% year-over-year.

For the greater Bay Area, recorded sales volume in July was up 22.9% on a year-over-year basis, down 1.4% from the month prior (8,461 recorded sales in July '12 versus 6,887 in July ’11 and 8,577 in June '12) on a recorded median sales price which was up 12.6% year-over-year, up 1.0% month-over-month.

It appears that roughly half of the 12.6 percent year-over-year gain in July's median sale price can be attributed to a shift in market mix, where the overall regional median is tugged up by a higher share of sales occurring in the mid-to-upper price ranges. In July, price levels for the lowest-cost third of the Bay Area's housing stock rose 9.6 percent year-over-year, while they rose 7.8 percent in the middle and increased 1.2 percent in the top third of the market.
Jumbo loans, mortgages above the old conforming limit of $417,000, accounted for 38.5 percent of last month’s purchase lending, the highest since 38.6 percent in December 2007. It was up from a revised 38.4 percent in June, and up from 33.4 percent a year ago. Jumbo usage dropped to 17.1 percent in January 2009. Before the credit crunch struck in August 2007, jumbos accounted for nearly 60 percent of the Bay Area purchase loan market.
The typical monthly mortgage payment that Bay Area buyers committed themselves to paying last month was $1,522, down from $1,532 in June, and down from $1,525 a year ago. Adjusted for inflation, last month’s payment was 45.6 percent below the typical payment in spring 1989, the peak of the prior real estate cycle. It was 59.8 percent below the current cycle's peak in July 2007.

At the extremes, Marin recorded a 45.7% increase in sales volume (a gain of 106 transactions) with a 3.9% increase in median sales price while Solano recorded a 1.0% increase in sales volume (a gain of 6 transactions) with a 1.3% increase in median price. The median sales price was up 32.6% in Napa with 30 more sales, an increase of 28.6%.

As always, keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed ("sold") many months or even years prior and are just now closing escrow (or being recorded).

Bay Area Home Sales and Prices Continue Upward Trend [DQNews]
Recorded San Francisco Sales Up 9.9% In June (Year-Over-Year) [SocketSite]
San Francisco Recorded Sales Activity Down 1.8% In July [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:25 AM | Permalink | Comments (32) | (email story)

August 14, 2012

Foreclosure Activity Falls In San Francisco, Pipeline Down 31 Percent

Having dropped 17 percent from April to June, pre-foreclosure activity in San Francisco has fallen another 5 percent over the past two months with 378 properties in the pipeline, 33 percent of which are in District 10* versus 39 percent two months ago.

On a year-over-year basis, pre-foreclosure activity is down 31 percent with 576 properties in the pipeline at the same time last year, 32 percent of which were in District 10.

The number of properties currently scheduled for auction in San Francisco (514) fell by 2 percent over the past two months, 45 percent of which are in District 10, down 26 percent from August 2011 when 43 percent were in District 10.

Last year roughly 70 percent of scheduled foreclosure auctions in San Francisco were cancelled (only one point above the 69 percent cancellation rate for scheduled auctions in District 10), up from a 66 percent cancellation rate in 2010, 55 percent in 2009, 53 percent in 2008, and 49 percent in 2007.

*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.

Foreclosure Activity Falls In San Francisco, Pipeline Down 31 Percent [SocketSite]
San Francisco Association Of Realtors New Neighborhood Map [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

August 10, 2012

Bay Area Tops The Zip List For Million Dollar Home Sales In California

Top Zip Codes for Million Dollar Sales

In the second quarter of 2012, a total of 7,763 homes sold for a million dollars or more in California, up 18.5 percent from the second quarter of 2011. Ranked by total sales per zip code, Hillsborough/Burlingame (94010) sat atop the list with 134 million-dollar-plus sales in the second quarter, up from 118 last year, and with a top sale of $5.28 million.

Eleven other Bay Area zip codes made the top 25 in terms of sales. In fact, combining Los Altos zip codes 94022 and 94024 would top the list of California communities with 167 million dollar sales in the second quarter of 2012, up from 147 the year before and with a top sale of $6.15 million.

A combined 95030 and 95032 would rank Los Gatos third with 129 sales, up from 75 the year before and with a top sale of $4.66 million. The only San Francisco zip code to make the top 25 list was 94114, ranked number 19 with 65 sales last quarter, up from 50 in the second quarter of 2011 and with a top sale of $3.25 million which was 350 Hill Street.

The other Bay Area zip codes to make the top 25 list:

2. Saratoga (95070): 126 sales (up from 93) with a $5.35 million top sale
5. Cupertino (95014): 105 sales (up from 88) with a $2.45 million top sale
7. Menlo Park (94025): 100 sales (down from 124) with a $4.8 million top sale
12. Fremont (94539): 83 sales (up from 52) with a $3.39 million top sale
21. Palo Alto (94306): 62 sales (down from 69) with a $3.15 million top sale
23. Alamo (94507): 61 sales (up from 28) with a $2.33 million top sale

Also of note, leverage has increased as 31.0 percent of the million-dollar-plus buyers in the second quarter paid cash, down from 37.7 percent in the first quarter, down slightly from 31.9 percent in the second quarter of 2011. In the five million dollars or more segment, 59.4 percent of the purchases were cash.

California Million-Dollar Home Sales Highest Since 2007 [dqnews.com]
No Hill Street Blues For This Maniscalco Designed Home [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (26) | (email story)

August 8, 2012

Upping The Ante For Bicycle Parking In San Francisco

While the bicycle commuting behaviors of those living downtown might not have shifted much from 2000 to 2010, bicycle commuting across San Francisco is on the rise.

The US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) shows a 66% increase in bicycle commuters in San Francisco from 2002 (2.1% of work trips) to 2010 (3.5% of work trips), third in the nation behind Portland, Oregon (6%) and Seattle, Washington (3.5%) in ridership among major US cities.
Other local surveys also reflect increase in bicycle use. San Francisco MTA’s annual bicycle counts have more than doubled between 2006 (4,862 riders) and 2011 (10,139) at sampled locations.
Additionally, local surveys and traffic modeling estimations show about 75,000 bike trips are being made each day out of over 2 million total trips by all modes (3.7%).

As such and as part of the San Francisco Bike Plan adopted in 2009, a proposed ordinance would amend San Francisco’s current Planning Code to increase bike parking requirements for new residential and commercial developments and expand bike parking requirements to include "schools and colleges, general retail, offices, grocery stores, manufacturing, medical services, childcare, cultural centers and so forth."

The proposed ordinance would also establish a bike parking fund into which developers could pay an in lieu fee of $500 per required bicycle parking spot to be administered by the SFMTA and fund on-street bike parking in the vicinity of projects paying the fees.

The State Of San Francisco's Downtown: Property, People And Parking [SocketSite]
San Francisco Bicycle Transportation Plan Ordinance [sfbos.org]
Initiation of Planning Code Amendments for Bicycle Parking [sfplanning.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (90) | (email story)

August 7, 2012

San Francisco Office Outlook: Vacancy Rates, Rents And New Supply

According to Colliers International’s mid-year report, office leasing in San Francisco totaled 4.5 million square feet in the first half of 2012, over 4 million for the first time since 2004 and versus a historical average of 6.5 million square feet per year.

The current office vacancy rate measures 11.6 percent in San Francisco, ranging from 30.2 percent around Yerba Buena to 4.2 percent in East SoMa. Of the 9.8 million square feet of vacant square footage in San Francisco, roughly half is in the Financial District which has a current vacancy rate of 9.6 percent.

Average office rents in San Francisco have popped 10.1 percent over the first half of the year, from $38.60 to $42.63 per square foot with Colliers predicting a total increase of 15 percent in 2012, roughly back to year 2007 levels but well below year 2000, the year after which rents in San Francisco fell 50 percent.

Colliers predicts office rents will rise another 10 percent in 2013, five percent in 2014 and be flat in 2015 as a backlog of building comes online and vacancy rates plateau around 10 percent versus around 3 percent at the end of 1999. Click either chart to enlarge.

Posted by socketadmin at 2:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | (email story)

August 1, 2012

Full FOMC Text: Economic Activity Has Decelerated, Ready To Ease

The full text from the latest Federal Open Market Committee meeting with respect to the state of our economy, the Feds expectations and their signals to ease:

Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in June suggests that economic activity decelerated somewhat over the first half of this year. Growth in employment has been slow in recent months, and the unemployment rate remains elevated. Business fixed investment has continued to advance. Household spending has been rising at a somewhat slower pace than earlier in the year. Despite some further signs of improvement, the housing sector remains depressed. Inflation has declined since earlier this year, mainly reflecting lower prices of crude oil and gasoline, and longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable.
Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. The Committee expects economic growth to remain moderate over coming quarters and then to pick up very gradually. Consequently, the Committee anticipates that the unemployment rate will decline only slowly toward levels that it judges to be consistent with its dual mandate. Furthermore, strains in global financial markets continue to pose significant downside risks to the economic outlook. The Committee anticipates that inflation over the medium term will run at or below the rate that it judges most consistent with its dual mandate.
To support a stronger economic recovery and to help ensure that inflation, over time, is at the rate most consistent with its dual mandate, the Committee expects to maintain a highly accommodative stance for monetary policy. In particular, the Committee decided today to keep the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and currently anticipates that economic conditions--including low rates of resource utilization and a subdued outlook for inflation over the medium run--are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate at least through late 2014.
The Committee also decided to continue through the end of the year its program to extend the average maturity of its holdings of securities as announced in June, and it is maintaining its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in agency mortgage-backed securities. The Committee will closely monitor incoming information on economic and financial developments and will provide additional accommodation as needed to promote a stronger economic recovery and sustained improvement in labor market conditions in a context of price stability.
Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Ben S. Bernanke, Chairman; William C. Dudley, Vice Chairman; Elizabeth A. Duke; Dennis P. Lockhart; Sandra Pianalto; Jerome H. Powell; Sarah Bloom Raskin; Jeremy C. Stein; Daniel K. Tarullo; John C. Williams; and Janet L. Yellen. Voting against the action was Jeffrey M. Lacker, who preferred to omit the description of the time period over which economic conditions are likely to warrant an exceptionally low level of the federal funds rate."

Federal Reserve FOMC Full Statement: August 1, 2012 [federalreserve.gov]
Expect An Exceptionally Low Federal Funds Rate Through Late 2014 [SocketSite]
The Fed's "Twist" And The Markets Tumble [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (6) | (email story)

July 31, 2012

Case-Shiller San Francisco: First Year-Over-Year Gain In 18 Months

S&P/Case-Shiller Index Change: May 2012 (www.SocketSite.com)

According to the May 2012 S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, single-family home prices in the San Francisco MSA rose 3.9% from April to May 2012, down 38.1% from a May 2006 peak but up 0.6% year-over-year, the first year-over-year gain in eighteen (18) months.

For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values rose 2.3% from April to May, down 1.2% year-over-year, down 32.9% from a June 2006 peak.

Both Composites and 17 of the 20 MSAs saw increases in annual returns in May compared to April. Boston, Charlotte and Detroit were the three cities that saw their annual returns worsen in May, with annual rates of -0.1%, +0.9% and +0.6%, respectively. Atlanta continues to be the only city posting a double-digit negative annual return with -14.5%. However, this is an improvement over the -17.0% annual decline recorded in April 2012. All 20 cities and both Composites posted positive monthly returns.
Taking a closer look at the cities, Phoenix again posted the best annual return. Average home prices in that region were up 11.5% versus May 2011. It was one of the hardest hit cities in the collapse, and prices are still more than 50% below their June 2006 peak, but the past five months have been positive for that market.
Miami and Tampa are two other Sunbelt cities that were hard-hit in the downturn, but are now showing positive annual rates of change. Boston, Charlotte and Detroit, on the other hand, saw their annual rates of return deteriorate compared to April, even though prices rose over the month of May. Las Vegas posted both a positive monthly change in May and saw an improvement in its annual return; that said, the market is still more than 60% below it August 2006 peak.

On a month-over-month basis, prices rose across all three San Francisco price tiers.

S&P/Case-Shiller Index San Francisco Price Tiers: May 2012 (www.SocketSite.com)

The bottom third (under $323,621 at the time of acquisition) rose 2.4% from April to May (down 0.3% YOY); the middle third rose 3.1% from April to May (up 1.0% YOY); and the top third (over $582,976 at the time of acquisition) rose 3.0% from April to May, up 3.0% year-over-year (versus 3.1% in April).

According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA are back above May 2000 levels, down 59% from a peak in August 2006; the middle third is back to April 2002 levels, down 39% from a peak in May 2006; and the top third is back to March 2004 levels, down 23% from a peak in August 2007.

Condo values in the San Francisco MSA rose 3.4% from April '12 to May '12, up 1.6% year-over-year, this first year-over-year gain in twenty (20) months.

S&P/Case-Shiller Condo Price Changes: May 2012 (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).

Home Prices Continue to Rise in May 2012 [Standard & Poor's]
S&P/Case-Shiller San Francisco: Home/Condo Prices Show April Gains [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (47) | (email story)

July 30, 2012

The State Of San Francisco's Downtown: Property, People And Parking

San Francisco's Downtown Plan Monitoring Report: 2011

A few highlights from the Planning Department's latest Monitoring Report for San Francisco's Downtown which will be presented to the Planning Commission this week:

Downtown vacancy rates in San Francisco declined in 2011 and are now at 11% for office and 6.7% for retail as average downtown office rents have increased 16% to $39.25 per square foot. Roughly 13% (1.8 million square feet) of proposed commercial space in San Francisco's entitlement pipeline is located Downtown.
Downtown San Francisco had a net loss of 31 residential units from demolition in 2011 versus a net gain of 269 units citywide. However, 9% of the proposed residential projects in the entitlement pipeline, or roughly 3,900 units, are located Downtown.
While overall employment in San Francisco increased 1% citywide in 2011, it increased 14% to 233,500 jobs Downtown. And the method by which employed residents in the northeast quadrant of San Francisco commute to work has changed relatively little from 2000 to 2010 with the 2010 split being 32% transit, 31% walk, 24% car, 2% bike, 8% work at home, and 2% other.

In terms of parking, there are roughly 33,400 off-street parking spaces Downtown (about 20% of the 166,520 spaces citywide) and the City's plan to limit the number of long-term parking spaces to the number that existed in 1984 has generally been achieved by restricting the supply of off-street parking spaces in new developments.

San Francisco Downtown Plan Annual Monitoring Report 2011 [sf-planning.org]
San Francisco Employment And Unemployment Both Tick Up In June [SocketSite]
San Francisco’s Total Housing Inventory And Pipeline Report [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (16) | (email story)

July 25, 2012

U.S. New Home Sales: Up 15.1% YOY In June But Drop From May

The seasonally adjusted annual pace of new single-family home sales in the U.S. fell to 350,000 in June, down 8.4 percent from a revised rate of 382,000 in May but 15.1 percent above the 304,000 pace recorded in June 2011.

Preliminary U.S. new home sales (versus pace) in June were estimated to be 33,000 (give or take 8 percent), down 3,000 from May, the third slowest June on record since 1963. June sales peaked in 2005 with 115,000 new homes sold.

In the West, the pace of new home sales was up 36.1 percent year-over-year to 98,000, up 2.1 percent versus the month before.

Annual new home sales in the U.S. have averaged 671,000 since 1963, peaking at 1,283,000 in 2005, bottoming at 306,000 last year.

New Residential Sales: June 2012 [census.gov]
U.S. New Home Sales: Up 19.8% YOY In May But Well Below Average [SocketSite]
New Residential Sales Since 1963 [census.gov]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

July 20, 2012

San Francisco Employment And Unemployment Both Tick Up In June

Preliminary June labor force data counts for San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties pegs the unemployment rates at 7.8%, 6.6% and 7.1% respectively, up 0.4 points in San Francisco, up 0.3 points in both Marin and San Mateo.

On a revised basis, the number of unemployed in San Francisco increased by 2,000 in June (from 34,700 to 36,700) as the labor force increased by 2,600 (from 469,700 to 472,300) and the number of employed increased by 700 (from 435,000 to 435,700).

Employment in San Francisco remains up by 23,300 workers on a year-over-year basis, but remains 29,800 workers below a December 2000 dot-com peak (at which point the unemployment rate in San Francisco measured 3 percent).

Overall unadjusted California unemployment increased to 10.7% in June as the labor force increased by 13,300 workers while the ranks of the unemployed increased by 59,900.

Monthly Labor Force Data for Counties: June 2012 (Preliminary) [EDD]
Reported San Francisco Employment Unchanged In May [SocketSite]
San Francisco Employment Trends And Dot-Com Context [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:10 AM | Permalink | Comments (8) | (email story)

July 19, 2012

It’s All About (A Lack Of) Density

As we wrote in 2007 under the headline, It’s All About Density: "Going green might be trendy (and we’re all for it), but as far as we’re concerned it’s a focus on density (and infill) that will define the next era in San Francisco’s development, neighborhoods, and lifestyle."

The headline we penned earlier this year: Is A Lack Of Density Cooking San Francisco's Golden Tech Goose? Or in the words of 'badlydrawnbear' in response to poor market conditions for the development of affordable housing:

…the only reason SF, and the bay area, has an 'affordable housing' crisis is because of everyone's refusal to allow increased density…watch Silicon Valley choke on its own success as companies move away because even the 'highly paid tech workers' can't even afford to live here anymore.

Comments in response to the above, including a discussion on the outsourcing of engineering talent and working remotely, have been moved below.

The Next Era In San Francisco’s Development: It’s All About Density [SocketSite]
Is A Lack Of Density Cooking San Francisco's Golden Tech Goose? [SocketSite]
Fresh Groceries In The Tenderloin Stymied By Poor Fiscal Conditions [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (12) | (email story)

Existing U.S. Sales Pace And Supply Slip In June As Median Mixes Up

The pace of seasonally adjusted existing-home sales in the U.S. declined 5.4 percent from an upwardly revised 4.62 million in May to a 4.37 million pace in June, up 4.5 percent from the 4.18 million unit pace recorded in June 2011 but an eight-month low.

Total housing inventory at the end of June slipped 3.2 percent to 2.39 million existing homes actively on the market, a 6.6 month supply, up from a 6.4 month supply in May but down from a 9.1 month supply in June 2011.

The median sale price for existing-homes ticked up 3.7 percent in June to $189,400, up 7.9 percent year-over-year as distressed sales accounted for 25 percent of sales volume, unchanged from May but down five points versus June 2011.

Existing-home sales in the west declined 6.9 percent from May to June, down 3.6 percent year-over-year with a median sales price that's up 13.3 percent year-over-year, driven by more sales at the upper end of the market.

June Existing-Home Prices Rise Again, Sales Down [realtor.org]
Existing U.S. Sales Pace And Supply Slip In May, Median Ticks Up [SocketSite]
Recorded San Francisco Sales Up 9.9% In June (Year-Over-Year) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

July 18, 2012

Recorded San Francisco Sales Up 9.9% In June (Year-Over-Year)

San Francisco Sales Volume And Median Price: June 2012 (www.SocketSite.com)

Recorded home sales volume in San Francisco rose 9.9% on a year-over-year basis last month (586 recorded sales in June 2012 versus 533 sales in June 2011), up 1.9% as compared to the month prior and versus an average May to June increase of 3.4% over the past seven years. An average of 664 San Francisco homes have sold in June since 2004 when recorded sales volume hit at 938.

San Francisco's median sales price in June was $713,500, up 7.3% on a year-over-year basis, up 1.9% as compared to May in which the median was up 6.2% year-over-year.

For the greater Bay Area, recorded sales volume in June was up 7.2% on a year-over-year basis, up 11.8% from the month prior (8,577 recorded sales in June '12 versus 7,998 in June '11 and 8,810 in April '12) on a recorded median sales price which was up 10.4% year-over-year, up 6.9% month-over-month.

Although they’ve increased over the past year, Bay Area sales levels are still below their long-term norm. Since 1988, when DataQuick’s statistics start, June sales have varied from 7,118 in 1993 to 15,735 in 2004. Last month’s sales count was 14.8 percent below the 10,067 average for the month of June.
Some of today’s stats are similar to what we saw in the thick of the housing downturn back in 2009, only in reverse: Instead of foreclosure resales soaring they’re waning, and instead of high-end sales slumping they’re posting some of the larger sales gains. This is one of the main reasons that various price measures are pointing higher – a so-called change in market mix.
While last month’s jump in the median sale price might to some extent reflect prices edging a bit higher in certain markets, mostly it’s a reflection of the change in market mix. Fewer discounted distressed properties changing hands, more normal sales in the move-up range...
Last month distressed property sales – the combination of foreclosure resales and "short sales" – made up 36.1 percent of the resale market. That was down from 39.0 percent in May and down from 44.3 percent in June a year ago.

At the extremes, Sonoma recorded a 25.2% increase in sales volume (a gain of 134 transactions) as the median sale price increased 6.4% while Solano recorded a 12.2% decrease in sales (a loss of 86 transactions) with a 12.7% increase in median price. The median sales price fell 1.7% in San Mateo while sales increased 13.9%. Contra Costa recorded a 17.7% gain in median sale price on a 0.7% increase in volume.

As always, keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed ("sold") many months or even years prior and are just now closing escrow (or being recorded).

