2011 Year End San Francisco Real Estate Summary

Sunday, January 1st, 2012 @ 4:19 pm | Buyers, Homeownership, Market Trends, Real Estate, San Francisco Real Estate


San Francisco Real Estate Market saw the usual year end slowdown as buyers and sellers turned their attention to the holidays, family and friends, and last minute shopping.

Yet there were pockets of activity where focused buyers competed for limited inventory, determined to wrap up transactions before 2011 ended.  

As throughout the year, well priced properties continued to sell in the first  30 days on the market evidenced by  mulitple offers with Buyers offering the asking price or more to purchase.  

One interesting observation that occurred towards the end of 2011 was that many properties that had been on the market for a very long time are now sold … which speaks to the diminishing inventory and the pent up demand to buy in the city.  

For the astute Buyer: What hadn’t sold in 2011 and was taken off the market during the Holidays, tends to sell in January and February while still off the market…our so called “hidden market”.  Call me so as not to miss out.

Generation X – young families and adults ages 31 to 45 are likely to lead the home buying recovery as they are in full force with their careers; they see the benefits of homeownership and they need  room to accommodate their growing families.

Baby Boomers comprise of 41% of our prospective Buyers today – buying their “essence of San Francisco” (i.e. second home) and/or downsizing to smaller homes in other neighborhoods within their city.

“It’s hard to see the possibility of losing on a home purchase right now, with these low mortgage rates”, quote from a Dean Baker of Businessweek 10/24/11.




Marina Trivia Is Worth Knowing

Marina neighbors know and?tourist’s books show that there is an?island on the Lagoon at the Palace of Fine Arts.? The Lagoon at the Palace of Fine Arts in the Marina District, San Francisco, CA

Yet, it is worth knowing what the coveted 2000 block of Jefferson has been touting for decades…and that is, there is another island in the Marina District of San Francisco.

Over the years, these neighbors have shared and accumulated?documentation showing that they are living on top of an?”ancient island” that was mapped as early as?1789,? just off of?”Wash Woman Cove”.

The prized sketch showing the ??œancient island??? surrounded by water in the Marina, San Francisco, CA

These neighbors know the “ancient island” as “Strawberry Island” surrounded by an estuary to the West and South West and the Bay to the North and North East?extending over portions of 10 blocks in the?Marina.?

Excerpted from the National Geologic Map Data Base -the Marina????s Strawberry Island is also shown as ??œQb???, San Francisco, CA

The National Geologic Map Data Base for the Marina also shows “Strawberry Island” as “Qb” made up of coarse gravel and large cobble stones.

?Explanation of Surfical Deposits show the ??œQb??? is coarse sand, gravel and cobble stones in the Marina, San Francisco, CA,?

This little bit of Marina trival is worth?knowing, if you live on “Strawberry Island”.




Location and Done Is Our New Mantra

Friday, May 1st, 2009 @ 7:38 pm | Buyers, Homeownership, Market Trends, Real Estate, San Francisco, Sellers

It is May… and finally at last, the?”jumbo conforming” loans (up to $729,750) are now available and ironically just as?the new?appraisal rules (for lending) come into play this month.?

Buying on the Northside is buying in one of our best locations of San Francisco, CA

On the Northside of San Francisco the median asking price for Condos?is now $1,095,000 and for Homes, it is now?$3,495,000.

For stellar buyers that have been eyeing?prime located Condos and/or Homes in “done” condition?on the Northside of San Francisco, they are?now able to take full advantage of? a “jumbo conforming” loan (up to) $729,750 at an?attractive rate below 5% that the Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac “conforming” loans (up to $417,000)?have been touting?for some time now this year.

Under Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac guidelines on the Northside of San Francisco:

29 Condos out of 179 Condos on the market have asking prices of $556,000 or less. Buyers for these 29 Condos are able to take full advantage of the lowest interest rates with 25% down payment and the “conforming” loan amount of $417,000.

An additional 52 Condos out of 179 Condos on the market have asking prices between $556,000 and $973,000.? Buyers for these 52 Condos are?able to take?full advantage of the lowest interest rates with 25% down payment and the?”jumbo conforming” loan of $719,750.

There is only one home out of 64 homes on the market is?asking price below $912,000 for Buyers to?take full advantage of the lowest interest rates with 20% down payment using the “jumbo conforming” loan amount of $719,750.

With the new appraisal rules, appraisers will be an “arms-distance” from the lender and a “done” condition will be a Seller’s best defense in getting an accepted offer closed.




On Your Mark, Get Set ..it’s time to Get Going!

