Monthly Archives: November 2008

Rocky Reduction on Dolores

Rocky Reduction on Dolores

Billed as a “Romanesque Victorian,” 1507 Dolores at 28th is a 3BR/3BA with a family room on the garage level.

The property hit the market back in December 2005 at $1,325,000, was withdrawn for the holidays and the current owners purchased it for $1,310,000 in early 2006. Most recently, 1507 Dolores came on earlier this month at $1,350,000, only to reduce the price late last week to $1,295,000. That $55,000 discount should give you a head start on the faux stone removal, don’t you think?

Is Anyone Buying Property in San Francisco?

Despite the low November sales volumes and poor economic outlook, many people did enter into purchase agreements last week in San Francisco.

Fifteen single-family homes went into contract from 11/17-11/21, according to the San Francisco Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The average list price was $995,000, and the homes ranged in price from $359,000 for a one-bedroom property in the Excelsior, to $2,749,000 for a four-bedroom home in Sea Cliff. Average days on market? 47.Continue Reading

SF Sales Volumes Dip Dramatically

I know I’m supposed to be all rah-rah when it comes to the San Francisco real estate market, but the sales numbers for the time period of November 1-20th demonstrate the impact the economic downturn has had on our market.

Just in terms of units sold, there were only 76 single-family homes sold vs. 121 in the same time period of 2007. On the condo front, 47 properties changed hands this month, compared to 119 sales in 2007. And TIC sales really dropped, with four TICs selling this month vs. 29 in 2009.Continue Reading

The Artani Goes Rental

I wrote recently about my visit to The Artani, a new high rise on Van Ness Avenue with high-end finishes. Well, after several weeks of poor sales results, The Artani’s developer has decided to rent the units until the market recovers a bit.

For your Van Ness corridor residential needs, there’s still Symphony Towers, a mid-range high rise that’s recently slashed its prices. You can get a 1BR with parking in the high $400,000s. Not too bad. If you can put up with the busy location, but focus on the fact that Hayes Valley and San Francisco’s cultural center are short walks away, renting or buying on Van Ness may work—at the right price.

My Millennium Tower Tour

I recently took a hardhat tour of the Millennium Tower, a luxury high rise on Mission at First Street. The building is still under construction, and none of the units are actually finished yet. Our tour mainly included viewing the penthouse and upper-level spaces, as well as a few of the units in the second, less expensive building. Move-in dates are not expected to be until May or June of 2009.Continue Reading

No Shortage of Estate Homes in Noe Valley

When I was first selling real estate seven years ago, I remember looking at my Tuesday broker tour lineup, and noticing that there was actually a house listed at close to $1M. This was a pretty high price for my neighborhood.

It hit me today that there’s now a collection of 15 single-family homes currently available for $1.8M+, and one condo for $1,895,000. At the top end of the lineup is 3816 22nd, the renovated firehouse listed at $5,975,000, but the bulk are between $2,450,000-3M.

On the “solds” front, three single-family homes have sold since September 1st at $1.8M or above. The most expensive was 625 Duncan, a 5BR/5.5BA home that closed escrow on November 7th for $5,818,000 in an all-cash transaction.

TICs: Trending Toward Tumult

Popular among first-time home buyers in San Francisco, tenancy-in-common (TIC) ownership traditionally lets two or more individuals share building ownership through a group loan. You don’t technically own your unit in a TIC arrangement–just a percentage of the building. The goal is to ultimately condo convert the building, so everyone can officially own their unit. The conversion process is complicated, lengthy and fairly expensive, so the cons sometimes outweigh the pros in TIC situations.Continue Reading

How’s the Market In: Westwood Park

One neighborhood that gets overlooked by many home buyers is Westwood Park. Located just west of Sunnyside near City College in the southwest part of San Francisco, Westwood Park consists of more than 600 homes built in the 1920s-1930s. The completion of the Twin Peaks Tunnel in West Portal spurred Westwood Park’s development. Many of the homes are bungalow style, and provide very functional and attractive spaces.Continue Reading

Pocket Listings Get Popular

Now that our San Francisco market has softened, sellers and the listing agents they hire are trending toward a new strategy: pocket listings. This is a listing that does not get advertised or put into the Multiple Listing Service, and is only marketed to agents in a quiet way. Pocket listing properties are only typically shown by appointment, and there are no open houses or broker tours.Continue Reading

The Luxury 1BR Market

Every once in a while, an email passes through my inbox that makes me do a double take. Today, I received one about a one-bedroom, Nob Hill coop pocket listing (not on the Multiple Listing Service) for $2,895,000. The coop is located in the 1200 California building. For this price, you get a 1,435 square foot unit on the 25th floor with a separate library/office area and interior parking.Continue Reading

Big Changes in the SF Market

I’m seeing substantial changes in the San Francisco housing market that I wanted to share with you:

Buyers postpone purchases. Many buyers seem to be delaying decisions until after the election; they are also watching the impact of the bailout program. Such behavior is reflected in open home activity, which has fallen off in most Bay Area markets (with some exceptions). The bulk of open homes are seeing fewer visitors. There are the anomalies like the San Francisco Lake district duplex listed at $1M that garnered 50 groups, and the Cole Valley duplex priced at $1.85M that received 26 visitors.Continue Reading

Cutting Up on Ashbury

Cutting Up on Ashbury

I’m all for creating as much opportunity for homeownership as anyone. But when a perfectly fine, single-family home is completely chopped up into three overpriced TIC units, it’s time to stop the madness.

That’s the deal over at 1096 Ashbury, where there are now three one-bedroom units where a probable four-bedroom home once stood. If you’re up for it, you can offer $545,000, $645,000 or $695,000 for one of these units. And then you can wait another 15 years to condo convert.

Update: #1 sold for $541,000 and #2 sold for $519,000 in Sept 2010. #3 appears to have been withdrawn.

Get in touch:

Eileen Bermingham

Zephyr Real Estate


BRE# 01352627

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