Bay Area Home Sales Up, Median Highest Since Summer 2008 [DQNews]
San Francisco Home Sales Up 14.8% Year-Over-Year In May [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (29) | (email story)

U.S. Housing Starts Up 23.6% Year-Over-Year But Half Historic Pace

US Housing Starts History (www.SocketSite.com)

Housing starts in the U.S. increased 6.9 percent from May to June as construction of structures with five or more units jumped 17.0 percent (up 29.1 percent year-over-year) and single-family home starts increased 4.7 percent (up 21.7 percent year-over-year).

Single-family housing starts peaked at 170,400 in May of 2005 and measured 162,800 that June versus 55,400 last month. Multi-family starts which peaked at 87,200 in May of 1973 and measured 75,300 that June were 19,400 last month.

Currently running at a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 76,000, total housing starts have averaged an annual pace of 147,300 since 1959, hitting 227,300 in early 2006 and peaking at 249,400 in early 1972.

On a year-over-year basis, permit activity to start construction was up 19.3 percent in June with applications for multi-family housing up 21.7 percent, up 19.7 percent for single-family homes.

In the west, starts were up 63.4 percent year-over-year, up 33.7 percent for single-family homes while permit activity was up 30.4 percent, up 38.3 percent for single-family homes.

New Residential Construction: June 2012 [doc.gov]
Housing Starts Slip From April To May But Up 28.5% Year-Over-Year [SocketSite]

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

July 13, 2012

How's Your Memory?

Just over 25 percent of new homes built and sold in the U.S. were larger than 3,000 square feet last year, the highest percentage since 2007.

"It’s about opportunity," Jack McCabe, chief executive officer of Deerfield Beach, Florida-based McCabe Research and Consulting, said in a telephone interview. "It’s about interest rates. And it’s about short memories."

What can you remember about buying based on payments versus the value of an asset?

U.S. New Home Sales: Up 19.8% YOY In May But Well Below Average [SocketSite]
Americans Living Larger As New-Home Sizes Defy Economy [Bloomberg]
Whoops, They Did It Again: Mortgage Rates Hit New All-Time Lows [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (6) | (email story)

July 12, 2012

Apples-To-Apples: Prices, Rates And Payments...Oh My!

2130 24th Street

Having hit the market in late 2006 asking $1,295,000, the 1,792 square foot 2130 24th Street #A sold for $1,274,000 in the middle of 2007. With its Scavolini cabinets, Carrara marble counters, and Black Walnut floors still looking rather fresh, the contemporary Potrero Hill condo is back on the market and listed for $1,389,000.

2130 24th Street Kitchen

With twenty percent down and a thirty-year mortgage at current rates, the monthly mortgage payment would be around $5,300 a month at asking. In 2006, the payments on the purchase would have been closer to $6,500 at rate of 6.56 percent.

UPDATE: As a number of readers quickly figured out, our original mortgage rates and payment calculations of $5,000 and $6,200 a month were based on conforming loans which these would not be and has since been corrected above.

∙ Listing: 2130 24th Street #A (3/2) 1,792 sqft - $1,389,000 [Redfin]
2130 24th Street #A: It’s On [SocketSite]
2130 24th Street #A: It’s On (Again) [SocketSite]
Whoops, They Did It Again: Mortgage Rates Hit New All-Time Lows [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (22) | (email story)

Whoops, They Did It Again: Mortgage Rates Hit New All-Time Lows

According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rates averaged 3.56 percent (with 0.7 points) for the week ending today, another new all-time low, down from 3.62 percent last week, down from 3.67 percent last month and versus 4.51 percent a year ago.

The average 15-year fixed mortgage rate also recorded a new all-time record low of 2.86 percent, down from 2.89 percent last week, down from 2.94 percent last month and versus 3.65 percent a year ago.

As rates dropped, mortgage applications to purchase homes in the U.S. increased 3 percent last week adjusted for the Fourth of July, down an unadjusted 3 percent year-over-year. Refinancing activity decreased 3 percent according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Another Week Of Record-Breaking Lows For Fixed-Rate Mortgages [Freddie Mac]
Mortgage Rates Hit All-Time Lows (Yes, Again) [SocketSite]
Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey [mbaa.org]

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

June 26, 2012

S&P/Case-Shiller San Francisco: Home/Condo Prices Show April Gains

S&P/Case-Shiller Index Change: April 2012 (www.SocketSite.com)

According to the April 2012 S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, single-family home prices in the San Francisco MSA rose 3.4% from March 2012 to April 2012, down 1.4% year-over-year, down 40.4% from a peak in May 2006.

For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values rose 1.2% from March to April, down 2.7% year-over-year, down 34.4% from a June 2006 peak.

On a monthly basis, 19 of the 20 MSAs and both Composites rose in April over March. Detroit was the only city that saw prices fall, down 3.6%. In addition, 18 of the 20 MSAs and both Composites saw better annual rates of return. It has been a long time since we enjoyed such broadbased gains. While one month does not make a trend, particularly during seasonally strong buying months, the combination of rising positive monthly index levels and improving annual returns is a good sign.

On a month-over-month basis, prices rose across all three San Francisco price tiers.

S&P/Case-Shiller Index San Francisco Price Tiers: April 2012 (www.SocketSite.com)

The bottom third (under $309,291 at the time of acquisition) gained 1.3% from March to April (down 1.6% YOY); the middle third gained 2.1% from March to April (down 0.8% YOY); and the top third (over $556,183 at the time of acquisition) gained 3.1% from March to April, up 0.5% year-over-year, the first YOY gain in seventeen months.

According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA are back to April 2000 levels having fallen 60% from a peak in August 2006, the middle third is back to February 2002 levels having fallen 41% from a peak in May 2006, and the top third is back to January 2004 levels having fallen 25% from a peak in August 2007.

Condo values in the San Francisco MSA jumped 5.5% from March to April but remain down 2.2% year-over-year, down 32.8% from a December 2005 peak.

S&P/Case-Shiller Condo Price Changes: April 2012 (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: Home Prices Rise in April 2012 [Standard & Poor's]
S&P/Case-Shiller San Francisco: Condo Prices Jumped In March [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (15) | (email story)

June 25, 2012

Foreclosure Activity Falls In San Francisco, Pipeline Down 31 Percent

Having ticked up in April, pre-foreclosure activity in San Francisco has fallen 17 percent over the past two months with 397 properties in the pipeline, 39 percent of which are in District 10*, down from 480 properties in the pipeline two months ago.

On a year-over-year basis, pre-foreclosure activity is down 31 percent with 576 properties in the pipeline at the same time last year, 32 percent of which were in District 10.

The number of properties scheduled for auction in San Francisco (522) fell by 12 percent over the past two months with 43 percent in District 10 versus 42 percent in April, down 24 percent from June 2011 when 41 percent were in District 10.

Last year roughly 70 percent of scheduled foreclosure auctions in San Francisco were cancelled (only one point above the 69 percent cancellation rate for scheduled auctions in District 10), up from a 66 percent cancellation rate in 2010, 55 percent in 2009, 53 percent in 2008, and 49 percent in 2007.

*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.

Pre-Foreclosure Activity Ticks Back Up In San Francisco [SocketSite]
San Francisco Association Of Realtors New Neighborhood Map [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (9) | (email story)

U.S. New Home Sales: Up 19.8% YOY In May But Well Below Average

U.S. New Home Sales since 1963

The seasonally adjusted annual pace of new single-family home sales in the U.S. rose to 369,000 in May, up 7.6 percent from a revised rate of 343,000 in April and 19.8 percent above the 308,000 pace recorded in May 2011.

Preliminary U.S. new home sales (versus pace) in May were estimated to be 35,000 (give or take 8 percent), up 2,000 from April, the fourth slowest May on record since 1963. May sales peaked in 2005 with 120,000 new homes sold.

In the West, the pace of new home sales was up 10.8 percent year-over-year to 82,000 in April, down 3.5 percent versus the month before.

Annual new home sales in the U.S. have averaged 671,000 since 1963, peaking at 1,283,000 in 2005, bottoming at 306,000 last year.

New Residential Sales: April 2012 [census.gov]
U.S. New Home Sales: Up 9.9% YOY In April But Well Below Average [SocketSite]
New Residential Sales Since 1963 [census.gov]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (4) | (email story)

June 21, 2012

Existing U.S. Sales Pace And Supply Slip In May, Median Ticks Up

The pace of seasonally adjusted existing-home sales in the U.S. declined 1.5 percent from an upwardly revised 4.62 million in April to a 4.55 million pace in May, up 9.6 percent from the 4.15 million unit pace recorded in May 2011.

Total housing inventory at the end of May slipped 0.4 percent to 2.49 million existing homes actively on the market, a 6.6 month supply, up from a 6.5 month supply in April but versus a 9.1 month supply in May 2011.

The median sale price for existing-homes ticked up 2.9 percent in May to $182,600 as distressed sales accounted for 25 percent of sales volume, down three points from last month, down six points year-over-year.

Existing-home sales in the west declined 3.4 percent from April to May, up 3.6 percent year-over-year with a median sales price that’s up 13.4 percent year-over-year, "largely from more sales at the upper end of the market."

Existing-Home Sales Constrained by Tight Supply in May [realtor.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

June 19, 2012

Housing Starts Slip From April To May But Up 28.5% Year-Over-Year

Housing starts in the U.S. slipped 4.8 percent from April to May, once again driven by a slowdown in the multi-family housing sector as starts for structures with five (5) or more units fell 24.2 percent from April, but total starts remain up 28.5 percent year-over-year.

On a year-over-year basis, permit activity to start construction was up 25.0 percent in May with applications for multi-family housing up 39.3 percent, up 19.9 percent for single-family homes.

In the west, starts were up 27.5 percent year-over-year, up 37.0 percent for single-family homes while permit activity was up 30.7 percent, up 32.5 percent for single-family homes.

New Residential Construction: May 2012 [doc.gov]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | (email story)

June 18, 2012

No Apples On Ames But A Taste For Modern And Healthy Appetite

141 Ames: Living

As we first reported last month (and back in 2008):

Following a Boor Bridges led renovation over which a reader waxed poetic and the builder chimed in, the 840 square foot cottage at 141 Ames hit the market in October 2008 asking $695,000. Withdrawn from the market without a sale, the cottage was leased to a friend of the owner (Flora Grubb) and appeared on the AIA’s 2009 tour of homes.
While not yet listed, 141 Ames is now back on the market asking $649,000 without the tenant in place, but with the little patio's living wall in full bloom.

While not apples to apples but speaking to the market’s taste and appetite, the sale of 141 Ames closed escrow this past Friday with a reported contract price of $710,000.

141 Ames: Sketch

Inside 840 Square Feet Of Modern Mission Living At 141 Ames [SocketSite]
A Plugged-In Reader Reports (Rather Effusively): Go See 141 Ames [SocketSite]
AIA's 2009 San Francisco Living: Home Tours (Plugged-In) Challenge [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (5) | (email story)

June 15, 2012

Reported San Francisco Employment Unchanged In May

Preliminary May labor force data counts for San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties pegs the unemployment rates at 7.4%, 6.3% and 6.8% respectively, unchanged in San Francisco and San Mateo, down 0.1 points in Marin.

According to the State's data released today, the labor force (469,700), number of employed (435,000), and number of unemployed (34,700) in San Francisco were all unchanged from April to May which is either a reporting error or the first time in fourteen months that our employment number didn’t rise.

Assuming the latest release is correct, employment remains up by 23,200 workers in San Francisco year-over-year but remains 30,500 workers below a December 2000 dot-com peak (at which point the unemployment rate measured 3 percent).

Overall unadjusted California unemployment fell to 10.4% in May as the labor force increased by 62,300 workers and the ranks of the unemployed fell by 20,000.

Monthly Labor Force Data for Counties: May 2012 (Preliminary) [EDD]
San Francisco Employment Up By 2,400, Unemployment Under 8% [SocketSite]
San Francisco Employment Trends And Dot-Com Context [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | (email story)

June 14, 2012

San Francisco Home Sales Up 14.8% Year-Over-Year In May

San Francisco Sales Volume And Median Price: May 2012 (www.SocketSite.com)

Recorded home sales volume in San Francisco rose 14.8% on a year-over-year basis last month (565 recorded sales in May 2012 versus 492 sales in May 2011), up 11.0% as compared to the month prior but versus an average April to May increase of 14.1% over the past seven years. An average of 643 San Francisco homes have sold in May since 2004 when recorded sales volume hit at 863.

San Francisco's median sales price in May was $701,000, up 6.2% on a year-over-year basis, up 0.1% as compared to April in which the median was up 6.9% year-over-year.

For the greater Bay Area, recorded sales volume in May was up 26.1% on a year-over-year basis, up 14.8% from the month prior (8,810 recorded sales in May '12 versus 6,988 in May ’11 and 7,675 in April '12) on a recorded median sales price which was up 7.5% year-over-year, up 2.6% month-over-month.

Last month foreclosure resales – homes that had been foreclosed on in the prior 12 months – accounted for 21.9 percent of the resale market. That was the same as in April and down from 26.5 percent a year ago. The April and May level was the lowest since foreclosure resales were 18.8 percent of all resales in January 2008. Foreclosure resales peaked at 52.0 percent of the Bay Area’s resale market in February 2009. The monthly average since 1995 is about 10 percent.
Short sales – transactions where the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property – made up an estimated 21.9 percent of Bay Area resales last month. That was up a tad from an estimated 21.7 percent the prior month and [up] from 18.1 percent a year earlier.

At the extremes, Marin recorded a 41.9% increase in sales volume (a gain of 95 transactions) with a 2.0% drop in median sales price while Contra Costa recorded a 11.3% increase in sales (a gain of 168 transactions) with a 15.7% gain in median price. The median sales price fell 4.2% in Solano as sales increased 43.0%.

As always, keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed ("sold") many months or even years prior and are just now closing escrow (or being recorded).

Bay Area Home Sales Up Sharply, Median Price Rises to $400,000 [DQNews]
Recorded San Francisco Sales Up 20.6% In April (Year-Over-Year) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (34) | (email story)

June 7, 2012

Mortgage Rates Hit All-Time Lows (Yes, Again)

According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rates averaged 3.67 percent (with 0.7 points) for the week ending today, another new all-time low, down from 3.75 percent last week, down from 3.83 percent last month and versus 4.49 percent a year ago.

The average 15-year fixed mortgage rate also recorded a new all-time record low of 2.94 percent, down from 2.97 percent last week, down from 3.05 percent last month and versus 3.68 percent a year ago.

As rates dropped, however, mortgage applications to purchase homes in the U.S. fell 13 percent last week affected by the Memorial Day holiday, down 3 percent year-over-year. Refinancing activity increased 2 percent according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Record-Setting Low Fixed Mortgage Rates Persist [Freddie Mac]
Fixed Mortgage Rates Hit All-Time Lows (Again) [SocketSite]
Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey [mbaa.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (24) | (email story)

June 1, 2012

A Tough Week On The Street And Close To Home

As we wrote under the headline, "Look Past The Overhyped Facebook Effect" in February:

Forget the overhyped Facebook effect (a.k.a. "buy now or be priced out forever 2.0") and simply turn your attention to the S&P 500 which closed the day at 1,363.05, just below its April 2011 high of 1,363.61 (its highest close since June 2008) and the Dow’s 12,986.81, its highest close since May 2008.

The S&P 500 closed today at 1,278.04, down 2.46% for the day, down 6.24% from our post in February. The Dow closed the day at 12,118.60, down 2.22% for the day and into the red for 2012. The S&P 500 remains up 1.6% for the year.

Having priced at $38 and closed its first day of trading at $38.23, Facebook (FB) closed today at $27.72, down 6.35% for the day, down 27.49% over the past two weeks.

A little closer to home, Zynga (ZNGA) closed the week at $6.01, down 3.99% for the day, down 40% from its December IPO price of $10 per share.

Look Past The Overhyped Facebook Effect [SocketSite]
What's The Point? [SocketSite]
Facebook On The Home Front [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (43) | (email story)

May 30, 2012

U.S. Pending Sales Up 14.4% YOY But Slide 5.5% MOM In April

While the rate of U.S. home price declines slowed to a nominal 0.1 percent in March, the National Associations of Realtors Pending Home Sales Index fell 5.5 percent from March to April but remains up 14.4 percent year-over-year versus 12.8 percent in March.

In the West, the Pending Home Sales Index slumped 12.0 percent from March to April, up 5.1 percent year-over-year versus 9.0 percent in March.

S&P/Case-Shiller San Francisco: Condo Prices Jumped In March [SocketSite]
Pending Home Sales Decline in April but Up Strongly From a Year Ago [realtor.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

May 29, 2012

S&P/Case-Shiller San Francisco: Condo Prices Jumped In March

S&P/Case-Shiller Index Change: March 2012 (www.SocketSite.com)

According to the March 2012 S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, single-family home prices in the San Francisco MSA gained 1.0% from February 2012 to March 2012 but remain down 3.0% year-over-year, down 42.3% from a peak in May 2006.

For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values fell a nominal 0.1% from February to March, down 2.0% year-over-year, down 35.1% from a June 2006 peak.

"While there has been improvement in some regions, housing prices have not turned," says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices. "This month’s report saw all three composites and five cities hit new lows. However, with last month’s report nine cities hit new lows. Further, about half as many cities, seven, experienced falling prices this month compared to 16 last time."
"There are some better numbers: Only three cities – Atlanta, Chicago and Detroit – saw annual rates of change worsen in March. The other 17 cities and both composites saw improvement in this statistic, even though most are still showing a negative trend. Moreover, there are now seven cities – Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Miami, Minneapolis and Phoenix – where the annual rates of change are positive. This is what we need for a sustained recovery; monthly increases coupled with improving annual rates of change. Once we see this on a broader level we will be able to say the market has turned around."

On a month-over-month basis, single-family prices fell for the bottom third of San Francisco price tiers but gained for the top two thirds.

S&P/Case-Shiller Index San Francisco Price Tiers: March 2012 (www.SocketSite.com)

The bottom third (under $298,966 at the time of acquisition) fell a 0.8% from February to March (down 3.1% YOY); the middle third gained 0.6% from February to March (down 1.7% YOY); and the top third (over $536,757 at the time of acquisition) gained 1.5% from February to March, down 1.0% year-over-year (versus 1.7% in February).

According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA have dropped to just above April 2000 levels having fallen 61% from a peak in August 2006, the middle third has dropped to February 2002 levels having fallen 42% from a peak in May 2006, and the top third has returned to November 2003 levels having fallen 28% from a peak in August 2007.

Condo values in the San Francisco MSA jumped 4.2% from February '11 to March '12 but remain down 4.9% year-over-year, down 36.3% from a December 2005 peak.

S&P/Case-Shiller Condo Price Changes: March 2012 (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: Pace of Decline in Home Prices Moderates [Standard & Poor's]
S&P/Case-Shiller San Francisco: Home/Condo Prices Dropped In Feb [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (47) | (email story)

May 23, 2012

U.S. New Home Sales: Up 9.9% YOY In April But Well Below Average

US New Home Sales since 1963

The seasonally adjusted annual pace of new single-family home sales in the U.S. rose to 343,000 in April, up 3.3 percent from a revised rate of 332,000 in March and 9.9 percent above the 312,000 pace recorded in April 2011.

Preliminary U.S. new home sales (versus pace) in April were estimated to be 33,000 (give or take 8 percent), up 1,000 sales from March, the third slowest March on record since 1963. April sales peaked in 2005 with 116,000 new homes sold.

In the West, the pace of new home sales was up 12.8 percent year-over-year to 88,000 in April, up 27.5 percent versus the month before.

UPDATE: Annual new home sales in the U.S. have averaged 671,000 since 1963, peaking at 1,283,000 in 2005, bottoming at 306,000 last year.

New Residential Sales: April 2012 [census.gov]
New Residential Sales Since 1963 [census.gov]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (7) | (email story)

May 18, 2012

San Francisco Employment Up By 2,400, Unemployment Under 8%

Preliminary April labor force data counts for San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties pegs the unemployment rates at 7.4%, 6.4% and 6.8% respectively, down 0.7 points in San Francisco and San Mateo, down 0.6 points in Marin.

On a revised basis, the number of unemployed in San Francisco fell by 3,500 in April (from 38,200 to 34,700) while the labor force contracted by 1,200 (from 470,900 to 469,700) and the number of employed increased by 2,400 (from 432,600 to 435,000).

Employment is up by 23,200 workers in San Francisco year-over-year but remains 30,500 workers below a December 2000 dot-com peak (at which point the unemployment rate measured 3 percent).

Overall unadjusted California unemployment fell to 10.5% in April as the labor force contracted by 131,800 workers and the ranks of the unemployed fell by 189,300.

Monthly Labor Force Data for Counties: April 2012 (Preliminary) [EDD]
San Francisco Employment Up By 2,000 In March, Up 20,000 YOY [SocketSite]
San Francisco Employment Trends And Dot-Com Context [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

May 17, 2012

Recorded San Francisco Sales Up 20.6% In April (Year-Over-Year)

San Francisco Sales Volume And Median Price: April 2012 (www.SocketSite.com)

Recorded home sales volume in San Francisco rose 20.6% on a year-over-year basis last month (509 recorded sales in April 2012 versus 422 sales in April 2011), down 7.6% as compared to the month prior versus an average March to April increase of 1.1% over the past seven years. An average of 576 San Francisco homes have sold in April since 2004 when recorded sales volume hit at 841.