Thursday, March 12th, 2009 @ 9:57 pm | Buyers, Homeownership, Market Trends, Real Estate, San Francisco, Sellers

San Francisco’s tide is changing,?the sky is clearing, and spring is in the air. It’s time to quit?stretching…and getting ready to get ready.? It’s?time to get off the mark…

It is time to stop stretching and get out ahead and in the market now on the Marina Green in San Francisco, CA

Listen to this video?(below) to understand that multiple buyers in San Francisco are?no longer waiting to?get ready?and now are taking action.?

Real Estate Rebound Video from CBS5.com

Only one lucky Buyer bought each of these homes…leaving all these other Buyers still wanting to buy and ready to buy.

With this upsurge of 1st time Buyers’ demand in San Francisco, now is the time to do your homework,?get qualified, and be ready to?get what you want.

The tide is changing in San Francisco, the sun is coming out, spring is in the air…get going!




Affordability Today vs. Waiting At The Fence?

Monday, March 9th, 2009 @ 4:20 pm | Buyers, Homeownership, Market Trends, Real Estate, San Francisco, Sellers

Let’s put?waiting?at the fence?and affordability in perspective.

Waiting on the fence???is not all that is cracked up to be.

Historically speaking the affordability standard?has never?changed over the years for 1st time Buyers.?

What did change is those Buyers with no money (that bought in recent years) had a short time view on a long term investment.

Historically speaking - affordability is on the rise in San Francisco

Affordability?has always been reflected in?a comfortable monthly mortgage payment with?an initial cash investment into the property (i.e. down payment) and the peace of mind of?an interest rate?that is within one’s means now and for?the long term.


Go back 30 years or since 1971 and 30 year fixed rate loans from Freddie Mac can????t come close to today????s interest rates!

Today’s 1st time Buyers have a lot more going for them by getting off the fence?with lower interest rates, the federal government paying them to buy before 12/01/09 with a $8,000 tax credit,?and affordable prices.??




Recognizing the “Real Value” of 1 Bedroom Condos on the Northside

So far this year…1st time Buyers looking at Open Houses on the Northside of San Francisco may be finding the 1+ Bedroom condo market below $700,000 a bit complex…

Up to $700K On the Northside of San Francisco????s 1+ Bedroom Real Estate Market 2009 to 3-02

…even if you do the numbers?to check out price per square feet, days on the market/when properties came on the? market, original price?/current price, built date, …etc. etc. etc.??

This is not an ordinary market on the Northside of San Francisco. And Buyers that are really seriously looking to buy and do not have an agent yet…need an “experienced” agent?early on.

At my Open Houses now, I have set up an easel to show 1st time Buyers the opportunities they are not recognizing for themselves.

Illustrating that is no ordinary San Francisco real estate market but a rare moment of opportunity

Cutting through the numbers on a spreadsheet and visiting open houses is worth the time in recognizing this rare moment in time for 1st time Buyers on the Northside of San Francisco.

Yet,?there are actually 3 markets for one bedroom condos on?the North side of the city…

Three One Bedroom Condo Markets on the Northside of San Francisco, CA in early March 2009

… and without recognizing these 3 markets, one will not to?see the “real values” of buying in?the one bedroom condo market?on the Northside of San Francisco.

Market One – New construction with & without parking located on the edges of the Northside of San Francisco.?

Market Two – Condos without parking or with only leased parking available are generally considered the lower end of the market.

Market Three- Condos with parking (deeded) that is included in the price of the condo?tend to have the highest resale value of all three markets.

Recognizing the?”real value” of?each of these one bedroom markets is important and more important is, “What do you want that you don’t have now?”




How Long Is “Long” in Today’s Market?

Friday, February 27th, 2009 @ 2:09 pm | Buyers, Market Trends, Real Estate, San Francisco, Sellers

“How long has this place been on the market?”…is by far the most asked question at an Open House.

Pacific Heights (East) In San Francisco CA - One Bedroom Condo with Parking & Storage for $588,000

When, in fact, the real question is?related to price and condition questions:

1.?? “How much time do I have to get my offer together?”

2.?? “Why is this property still available?”

3.?? “What is?wrong with this property?”

In today’s market, the how long is “long” is now more a statement of?today’s economy and less about “price”, in “move-in” or “brand-new” condition, and/or it’s “a fixer”.

“Long” has to do?more with most people won’t take the risk in getting?what they want.?

With the risks of today’s?economy, come the opportunities of?cheap interest rates,?affordable prices, more pristine properties,? Federal and California State 1st time Buyer incentives, and less competition from other Buyers.

The real question is “How ‘long’ will it take for?Buyers to?realize that the opportunities?of?owning a home?in San Francisco are here and they are able to get what they want today ?”




