Category Archives: Market News

Contingencies Creep Back Into Contracts

It was more than three years ago that San Francisco real estate market activity prompted me to write about what buyers need to know when waiving contingencies in a purchase contract. We’d finally dug our way out of the financial meltdown, and buyer competition for properties was on the rise.

Besides paying high prices to “win” properties, buyers were waiving appraisal, loan and inspection contingencies to make their offers more attractive to sellers. That meant that buyers were prepared to risk their deposit (3% of the purchase price) if they couldn’t get their loan or couldn’t cover an appraised value shortfall. And they worked around having inspections during escrow, either by relying on seller reports, having pre-inspections or having none at all. Continue Reading

First-Time and Luxury Home Buyers Embrace “Permanent” TICs

Once seen as a stepping stone to condo ownership, tenancy-in-common (TIC) interests have become widely acceptable to San Francisco home buyers as “permanent” TICs. But it’s not just the first-time home buyers who are getting into the TIC game. Luxury buyers are also jumping in.

The fact that condo conversion probably won’t be a future option for TIC owners in buildings with three or more units doesn’t seem to be slowing TIC sales. Continue Reading

Summer Market Wraps Up, Sets Tone for the Fall

It was a summer of withdrawn listings, buyers flocking to single-family homes and rising one-bedroom prices. Though San Francisco real estate was a little slower this summer, there were a number of takeaways that I think will set the tone for the busy Fall season:

Prices remained strong for houses and condos. The average price for a house in the June-August timeframe was $1,695,454, and around $1,200,000 for condos.

Houses were hot. If you had a house to sell in San Francisco this summer, chances are you did pretty well. Almost one quarter of all houses sold this summer changed hands for more than 20% over the list price, and 17% of all houses sold were paid for in cash. I’m aware of at least a dozen houses that ended up getting 25+ offers in neighborhoods like Bernal Heights, Glen Park, and other popular areas. Continue Reading

Just Sold: Little Hollywood House

Just Sold: Little Hollywood House

We close today on 230 Tocoloma, one of the cutest and most unique homes I’ve ever sold. We prepped the home to the nines, including a full interior paint job, landscaping, floor refinishing, and staging. Then we listed competitively for $769,000. Continue Reading

Prices, Volume Jump in Q2 2016

The San Francisco market saw a boost in average prices and volume in the second quarter, particularly when it came to single-family homes.

It was another busy Spring for single-family homes, as volume jumped up an astonishing 76% over the first quarter. The average price was $1,736,534, up 3.5% from the previous quarter. And buyers overbid an average of nine percent, proving that houses in the city are still in high demand. Continue Reading

Just Sold: 1818 Broadway #306

Just Sold: 1818 Broadway #306

My Pacific Heights condo listing at 1818 Broadway #306 has officially closed. Listed for $949,000, the sale price was $1,050,000.

We had lots of interest in this unit due to the view and overall presentation. The buyer was able to get a 30-year fixed loan through First Republic, despite the high rental ratio in the building.

If you’re thinking about putting your own condo on the market in the next few months, please contact me at / 415.823.4656. I’d be happy to strategize with you on what it will take to fetch top dollar, as well as give you a realistic value range and recommended list price.

Fewer Offers Land On SF Properties

It’s unanimous among local Realtors that most San Francisco properties are attracting far fewer offers than they were six months ago.

A quick poll at our recent companywide sales meeting revealed that 83% of agents are seeing fewer offers—though there are some massive exceptions (57 offers, anyone?). Even in situations where there are seemingly multiple buyers interested in a particular property, agents are sometimes receiving only one or two offers. In some cases, no one is stepping forward and listing agents are continuing their marketing campaigns in search of qualified, interested buyers.

What I’m personally seeing, as well, are sellers increasingly being open to considering “preemptive” offers. These are offers that are submitted prior to an official offer date. Continue Reading

What You Can Buy: 21 Days or More on the Market

What You Can Buy: 21 Days or More on the Market

There’s plenty of single-family home and condo inventory on the San Francisco market right now, and you may be surprised to know that more than half of those properties have been on the market for 21 days or more. That means offer dates have come and gone, and sellers will have some decisions to make as time goes on.

The high end of this 21+ days on market (DOM) portion of the market is well represented: The average price of a house is $2,976,744, and $1,584,750 for a condo. Continue Reading

Off-Market Sales Slow Down in 2016

Off-market sales are accounting for a much smaller percentage of single-family homes and condos this year. Though a quarter of all properties sold in 2015 changed hands without the benefit of being entered into the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), those numbers have dropped off significantly in 2016. Continue Reading

Buyer Pool for 1BR Condos Smaller, But Strong

One-bedroom condos generally have a smaller buyer pool in San Francisco. Empty nesters, investors, single people or couples are typical buyers, with the latter two groups being first-time buyers looking to get their foot in the homeownership door.

But there’s certainly a strong market for a one bedroom, especially if it’s in a prime location and has all the amenities. I’ve been watching this segment of the market for a while now, as I have a beautiful one-bedroom condo listing at 1818 Broadway #306. And I was not surprised to find that prices are climbing for one bedrooms; in some cases, buyers are getting into extreme overbidding at very high price points. Continue Reading

Houses Hot, Condos Cold in Q1 2016

The single-family home market went bonkers in the first quarter of the year, but the condo market showed signs of softening.

A look at sales data from the past quarter is a great indicator of how the Spring market will do. Here’s how 2016 is stacking up so far:

Single-Family Homes: Buyers Embrace Overbidding
The average price of a house in the city stood at $1,683,935, up seven percent over Q1 2015. Though the average overbid citywide was 9.6%, a whopping 22% of all houses sold changed hands for 30% or more over their list prices. Continue Reading

It’s Up From Here for Interest Rates

San Francisco real estate buyers can expect gradually increasing loan interest rates over the next few years, says Bank of the West’s Chief Economist, Scott Anderson.

I was invited to hear Anderson present his Bay Area forecast at Bank of the West’s downtown San Francisco offices last week. He believes the Fed is at a point where it wants to raise rates, but it will be at a “slow slog” pace. Anderson’s prediction? There will be two rate hikes this year—one in June, and another after the election—followed by four in 2017 and another four in 2018. Continue Reading

Get in touch:

Eileen Bermingham

Zephyr Real Estate


BRE# 01352627

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