San Francisco's median sales price in April was $700,000, up 6.9% on a year-over-year basis, up 7.7% as compared to March in which the median was flat year-over-year.

For the greater Bay Area, recorded sales volume in April was up 13.1% on a year-over-year basis, down 0.2% from the month prior (7,675 recorded sales in April '12 versus 6,789 in April ’11 and 7,694 in March '12) on a recorded median sales price which was up 8.3% year-over-year, up 8.9% month-over-month.

Last month distressed property sales – the combination of foreclosure resales and “short sales” – made up about 40 percent of the resale market. That was down from about 44 percent the month before and 45 percent a year ago.
Foreclosure resales – homes that had been foreclosed on in the prior 12 months – accounted for 21.7 percent of resales in April, the lowest since 18.8 percent in January 2008. It was down from a revised 25.5 percent in March, and down from 27.8 percent a year ago. Foreclosure resales peaked at 52.0 percent in February 2009. The monthly average for foreclosure resales over the past 17 years is about 10 percent.
Short sales – transactions where the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property – made up an estimated 18.1 percent of Bay Area resales last month. That was down from an estimated 18.9 percent the prior month and up from 17.4 percent a year earlier.

At the extremes, San Mateo recorded a 34.1% increase in sales volume (a gain of 199 transactions) on an unchanged median sales price while Solano recorded a 1.9% decrease in sales (a loss of 11 transactions) with a 5.4% drop in median price. The median sales price fell 6.4% in Marin, the biggest Bay Area drop, as sales increased 21.2%.

As always, keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed ("sold") many months or even years prior and are just now closing escrow (or being recorded).

Increase in Bay Area Home Sales and Median Price [DQNews]
Recorded San Francisco Sales Up 11.3% In March (Year-Over-Year) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (34) | (email story)

San Francisco’s Total Housing Inventory And Pipeline Report

San Francisco Housing Stock by Planning District

The Planning Commission will get their first peek at the Planning Department’s latest Housing Inventory report this afternoon, you get it this morning.

With 372,831 total housing units in San Francisco, a third of which are single-family homes and only a quarter of which are in buildings with over 20 units, total new housing production in 2011 totaled 418 units, the lowest production since 1993 and versus an average of 1,890 units per year from 2000-2010. In addition, 149 units were lost through demolition, merger or the removal of illegal units in 2011 for a net gain of only 269.

Building permits were pulled for new 1,998 units in 2011, units which should be online within two to three years. And while 57 proposed projects totally 15,060 units were entitled in 2011, that includes 7,800 units on Treasure Island and 5,680 units in Park-Merced, projects which have timelines measured in decades, not years.

Since 2007, a total of 10,438 housing units were constructed in San Francisco, 88 percent of which were in buildings of 20 units or more. Since the year 2000, 24,519 net new units have been built.

San Francisco Housing Inventory: 2011 [sfplanning.org]
Is A Lack Of Density Cooking San Francisco's Golden Tech Goose? [SocketSite]
Treasure Island Redevelopment Plans Approved! (Appeal Rejected) [SocketSite]
The Parkmerced Thirty Year Plan: Public Scoping Meeting Tonight [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (11) | (email story)

May 10, 2012

Fixed Mortgage Rates Hit All-Time Lows (Again)

According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rates averaged 3.83 percent (with 0.7 points) for the week ending today, a new all-time low, down from 3.84 percent last week, down from 3.88 percent last month, and versus 4.63 percent a year ago.

The average 15-year fixed mortgage rate has hit an all-time record low of 3.05 percent, down from 3.07 percent last week, down from 3.11 percent last month, and versus 3.82 percent a year ago.

As rates dropped, mortgage applications to purchase homes in the U.S. increased 3.8 percent last week but are down 0.4 percent year-over-year, and refinancing activity increased 1.3 percent according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Second Consecutive Week Of Record-Low Fixed Mortgage Rates [Freddie Mac]
15-Year Mortgage Rates Hit All-Time Low As Purchase Activity Drops [SocketSite]
Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey [mbaa.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (10) | (email story)

May 8, 2012

Have You Heard The One About The House With Over 50 Offers?

3928 20th Street

From a plugged-in reader yesterday:

One of my buddies who works at [Facebook] told me today that he bid on a place on 20th Street that went for 65% over asking and had 52 offers. That must mean that there are 51 more people out there looking in the neighborhood. Anyone know which place he was talking about?

That would be 3928 20th Street, the sale of which has been mentioned before.

There are a couple of interesting similarities between the sale of 3928 20th Street which generated over fifty (50) offers and the sale of 4379 Cesar Chavez which generated over twenty (20).

Both properties were listed at roughly $600 per square foot in neighborhoods where the average sale price has been running over $800 per square. Both homes were well suited for expansion. And both properties just so happened to be priced by the same agent.

It Would Have Been 50 Percent Over Had They Priced At A Million... [SocketSite]
∙ Listing: 3928 20th Street (3/1) 1,416 sqft - $849,000 [Redfin]
It's Not This Mid-Century Modern Noe Valley Home That Was Flawed [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (79) | (email story)

San Francisco First Quarter Home Sales Volume: Back To 2008

Recorded San Francisco Q1 Home Sales (2004-2012)

Recorded first quarter home sales volume in San Francisco is up 7 percent versus 2011, up 50 percent versus 2009, down 32 percent versus 2004 and roughly even with 2008.

Recorded first quarter Bay Area home sales volume is up 11 percent versus 2011, up 15 percent versus 2009 (51 percent versus 2008), down 32 percent versus 2004.

What’s the difference between our counts and a recent Chronicle report? The Chronicle's source doesn't include condos which account for over half the home sales volume in San Francisco.

Recorded San Francisco Sales Up 11.3% In March (Year-Over-Year) [SocketSite]
Bay Area home sales off to best start since 2005 [SFGate]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | (email story)

April 27, 2012

San Francisco Employment Trends And Dot-Com Context

San Francisco Employment

As we first reported a week ago, roughly 20,000 workers have joined the workforce in San Francisco over the past year with total employment at 432,600 and an unemployment rate of 8.1 percent. For context with respect to our last boom, employment in San Francisco peaked at 465,500 in December 2000 with an unemployment rate at 3.0 percent.

Including Marin and San Mateo, total employment is currently 919,000 with an unemployment rate of 7.7 percent, up 31,000 jobs year-over-year but versus a peak of 1,000,600 in December 2000 when the unemployment rate totaled 2.6 percent.

San Francisco Employment Up By 2,000 In March, Up 20,000 YOY [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (17) | (email story)

April 26, 2012

Surprised By A Spike In San Francisco Rents? There's No Excuse.

According to RealFacts, the average asking price for a rental in large apartment buildings in San Francisco increased almost 16 percent from the first quarter of 2011 to the first quarter of 2012.

As we noted a year ago and plugged-in people knew to expect, "institutional estimates are calling for double-digit annual growth in rents in San Francisco over the next few years."

Keep in mind that RealFacts’s figures are based on surveys of professionally managed apartment complexes with 50 or more units, which aren't necessarily the norm in San Francisco, and reflect asking rather than effective rents after incentives.

Tech Job Quote Triptych [SocketSite]
San Francisco Rents Up 9 Percent As Vacancy Rate Drops To 3.2 [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (30) | (email story)

April 24, 2012

S&P/Case-Shiller San Francisco: Home/Condo Prices Dropped In Feb

S&P/Case-Shiller Index Change: February 2012 (www.SocketSite.com)

According to the February 2012 S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, single-family home prices in the San Francisco MSA fell 0.7% from January 2012 to February 2012, down 4.1% year-over-year, down 42.9% from a peak in May 2006.

For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values fell 1.0% from January to February, down 3.8% year-over-year, down 35.1% from a June 2006 peak.

"While there might be pieces of good news in this report, such as some improvement in many annual rates of return, February 2012 data confirm that, broadly-speaking, home prices continued to decline in the early months of the year," says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices.
Nine MSAs -- Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Las Vegas, New York, Portland, Seattle and Tampa – and both Composites hit new post-crisis lows. Atlanta continued its downward spiral, posting its lowest annual rate of decline in the 20-year history of the index at -17.3%. The 10-City Composite declined 3.6% and the 20-City was down 3.5% compared to February 2011.

On a month-over-month basis, prices fell across all three San Francisco price tiers.

S&P/Case-Shiller Index San Francisco Price Tiers: February 2012 (www.SocketSite.com)

The bottom third (under $297,895 at the time of acquisition) fell a nominal 0.1% from January to February (down 3.2% YOY); the middle third fell a nominal 0.2% from January to February (down 3.7% YOY); and the top third (over $537,349 at the time of acquisition) fell 1.2% from January to February, down 1.7% year-over-year (versus 2.6% in January).

According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA have dropped below May 2000 levels having fallen 60% from a peak in August 2006, the middle third has dropped to February 2002 levels having fallen 43% from a peak in May 2006, and the top third has dropped to July 2003 levels having fallen 29% from a peak in August 2007.

Condo values in the San Francisco MSA fell 1.5% from January '11 to February '12, down 6.4% year-over-year, down 38.8% from a December 2005 peak.

S&P/Case-Shiller Condo Price Changes: February 2012 (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).

Nine Cities and Both Composites Hit New Lows in February 2012 [Standard & Poor's]
S&P/Case-Shiller San Francisco: Homes Slip, Condos Dip In January [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (54) | (email story)

April 23, 2012

Pre-Foreclosure Activity Ticks Back Up In San Francisco

Having slowed down in the first quarter of 2012, pre-foreclosure activity has picked back up in San Francisco over the past month with 480 properties in the pipeline, 36 percent of which are in District 10*, up from 420 properties in the pipeline last month. On a year-over-year basis, pre-foreclosure activity is down 27 percent with 660 properties in the pipeline at the same time last year, 28 percent of which were in District 10.

The number of properties scheduled for auction in San Francisco fell by one over the past month and currently tallies 591 (42 percent of which are in District 10 versus 34 percent last month), down from 692 in April 2011 (at which point 41 percent were in District 10).

Last year roughly 70 percent of scheduled foreclosure auctions in San Francisco were cancelled (only one point above the 69 percent cancellation rate for scheduled auctions in District 10), up from a 66 percent cancellation rate in 2010, 55 percent in 2009, 53 percent in 2008, and 49 percent in 2007.

*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.

As Pre-Foreclosure Activity Drops, Scheduled Auctions Tick Up In SF [SocketSite]
San Francisco Association Of Realtors New Neighborhood Map [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | (email story)

April 20, 2012

San Francisco Employment Up By 2,000 In March, Up 20,000 YOY

Preliminary March labor force data counts for San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties pegs the unemployment rates at 8.1%, 7.0% and 7.5% respectively, unchanged in San Francisco, up 0.4 points in Marin and 0.2 in San Mateo.

On a revised basis, while the number of unemployed in San Francisco ticked up by 500 in March (from 37,700 to 38,200), the labor force increased by 2,600 (from 468,300 to 470,900) and the number of employed increased by 2,000 (from 430,600 to 432,600). Employment is up by 20,000 workers in San Francisco, year-over-year (YOY).

Overall unadjusted California unemployment increased to 11.5% as the labor force increased by 49,400 workers and the ranks of the unemployed increased by 19,300.

Monthly Labor Force Data for Counties: March 2012 (Preliminary) [EDD]
San Francisco County Employment Up By 2,100 In February [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

April 19, 2012

Recorded San Francisco Sales Up 11.3% In March (Year-Over-Year)

San Francisco Sales Volume And Median Price: March 2012 (www.SocketSite.com)

Recorded home sales volume in San Francisco rose 11.3% on a year-over-year basis last month (551 recorded sales in March 2012 versus 495 sales in March 2011), up 48.5% as compared to the month prior versus an average February to March increase of 41.8% over the past seven years. An average of 573 San Francisco homes have sold in March since 2004 when recorded sales volume hit at 749.

San Francisco's median sales price in March was $650,000, unchanged on a year-over-year basis, up 4.2% as compared to February in which the median sale price was up 5.9% year-over-year.

For the greater Bay Area, recorded sales volume in March was up 9.1% on a year-over-year basis, up 34.9% from the month prior (7,694 recorded sales in March '12 versus 7,051 in March ’11 and 5,702 in February '12) while the recorded median sales price was down 0.6% year-over-year, up 10.2% month-over-month.

The Bay Area saw a total of 1,734 condo resales last month, the most for any month since August 2006, when 1,783 were sold. The median price paid for resale condos was $276,000, up 10.4 percent from $250,000 a year ago. The resale condo median had declined on a year-over-year basis in 16 of the prior 17 months.
Last month distressed property sales – the combination of foreclosure resales and "short sales" – made up 44.3 percent of the resale market. That was down from 48.8 percent in February and 48.2 percent in March a year ago.

At the extremes, Solano recorded a 13.2% increase in sales volume (a gain of 80 transactions) on a 0.5% decline in median sales price, while Napa recorded a 0.8% decrease in sales (a loss of 1 transaction) on a 6.5% grain in median price. The median sales price in Marin fell 15.5%, the biggest Bay Area drop, as sales increased 8.0%.

As always, keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed ("sold") many months or even years prior and are just now closing escrow (or being recorded).

Bay Area Home Sales Continue to Rise, Condo Sales Jump [DQNews]
Recorded San Francisco Sales Up 9.1% In February, Year-Over-Year [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:05 AM | Permalink | Comments (23) | (email story)

April 17, 2012

Housing Starts Slip From February But Remain Up Year-Over-Year

Housing starts in the U.S. slipped 5.8 percent from February to March driven by a slowdown in the multi-family housing sector as starts for structures with five (5) or more units fell 19.8 percent from February, but total starts remain up 10.3 percent year-over-year.

Permit activity to start construction was up 30.1 percent in March year-over-year with applications for multi-family housing up 57.8 percent versus 30.1 percent for single-family homes.

In the west, starts were up 13.2 percent year-over-year (versus 41.1 percent in February), up 9.6 percent for single-family homes (versus 11.1 percent in February) while permit activity was up 44.4 percent, up 28.9 percent for single-family homes.

New Residential Construction: March 2012 [doc.gov]
U.S. Housing Starts Slip From January But Well Up Year-Over-Year [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

April 12, 2012

15-Year Mortgage Rates Hit All-Time Low As Purchase Activity Drops

According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rates averaged 3.88 percent (with 0.7 points) for the week ending today, down from 3.98 percent last week, within one basis point of an all-time low, and versus 4.91 percent a year ago.

The average 15-year fixed mortgage rate has hit an all-time record low of 3.11 percent, down from 3.21 percent last week, two basis points below its previous record low recorded last month, and versus 4.13 percent a year ago.

At the same time, mortgage applications to purchase homes in the U.S. dropped 2.4 percent last week (refinancing activity fell 3.1 percent), but remain up 5.5 percent on a year-over-year basis according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

15-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage Hits New All-Time Record Low [Freddie Mac]
Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey [mbaa.org]

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

March 27, 2012

S&P/Case-Shiller San Francisco: Home/Condo Prices Drop In January

S&P/Case-Shiller Index Change: January 2012 (www.SocketSite.com)

According to the January 2012 S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, single-family home prices in the San Francisco MSA fell 2.5% from December 2011 to January 2012, down 5.9% year-over-year, down 42.5% from a peak in May 2006.

For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values fell 0.8% from December to January, down 3.9% year-over-year, down 34.4% from a June 2006 peak.

"Despite some positive economic signs, home prices continued to drop. The 10- and 20- City Composites and eight cities – Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Las Vegas, New York, Portland, Seattle and Tampa – made new lows," says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices.
"Detroit and Phoenix, two cities that have suffered massive price declines, plus Denver, saw increasing prices versus January 2011. The 10-City Composite was down 3.9% and the 20-City was down 3.8% compared to January 2011."
"Atlanta continues to stand out in terms of recent relative weakness. It was down 2.1% over the month, and has fallen by a cumulative 19.7% over the last six months. It also posted the worst annual return, down 14.8%. Seven of the cities were down by 1.0% or more over the month."

On a month-over-month basis, prices fell across all three San Francisco price tiers and the 2.5% aggregate decline was the largest of all Metropolitan Areas in the U.S.

S&P/Case-Shiller Index San Francisco Price Tiers: January 2012 (www.SocketSite.com)

The bottom third (under $302,275 at the time of acquisition) fell 0.7% from December to January (down 4.5% YOY); the middle third fell 1.0% from December to January (down 5.9% YOY); and the top third (over $549,932 at the time of acquisition) fell 2.5% from December to January, down 2.6% year-over-year (versus a 1.4% in December).

According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA have dropped below May 2000 levels having fallen 60% from a peak in August 2006, the middle third has dropped to February 2002 levels having fallen 43% from a peak in May 2006, and the top third has dropped to November 2003 levels having fallen 28% from a peak in August 2007.

Condo values in the San Francisco MSA fell 1.5% from December '11 to January '12, down 6.9% year-over-year, down 37.9% from a December 2005 peak.

S&P/Case-Shiller Condo Price Changes: January 2012 (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).

Case-Shiller: 2012 Home Prices Off to a Rocky Start [Standard & Poor's]
S&P/Case-Shiller San Francisco: Homes Slip, Condos Dip In January [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (36) | (email story)

March 26, 2012

San Francisco Misses Inman’s Global Homebuyers Hot Spot Cut

According to the National Association of Realtors, Canadians accounted for 23 percent of foreign buyers of U.S. real estate with Chinese accounting for the second highest share at 9 percent. And while Miami, Manhattan, Honolulu, and Las Vegas cracked the top ten most popular areas in which the foreign buyers are buying according to an Inman News report, San Francisco did not which shouldn’t come as a surprise to those who are plugged-in.

10 Hot Spots for Global Homebuyers [Inman]
Recap: What’s The Scoop On Foreign Investment In San Francisco? [SocketSite]
What’s The Scoop On Foreign Investment In San Francisco? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (16) | (email story)

March 23, 2012

San Francisco County Employment Up By 2,100 In February

Preliminary February labor force data counts for San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties pegs the unemployment rates at 8.1%, 6.6% and 7.3% respectively, unchanged in San Francisco and Marin, up 0.1 point in San Mateo.

On a revised basis, while the number of unemployed in San Francisco ticked up by 100 in February (from 37,600 to 37,700), the labor force increased by 2,200 (from 466,100 to 468,300) and the number of employed increased by 2,100 (from 428,500 to 430,600).

Overall unadjusted California unemployment increased to 11.4% as the labor force increased by 85,400 workers and the ranks of the unemployed increased by 19,800.

Monthly Labor Force Data for Counties: February 2012 (Preliminary) [EDD]
San Francisco Employment, And Unemployment, Up In January [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | (email story)

U.S. New Home Sales: Up 11.4% In February Year-Over-Year

The seasonally adjusted annual pace of new single-family home sales in the U.S. fell to 313,000 in February, down 1.6 percent from a revised rate of 318,000 in January but 11.4 percent above the 281,000 pace recorded in February 2011.

Preliminary U.S. new home sales (versus pace) in January were estimated to be 25,000 (give or take 9 percent), up 3,000 from January, the second slowest February on record since 1963. January sales peaked in 2005 with 109,000 new homes sold.

In the West, the pace of new home sales was up 32.8 percent year-over-year to 81,000 in January, up 8.0 percent versus the month before.

New Residential Sales: January 2012 [census.gov]
New Residential Sales Since 1963 [census.gov]
U.S. New Home Sales: Up 3.5% In January Year-Over-Year [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

March 21, 2012

Existing U.S. Sales Pace Slips As Supply And Median Price Tick Up

The pace of seasonally adjusted existing-home sales in the U.S. slipped 0.9 percent from an upwardly revised 4.63 million in January to a 4.59 million pace in February, up 8.8 percent from the 4.22 million unit pace recorded in February 2011.

Total housing inventory at the end of February rose 4.3 percent to 2.43 million existing homes actively on the market, a 6.4 month supply, up from a revised 6.0 month supply in January but versus an 8.6 month supply in February 2011.

The median sale price for existing-homes ticked up 0.3 percent in February to $156,600 as distressed sales accounted for 34 percent of sales volume, down one point from last month, down five points year-over-year.

Existing-home sales in the west declined 3.2 percent from January to February, up 6.1 percent year-over-year with a median sales price that’s up 3.1 percent year-over-year.

Existing U.S. Sales Pace Up As Supply Drops And Median Does As Well [SocketSite]
February Existing-Home Sales Slip But Up Year-Over-Year [realtor.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

March 20, 2012

As Pre-Foreclosure Activity Drops, Scheduled Auctions Tick Up In SF

Pre-foreclosure activity in San Francisco has dropped from 611 properties in the pipeline in January to 420 today, 30 percent of which are in District 10*. On a year-over-year basis, pre-foreclosure activity is down 36 percent with 656 properties in the pipeline at the same time last year, 30 percent of which were in District 10.

That being said, the number of properties currently scheduled for auction in San Francisco has ticked up from 549 to 592 over the past two months (34 percent of which are in District 10 versus 40 percent in January), but down from 668 in March 2011 (at which point 43 percent were in District 10).

Last year roughly 70 percent of scheduled foreclosure auctions in San Francisco were cancelled (only one point above the 69 percent cancellation rate for scheduled auctions in District 10), up from a 66 percent cancellation rate in 2010, 55 percent in 2009, 53 percent in 2008, and 49 percent in 2007.