To Be Smart vs. Just Smart

Sunday, February 15th, 2009 @ 9:40 am | Buyers, Homeownership, Market Trends, Real Estate, San Francisco, Sellers

If ?”to be smart” means?staying put,?playing it safe, and waiting to see and do?what “everyone” else is doing…than smart?they are.

Walking away from Opportunity of Owning a Piece of San Francisco, CA

And if? “to be smart” is to be “everyone” that won’t do what it takes to get what they want until “everyone else” is?getting it….than again smart they are.

Before waiting to see the market bottom out, prices will be way up in San Francisco, CA

The?”smart” time to buy?would be?when there are historically low interest rates?coupled with a Buyers’ market in San Francisco…and “everyone”? thought?that will never happen in their life time.

Turn the corner???follow the signs, invest in yourself in a piece of San Francisco, CA

The opportunity to?own apart of?San Francisco is right here and now for those that are “just smart”!?

Follow the signs

Follow my signs to 1650 Jackson Street #401, San Francisco, CA - one bedroom condo with parking & storage for $588,000




Behind the (Days on the Market) Numbers

Monday, June 30th, 2008 @ 9:30 am | Market Trends, Real Estate, San Francisco

One’s?perception of the San Francisco market is a bit deceiving without looking ??œbehind?the numbers??? today.? No one has had to really look ??œbehind the numbers??? when there is high demand and low inventory.?? One can gauge the market by how quickly properties sell (looking at the?DOM – days on market).?

?San Francisco????s 2006 to 1st Half of 2008 Days on Market Graph for Homes & Condos - California

As in any market, if two comparable properties come on the market in a particular neighborhood at the same time and one sells and the other one doesn????t???.it is pretty easy to determine that?either the marketing, the price, the terms, and/or the condition attracted the buyer(s) to one property vs. the other.?

Without looking beyond the?graphs, the averages, and the medians, one is unaware the number of?properties that are selling?quickly?from those that are taking their sweet old time.

To understand?which market a seller is in and/or buyer is looking in, one needs to separate the days on the market, not by price range but by speed.?




How’s the roof…it’s raining?

You can imagine ??œHow????s the roof?????would be a common question I would receive during a rainy Sunday Open House.?

?Drip Drip Drip -Credits go to FreeFoto.com

Unlike other parts of the world, San Francisco‘s?rainy season?is considered from October through April with an average annual rainfall of 20.4 inches per year.?During the rest of the year, our San Francisco streets?may be wet in the early morning, although we just call that “fog dew”

?So selling homes in San Francisco during the winter may be considered as the perfect time of year?to test if the roof is currently leaking or not by looking for the?tell tale signs of discoloration on the ceiling, around skylights and windows.??Inherently?a ??œgood??? roof can leak if the gutters, scuppers, and downspouts are clogged and water finds its way in.???I like to?remind Sellers that prudent Buyers will?locate those areas on the exterior before walking into an Open House.?? As the?agent holding the Open House (and especially if it is raining), I?customarily have the?San Francisco Sellers???? Disclosures out in plain view for Buyers to review.? ?

I?highlight the?six questions in the disclosures asking the?Seller to disclose his knowledge of any present or past water inclusion; even leaks have been repaired and/or stopped.? Below are two of the six questions about?water inclusion:???San Francisco????s customary Seller????s Disclosure question regarding their knowledge of present or past leaks, CA? ??

As in any time of the year, I recommend to Sellers to have their homes staged and rooms freshly painted before the property goes on the market.? Areas of past leaks will most likely be concealed, so it is extremely important for Buyers to not just look for leaks and read the Seller’s disclosures.?

Of course, for Sellers and Buyers to really understand what they are selling and/or buying, it is always prudent to have an expert do a written physical inspection of the property.?If the report states the?roof is near?the end of its useful life or shows signs of present or past leakage, I?always recommend to get a further inspection from the best roofer in town whether I am the Seller’s agent or the Buyer’s agent to really know, “How’s the roof?”?




  • Market Activity Over $1 Million Year-End in San Francisco
  • End of 2011 San Francisco Market Activity Under $1M
  • 2011 Year End San Francisco Real Estate Summary
  • Snow On Them There Hills?
  • Great Views, Best Weather, & Accessibility plus …
  • Wandering into Sea Cliff
  • San Francisco Real Estate Can Be Seen At 37 Degrees 49 Minutes
  • San Francisco Real Estate Views Start With The Windows
  • Marina Trivia Is Worth Knowing
  • Know Your Free Days at the California Academy of Sciences