*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.

San Francisco Foreclosure Trends And 2011 And Retrospective [SocketSite]
San Francisco Foreclosure Activity Climbs Outside Of District 10 [SocketSite]
San Francisco Association Of Realtors New Neighborhood Map [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | (email story)

U.S. Housing Starts Slip From January But Well Up Year-Over-Year

Housing starts in the U.S. slipped 1.1 percent from January to February but were up 34.7 percent year over year driven by demand for rentals and multi-family housing with construction of structures with five (5) or more units up 108.0 percent year-over-year versus 17.8 percent for single-family home.

Permit activity to start construction was up 34.3 percent year-over-year in February with applications for multi-family housing up 73.3 percent versus 23.6 percent for single-family homes.

In the west, starts were up 41.1 percent year-over-year, up 11.1 percent for single-family homes while permit activity was up 45.4 percent, up 22.7 percent for single-family homes.

New Residential Construction: February 2012 [doc.gov]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

March 15, 2012

Recorded San Francisco Sales Up 9.1% In February, Year-Over-Year

San Francisco Sales Volume And Median Price: February 2012 (www.SocketSite.com)

Recorded home sales volume in San Francisco rose 9.1% on a year-over-year basis last month (371 recorded sales in February 2012 versus 340 sales in February 2011), up 13.5% as compared to the month prior, right in line with an average January to February increase of 13.6% over the past seven years. An average of 405 San Francisco homes have sold in February since 2004 when recorded sales volume hit at 537.

San Francisco's median sales price in February was $624,000, up 5.9% on a year-over-year basis and up 3.6% as compared to January in which the median sale price was up 1.3% year-over-year.

For the greater Bay Area, recorded sales volume in February was up 14.2% on a year-over-year basis, up 4.1% from the month prior (5,702 recorded sales in February '12 versus 4,991 in February ’11 and 5,479 in January '12) while the recorded median sales price was down 3.6% year-over-year, down a nominal 0.3% month-over-month.

In the words of DataQuick President, John Walsh:

The market is still strange, just a little less strange than it was. We also need to keep in mind that, when it comes to statistical trends, February is the least typical month of the year. Over the winter you’re left with a higher concentration of investors and people who must buy or sell because of a major life event. In the spring, when many traditional buyers return, we’ll get a much better read on the market.

At the extremes, Alameda recorded a 33.3% increase in sales volume (a gain of 298 transactions) on a 5.4% decline in median sales price, while Sonoma recorded a 4.5% decrease in sales (a loss of 18 transactions) on a 0.2% drop in median price. The median sales price in Marin increased 7.6%, the biggest Bay Area gain, as sales increased 15.3%.

As always, keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed ("sold") many months or even years prior and are just now closing escrow (or being recorded).

Bay Area February Home Sales at Five-year High [DQNews]
Recorded San Francisco Sales Fall 1.8% In January, Median Ticks Up [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (23) | (email story)

March 13, 2012

The Latest Fad Sweeping Through SoMa

808 Brannan

Citing an office vacancy rate of 8.65 percent in SoMa at the end of 2011 versus rates of 23.6 percent in 2008 and 25.5 percent in 2009, and an overall office vacancy rate of 9.3 percent for San Francisco, the owners of 808 Brannan are seeking Planning’s approval to legally convert the 45,723 square foot building from showroom (PDR) to office use.

Formerly the headquarters for Georgiou Studio, a local clothes designer, Mr. Georgiou lost the building to foreclosure in 2010 and it’s been vacant since. The Planning Department recommends approval of the conversion.

808 Brannan Street: Request for Office Authorization [sfplanning.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (6) | (email story)

March 9, 2012

San Francisco Employment, And Unemployment, Up In January

Preliminary January labor force data counts for San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties pegs the unemployment rates at 8.1%, 6.6% and 7.2% respectively, up 0.5 percentage points in San Francisco, up 0.1 points in Marin, and unchanged in San Mateo.

That being said, while the number of unemployed in San Francisco increased by 2,400 in January (from 35,200 to 37,600), the labor force increased by 2,800 (from 463,300 to 466,100) and the number of employed increased by 500 (from 428,000 to 428,500).

Overall unadjusted California unemployment increased to 11.3% as the labor force increased by 193,700 workers and the ranks of the unemployed increased by 95,201.

Monthly Labor Force Data for Counties: January 2012 (Preliminary) [EDD]
San Francisco County Employment Up By 200 In December [SocketSite]

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

A Playground For Old, Rich White People Rather Than Kids?

From the Chronicle last year: "The city actually has 3,000 more children under 5 than it did 10 years ago, but has lost more than 8,000 kids older than 5."

From the Chronicle today: "There are actually about 3,000 more children younger than 5 in the city than there were in 2000, but about 8,000 fewer school-age youths."

Adrienne Pon, executive director of the Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs, said the city's increasingly high cost of living is driving out families with children, poor people and African Americans. It is leaving San Francisco an older city than in the past, with a median age of 38.2 years old.
Pon said other city characteristics causing families to leave are its high density, perceptions it is unsafe, beliefs the public schools are mediocre, high cost of private schools, and lack of open space. Several officials pointed to the high cost and overall lack of child care.
Whether public schools are also driving families out of the city was a big question at the hearing. Public school officials testified that they are seeing an increase in kindergarten applicants and forecast a rise in secondary school students within the next several years.
[Supervisor Mark Farrell] said his friends using the public schools are happy with them and that City Hall should take an active role in trying to change perceptions about the school district.

The question remains will the mini-boom in kindergarten age kids roll over to secondary school matriculation, or as the trends suggest, is that simply the age at which families will continue to flee.

Flight Of The San Francisco Families (Or At Least Kids) [SocketSite]
Families' exodus leaves S.F. with lowest pct. of children in U.S. [SFGate]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (45) | (email story)

February 29, 2012

Up, Down, And Back Again In South Beach

Back in January 2008 when covering the bank-owned (REO) auction of 41 Federal #42, we noted what we perceived as a change in the market, a perception not everyone shared:

…this whole thread is about REO as indicator. Is it not? Socketsite said it "just might speak" to that. Baloney. It is an REO. REO as trend? LOL.

Having been purchased from the developer for $880,000 in December 2006, 41 Federal #42 had become bank-owned in September 2007 and sold for $700,000 the following May.

Purchased for $1,150,000 in October 2006, two months before the first sale of #42, 41 Federal #21 has just returned to the market listed for $1,149,000.

∙ Listing: 41 Federal #21 (2/2) 1,365 sqft - $1,149,000 [Redfin]
Going Once, Going Twice…Going Five Times At Shore|Line: 41 Federal [SocketSite]
San Francisco Bucks CA Foreclosure Trends, But Not In A Good Way [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (6) | (email story)

Like 8,000 New Tech Jobs Expected This Year In San Francisco

According to a poll by the newly formed San Francisco Citizens Initiative for Technology & Innovation (sf.citi), their 125 member companies are expecting to hire "like 8,000 new jobs this year and counting," according to Ron Conway, sf.citi’s founding Chairman.

Tech companies hiring 8,000-plus in San Francisco [Business Times]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (53) | (email story)

February 28, 2012

Ooh And Ahh (And Ouch)

1422 Douglass

As we first reported with respect to 1422 Douglass this past September:

Purchased for $925,000 in 2007, the single-family Noe Valley home at 1422 Douglass returned to the market two weeks ago listed for $875,000 while noting: "Be prepared to ooh and aah (sic) over this charming Victorian home that packs a big impression."
On Friday, the list price for 1422 Douglass was reduced to $849,000. We’re not sure if that’s an "ooh" or an "ahh," but we do know that's 8 percent ($76,000) below its 2007 sale price on an apples-to-apples basis.

The sale of 1422 Douglass closed escrow on Friday with a reported contract price of $775,000, 16.2 percent ($150,000) below its 2007 sale on an apples-to-apples basis.

Once again, based on PropertyShark’s stats, the median price per square foot for neighborhood single-family homes dropped 19 percent from 2008 to 2011, down 8 percent from 2010 to 2011. The drop from 2007 through 2011 was 16.4 percent.

Ooh, Ahh...And Now Reduced For The Noe Apple At 1422 Douglass [SocketSite]
A Quintessential Noe Valley Apple Falls Into Our Cart [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (19) | (email story)

S&P/Case-Shiller San Francisco: Homes Slip, Condos Dip In December

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

According to the December 2011 S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, single-family home prices in the San Francisco MSA fell 0.8% from November ’11 to December '11, down 5.4% year-over-year, down 41.1% from a peak in May 2006.

For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values fell 1.3% from November to December, down 3.9% year-over-year, down 33.8% from a June 2006 peak.

With this month’s report we saw all three composite hit new record lows. While we thought we saw some signs of stabilization in the middle of 2011, it appears that neither the economy nor consumer confidence was strong enough to move the market in a positive direction as the year ended.
After a prior three years of accelerated decline, the past two years has been a story of a housing market that is bottoming out but has not yet stabilized. Up until today’s report we had believed the crisis lows for the composites were behind us, with the 10-City Composite originally hitting a low in April 2009 and the 20-City Composite in March 2011. Now it looks like neither was the case, as both hit new record lows in December 2011. The National Composite fell by 3.8% in the fourth quarter alone, and is down 33.8% from its 2nd quarter 2006 peak. It also recorded a new record low.
In general, most of the regions also posted weak data in December. Eighteen of the cities saw average home prices fall in December over November. Seventeen of the cities have seen monthly declines for at least three consecutive months. In addition to both monthly composites, 10 of the cities saw home prices fall by more than 1.0% during the month of December. The pick-up in the economy has simply not been strong enough to keep home prices stabilized. If anything it looks like we might have reentered a period of decline as we begin 2012.

On a month-over-month basis, prices were up for the bottom third of San Francisco price tiers, up nominally for the middle, down nominally at the top.

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

The bottom third (under $311,666 at the time of acquisition) rose 0.9% from November to December (down 4.6% YOY); the middle third rose 0.3% from November to December (down 7.1% YOY); and the top third (over $573,705 at the time of acquisition) fell 0.4% from November to December, down 1.4% year-over-year (versus a 1.9% in November).

According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA have dropped to May 2000 levels having fallen 60% from a peak in August 2006, the middle third has dropped below March 2002 levels having fallen 42% from a peak in May 2006, and the top third has dropped to January 2004 levels having fallen 26% from a peak in August 2007.

Condo values in the San Francisco MSA fell 1.9% from November '11 to December '11, down 7.3% year-over-year, down 37.0% from a December 2005 peak.

S&P/Case-Shiller Condo Price Changes: December 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).

Case-Shiller: All Three Home Price Composites End 2011 at New Lows [Standard & Poor's]
S&P/Case-Shiller San Francisco: Homes Dip, Condos Slip In November [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (30) | (email story)

February 24, 2012

U.S. New Home Sales: Up 3.5% In January Year-Over-Year

The seasonally adjusted annual pace of new single-family home sales in the U.S. fell to 321,000 in January, down 0.9 percent from a revised rate of 324,000 in December but 3.5 percent above the 310,000 pace recorded in January 2011.

Preliminary U.S. new home sales (versus pace) in January were estimated to be 22,000 (give or take 9 percent), down 1,000 from December, the second slowest January on record since 1963. January sales peaked in 2005 with 92,000 new homes sold.

In the West, the pace of new home sales was up 5.6 percent year-over-year to 76,000 in January, down 10.6 percent versus the month before.

New Residential Sales: January 2012 [census.gov]
New Residential Sales Since 1963 [census.gov]
U.S. New Home Sales: Up 9.8% Year-Over-Year In November [SocketSite]
U.S. New Home Sales: Down 7.3% In December Year-Over-Year [SocketSite]

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

February 23, 2012

Look Past The Overhyped Facebook Effect

Forget the overhyped Facebook effect (a.k.a. "buy now or be priced out forever 2.0") and simply turn your attention to the S&P 500 which closed the day at 1,363.05, just below its April 2011 high of 1,363.61 (its highest close since June 2008) and the Dow’s 12,986.81, its highest close since May 2008.

UPDATE (2/24): The S&P 500 closed the day at 1,365.74, its highest close since June 2008.

What's The Point? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (72) | (email story)

It's Not This Mid-Century Modern Noe Valley Home That Was Flawed

4378 Cesar Chavez: Living

As plugged-in people know, the 1,810 square foot Albert Lanier designed Mid-Century Modern home at 4378 Cesar Chavez hit the market this past November priced at $1,100,000 or $608 per square foot for the designer Noe Valley home with views.

At the time of its listing, the average single-family Noe home was selling for well over $800 per square foot. Lo and behold, 4378 Cesar Chavez, the unidentified poster child of a recent Chronicle report, quickly sold for $1,540,000 ($851 per square) with 23 offers.

It’s funny how that happens.

According to the Chronicle’s Carolyn Said, the architecturally significant Mid-Century Modern home "looked like a 1980s Tahoe cabin," one of the "flaws" that led Realtor Bernard Katzmann to price the property so far below market.

4378 Cesar Chavez: View

Channeling Mid-Century Modern Flair At 4378 Cesar Chavez [SocketSite]
It Would Have Been 50 Percent Over Had They Priced At A Million... [SocketSite]
The SocketSite Reality Check For CBS’s Infamous "42 Offer" Home [SocketSite]
Yes, yes, Noe Valley, say eager S.F. home buyers [SFGate]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (183) | (email story)

February 22, 2012

San Francisco Prestige Index Down 0.3% In Q4 2011, Down 3.1% YOY

San Francisco Prestige Index: Q4 2011 (www.SocketSite.com)

The First Republic Prestige Home Index for "San Francisco" homes valued at more than $1 million, and averaging $2.52 million, fell 0.3 percent from the third to fourth quarter of 2011, down 3.1 percent year-over-year versus a 1.4 percent YOY decline in the third quarter, down 18.2 percent from a third quarter 2007 peak and back below the third quarter of 2004.

As always, keep in mind that the "San Francisco" index includes "a cross-section of luxury homes in Alamo, Atherton, Belvedere, Danville, Healdsburg, Hillsborough, Lafayette, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Mill Valley, Moraga, Orinda, Palo Alto, Piedmont, Portola Valley, Ross, St. Helena, San Francisco, Saratoga, Sonoma, Tiburon and Woodside."

First Republic Prestige Home Index: San Francisco [firstrepublic.com]
San Francisco Prestige Index Up 1.0% In Third Quarter, Back To 2004 [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (7) | (email story)

Existing U.S. Sales Pace Up As Supply Drops And Median Does As Well

The pace of seasonally adjusted existing-home sales in the U.S. rose 4.3 percent from a downwardly revised 4.38 million in December to a 4.57 million pace in January, up 0.7 percent from the 4.54 million unit pace recorded in January 2011.

Total housing inventory at the end of January ticked down 0.4 percent to 2.31 million existing homes actively on the market, a 6.1 month supply, down from a 6.4 month supply in December and versus a 7.6 month supply in January 2011.

While demand appears to have increased, and supply appears to have declined, the median sale price for existing-homes continued to decline, down 2.0 percent year-over-year in January to $154,700 as distressed sales accounted for 35 percent of sales volume, up three points from last month but down two points year-over-year.

Existing-home sales in the west increased 8.8 percent from December to January, down 3.1 percent year-over-year with a median sales price that’s down 1.8 percent as well.

Existing Sales Pace Up And Supply Drops As Median Drops As Well [SocketSite]
Existing-Home Sales Rise Again in January, Inventory Down [realtor.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

February 17, 2012

Recorded San Francisco Sales Fall 1.8% In January, Median Ticks Up

San Francisco Sales Volume And Median Price: January 2012 (www.SocketSite.com)

Recorded home sales volume in San Francisco fell 1.8% on a year-over-year basis last month (327 recorded sales in January 2012 versus 333 sales in January 2010), down 34.5% as compared to the month prior, right in line with an average December to January drop of 34.3% over the past seven years. An average of 366 San Francisco homes have sold in January since 2004 when recorded sales volume hit at 558.

San Francisco's median sales price in December was $602,500, up 2.1% on a year-over-year basis and 1.3% as compared to December in which the median sale price was down 7.8% year-over-year.

For the greater Bay Area, recorded sales volume in January was up 10.3% on a year-over-year basis, down 26.9% from the month prior (5,479 recorded sales in January '12 versus 4,966 in January ’11 and 7,494 in December '11) while the recorded median sales price was down 3.6% year-over-year, down 7.3% month-over-month.

Last month distressed property sales – the combination of foreclosure resales and “short sales” – rose to 51.9 percent of the Bay Area resale market. That’s up from 48.5 percent in December and down slightly from 54.5 percent in January 2011.
Foreclosure resales – homes that had been foreclosed on in the prior 12 months – accounted for 28.0 percent of resales in January. That was up from a revised 27.8 percent in December, and down from 35.0 percent a year earlier. Foreclosure resales peaked at 52.0 percent in February 2009. The monthly average for foreclosure resales over the past 15 years is about 9 percent.
Short sales – transactions where the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property – made up an estimated 23.9 percent of Bay Area resales last month – the highest for the current housing cycle. That was up from 20.7 percent in December and up from 19.5 percent a year earlier.

At the extremes, Sonoma recorded a 29.8% increase in sales volume (a gain of 97 transactions) on a 4.2% decline in median sales price, while Napa recorded a 21.2% decrease in sales (a loss of 25 transactions) on a 5.6% increase in median price. The median sales price in San Mateo dropped 7.8% as sales increased 17.7%. Only San Francisco and Napa counties recorded year-over-year declines in sales volume.

As always, keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed ("sold") many months or even years prior and are just now closing escrow (or being recorded).

Bay Area Housing Market Logs Higher Sales, Lower Prices [DQNews]
San Francisco Sales Activity Ticks Up In December, Median Ticks Down [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (37) | (email story)

February 15, 2012

San Francisco Home Sales Slip In January And Not Simply Seasonally

According to the detail behind Redfin's summary data, the sales volume of single-family homes in San Francisco dropped 26.7 percent on a year-over-year basis last month (from 187 in January 2011 to 137 in January 2012) while condo and townhome sales volume fell 10.1 percent (from 178 in January 2011 to 160 in January 2012).

The median sale price for single-family homes in San Francisco ticked up 3.3 percent year-over-year in January, but the price per square foot fell 6.4 percent. With respect to condos, the median sale price fell 1.6 percent in San Francisco while the price per square foot ticked up 3.0 percent versus January 2011 (down 4.8 percent versus December).

Sellers Still in Control in San Francisco [Redfin]

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February 7, 2012

Selling Short And Still Walking Away With Cash At Settlement

From Bloomberg with respect to a move by major lenders to incentivize delinquent homeowners to short-sell their properties rather than occupy mortgage free for years by offering the debtors up to $35,000 in cash to move on:

Lenders have routinely delayed or blocked such transactions, known as short sales, in which they accept less from a buyer than the seller’s outstanding loan. Now banks have decided the deals are faster and less costly than foreclosures, which have slowed in response to regulatory probes of abusive practices. Banks are nudging potential sellers by pre-approving deals, streamlining the closing process, forgoing their right to pursue unpaid debt and in some cases providing large cash incentives, said Bill Fricke, senior credit officer for Moody’s Investors Service in New York.
Losses for lenders are about 15 percent lower on the sales than on foreclosures, which can take years to complete while taxes and legal, maintenance and other costs accumulate, according to Moody’s. The deals accounted for 33 percent of financially distressed transactions in November, up from 24 percent a year earlier, said CoreLogic Inc., a Santa Ana, California-based real estate information company.

In San Francisco where $35,000 can represent less than six months of mortgage free living, fifty-five percent of distressed listings (which account for eighteen percent of all listings) are currently short sales, versus seventy-one percent at the same time last year.

Banks Pay Homeowners to Avoid Foreclosures [Bloomberg]
Five Years Of "Free" Foreclosure Living At 333 First Nears An End [SocketSite]
Going On Four Years Of "Free" Foreclosure Living Over In Noe Valley [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (6) | (email story)

February 1, 2012

San Francisco’s Growing "Condominium Foreclosure Backlog"

UPDATE: At the request of Polaris, we have removed their proprietary Condominium Foreclosure Backlog chart and counts. Our apologies to all involved.

San Francisco Foreclosure Trends And 2011 And Retrospective [SocketSite]
Actual San Francisco Foreclosures Flat QOQ, Up 3.8% YOY In Q4 2011 [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (6) | (email story)

January 31, 2012

S&P/Case-Shiller San Francisco: Homes Dip, Condos Slip In November

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

According to the November 2011 S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, single-family home prices in the San Francisco MSA fell 1.9% from October ’11 to November '11, down 5.5% year-over-year (versus a 4.7% YoY drop in October), down 40.6% from a peak in May '06.

For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values fell 1.3% from October to November, down 3.6% year-over-year and down 32.9% from a June 2006 peak.

Despite continued low interest rates and better real GDP growth in the fourth quarter, home prices continue to fall. Weakness was seen as 19 of 20 cities saw average home prices decline in November over October...The only positive for the month was Phoenix, one of the hardest hit in recent years. Annual rates were little better as 18 cities and both Composites were negative.
Nationally, home prices are lower than a year ago. The 10-City Composite was down 3.6% and the 20-City was down 3.7% compared to November 2010. The trend is down and there are few, if any, signs in the numbers that a turning point is close at hand.

On a month-over-month basis, prices were up nominally for the bottom third of the three San Francisco price tiers but fell for both the middle and top.

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

The bottom third (under $314,749 at the time of acquisition) rose 0.2% from October to November (down 7.5% YOY); the middle third fell 1.6% from October to November (down 8.6% YOY); and the top third (over $586,246 at the time of acquisition) fell 1.0% from October to November, down 1.9% year-over-year (versus up 0.3% in October).

According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA have dropped below May 2000 levels having fallen 60% from a peak in August 2006, the middle third has dropped below March 2002 levels having fallen 42% from a peak in May 2006, and the top third has dropped below February 2004 levels having fallen 26% from a peak in August 2007.

Condo values in the San Francisco MSA fell 0.2% from October '11 to November '11, down 7.5% year-over-year, down 35.8% from a December 2005 peak.

S&P/Case-Shiller Condo Price Changes: November 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).

Home Prices Continued to Decline in November 2011 [Standard & Poor's]
S&P/Case-Shiller San Francisco: Homes Slip, Condos Dip In October [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (71) | (email story)

January 27, 2012

Quintessential Noe Valley (And Price Per Square Foot Trend)

Having undergone a major remodel in 1999 following its purchase for $410,000 in 1998, the "quintessential renovated and expanded Noe Valley home" at 4245 23rd Street sold for $1,700,000 in September of 2004.

The 2,302 square foot four-bedroom, which is much larger and scarcer than the median neighborhood home, is now back on the market and listed for $1,795,000.

Although their records appear to be incomplete for 2011, if PropertyShark is to correct, the median sale price per square foot for 94114 single-family homes was $697 in 2004, peaked at $953 in 2008, dropped to $840 in 2010, and was $773 last year on median sized home sales of 1,360, 1,530, 1,512, and 1,650 square feet respectively.

Based on PropertyShark’s stats, the median neighborhood price per square foot is up 11 percent since 2004 having increased 37 percent from 2004 to 2008, dropping 19 percent from 2008 to 2011, and having dropped 8 percent from 2010.

Keep in mind that with a 21 percent increase in the size of the median home sold from 2004 to 2011, even if the price per square foot had dropped 20 percent the median price paid would have shown "appreciation," one of the reasons simply quoting changes in median or average sale price often misleads.

And yes, size matters when it comes to comparing price per square foot for homes.

∙ Listing: 4245 23rd Street (4/3) 2,302 sqft - $1,795,000 [4245-23rdst.com]
Size Matters (At Least With Respect To Dollars Per Square Foot) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (21) | (email story)

January 26, 2012

U.S. New Home Sales: Down 7.3% In December Year-Over-Year

The seasonally adjusted annual pace of new single-family home sales in the U.S. fell to 307,000 in December, down 2.2 percent from a revised rate of 314,000 in November and 7.3 percent below the 331,000 pace recorded in December 2010.

Preliminary U.S. new home sales (versus pace) in December were estimated to be 21,000 (give or take 9 percent), down 1,000 from November and the slowest December on record since 1963. December sales peaked in 2005 with 87,000 new homes sold.

In the West, the pace of new home sales was down 29.1 percent year-over-year to 73,000 in December, up 9.0 percent versus the month before.

New Residential Sales: December 2011 [census.gov]
New Residential Sales Since 1963 [census.gov]
U.S. New Home Sales: Up 9.8% Year-Over-Year In November [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (15) | (email story)

January 25, 2012

Actual San Francisco Foreclosures Flat QOQ, Up 3.8% YOY In Q4 2011

Bay Area Notices of Default (NODs) in the fourth quarter of 2011 fell 16.6% on a year-over-year basis, down 6% in San Francisco proper (from 435 to 409).

Actual Bay Area foreclosures in the fourth quarter fell 16.2% on a year-over-year basis (from 5,764 to 4,831) with Contra Costa (down 13.1% to 1,354), Alameda (down 23.8% to 1,038) and Santa Clara (down 20.3% to 718) leading the way with respect to volume.

Fourth quarter recorded foreclosures in San Francisco totaled 162, up 3.8% on a year-over-year basis, flat from the third quarter of 2011 versus a 21% drop across the Bay Area overall. While nominal, San Francisco was the only Bay Area county to record a year-over-year uptick in recorded fourth quarter foreclosures.

California Foreclosure Activity Drops [DQNews]
San Francisco Foreclosure Trends And 2011 And Retrospective [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | (email story)

January 20, 2012

Existing Sales Pace Up And Supply Drops As Median Drops As Well

The pace of seasonally adjusted existing-home sales in the U.S. rose 5.0 percent from a revised 4.39 million in November to a 4.61 million pace in December, up 3.6 percent from the 4.45 million unit pace recorded in December 2010.

Total housing inventory at the end of December fell 9.2 percent to 2.38 million existing homes actively on the market, a 6.2 month supply, down from a 7.2 month supply in November and versus an 8.1 month supply in December 2010.

While demand appears to have increased, and supply appears to have declined, the median sale price for existing-homes was down 2.5 percent year-over-year in December to $164,500 as distressed sales accounted for 32 percent of sales volume, up three points from last month but down three points year-over-year.

Existing-home sales in the west increased 2.6 percent from November to December, down 0.8 percent year-over-year with a median sales price that’s up 0.3 percent.

December Existing-Home Sales Show Uptrend [realtor.org]
From Bad To Worse And Business As Usual At NAR [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (16) | (email story)

San Francisco County Employment Up By 200 In December

Preliminary December labor force data counts for San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties pegs the unemployment rates at 7.6%, 6.5% and 7.2% respectively, down 0.2 percentage points in San Francisco, down 0.4 in Marin, and down 0.3 in San Mateo.

On a revised basis, the number of unemployed in San Francisco fell by 1,000 in December (from 36,200 to 35,200) while the labor force contracted by 700 (from 464,000 to 463,300) and the number of employed increased by 200 (from 427,800 to 428,000).

Overall unadjusted California unemployment remained at 10.9% as the labor force fell by 13,100 workers while the ranks of the unemployed increased by 8,399.

Monthly Labor Force Data for Counties: December 2011 (Preliminary) [EDD]
San Francisco County Employment Up By 3,100 In November [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

January 19, 2012

Housing Starts Slip From November But Remain Up Year-Over-Year

As we pointed out last month, the November jump in U.S. housing starts was driven by multi-family housing and demand for rentals.

In December, overall housing starts dropped 4.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted rate but remained 24.9 percent above the rate recorded in December 2010 while single-family starts ticked up 4.4 percent from November, up 11.6 percent year-over-year.

Seasonally adjusted permit activity to start construction was up 7.8 percent on a year over year basis in December, once again driven by demand for multi-family housing with permits for buildings with five or more units increasing 30.6 percent versus a 0.2 percent drop for single-family homes.

Without adjustments for seasonality, preliminary numbers peg overall housing starts up 3.4 percent from 2010 to 2011, down 9.0 percent for single-family homes. Overall permit activity ticked up 1.2 percent from 2010, down 7.5 percent for single-family homes.

In the west, total starts were up 11.0 percent from 2010 to 2011, down 7.1 percent for single-family homes while permit activity was up 3.6 percent, down 7.2 percent for single-family homes.

Housing Starts Up Driven By Demand For Rentals [SocketSite]
New Residential Construction: December 2011 [census.gov]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

January 18, 2012

San Francisco Sales Activity Ticks Up In December, Median Ticks Down

San Francisco Sales Volume And Median Price: December 2011 (www.SocketSite.com)

Recorded home sales volume in San Francisco was up 1.6% on a year-over-year basis last month (499 recorded sales in December 2011 versus 491 sales in December 2010), up 18.2% as compared to the month prior and versus an average November to December increase of 1.7% over the past seven years. An average of 521 San Francisco homes have sold in December since 2004 when recorded sales volume hit at 646.

San Francisco's median sales price in December was $594,500, down 3.6% on a year-over-year basis and down 7.8% as compared to November in which the median sale price was down 5.2% year-over-year

For the greater Bay Area, recorded sales volume in December was up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis, up 18.6% from the month prior (7,494 recorded sales in December '11 versus 7,178 in December ’10 and 6,317 in November '11) as the recorded median sales price was down 6.3% year-over-year, down 3.3% month-over-month.

Last month distressed property sales – the combination of foreclosure resales and "short sales" – rose to 49.6 percent of the resale market. That was up from 45.9 percent in November and up from 48.2 percent from December 2010.
Foreclosure resales – homes that had been foreclosed on in the prior 12 months – accounted for 28.6 percent of resales in December. That was up from a revised 25.2 percent in November, and down from 30.1 percent a year earlier. Foreclosure resales peaked at 52.0 percent in February 2009. The monthly average for foreclosure resales over the past 15 years is about 9 percent.
Short sales – transactions where the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property – made up an estimated 21.0 percent of Bay Area resales last month. That was up from 20.6 percent in November and up from 18.1 percent a year earlier.

At the extremes, Marin recorded a 23.9% increase in sales volume (a gain of 74 transactions) on a 13.6% decline in median sales price, while San Mateo recorded a 2.3% decrease in sales (a loss of 14 transactions) on a 10.7% decline in median price. The best performing Bay Area county in terms of median sales price was Napa which recorded a 2.4% year-over-year increase, the only uptick throughout the Bay Area.

As always, keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed ("sold") many months or even years prior and are just now closing escrow (or being recorded).

Bay Area Sales Up, Prices Down [DQNews]
Recorded San Francisco Activity Up 2.9% In November, Median Falls [SocketSite]
San Francisco Foreclosure Trends And 2011 And Retrospective [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (4) | (email story)

January 9, 2012

San Francisco Foreclosure Trends And 2011 Retrospective

Pre-foreclosure activity in San Francisco has ticked up from 549 properties in the pipeline in August to 611 today, 39 percent of which are in District 10*. On a year-over-year basis, pre-foreclosure activity is relatively flat with 605 properties in the pipeline in January 2011, 34 percent of which were in District 10.

That being said, the number of properties currently scheduled for auction in San Francisco has dropped significantly since this past August, from 691 to 549 today (40 percent of which are in District 10 versus 43 percent three months prior), down from 690 in January 2011 (at which point 43 percent were in District 10).

Last year roughly 70 percent of scheduled foreclosure auctions in San Francisco were cancelled (only one point above the 69 percent cancellation rate for scheduled auctions in District 10), up from a 66 percent cancellation rate in 2010, 55 percent in 2009, 53 percent in 2008, and 49 percent in 2007.

By our counts, roughly 42 percent of all actual San Francisco foreclosures in 2011 occurred in District 10, up from 39 percent in 2010 but still well below the 48 percent recorded in 2009 or the 58 percent recorded 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 Flat As Pre-Foreclosure Activity Ticks Down [SocketSite]
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 12:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

December 30, 2011

Up, Down, And Back To Where It Started For The S&P 500 In 2011

S&P 500 in 2011

The S&P 500 closed the day and 2011 at 1,257.60, down .04 points (0.0%) from where it started the year and down 7.8% from an April high, but up 14.4% from an October low.

What's The Point? [SocketSite]

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December 29, 2011

U.S. Pending Sales Up 5.9% In November But Failed Closings Loom

As prices continued to tick down in October, the National Associations of Realtors Pending Home Sales Index increased 7.3 percent from October to November, up 5.9 percent year over year.

Keep in mind, however, that NAR's Index reflects contracts not closings and the percentage of Realtors reporting failed contracts remains at 33 percent versus 9 percent at the same time last year.

In the West, the Pending Home Sales Index jumped 14.9 percent from October to November, up 2.9 percent year-over-year.

S&P/Case-Shiller San Francisco: Homes Slip, Condos Dip In October [SocketSite]
Pending Home Sales Rise Again in November [realtor.org]
U.S. Pending Sales Jump In October As Did Reports Of Failed Closings [SocketSite]
From Bad To Worse And Business As Usual At NAR [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (5) | (email story)

December 27, 2011

S&P/Case-Shiller San Francisco: Homes Slip, Condos Dip In October

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

According to the October 2011 S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, single-family home prices in the San Francisco MSA fell 0.7% from September ’11 to October '11, down 4.7% year-over-year (versus a 5.9% YoY drop in September), down 39.4% from a peak in May 2006.

For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values fell 1.0% from September to October, down 3.0% year-over-year and down 31.9% from a June 2006 peak.

Atlanta and the Midwest are regions that really stand out in terms of recent relative weakness. Atlanta was down 5.0% over the month, after having fallen by 5.9% in September. It also has the weakest annual return, down 11.7%. Chicago, Cleveland Detroit and Minneapolis all posted monthly declines of 1.0% or more in October. These markets were some of the strongest during the spring/summer buying season. However, Detroit is the healthiest when viewed on an annual basis. It is up 2.5% versus October 2010. Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit and Las Vegas are four markets where average prices are below their January 2000 levels; and Atlanta and Las Vegas posted new lows in October.

On a month-over-month basis, prices fell for the bottom third of San Francisco MSA price tiers, pushed for the middle, and nominally increased for the top third.

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

The bottom third (under $319,767 at the time of acquisition) fell 0.9% from September to October (down 9.1% YOY); the middle third was unchanged from September to October (down 8.1% YOY); and the top third (over $599,697 at the time of acquisition) rose 0.3% from September to October, down 1.6% year-over-year (versus down 3.1% in September).

According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA have dropped below May 2000 levels having fallen 60% from a peak in August 2006, the middle third has dropped below March 2002 levels having fallen 41% from a peak in May 2006, and the top third has dropped below February 2004 levels having fallen 25% from a peak in August 2007.

Condo values in the San Francisco MSA fell 2.6% from September '11 to October '11, down 8.0% year-over-year, down 35.6% from a December 2005 peak.

S&P/Case-Shiller Condo Price Changes: October 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: Fourth Quarter Starts with Broad-based Declines [Standard & Poor's]
S&P/Case-Shiller San Francisco: Prices Fell In September [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (12) | (email story)

December 23, 2011

U.S. New Home Sales: Up 9.8% Year-Over-Year In November

The seasonally adjusted annual pace of new single-family home sales in the U.S. increased to 315,000 in November, up 1.6 percent from a revised rate of 310,000 in October and 9.8 percent above the 287,000 pace recorded in November 2010.

Preliminary U.S. new home sales (versus pace) in November were estimated to be 22,000 (give or take 8 percent), down 3,000 from October and the second slowest November on record. November sales peaked in 2005 with 86,000 new homes sold.

In the West, the pace of new home sales was up 1.5 percent year-over-year to 69,000 in November, down 16.9 percent versus the month before.

New Residential Sales: November 2011 [census.gov]
New Residential Sales Since 1963 [census.gov]
U.S. New Home Sales: Up 8.9% Year-Over-Year In October [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (25) | (email story)

December 21, 2011

From Bad To Worse And Business As Usual At NAR

From Bloomberg with respect to the National Association of Realtors revised figures for existing homes sales over the past four years:

The number of existing homes sold in the U.S. was revised down by an average 14 percent since 2007, magnifying the depth of the slump that contributed to the last recession.
Purchases were revised to 4.19 million for 2010, down 15 percent from a prior estimate of 4.91 million, the National Association of Realtors said today in Washington. Sales climbed 4 percent in November to a 4.42 million annual pace, from a revised 4.25 million rate the prior month that reflected the benchmark updates.
Purchases were trimmed by 11 percent for 2007, by 16 percent in 2008 and by 16 percent in 2009.

Revisions to downward median price trends were little changed. And to quote NAR's chief economist, "even before the revisions things were bad, now they are even worse."

U.S. Existing Homes Sold Since ’07 Revised Down by 14% [Bloomberg]
Existing-Home Sales Continue to Climb in November [NAR]
Demand Up, Supply Down, And Yet The Median Falls? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (79) | (email story)

December 20, 2011

Housing Starts Up Driven By Demand For Rentals

Housing starts in the U.S. were up 24.3 percent year over year in November driven by demand for rentals and multi-family housing with construction of structures with five (5) or more units up 180.5 percent year over year while single-family home starts dropped 1.5 percent.

Permit activity to start construction was up 20.7 percent in November on a year over year basis, once again driven by demand for multi-family housing which increased 80.6 percent versus 3.6 percent for single-family homes.

In the west, total starts were up 66.3 percent year over year, up 17.7 percent for single-family homes while total permit activity was up 29.3 percent, up 13.9 percent for single-family homes.

New Residential Construction: November 2011 [doc.gov]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (5) | (email story)

December 16, 2011

San Francisco County Employment Up By 3,100 In November

Preliminary November labor force data counts for San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties pegs the unemployment rates at 7.8%, 6.9% and 7.5% respectively, down 0.3 percentage points in San Francisco and Marin, down 0.4 in San Mateo.

On a revised basis, the number of unemployed in San Francisco fell by 1,400 in November (from 37,600 to 36,200) while the labor force increased by 1,700 (from 462,300 to 464,000) and the number of employed increased by 3,100 (from 424,700 to 427,800).

Overall unadjusted California unemployment fell to 10.9% as the labor force fell by 35,900 workers and the ranks of the unemployed fell by 71,100.

Monthly Labor Force Data for Counties: November 2011 (Preliminary) [EDD]
San Francisco County Employment Up By 2,700 In October [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (140) | (email story)

December 14, 2011

Recorded San Francisco Activity Up 2.9% In November, Median Falls

San Francisco Sales Volume And Median Price: November 2011 (www.SocketSite.com)

Recorded home sales volume in San Francisco was up 2.9% on a year-over-year basis last month (422 recorded sales in November 2011 versus 410 sales in November 2010), down 5.8% as compared to the month prior and versus an average October to November volume drop of 7.2% over the past seven years. An average of 520 San Francisco homes have sold in November since 2004 when recorded sales volume hit at 682.

San Francisco's median sales price in November was $644,500, down 5.2% on a year-over-year basis, up 1.5% as compared to October in which the median was down 2.6% YoY.

For the greater Bay Area, recorded sales volume in November was up 3.4% on a year-over-year basis, down 2.0% from the month prior (6,317 recorded sales in November '11 versus 6,111 in November ’10 and 6,444 in October '11) as the recorded median sales price was down 4.3% year-over-year, up 3.9% month-over-month.

At the extremes, Sonoma County recorded a 16.9% increase in sales volume (a gain of 70 transactions) on an 9.5% decline in median sales price, while Solano County recorded a 5.3% decrease in sales (a loss of 29 transactions) on an 8.2% decline in median price. The best performing Bay Area county in terms of median sales price was Napa which recorded a 1.2% decline while San Mateo recorded a 9.6% drop.

As always, keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed ("sold") many months or even years prior and are just now closing escrow (or being recorded).

Bay Area Home Prices Low, Sales Creep Up [DQNews]
Recorded San Francisco Sales Activity Up 2.8% In October [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (11) | (email story)

December 13, 2011

Urban Land Institute's Emerging Trends In Real Estate 2012 Report

Keep in mind the Urban Land Institute targets institutional investors and developers. That being said, the lead paragraph from the ULI's Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2012 report:

For 2012, U.S. real estate players must resign themselves to a slowing, grind-it-out recovery following a period of mostly sporadic growth, confined largely to "wealth island" real estate markets—the primary 24-hour gateways located along global pathways. A handful of cities also should continue to benefit from expansion in locally based technology- and energy-related industries. Otherwise, most commercial markets have stabilized, but will find marked improvement in occupancies and rents relatively elusive. Despite some stepped-up bargain hunting, capital generally will continue to avoid commodity real estate in most secondary and tertiary cities. Among the property sectors, only apartments will score especially well: demographic trends and the aftermath of the housing bloodbath combine to increase and sustain demand for multifamily units.

And from the summary for San Francisco, the ULI’s number three U.S. market to watch:

"It’s back"—near the top—and rates as the survey’s best buy for office and apartments. "Bullish market timers bet on room for big future office rent increases, pushing purchase pricing way ahead of fundamentals." Empty buildings counterintuitively look most attractive to some buyers: "They see so much upside in rents." In fact, the South of Market district "catches fire"—reminiscent of pre-tech-bubble-burst days in 2000. Computing and internet firms expand to satisfy young tech-savvy hires who want to work and live in the midst of 24-hour city amenities and action. Unlike tentative tenants in most other markets, Bay Area tech companies readily lease large blocks of space for future expansion. But overall market vacancies still register in the mid- to low teens, and demand in this Pacific gateway can fall suddenly.

Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2012 [uli.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (31) | (email story)

December 12, 2011

San Francisco Listed Sales Volume Up, Median Sale Price Down

The sales volume of listed single-family homes in San Francisco rose 26.0% on a year-over-year basis in November, up 46 sales from 179 in 2010 to 225 in 2011 as the median sale price fell 9.9 percent year-over-year (from $775,000 to $698,000).

With respect to listed condos in San Francisco, sales volume rose 21 percent year-over-year in November, up 35 sales from 166 in 2010 to 201 in 2011 as the median sale price fell 5.4 percent (from $669,000 to $633,000).

Real Estate Market Trends Report [rereport.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | (email story)

December 5, 2011

An Uptick In Application Fees And Frustrations In San Francisco

From a plugged-in landlord bugged by a reported uptick in application fees for apartments in San Francisco:

I don't charge an application fee. I figure that running a credit check is the cost of doing business, and I only do it on the finalist. It's lame that some are charging dozens the fee for the same place. We know that they're not doing dozens of credit checks.
This makes us all look bad. And it's another reason for the city to figure out how to [reign] over landlords.

One unconfirmed anecdote and hearsay from The Bay Citizen retells the tale of a $3,500 a month loft in the Mission attracting 250 applications at $40 a pop.

In SF's Tight Rental Market, Paying Just to Look [baycitizen.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (21) | (email story)

December 1, 2011

Ciao!

In response to continuing concern surrounding the stability of the European economy, six central banks cut the cost of borrowing yesterday and the financial markets rallied with the S&P 500 jumping 4.3 percent, up 7.6 percent over the past three days.

Ciao? [SocketSite]
What's The Point? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (5) | (email story)

November 30, 2011

U.S. Pending Sales Jump In October As Did Reports Of Failed Closings

As prices tick down, the National Associations of Realtors Pending Home Sales Index jumped 10.4 percent from September to October, up 9.2 percent year over year.

Keep in mind, however, that NAR's Index reflects contracts not closings and the percentage of Realtors reporting a failed contract* nearly doubled last month, from 18 percent in September to 33 percent in October and versus 8 percent in October 2010.

In the West, the Pending Home Sales Index ticked down 0.3 percent from September to October, up 8.1 percent year-over-year.

UPDATE: The language from the National Association of Realtors last month:

Contract failures reported by NAR members jumped to 33 percent in October from 18 percent in September, and were only 8 percent a year ago, so we should be seeing stronger sales.

More accurately stated, however, the number reflects the percentage of Realtors that report having experienced a contract failure, not the percentage of contracts that have actually failed.

Pending Home Sales Jump in October [realtor.org]
S&P/Case-Shiller San Francisco: Prices Fell In September [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (12) | (email story)

November 29, 2011

San Francisco Prestige Index Up 1.0% In Third Quarter, Back To 2004

San Francisco Prestige Index: Q3 2011

The First Republic Prestige Home Index for "San Francisco" homes valued at more than $1 million and averaging $2.53 million rose 1.0 percent from the second quarter of 2011 to the third quarter of 2011, down 1.4 percent on a year-over-year basis, down 17.9 percent from a third quarter 2007 peak and equal to the third quarter of 2004.

As always, keep in mind that the "San Francisco" index includes "a cross-section of luxury homes in Alamo, Atherton, Belvedere, Danville, Healdsburg, Hillsborough, Lafayette, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Mill Valley, Moraga, Orinda, Palo Alto, Piedmont, Portola Valley, Ross, St. Helena, San Francisco, Saratoga, Sonoma, Tiburon and Woodside."

First Republic Prestige Home Index: San Francisco [firstrepublic.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (10) | (email story)

S&P/Case-Shiller San Francisco: Prices Fell In September

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

According to the September 2011 S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, single-family home prices in the San Francisco MSA fell 1.5% from August ’11 to September '11, down 5.9% year-over-year (versus a 5.3% YoY drop in August), the ninth consecutive month of year-over-year declines and down 39.0% from a peak in May 2006.

For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values fell 0.4% from August to September, down 3.3% year-over-year and down 31.2% from a June 2006 peak.

"Three cities posted new index lows in September 2011 - Atlanta, Las Vegas and Phoenix. Seventeen of the 20 cities and both Composites were down for the month. Over the last year home prices in most cities drifted lower. The plunging collapse of prices seen in 2007-2009 seems to be behind us. Any chance for a sustained recovery will probably need a stronger economy."
"Detroit and Washington DC posted positive annual rates of change and also saw an improvement in these rates compared to August. Only New York, Portland and Washington DC posted positive monthly returns versus August. It is a bit disturbing that we saw three cities post new crisis lows. For the prior three or four months, only Las Vegas was weakening each month. Now Atlanta and Phoenix have fallen to new lows too. On a monthly basis, Atlanta actually posted a record low rate of -5.9% in September over August. The markets are fairly thin, and the relative lack of closed transactions might be exacerbating the downside."

On a month-over-month basis, prices fell across all three Francisco MSA price tiers which remain down on a year-over-year basis for the tenth month in a row.

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

The bottom third (under $320,010 at the time of acquisition) fell 2.2% from August to September (down 9.5% YOY); the middle third fell 1.1% from August to September (down 10.1% YOY); and the top third (over $603,426 at the time of acquisition) fell 0.9% from August to September, down 3.1% year-over-year (versus down 2.3% in August).

According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA have dropped below May 2000 levels having fallen 60% from a peak in August 2006, the middle third has dropped below March 2002 levels having fallen 41% from a peak in May 2006, and the top third has dropped below February 2004 levels having fallen 25% from a peak in August 2007.

Condo values in the San Francisco MSA fell 1.3% from August '11 to September '11, down 8.7% year-over-year, down 33.9% from a December 2005 peak.

S&P/Case-Shiller Condo Price Changes: September 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: Home Prices Weaken as the Third Quarter Ends [Standard & Poor's]
S&P/Case-Shiller San Francisco: Prices Relatively Flat In August [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (111) | (email story)

November 28, 2011

U.S. New Home Sales: Up 8.9% Year-Over-Year In October

The seasonally adjusted annual pace of new single-family home sales in the U.S. increased to 307,000 in October, up 1.3 percent from a revised rate of 303,000 in September and 8.9 percent above the 282,000 pace recorded in October 2010.

Preliminary U.S. new home sales (versus pace) in October were estimated to be 25,000 (give or take 8 percent), matching September’s sales and the second slowest October on record. October sales peaked in 2005 with 105,000 new homes sold.

In the West, the pace of new home sales was up 54.0 percent year-over-year to 77,000 in October, up 14.9 percent versus the month before.

New Residential Sales: June 2011 [census.gov]
New Residential Sales Since 1963 [census.gov]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

November 23, 2011

What's The Point?

As we wrote two weeks ago and for which we took a bit of heat:

Just when the financial markets seemed to have recovered from the Great Greek Debacle, the S&P 500 dropped 3.67 percent today stoked by uncertainty over Italy and the stability of the Euro as a whole.

The S&P 500 has dropped 8.93 percent since November 9 and is now down 1.60 percent year-over-year. And no, it’s not the daily moves we’re focused on, nor simply the dips, but rather potential turning points, be they bearish or bullish, and the trends.

And with respect to the IPO market and its ups and downs, let’s consider this a safe place to discuss and debate its impact on the San Francisco real estate market as we try to keep our other discussions on topic and track.

Ciao? [SocketSite]
Financial Markets Balk At Vote To Accept Voluntary Writedowns [SocketSite]
Dow Crosses 11,000 As Market Volatility (A.K.A. Skittishness) Wanes [SocketSite]
It Must Just Be Because We're "Bearish," Why Else Would We Care? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (262) | (email story)

November 21, 2011

It Must Just Be Because We're "Bearish," Why Else Would We Care?

S&P Posts Worst Losing Streak in Two Months [Bloomberg]
Kostin: S&P 500 May Fall to 1,100 [Bloomberg]
Ciao? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (27) | (email story)

Demand Up, Supply Down, And Yet The Median Falls?

The pace of seasonally adjusted existing-home sales in the U.S. rose 1.4 percent from 4.90 million in September to a 4.97 million pace in October, up 13.5 percent from the 4.38 million unit pace recorded in October 2010.

Total housing inventory at the end of October fell 2.2 percent to 3.33 million existing homes actively on the market, an 8.0 month supply, down from an 8.3 month supply in September and down from a 10.5 month supply in October 2010.

While demand appears to have increased, and supply appears to have declined, the median sale price for existing-homes was down 4.7 percent year-over-year in October to $162,500 as distressed sales accounted for 28 percent of sales volume, down two points from last month, down six points year-over-year.

Existing-home sales in the west increased 4.4 percent from September to October, up 15.5 percent on a year-over-year basis on a median sales price that’s 1.6 percent lower.

October Existing-Home Sales Rise, Unsold Inventory Continues to Decline [realtor.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (5) | (email story)

November 18, 2011

San Francisco County Employment Up By 2,700 In October

Preliminary October labor force data counts for San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties pegs the unemployment rates at 8.1%, 7.2% and 7.9% respectively, down 0.1 percentage points in San Francisco and San Mateo, down 0.2 in Marin.

On a revised basis, the number of unemployed in San Francisco fell by 300 in October (from 37,900 to 37,600) while the labor force increased by 2,700 (from 459,600 to 462,300) and the number of employed increased by 3,000 (from 421,700 to 424,700).

Overall unadjusted California unemployment fell to 11.3% as the labor force increased by 55,200 workers and the ranks of the unemployed fell by 18,700.

Monthly Labor Force Data for Counties: October 2011 (Preliminary) [EDD]
San Francisco And California Employment Increase In September [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

November 17, 2011

San Francis Wood (And Nine Others) On The Courthouse Steps

136 Saint Francis Blvd

Purchased for $2,000,000 in 2003, and having traded for $888,000 in 1996, the 4,210 square foot home at 136 Saint Francis Boulevard was refinanced in 2006 with a new $2,120,000 first mortgage.

With a first reported default date of 2/12/10, at which point the loan was already $127,698 past due, it’s now twenty-one months later, the loan balance on the $2,120,000 note is over $2,500,000, and 136 Saint Francis Boulevard is scheduled to hit the courthouse steps in San Francisco tomorrow afternoon.

In addittion to 136 Saint Francis, nine other homes are also scheduled to hit the steps in San Francisco tomorrow with original default dates ranging from 7/27/07 for 1000 Crescent Avenue to 12/28/10 for the single-family at 86 Byxbee.

Preforeclosure Activity Picks Up Speed Across San Francisco [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:40 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | (email story)

November 16, 2011

Recorded San Francisco Sales Activity Up 2.8% In October

San Francisco Sales Volume And Median Price: October 2011 (www.SocketSite.com)

Recorded home sales volume in San Francisco was up 2.8% on a year-over-year basis last month (448 recorded sales in October 2011 versus 436 sales in October 2010), up 12.3% as compared to the month prior and versus an average September to October increase of 0.1% over the past seven years. An average of 543 San Francisco homes have sold in October since 2004 when recorded sales volume hit at 720.

San Francisco's median sales price in October was $635,000, down 2.6% on a year-over-year basis, up 3.5% as compared to September in which the median was down 1.0% YoY.

For the greater Bay Area, recorded sales volume in October was up 5.3% on a year-over-year basis, down 4.5% from the month prior (6,444 recorded sales in October '11 versus 6,122 in October ’10 and 6,749 in September '11) as the recorded median sales price was down 8.6% year-over-year, down 4.1% month-over-month.

At the extremes, Sonoma County recorded a 26.9% increase in sales volume (a gain of 104 transactions) on a 8.3% decline in median sales price, while Contra Costa County recorded a 0.3% decrease in sales (a loss of 4 transactions) on a 3.6% decline in median price. Napa was the only Bay Area county to record an increase in median sales price (up 1.0%) while the median dropped 10.4% in Santa Clara.

As always, keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed ("sold") many months or even years prior and are just now closing escrow (or being recorded).

Bay Area Home Sales Up From 2010, Prices Down [DQNews]
Recorded San Francisco Sales Activity Drops 9.7% In September [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (36) | (email story)

November 9, 2011

Preforeclosure Activity Picks Up Speed Across San Francisco

Having ticked down from April to August, preforeclosure activity in San Francisco has jumped 19 percent since, with 651 properties in the preforeclosure pipeline versus 549 two months ago, nearing the 660 mark we recorded in April and 8 percent higher than the 605 we recorded in January.

While up 9 percent in real estate Districts 1 through 9, the bulk of the net new preforeclosure activity has been in District 10*, up 32 percent over the past two months and representing 38 percent of pre-foreclosure activity in San Francisco, up from 34 percent in January.

Naturally following the mid-year dip in preforeclosure activity, the number of scheduled auctions in San Francisco has fallen to 581, down 16 percent over the past two months, having dropped 28 percent in District 10 which now represents 41 percent of the scheduled auctions in San Francisco, the lowest percentage we’ve recorded all year.

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 Flat As Pre-Foreclosure Activity Ticks Down [SocketSite]
San Francisco Bucks CA Foreclosure Trends, But Not In A Good Way [SocketSite]
San Francisco Association Of Realtors New Neighborhood Map [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (54) | (email story)

November 7, 2011

San Francisco Rents Up 9 Percent As Vacancy Rate Drops To 3.2

According to a survey of apartment buildings by Cassidy Turley, the rental vacancy rate has dropped to 3.2 percent in San Francisco as average rents have climbed 9 percent over the past year, one point below the double-digit growth rate we noted to expect in May.

The Rising Rents Versus Falling Prices Paradox And Salary Debate [SocketSite]
Tech Job Quote Triptych [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (78) | (email story)

November 3, 2011

It’s Déjà Foreclosure All Over Again For 38 Alviso

38 Alviso

In 1989 the Ingleside Terrace home at 38 Alviso Street was purchased for $355,000.

Five years later, with the median sale price per square foot in the neighborhood having dropped by 13 percent (from $236 to $206), 38 Alviso was foreclosed upon and resold by the bank for $240,000.

In 2006, with the median sale price per square foot in the neighborhood hitting $617 (climbing to $681 in 2007), and having been expanded in 2005, 38 Alviso sold for $1,100,000 by way of an $825,000 first, a $165,000 second, and $110,000 down.

In default by September 2009, and having skirted a couple of forced sales since, 38 Alviso is once again scheduled to hit the (somewhat less collusive) courthouse steps in San Francisco this afternoon with $1,106,630 now due on that $825,000 first mortgage alone.

The median sale price in the neighborhood is currently running around $557 per square foot, down from $564 per square in 2010 and below the $571 per square recorded in 2004.

The San Francisco Foreclosure Rigging Four [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | (email story)

October 25, 2011

S&P/Case-Shiller San Francisco: Prices Relatively Flat In August

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

According to the August 2011 S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, single-family home prices in the San Francisco MSA fell a nominal 0.1% from July ’11 to August '11 but remain down 5.3% year-over-year (versus a 5.6% YoY drop in July), the eigth consecutive month of year-over-year declines and down 38.1% from a peak in May 2006.

For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values increased a nominal 0.1% from July to August, down 3.5% year-over-year, down 30.9% from a June 2006 peak.

"In the August data, the good news is continued improvement in the annual rates of change in home prices. In spring and summer’s seasonally strong period for housing demand, we cautioned that monthly increases in prices had to be paired with improvement in annual rates before anyone could declare that the market might be stabilizing. With 16 of 20 cities and both Composites seeing their annual rates of change improve in August, we see a modest glimmer of hope with these data. As of August 2011, the crisis low for the 10-City Composite was back in April 2009; whereas it was a more recent March 2011 for the 20-City Composite. Both are about 3.9% above their relative lows.
"The Midwest is one region that really stands out in terms of recent relative strength. Chicago, Detroit and Minneapolis have all posted very sharp monthly increases going back to May. These markets were some of the weakest during the crisis, particularly Detroit. But as of August 2011, Detroit is the healthiest when viewed on an annual basis. It is up 2.7% versus August 2010. Prices there are still back to their 1995 levels, but the recent pickup in the US auto industry may finally be helping."

On a month-over-month basis, prices fell across the bottom and middle San Francisco MSA price tiers and were unchanged for the top. On a year-over-year basis, however, values remained down across all three tiers.

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

The bottom third (under $321,866 at the time of acquisition) fell 1.5% from July to August (down 8.0% YOY); the middle third fell 0.7% from July to August (down 9.6% YOY); and the top third (over $608,109 at the time of acquisition) was unchanged, down 2.3% year-over-year.

According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA have dropped below June 2000 levels having fallen 59% from a peak in August 2006, the middle third remains below April 2002 levels having fallen 41% 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 a nominal 0.2% from July '11 to August '11, down 9.0% year-over-year, down 33.0% from a December 2005 peak.

S&P/Case-Shiller Condo Price Changes: August 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: Annual Rates of Change Continue to Improve [Standard & Poor's]
S&P/Case-Shiller San Francisco: SFH’s Moderate, Condos Fall In July [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (80) | (email story)

October 21, 2011

San Francisco And California Employment Increase In September

Preliminary September labor force data counts for San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties pegs the unemployment rate at 8.3%, 7.4% and 8.0% respectively, down 0.5 percentage points in San Francisco, down 0.4 in Marin and 0.3 in San Mateo.

On a revised basis, the number of unemployed in San Francisco fell by 2,300 in September (from 40,200 to 37,900) while the labor force increased by 1,000 (from 458,600 to 459,600) and the number of employed increased from 418,400 to 421,700.

Overall unadjusted California unemployment fell to 11.4% as the labor force increased by 50,400 workers and the ranks of the unemployed fell by 89,000.

Monthly Labor Force Data for Counties: September 2011 (Preliminary) [EDD]
San Francisco County Employment Increases In August [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (10) | (email story)

October 14, 2011

Recorded San Francisco Sales Activity Drops 9.7% In September

San Francisco Sales Volume And Median Price: September 2011 (www.SocketSite.com)

Recorded home sales volume in San Francisco fell 9.7% on a year-over-year basis last month (399 recorded sales in September 2011 versus 442 sales in September 2010), down 17.6% as compared to the month prior and versus an average August to September seasonal drop of 8.7% over the past seven years. An average of 537 San Francisco homes have sold in September since 2004 when recorded sales volume hit at 763.

San Francisco's median sales price in September was $613,750, down 1.0% on a year-over-year basis and down 0.8% as compared to this past August.

For the greater Bay Area, recorded sales volume in September was up 6.6% on a year-over-year basis, down 10.2% from the month prior (6,749 recorded sales in September '11 versus 6,334 in September ’10 and 7,513 in August '11) as the recorded median sales price fell 7.6% year-over-year, down 1.2% month-over-month.

At the extremes, San Francisco was the only County that failed to record an uptick in sales volume while San Mateo recorded a 17.4% increase (up 90 transactions) on a 3.6% decline in median price. San Francisco recorded the smallest drop in terms of median sales price while the median sale price dropped 13% in Contra Costa as volume increased 5.4%.

As always, keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed ("sold") many months or even years prior and are just now closing escrow (or being recorded).

Bay Area Home Sales Up, Prices Down from Year Ago [DQNews]
Recorded Sales Activity Up 7.3% In August As The Median Drops [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (31) | (email story)

San Francisco Listed Sales Volume Ticks Up On Lower Median

The sales volume of listed single-family homes in San Francisco rose 11.0% on a year-over-year basis in September, up 19 sales from 173 in 2010 to 192 in 2011 as the median sales price fell 5.3 percent year-over-year (from $710,000 to $672,500).

With respect to condos, listed sales volume fell 5.7 percent on a year-over-year basis in September, down 11 sales from 194 in 2010 to 183 in 2011 as the median sales price fell 5.3 percent from $631,500 to $598,199.

Real Estate Market Trends Report [rereport.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

October 6, 2011

30-Year Mortgage Rates Fall Below 4 Percent And...Activity Drops

According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rates averaged 3.94 percent with an average 0.8 point for the week ending October 6, 2011, down from 4.01 percent last week and versus 4.27 percent a year ago.

At the same time, mortgage applications to purchase homes in the U.S. dropped 1.7 percent last week (refinancing activity fell 5.2 percent), down 12.1 percent on a year-over-year basis according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rate Falls Below 4 Percent [Freddie Mac]
Mortgage Applications, except Government Refinances, Decrease [mbaa.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (13) | (email story)

October 4, 2011

The Rising Rents Versus Falling Prices Paradox And Salary Debate

A reader's comment from our report on 44 Rockaway Avenue that sparked a discussion that’s topical and worth its own place for debate:

[Here] is the explanation of how SOMA rental units can be doing pretty well, but why that has not correlated with more home sales and thus prices keep falling: local tech jobs just don't pay all that well. It's enough for a 28-year-old to rent a decent small-ish pad. But it is not nearly enough to buy a nice SF place, especially if you have kids.

Feel free to join in, but if you do, please stick with a unique identity that's your own.

Look Out Below [SocketSite]
Tech Job Quote Triptych [SocketSite]
Here Are The Top 7 Highest Paying Companies In Silicon Valley [businessinsider.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (185) | (email story)

September 28, 2011

The "$2.8 Million Dream Home" On Mountain Spring Drops To $2.5M

65 Mountain Spring Avenue

As the new agent for 65 Mountain Spring Avenue wrote when the property returned to the market earlier this month listed for $2,675,000 having been listed by the sellers who are brokers themselves for as much as $3,950,000 in June 2010:

Many, many [sellers] with homes on the market over the past 2-3 years have been surprised by the values of their homes. Having previously appraised near the former asking price, the market has now changed.

It has changed indeed. And late yesterday, the list price for the Clarendon Heights home was reduced $180,000, now asking $2,495,000 for the "$2.8 million" dream house.

∙ Listing: 65 Mountain Spring (4/3) 3,513 sqft - $2,495,000 [65mountainspringave.com]
A Regularly Recurring Dream [SocketSite]
San Francisco Dreaming At 65 Mountain Spring Avenue [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (10) | (email story)

September 27, 2011

S&P/Case-Shiller San Francisco: SFH’s Moderate, Condos Fall In July

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

According to the July 2011 S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, single-family home prices in the San Francisco MSA increased a nominal 0.3% from June ’11 to July '11 but remain down 5.6% year-over-year (YOY), the seventh consecutive month of year-over-year declines, down 38.1% from a peak in May 2006.

For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values increased 0.9% from June to July but remain down 3.7% year-over-year, down 31.0% from a June 2006 peak.

"With July’s data we are seeing not only anticipated monthly increases, but some fairly broad improvement in the annual rates of change in home prices," says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices. "This is still a seasonal period of stronger demand for houses, so monthly price increases are expected and were seen in 17 of the 20 cities. The exceptions were Las Vegas and Phoenix where prices fell, while Denver was flat. The better news is that 14 of 20 cities and both Composites saw their annual rates of change improve in July."
"While we have now seen four consecutive months of generally increasing prices, we do know that we are still far from a sustained recovery. Eighteen of the 20 cities and both Composites are showing that home prices are still below where they were a year ago. The 10-City Composite is down 3.7% and the 20-City is down 4.1% compared to July 2010. Continued increases in home prices through the end of the year and better annual results must materialize before we can confirm a housing market recovery."

On a month-over-month basis, prices rose across the top and bottom San Francisco MSA price tiers, falling in the middle. On a year-over-year basis, however, values remained down across all three tiers.

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

The bottom third (under $319,938 at the time of acquisition) increased 0.8% from June to July (down 7.9% YOY); the middle third fell 1.0% from June to July (down 10.1% YOY); and the top third (over $601,361 at the time of acquisition) ticked up 0.5% from June to July but remains down 2.9% year-over-year.

According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA have returned to June 2000 levels having fallen 59% from a peak in August 2006, the middle third remains 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 1.1% from June '11 to July '11, down 9.4% year-over-year versus a 6.8% YoY drop in July, down 32.9% from a December 2005 peak.

S&P/Case-Shiller Condo Price Changes: July 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: Home Prices Continue to Show Seasonal Strength [Standard & Poor's]
S&P/Case-Shiller San Francisco: SFH’s Tick Up, Condos Down In June [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (27) | (email story)

September 26, 2011

U.S. New Home Sales: Up 6.1% Year-Over-Year In August

The seasonally adjusted annual pace of new single-family home sales in the U.S. fell to 295,000 in August, down 2.3 percent from a revised rate of 302,000 in July but up 6.1 percent versus the 278,000 pace recorded in August 2010.

Preliminary U.S. new home sales (versus pace) in August were estimated to be 26,000 (give or take 8 percent), two thousand lower than in July and the second slowest August on record. August sales peaked in 2005 with 110,000 new homes sold.

In the West, the pace of new home sales was down 10.6 percent year-over-year to 66,000, down 6.3 percent versus the month before.

New Residential Sales: June 2011 [census.gov]
New Residential Sales Since 1963 [census.gov]
U.S. New Home Sales: Up 6.8% Year-Over-Year In July [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

September 23, 2011

San Francisco's "Wall Street Wrecking Ball" Report And Rally

Wall Street Wrecking Ball Report San Francisco

At 12:30 this afternoon, Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting along with Supervisors Avalos, Cohen and Mirkarimi will gather at City Hall to address the "Wall Street Wrecking Ball" report for San Francisco, "uniting behind solutions to help homeowners facing foreclosure and City Hall deal with the economic and budget impact of the mortgage crisis."

The Supervisors and Assessor-Recorder will be joined by leaders of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) and California Reinvestment Coalition (CRC) which are publishing the new findings, as well as foreclosure victims from Bayview-Hunter’s Point and Ingleside-Excelsior who will detail their individual accounts of how foreclosures are wreaking havoc on our families and neighborhoods.

No word on whether or not Supervisor Cohen plans to detail her account of walking away from the condo she purchased with no money down in 2006, leaving "Wall Street" to absorb her $261,500 loss.

The Wall Street Wrecking Ball: San Francisco Report [calorganize.org]
Scheduled Auctions Flat As Pre-Foreclosure Activity Ticks Down [SocketSite]
San Francisco Supervisor Cohen Walks Away From Underwater Condo [SocketSite]
Cohen’s The Bank’s Candlestick Point Condo Closes Escrow [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (76) | (email story)

September 21, 2011

The Fed's "Twist" And The Markets Tumble

Citing "significant downside risks to the economic outlook, including strains in global financial markets," and in a move dubbed "Operation Twist," the Federal Reserve announced it will sell $400 billion of short-term debt holdings and purchase an equal amount of longer-term Treasuries in an attempt to further reduce borrowing costs "and keep the economy from relapsing into a recession."

The S&P 500 responded to the Fed's news by dropping 2.94 percent, the Dow dropped 2.49 percent, and the Nasdaq dropped 2.01 percent. And keep in mind that mortgage rates are already at historic lows.

Fed Will Shift Treasury Holdings to Longer-Term Securities [Bloomberg]
How Low Can They Go? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (29) | (email story)

Existing U.S. Home Sales Pace Up 18.6% Year-Over-Year In August

The pace of seasonally adjusted existing-home sales in the U.S. rose 7.7 percent from 4.67 million in July to a 5.03 million pace in August, up 18.6 percent from the 4.24 million unit pace in August 2010 which was down 19.0 percent year-over-year and the second lowest pace on record.

The median sale price for existing-homes in August was down 5.1 percent year-over-year (versus a 4.4 percent drop in July) to $168,300 as distressed sales accounted for 31 percent of sales volume, up two points from last month but down five points year-over-year. Total housing inventory at the end of August fell 3.0 percent to 3.58 million, a 8.5 month supply, down from 9.5 months in July.

Existing-home sales in the west jumped 18.3 percent from July to August, up 20.6 percent on a year-over-year basis on a median sales price that was 13.0 percent lower versus 7.1 percent lower last month.

Existing U.S. Home Sales Pace Up 21.0% Year-Over-Year In July [SocketSite]
August Existing-Home Sales Rise Despite Headwinds [realtor.org]
Existing U.S. Home Sales Pace Up 7.6% To Second Lowest On Record [SocketSite 2010] 

Posted by socketadmin at 7:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (24) | (email story)

September 16, 2011

Recorded Sales Activity Up 7.3% In August As The Median Drops

San Francisco Sales Volume And Median Price: August 2011 (www.SocketSite.com)

Recorded home sales volume in San Francisco increased 7.3% on a year-over-year basis last month (484 recorded sales in August 2011 versus 451 sales in August 2010), up 9.0% as compared to the month prior versus an average July to August increase of 0.3% over the past seven years. An average of 613 San Francisco homes have sold in August since 2004 when recorded sales volume hit at 814.

San Francisco's median sales price in August was $618,500, down 5.2% on a year-over-year basis and down 8.4% as compared to this past July.

For the greater Bay Area, recorded sales volume in August was up 12.2% on a year-over-year basis, up 9.1% from the month prior (7,513 recorded sales in August '11 versus 6,698 in August ’10 and 6,887 in July '11) as the recorded median sales price fell 3.9% year-over-year, down 1.1% month-over-month.

At the extremes, Napa was the only County to not record an uptick in sales volume (flat at 121) but did record a 9.6% decline in median sales price, while Marin recorded a 28.8% increase in volume (up 59 transactions) on a 4.5% decline in median price. Santa Clara was the only county to record an uptick in median sales price at 2.4%.

As always, keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed ("sold") many months or even years prior and are just now closing escrow (or being recorded).

Bay Area Housing Market Takes a Breather [DQNews]
San Francisco Recorded Sales Activity Down 1.8% In July [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

San Francisco County Employment Increases In August

Preliminary August labor force data counts for San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties pegs the unemployment rate at 8.8%, 7.8% and 8.3% respectively, down 0.3 percentage points in San Francisco and Marin, down 0.4 percentage points in San Mateo.

On a revised basis, the number of unemployed in San Francisco fell by 1,100 in August (from 41,300 to 40,200) while the labor force increased by 1,900 (from 456,700 to 458,600) and the number of employed increased from 415,400 to 418,400.

Overall unadjusted California unemployment fell to 11.9% as the labor force contracted by 16,100 workers and the ranks of the unemployed fell by 99,400.

Monthly Labor Force Data for Counties: August 2011 (Preliminary) [EDD]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

September 8, 2011

How Low Can They Go?

According to Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, mortgage rates have hit all-time record lows "amid market and employment concerns and economic uncertainty."

The average rate for a 30-year fixed loan has dropped to 4.12 percent versus 4.32 percent last month and 4.35 percent a year ago, while the average 15-year rate has fallen to 3.33 percent versus 3.5 percent last month and 3.83 percent year-over-year.

Mortgage Rates Attain New All-Time Record Lows Again [Freddie Mac]
Silver Lining: The Cost Of Mortgage Money Drops [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (12) | (email story)

August 30, 2011

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 | Permalink | Comments (4) | (email story)

August 26, 2011

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 | Permalink | Comments (37) | (email story)

August 25, 2011

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 | Permalink | Comments (7) | (email story)

August 23, 2011

U.S. New Home Sales: Up 6.8% Year-Over-Year In July

The seasonally adjusted annual pace of new single-family home sales in the U.S. fell to 298,000 in July, down 0.7 percent from a revised rate of 300,000 in June but up 6.8 percent versus the 279,000 pace recorded in July 2010.

Preliminary U.S. new home sales (versus pace) in July were estimated to be 27,000 (give or take 8 percent), one thousand lower than in June.

In the West, the pace of new home sales was up 45.4 percent year-over-year to 44,000, down 5.9 percent versus the month before.

And yes, think tax credits with respect to below average volumes in July 2010.

New Residential Sales: June 2011 [census.gov]
New Residential Sales Since 1963 [census.gov]
U.S. New Home Sales: Up 1.6% Year-Over-Year In June [SocketSite]
Homebuyer Tax Credit Extension For Closing (Not Contract) Date [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (19) | (email story)

August 19, 2011

Three Thousand Newly Employed People In San Francisco Last Month

Preliminary July labor force data counts for San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties pegs the unemployment rate at 9.0%, 8.1% and 8.7% respectively, flat in San Francisco and San Mateo, up 0.1 percentage points in Marin.

On a revised basis, the number of unemployed in San Francisco increased by 500 in July (from 40,800 to 41,300) as the labor force increased by 3,500 (from 453,200 to 456,700) and the number of employed increased by 3,000 (from 412,400 to 415,400).

Overall unadjusted California unemployment increased to 12.4% as the labor force increased by 59,800 workers while the ranks of the unemployed increased by 73,900, up 201,900 over the past two months.

Monthly Labor Force Data for Counties: May 2011 (Preliminary) [EDD]

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

August 18, 2011

Existing U.S. Home Sales Pace Up 21.0% Year-Over-Year In July

The pace of seasonally adjusted existing-home sales in the U.S. fell 3.5 percent from 4.84 million in June to a 4.67 million pace in July, up 21.0 percent from "the 3.86 million unit pace in July 2010, which was a cyclical low immediately following the expiration of the home buyer tax credit" and down over 25 percent year-over-year.

Contract failures – cancellations caused largely by declined mortgage applications or failures in loan underwriting from appraised values coming in below the negotiated price – were unchanged in July, reported by 16 percent of NAR members. In addition, 9 percent of Realtors® report a contract was delayed in the past three months due to low appraisals, and another 13 percent said a contract was renegotiated to a lower sales price because an appraisal was below the initially agreed price.

The median sale price for existing-homes in July was down 4.4 percent year-over-year to $174,000 as distressed sales accounted for 29 percent of sales volume, down one point from last month and three points year-over-year. Total housing inventory at the end of July fell 1.7 percent to 3.65 million, a 9.4 month supply, down from 9.5 months in June.

Existing-home sales in the west fell 12.6 percent from June to July, up 16.9 percent on a year-over-year basis on a median sales price that was 7.1 percent lower.

Existing U.S. Home Sales Pace Down 8.8% Year-Over-Year In June [SocketSite]
Existing-Home Sales Down in July but Up Strongly From a Year Ago [realtor.org]
Existing U.S. Home Sales Pace Plunges 27.2% In July (25.5% YOY) [SocketSite 2010]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | (email story)

August 17, 2011

San Francisco Recorded Sales Activity Down 1.8% In July

San Francisco Sales Volume And Median Price: July 2011 (www.SocketSite.com)

Recorded home sales volume in San Francisco fell 1.8% on a year-over-year basis last month (444 recorded sales in July 2011 versus 452 sales in July 2010), down 16.7% as compared to the month prior versus an average June to July decline of 9.8% since 2004.

Over the past six years, an average of 616 San Francisco homes have sold in July with 893 recorded sales in July 2004.

San Francisco's median sales price in July was $675,000, down a nominal 0.2% compared to July 2010, up 1.5% compared to the month prior.

For the greater Bay Area, recorded sales volume in July was up 1.7% on a year-over-year basis, down 13.9% from the month prior (6,887 recorded sales in July '11 versus 6,773 in July ’10 and 7,998 in June '11) as the recorded median sales price fell 7.0% year-over-year, down 1.0% month-over-month.

At the extremes, Napa County recorded a 9.5% drop in sales volume (a loss of 11 transactions) on a 23.0% decline in median sales price while Solano recorded a 7.5% increase in volume (up 42 transactions) on a 11.2% decline in median price. No county recorded an uptick in median sales price.

As always, keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed ("sold") many months or even years prior and are just now closing escrow (or being recorded).

Bay Area Housing Market Takes a Breather [DQNews]
San Francisco Recorded Sales Activity Down 7.0% In June [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (39) | (email story)

Purchase Mortgage Volume Down 1.1% Year-Over-Year

With average 30-year mortgage rates falling by 5 basis points over the past week to a 2011 low of 4.32 percent, mortgage application volume for purchases in the U.S. is running 1.1% lower on a year-over-year basis (down 10.1% week-over-week) while refinancing activity increased 8.0% last week, down 16.3% on a year-over-year basis.

Silver Lining: The Cost Of Mortgage Money Drops [SocketSite]
Mortgage Bankers Association Applications Survey: 8/17/10 [mortgagebankers.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

August 11, 2011

Assessed Values Drop $2.4 Billion In San Francisco, Appeals By 9/15

The assessed value for 18,800 properties have been reduced by San Francisco’s Assessor-Recorder office, down $2.4 billion in assessed value with the Mission Bay (1,236 reductions) and South Beach (874 reductions) neighborhoods leading the way.

If they haven’t already, property owners in San Francisco should soon receive Notices of Assessed Value (NAV) letters confirming their assessed property value, and any reductions, for tax purposes.

Homeowners who believe their assessed property value is greater than their property market value as of January 1, 2011 can file an appeal by September 15, 2011 with San Francisco’s independent Assessment Appeal Board.

Posted by socketadmin at 2:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (8) | (email story)

Silver Lining: The Cost Of Mortgage Money Drops

"Mortgage rates for 30-year loans in the U.S. declined to a nine-month low as concern grew that the nation’s economy is slowing. The average rate for a 30-year fixed loan dropped to 4.32 percent in the week ended today from 4.39 percent, according to Freddie Mac. The average 15-year fixed-loan rate fell to 3.5 percent, the lowest on record..."

30-Year Mortgage Rates Fall to 9-Month Low [Bloomberg]
Numerology Nuts (And Everyone Else) Take Note [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (20) | (email story)

August 10, 2011

Big Swinging...S&P

From an inauspicious 11,444 close on Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell to 10,809 on Monday, bounced to 11,239 on Tuesday, and closed today at 10,719.94, down 500 points.

Having fallen 6.66 percent on Monday to 1,119, the S&P 500 bounced 4.74 percent on Tuesday and then fell 4.41 percent today, closing the day at 1,120.76.

Comments: Numerology Nuts (And Everyone Else) Take Note [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | (email story)

August 8, 2011

Numerology Nuts (And Everyone Else) Take Note

While the number eight is lucky, the number four is death, and on Friday the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the day at a rather inauspicious 11,444. Today, the Dow fell 5.55 percent, closing at 10,809 while the S&P 500 fell to 1,119, a drop of 6.66 percent.

S&P 500 Extends Worst Slump Since 2008 Bear Market [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (115) | (email story)

August 4, 2011

Make That 75 Percent

From the New York Times today:

Even with the sharp drop in stocks over the last week, the Dow Jones is up about 80 percent from its low in March 2009. And with the overall economy nowhere near its recession lows, buying nice, expensive things is back in vogue for people who can afford it.

Make that 75 percent as consumer confidence wanes. And once again, Red Rover, Red Rover, send the economic recovery back over...

Even Marked Up, Luxury Goods Fly Off Shelves [New York Times]
Stocks Tumble as Two-Year Treasury Yield Drops to Record Low [Bloomberg]
Consumer Confidence in U.S. Declines [Bloomberg]
Red Rover, Red Rover, Send The Economic Recovery Back Over [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (34) | (email story)

August 2, 2011

Red Rover, Red Rover, Send The Economic Recovery Back Over

"Federal Reserve policy makers may start weighing additional steps to prop up the recovery after growth fell below 1 percent in the first half of this year and economists began cutting second-half growth forecasts."

Fed May Weigh More Stimulus on Slow Recovery [Bloomberg]
Ben Drops The D Word (And Sets The Stage For More Stimulus) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (55) | (email story)

July 26, 2011

U.S. New Home Sales: Up 1.6% Year-Over-Year In June

The seasonally adjusted annual pace of new single-family home sales in the U.S. fell to 312,000 in June, down 1.0 percent from a revised rate of 315,000 in April but up 1.6 percent versus the 307,000 pace recorded in June 2010.

Preliminary U.S. new home sales (versus pace) in June were estimated to be 29,000 (give or take 8 percent), one thousand lower than in April and the second lowest June on record since 1963.

In the West, the pace of new home sales was up 23.2 percent year-over-year to 69,000, down 12.7 percent versus the month before.

New Residential Sales: June 2011 [census.gov]
New Residential Sales Since 1963 [census.gov]
U.S. New Home Sales: Up 13.5% Year-Over-Year In May [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

May S&P/Case-Shiller San Francisco: Seasonality Or Solid Trend?

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

According to the May 2011 S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, single-family home prices in the San Francisco MSA increased 1.8% from April ’11 to May '11, down 38.4% from a peak in May 2006 and down 5.4% year-over-year (YOY), the fifth consecutive month of year-over-year declines but versus a 5.5% year-over-year decline as recorded in April.

For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values increased a nominal 0.7% from April to May, down 32.1% from a June 2006 peak as values fell 3.6% year-over-year.

"We see some seasonal improvements with May’s data," says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices. "This is a seasonal period of stronger demand for houses, so monthly price increases are to be expected and were seen in 16 of the 20 cities. The exceptions where prices fell were Detroit, Las Vegas and Tampa. However, 19 of 20 cities saw prices drop over the last 12 months. The concern is that much of the monthly gains are only seasonal."
"While the monthly data were encouraging, most MSAs and both Composites fared poorly in annual terms. Nineteen of the 20 MSAs and the two Composites posted negative annual growth rates in May 2011. The 10-City Composite was down 3.6% and the 20-City Composite was down 4.5% in May 2011 versus May 2010. Minneapolis posted a double-digit decline in annual rate of 11.7%. The only beacon of hope was Washington D.C. with a +1.3% annual growth rate and a +2.4% monthly increase. We have now seen two consecutive months of generally improving prices; however, we might have a long way to go before we see a real recovery. Sustained increases in home prices over several months and better annual results need to be seen before we can confirm real estate market recovery."

On a month-over-month basis, prices rose across all three price tiers in the San Francisco MSA for the first time in eleven months. On a year-over-year basis, however, values declined across all three tiers.

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

The bottom third (under $317,708 at the time of acquisition) increased 1.1% from April to May (down 6.3% YOY); the middle third increased 1.3% from April to May (down 8.6% YOY); and the top third (over $589,634 at the time of acquisition) ticked up 0.9% from April to May, down 4.5% on a year-over-year basis versus 3.9% the month before.

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

Condo values in the San Francisco MSA fell 0.5% from April ’11 to May '11, down 5.4% year-over-year, down 31.6% from a December 2005 peak.

S&P/Case-Shiller Condo Price Changes: May 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: April Seasonal Boost in Home Prices [Standard & Poor's]
April S&P/Case-Shiller: San Francisco Benefits From A "Seaonal" Kick [SocketSite]
May Case-Shiller: San Francisco Tiers Up But Gains Moderating Atop [SocketSite]
San Francisco’s Condo "Double Dip" Is (Or Was) Here [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (21) | (email story)

July 25, 2011

The Manhattanization Hotelization Of San Francisco

"We call it the ‘hotelization’ of San Francisco," [executive director of the San Francisco Tenants Union, Ted Gullicksen] said. "Seniors, families and low-income tenants are being pushed out. We have to fight for every affordable unit."

Conversion of Apartments to Rentals for Tourists Is Surging [nytimes.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (30) | (email story)

July 21, 2011

San Francisco Property Tax Roll Up 1.3 Percent Year-Over-Year

According to Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting, the City and County of San Francisco’s property roll value grew by 1.3 percent over the past fiscal year to $163 billion. The commercial versus residential breakdown was as follows:

Commercial: +0.46%
Industrial: +1.72%
Multi-family Residential: +1.32%
Single-Family Residential: +3.05%

At the same time, 18,800 San Francisco homeowners received a one-year temporary reduction in the assessed value of their properties, 16,000 of which were given out proactively.

Posted by socketadmin at 1:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (16) | (email story)

July 20, 2011

Existing U.S. Home Sales Pace Down 8.8% Year-Over-Year In June

The pace of seasonally adjusted existing-home sales in the U.S. fell 0.8 percent from 4.81 million in May to a 4.77 million pace in June, down 8.8 percent on a year-over-year basis.

"Home sales had been trending up without a tax stimulus, but a variety of issues are weighing on the market including an unusual spike in contract cancellations in the past month," [NAR chief economist, Lawrence Yun] said.
"The underlying reason for elevated cancellations is unclear, but with problems including tight credit and low appraisals, 16 percent of NAR members report a sales contract was cancelled in June, up from 4 percent in May, which stands out in contrast with the pattern over the past year."

The median sale price for existing-homes in June was up 0.8 percent year-over-year to $184,300 as distressed sales accounted for 30 percent of sales volume, down one point from last month and two points year-over-year. Total housing inventory at the end of June rose 3.3 percent to 3.77 million, a 9.5 month supply, up from 9.1 months in May.

Existing-home sales in the west fell 1.7 percent from May to June, down 2.6 percent on a year-over-year basis on a median sales price that’s up 9.5 percent.

Existing U.S. Home Sales Pace Down 15.3% Year-Over-Year In May [SocketSite]
June Existing-Home Sales Slip on Contract Cancellations [realtor.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (14) | (email story)

July 14, 2011

San Francisco Recorded Sales Activity Down 7.0% In June

San Francisco Sales Volume And Median Price: June 2011 (www.SocketSite.com)

Recorded home sales volume in San Francisco fell 7.0% on a year-over-year basis last month (533 recorded sales in June 2011 versus 573 sales in June 2010), up 8.3% as compared to the month prior versus an average May to June decline of 1.6% since 2004.

An average of 683 homes have sold in June since 2004, with 938 sales in June 2004.

San Francisco's median sales price in June was $665,000, up a nominal 0.2% compared to June 2010 ($663,500), up 0.8% compared to the month prior.

For the greater Bay Area, recorded sales volume in June was down 4.5% on a year-over-year basis, up 14.5% from the month prior (7,998 recorded sales in June '11 versus 8,373 in June ’10 and 6,988 in May '11) as the recorded median sales price fell 7.9% year-over-year, up 1.5% month-over-month.

Last month’s sales were the lowest for the month of June since 2008, when 7,178 homes sold. June sales have ranged from a low of 7,118 in 1993 to a high of 15,735 in 2004, while the average is 10,129. Sales last month fell 21.0 percent below the June average. June is normally a strong month and, among all months, it’s had the highest number of sales most often – seven of the past 23 years.
In June last year – the peak month for 2010 – sales were bolstered by state and federal efforts to stimulate the housing market via homebuyer tax credits. Those credits had expired or been largely depleted by July 2010, when sales plunged 19 percent from the month before and 23 percent from the previous July.

At the extremes, Napa County recorded a 17.5% drop in sales volume (a loss of 25 transactions) on a 15.6% decline in median sales price while Marin recorded a 8.3% increase in volume (up 23 transactions) on a 6.9% decline in median price. San Francisco, at 0.2%, was the only county to record a year-over-year uptick in median sales price.

As always, keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed ("sold") many months or even years prior and are just now closing escrow (or being recorded).

Bay Area June Home Sales Surge, Median Price Edges Up [DQNews]
San Francisco Recorded Sales Activity In June: Up 2.1% YOY [SocketSite]
San Francisco Recorded Sales Activity Down 20.1% In May [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (12) | (email story)

July 13, 2011

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

"The possibility remains that the recent economic weakness may prove more persistent than expected and that deflationary risks might reemerge, implying a need for additional policy support," [Federal Reserve Chairman Ben] Bernanke said in prepared testimony before the House Financial Services Committee in Washington today. "The Federal Reserve remains prepared to respond should economic developments indicate that an adjustment of monetary policy would be appropriate."

"At the same time, Bernanke also reiterated that sagging home prices, high unemployment and hard-to-get loans pose long- term obstacles to growth, while leaving open the door to additional monetary stimulus if the economy were to falter."

Fed Prepared With Stimulus If Needed: Bernanke [Bloomberg]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (57) | (email story)

July 12, 2011

San Francisco Listed Sales Volume Ticks Up 1% In June (YOY)

The sales volume of listed single-family homes in San Francisco rose 10.5% on a year-over-year basis in June, up 24 sales from 228 in 2010 to 252 in 2011 as the median sales price fell 7 percent, from $802,500 in June 2010 to $746,000 in June 2011.

As we’ve written following year-over-year median price declines of up to 13 percent over the past four months, and down 5 percent in May, expect proponents of representing changes in median as changes in value to continue to find religion (for now).

With respect to condos, listed sales volume fell 8.0 percent on a year-over-year basis in June, down 20 sales from 249 in 2010 to 229 in 2011 as the median sales price fell 1.5 percent from $660,000 to $650,000.

As plugged-in people know listed housing inventory ended June down 16 percent on a year-over-year basis, down 7 percent for single-family homes, down 16 percent for condos.

Real Estate Market Trends Report [rereport.com]
SF Listed Sales Volume Up 15% In January Driven By Low-Cost Areas [SocketSite]
San Francisco Listed Sales Volume Down 14% In May (YOY) [SocketSite]
Medians Are Up, But Don’t Confuse That With Increasing "Prices" [SocketSite]
San Francisco Listed Housing Inventory Update: July 5, 2011 [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

The Relative Cost Of Parking In A San Francisco Garage

According to Colliers International’s latest parking rate survey, the average monthly rates in San Francisco commercial garages remained flat over the past year at $375.00. Daily rates in San Francisco hit $26.00, an increase of 4 percent from 2010.

Also according to the survey, Midtown and Downtown Manhattan are the most expensive places in the U.S. to park, with median monthly rates at $541 and $533, respectively. Boston was third at $438 and the national average was $155.22.

London – City was the most expensive place in the world to park, with a $1,084 median price for a monthly spot while London’s West End was close behind at $1,014 per month, followed by Zurich at $822 and Rome at $719. In Asia, Hong Kong and Tokyo both topped New York’s median monthly cost for a parking spot reaching $745 and $744, respectively.

The one that caught us by surprise: Perth, Australia which weighed in with a median monthly cost of $717.

Posted by socketadmin at 5:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (10) | (email story)

July 5, 2011

San Francisco Listed Housing Inventory Update: July 5, 2011

San Francisco Listed Housing Inventory: 7/05/11 (www.SocketSite.com)

Inventory of listed single-family homes, condos, and TICs in San Francisco fell 5.9 percent over the past two weeks to 1,504 active listings. Over the past five years, listed inventory levels in San Francisco have dropped an average of 1 percent from the middle of June to beginning of July.

Current listed inventory is down 16 percent on a year-over-year basis, up 3 percent versus the average of the past five years, up 16 percent as compared to an average of 2006 and 2007. The inventory of single-family homes for sale in San Francisco is down 7 percent year-over-year to 630 listings while listed condo inventory is down 16 percent to 874.

The percentage of active listings in San Francisco that have undergone at least one price reduction ticked up one point to 37% as the percentage of active listings that are either already bank owned (92) or seeking a short sale (223) ticked up a point to 21 percent, unchanged on an absolute basis over the past two weeks.

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 Listed Housing Inventory Update: June 20, 2011 [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (13) | (email story)

July 1, 2011

Scheduled Auctions Up, But Pre-Foreclosure Activity Ticks Down In SF

It was two months ago that we first reported that despite trending down in California, foreclosure activity has actually been climbing in San Francisco and the biggest gains in activity have been outside of the oft maligned "District 10" which hasn’t represented the majority of San Francisco foreclosure activity for well over two years.

As we pointed out at the time, 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.

In January, the percentage of San Francisco's pre-foreclosure activity concentrated in District 10 was 34 percent, by March it had dropped to 30 percent, down 5 percent in the absolute to 194 properties.

Having ticked up in April, pre-foreclosure activity in San Francisco has since dropped to a six month low with 576 properties in the pipeline, 32 percent of which are in District 10. At the same time, the number of properties scheduled for auction has ticked up from 668 in March to 689 today, 41 percent of which are in District 10 (down from 43 percent in March).

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.

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 11:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

June 28, 2011

April S&P/Case-Shiller: San Francisco Benefits From A "Seaonal" Kick

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

According to the April 2011 S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, single-family home prices in the San Francisco MSA increased 1.7% from March ’11 to April '11, down 39.5% from a peak in May 2006 and down 5.5% year-over-year (YOY), still a steady slide from the 18.3% gain reported last May and the fifth consecutive month of year-over-year declines.

For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values increased a nominal 0.6% from March to April, down 32.6% from a June 2006 peak as values fell 3.1% year-over-year.

“In a welcome shift from recent months, this month is better than last - April’s numbers beat March,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices. “However, the seasonally adjusted numbers show that much of the improvement reflects the beginning of the Spring-Summer home buying season. It is much too early to tell if this is a turning point or simply due to some warmer weather.
“Other housing statistics show the same trends. Single-family housing starts were up in May, but still well below their 2010 levels and still very close to their 30-year low. Existing home sales rose in May, but are still about 15% below last year’s pace and about 35% below their 2005 pace. While foreclosures remain a large factor in most parts of the country, the S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default indices show a small decline in the pace of new defaults since last November. Other reports confirm that banks have tightened lending standards in the past year making it harder to qualify for a mortgage despite very low interest rates.
“In the monthly details, we saw home prices increase in April over March. The 10-City was up 0.8% and the 20-City rose 0.7%. Only seven cities experienced lower prices compared to 18 in March. However, the seasonally adjusted figures saw less dramatic improvement. The annual rate of change for the 10-City remained the same at -3.1%; whereas the 20-City fell further from -3.8% reported for March to -4.0% for April. For a real recovery we would need to see several months of increasing home prices, large enough to shift the annual momentum to the positive side. In short, better news, but still a lot of questions and a long way to go.”

While prices were nominally down for the bottom third of single-family homes in San Francisco MSA, prices ticked up for the top two thirds in April, the second consecutive month-over-month gain for the top tier in eleven months.

On a year-over-year basis, however, values were relatively unchanged for the bottom two tiers and fell just under one percent for the top.

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

The bottom third (under $314,659 at the time of acquisition) fell 0.3% from March to April (down 5.4% YOY); the middle third increased 1.1% from March to April (down 7.5% YOY); and the top third (over $579,970 at the time of acquisition) ticked up 1.5% from March to April, down 3.9% on a year-over-year basis.

According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA remain at May 2000 levels having fallen 60% from a peak in August 2006, the middle third remains at March 2002 levels having fallen 41% from a peak in May 2006, and the top third has returned to just above January 2004 levels having fallen 26% from a peak in August 2007.

Condo values in the San Francisco MSA increased 2.5% from March ’11 to April '11, down 2.8% year-over-year, but the second consecutive month-over-month uptick in eight months. Condo values remain down 31.3% from a December 2005 peak but have reversed a two month "double dip" and 34.7% drop from peak recorded in March.

S&P/Case-Shiller Condo Price Changes: April 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: April Seasonal Boost in Home Prices [Standard & Poor's]
S&P/Case-Shiller: San Francisco Top Tier And Condos Tick Up In March [SocketSite]
May Case-Shiller: San Francisco Tiers Up But Gains Moderating Atop [SocketSite]
San Francisco’s Condo "Double Dip" Is (Or Was) Here [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:25 AM | Permalink | Comments (47) | (email story)

June 23, 2011

U.S. New Home Sales: Up 13.5% Year-Over-Year In May

The seasonally adjusted annual pace of new single-family home sales in the U.S. fell to 319,000 in May, down 2.1 percent from a revised rate of 326,000 in April but up 13.5 percent versus the 281,000 pace recorded in May 2010.

Preliminary U.S. new home sales (versus pace) in May were estimated to be 30,000 (give or take 8 percent), one thousand lower than in April and the second lowest May on record since 1963.

In the West, the pace of new home sales was up 31.7 percent year-over-year to 83,000, down 3.5 percent versus the month before.

New Residential Sales: May 2011 [census.gov]
New Residential Sales Since 1963 [census.gov]
U.S. New Home Sales: Down 23% In April Year-Over-Year [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | (email story)

June 21, 2011

Existing U.S. Home Sales Pace Down 15.3% Year-Over-Year In May

The pace of seasonally adjusted existing-home sales in the U.S. fell 3.8 percent from a downwardly revised 5.00 million in April to a 4.81 million pace in May, down 15.3 percent on a year-over-year basis. Keep in mind that an expiring home buyer tax credit likely pulled contracts, but not necessarily closings, forward last May.

The median sale price for existing-homes in May was down 4.6 percent year-over-year to $166,500 as distressed sales accounted for 31 percent of sales volume, down six points from April and even year-over-year. Total housing inventory at the end of May fell 1.0 percent to 3.72 million, a 9.3 month supply, up from 9.2 months in April.

Existing-home sales in the west were unchanged from April to May, down 10.0 percent on a year-over-year basis on a median sales price that’s 12.6 percent lower.

Existing U.S. Home Sales Pace Down 12.9% Year-Over-Year In April [SocketSite]
Existing-Home Sales Decline in May [realtor.org]
Homebuyer Tax Credit Extension For Closing (Not Contract) Date [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (5) | (email story)

June 20, 2011

Flight Of The San Francisco Families (Or At Least Kids)

"New census figures show that despite an intense focus by city and public school officials to curb family flight, San Francisco last year had 5,278 fewer kids than it did in 2000.

The city actually has 3,000 more children under 5 than it did 10 years ago, but has lost more than 8,000 kids older than 5."

S.F. losing kids as parents seek schools, homes [SFGate]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (77) | (email story)

San Francisco Listed Housing Inventory Update: June 20, 2011

San Francisco Listed Housing Inventory: 6/20/11 (www.SocketSite.com)

Inventory of listed single-family homes, condos, and TICs in San Francisco increased 2.3 percent over the past two weeks to 1,598 active listings. Over the past five years, listed inventory levels in San Francisco have increased an average of 6 percent from the beginning to middle of June.

Current listed inventory is down 8 percent on a year-over-year basis, up 8 percent versus the average of the past five years, up 20 percent as compared to an average of 2006 and 2007. The inventory of single-family homes for sale in San Francisco is down 5 percent year-over-year to 656 listings while listed condo inventory is down 13 percent to 942.

The percentage of active listings in San Francisco that have undergone at least one price reduction held steady at 36% as the percentage of active listings that are either already bank owned (89) or seeking a short sale (226) ticked up two points to 20 percent, up 9 percent on an absolute basis over the past two weeks.

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 Listed Housing Inventory Update: June 6, 2011 [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (4) | (email story)

June 17, 2011

San Francisco County Employment Holds Steady In May

Preliminary May labor force data counts for San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties pegs the unemployment rate at 8.4%, 7.4% and 8.1% respectively, down 0.1 percentage points in San Francisco and San Mateo, down 0.2 percentage points in Marin.

On a revised basis, the number of unemployed in San Francisco fell by 800 in May (from 38,400 to 37,600) as the labor force contracted by 800 as well (from 450,200 to 449,400) and the number of employed was unchanged at 411,800.

Overall unadjusted California unemployment fell to 11.4% as the labor force contracted by 37,100 workers and the ranks of the unemployed fell by 49,400.

Monthly Labor Force Data for Counties: May 2011 (Preliminary) [EDD]
San Francisco County Unemployment Drops To 8.5% In April [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

June 16, 2011

What'd You Expect?

"Americans’ views on the economy’s outlook soured in June, showing that unemployment, inflation and the slump in housing are concerning consumers.

The Bloomberg gauge of economic expectations dropped to minus 31 this month, the lowest level since March 2009, from minus 16 in May. The Consumer Comfort Index, issued weekly, improved to minus 44 in the period to June 12, the highest level since mid April, from minus 45.9 as fuel prices kept falling.

"Consumers’ biggest concerns are about jobs and income," said Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial in New York. "The bottom line is that income is not keeping up with inflation right now. People "are making sacrifices."

Consumer Expectations in U.S. Decrease to Two-Year Low [Bloomberg]
S&P/Case-Shiller: San Francisco Top Tier And Condos Tick Up In March [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | (email story)

June 15, 2011

San Francisco Recorded Sales Activity Down 20.1% In May

San Francisco Sales Volume And Median Price: May 2011 (www.SocketSite.com)

Recorded home sales volume in San Francisco fell 20.1% on a year-over-year basis last month (492 recorded sales in May 2011 versus 616 sales in May 2010), up 16.6% as compared to the month prior which was down 1.4% year-over-year.

Keep in mind California’s Homebuyer Tax Credit program created an incentive to push April closings into May last year.

That being said, May sales figures for San Francisco from 2004 to 2009 were 938 (2004), 773 (2005), 691 (2006), 616 (2007), 593 (2008), and 498 (2009), averaging 685 sales per May over those six years. And on average over the past seven years, sales volume has increased 13.8% from April to May.

San Francisco's median sales price in May was $660,000, up 3.7% compared to May 2010 ($636,500), up a nominal 0.8% compared to the month prior.

For the greater Bay Area, recorded sales volume in May was down 15.4% on a year-over-year basis, up 2.9% from the month prior (6,988 recorded sales in May '11 versus 8,264 in May ’10 and 6,789 in April '11) as the recorded median sales price fell 9.3% year-over-year, up 3.3% month-over-month.

Last month’s sales were the lowest for the month of May since 2008, when 6,216 homes sold, and the third-lowest on record, behind May 1995 and 2008. May sales have ranged from a low of 6,216 in 2008 to a high of 13,567 in 2004, while the average is 9,693. Last month’s sales fell 27.9 percent below the May average.
Distressed home sales made up about 45 percent of the Bay Area’s resale market last month.
Foreclosure resales – homes that had been foreclosed on in the prior 12 months – accounted for 26.9 percent of resales in May. Last month’s figure was down slightly from 27.9 percent in April and up from 26.7 percent a year ago. Foreclosure resales peaked at 52.0 percent in February 2009. The monthly average for foreclosure resales over the past 15 years is about 9 percent.
Short sales – transactions where the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property – made up an estimated 18.3 percent of Bay Area resales last month. That was up from an estimated 17.5 percent in April, 18.2 percent a year earlier, and 12.5 percent two years ago.

At the extremes, Santa Clara County recorded a 23.6% drop in sales volume (a loss of 510 transactions) on a 5.1% decline in median sales price, no counties recorded an increase in sales volume. Solano recorded a 13.7% decline in median price on a 7.7% decline in sales (50 transactions) while San Francisco was the only county to record an uptick in median.

As always, keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed ("sold") many months or even years prior and are just now closing escrow (or being recorded).

Bay Area May Sales: Median Price Up From April; below 2010 [DQNews]
San Francisco Recorded Sales Activity Down 1.4% In April [SocketSite]
San Francisco Recorded Sales Activity Down 20.1% In May [SocketSite]
San Francisco Listed Sales Volume Down 14% In May (YOY) [SocketSite]
He's It's Back: California’s $10,000 Homebuyer Tax Credit Returns [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:55 AM | Permalink | Comments (25) | (email story)

Will The Sili-ness Spread North?

From Bloomberg:

A surge in wealth from technology stock sales and initial public offerings is spilling into the Silicon Valley real estate market as newly rich workers bid up home values in suburban cities south of San Francisco.
The median price of single-family houses sold in Palo Alto, home of Facebook Inc., climbed 20 percent in May from a year earlier to $1.63 million, the biggest jump since 2008, according to preliminary figures from research company DataQuick.

As a plugged-in reader notes:

According to Redfin there were only 63 SFH sales in Palo Alto in the past month. It's completely possible for 10 people to alter a median with that small a sample. In fact it would only take 32 people to basically set the median!

And with respect to the broader market, last month Santa Clara County, of which Palo Alto is part, recorded a 23.6% year-over-year drop in sales volume (a loss of 510 transactions) and a 5.1% decline in median sales price.

Home Prices Exploding in Silicon Valley Amid More Millionaires [Bloomberg]
San Francisco Recorded Sales Activity Down 20.1% In May [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (53) | (email story)

June 13, 2011

San Francisco Listed Sales Volume Down 14% In May (YOY)

The sales volume of listed single-family homes in San Francisco fell 11.4% on a year-over-year basis in May, down 27 sales from 236 in 2010 to 209 in 2011 as the median sales price fell 5 percent, from $750,000 in May 2010 to $715,000 in May 2011.

As we’ve written following year-over-year median price declines of up to 13 percent over the past four months, expect proponents of representing changes in median as changes in value to quickly find religion.

With respect to condos, listed sales volume fell 15.6 percent on a year-over-year basis in May, down 45 sales from 288 in 2010 to 243 in 2011 as the median sales price increased 8 percent from $646,000 to $695,000.

As plugged-in people know listed housing inventory ended May down 3 percent on a year-over-year basis, down 3 percent for single-family homes, down 9 percent for condos.

Real Estate Market Trends Report [rereport.com]
SF Listed Sales Volume Up 15% In January Driven By Low-Cost Areas [SocketSite]
Medians Are Up, But Don’t Confuse That With Increasing "Prices" [SocketSite]
San Francisco Listed Housing Inventory Update: June 6, 2011 [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (17) | (