Tech Jobs, Foreign Buyers Will Drive Market in 2015

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The strength of the tech industry and foreign buyers’ appetite for Bay Area homes will be the biggest factors influencing the local real estate market in 2015, according to First Republic’s Senior Managing Director and Porfolio Manager Alan Zafran at yesterday’s Realtor luncheon at the St. Francis Yacht Club. [Read more…]

Welcome To The Holiday Home Stretch, 2014

If you’re a serious home buyer, it’s quite possible that December will be your month to find that home of your dreams. Yes, inventory is lighter, but the competition thins out as other, less-serious buyers get distracted by the holidays. And the sellers who are still offering their homes for sale are more likely than they would have been a few months ago to negotiate on price.

There are 172 houses and 81 condos on the market right now, in a variety of neighborhoods and price ranges. And it just so happens to be a great time to make your purchase and wrap things up before the end of 2014. There will inevitably be a crop of newly active buyers coming into the market in early 2015, which will not help your case.

So stick with your home-buying mission and don’t overlook any possibilities. And if you’re thinking of jumping into the market in 2015, please contact me and we can discuss the details.

Thanks For a Wonderful 2014

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Thank you to all of you who’ve been reading my blog faithfully over the years, as well as to those who have connected with me and have done business with me. I am truly grateful for those opportunities.

May you have a fantastic Thanksgiving, and I’ll see you back here on Monday.

Grand SoMa Development Takes Leap Forward

The four-acre development planned for Fifth and Mission in SoMa has grand plans—1,200 new residences and 150,000 square feet of retail, for starters. But there are renderings online now, and the project could break ground in 2016 if approved.

Moving north west across town, we take a look at what’s on the market in uber-hot Hayes Valley, from a loft to a Victorian condo.

Plus, news on Coit Tower’s murals and the most current San Francisco sales and stats.

It’s all here in the Zephyr MarketTracker!

“Off-Market” in a Hot Market Can Shortchange Sellers

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The San Francisco real estate market is booming, and sellers are greatly benefitting from buyer demand. There are five or more buyers for every listing, particularly in popular neighborhoods. Interest rates are low, our local job market is strong and there’s no shortage of foreign investors.

If you’re thinking of selling your home in the near future, here’s how you can capitalize on this hot market: Make sure your agent enters your property in the San Francisco Multiple Listing Service (SFARMLS) database. This is the database agents use to search for available listings. Sites like Redfin and Trulia also get their listings from the MLS. A well-priced property promoted to the fullest extent can typically attract multiple offers, which is what leads to the maximum selling price possible. My most recent listings sold for more than I or my sellers expected, and I truly believe that would not have been the case had we sold off market. [Read more…]

Luxury Market Going Strong in Fall 2014

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San Francisco real estate in the $2M+ price range continues to experience a healthy sales volume. There doesn’t seem to be a shortage of buyers, particularly those paying in cash. Chalk it up to two factors—tech company stock options, and buyers’ desire to live in large homes in prime neighborhoods.

Case in point: 250 Cumberland (above), initially sold in 2012 for $1,775,000 as a major two-unit fixer that had been partially gutted by a fire. Flash forward to 2014. Rebuilt as a 5BR/4.5BA, 3,974-square foot single-family, the home was purchased by cash buyers for $6,000,000 at the end of October. [Read more…]

Holidays Approach, Time To Make Your Move

We’re speeding toward Thanksgiving, which only means one thing when it comes to San Francisco real estate: Inventory will decline after turkey day, and serious buyers need to take a second look at what’s been sitting on the market.

There are 255 single-family homes and 288 condos currently available, a good portion of which have been on the market for three weeks or more. Take 7 Burnett ($1,695,000), a beautiful 3BR/2BA Twin Peaks condo with this view:

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Or for something more quirky with amazing curb appeal, look at 10 Carmel ($3M) in Cole Valley–a 1909 firehouse that’s now a very cool pad for a buyer who likes entertaining and living in a unique home:
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It’s definitely time to buckle down and work with current inventory. Our market moves so quickly that you can sometimes get obsessed with new listings and completely miss out on homes that won’t involve tedious multiple offers and overbidding. Give me a shout if you need some help finding the right place. I’ll be in town and ready to work!

Halloween + Giants Parade = Awesome San Francisco

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Happy Halloween! For the second time in two years, we’re celebrating Halloween and the Giants’ World Series win on the same day.

So I’m not going to try to compete for your attention today. Enjoy the parade, Halloween and everything our great city has to offer.

See you on Monday!

Congratulations, San Francisco Giants!

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The San Francisco Giants are the 2014 World Series champions—for the third time in five seasons!

We have a lot of great things to be happy about in San Francisco, and the Giants top it all off.

Thanks for an outstanding post season, Giants!

Yes, SF Real Estate is Seasonal

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Yes, our San Francisco market is going strong—and has been for the past several months. But if you’re planning to buy or sell real estate, it’s important to know that the industry does slow down after Thanksgiving.

I know of a few colleagues who are bringing new listings on the market in early December. But new inventory will substantially decrease after your Thanksgiving dinner leftovers are gone.

There are currently 288 single-family homes and 293 condos on the market. If you’re a buyer who genuinely wants to make a purchase before the end of the year, the takeaway here is that you should seriously consider whatever comes on the market that might work for you.

And if you’re a homeowner who is still thinking about putting your house on the market this year, it is high time to get your home ready for sale. Everyone you need, from stagers to small-scale contractors, painters and gardeners is busy. Making sure you have time to line up what you need can be a challenge going into November.

There Was a Time When They Moved Victorians Around

The new edition of the Zephyr Market Tracker throws the spotlight on Victorians. Did you know they were moved from one neighborhood to another? SFist has a great photo gallery showing what happened back then.

We also look at the different types of Victorian properties available in San Francisco, the most recent citywide sales and the deets for SF Rec & Park’s upcoming Scaregrove in Stern Grove. It’s all here in the latest Zephyr Market Tracker!

FHA Loans Lay Low in San Francisco

Buyers making purchases with FHA loans are a rarity these days in San Francisco. In the past two years, FHA loans were used by only 54 single-family home and six condo buyers, as per the SF MLS.

An FHA-insured loan is backed by the U.S. Federal Housing Administration, which insures a loan made by a private lender. Buyers can make a purchase with a very low down payment. FHA loans are a bit more complex than regular loans, and typically take longer to process.

The San Francisco market moves quickly, and many sellers don’t want to wait any more than 21 or 30 days to complete their transaction. Many buyers also have large down payments these days and make offers that frequently omit loan contingencies. So it’s no wonder that in a competitive offer situation (nine times out of ten), a seller will go with the buyer that presents the most direct and efficient path to closing. And that typically will not involve an FHA loan. [Read more…]

Art at Alcatraz, Latest San Francisco Sales & Market Trends

The current edition of the Zephyr Market Tracker turns the spotlight on Alcatraz and its new art installation. You have until April 2015 to see this unique exhibit by Beijing-based artist Ai Weiwei.

We also check out some hot new Bernal listings, as well as recent citywide sales and market trends.

It’s all here in the Zephyr Market Tracker!

Latest Sales, SF Moma’s Revamp, Secrets of Golden Gate Park

The last 21 days are a window into the world of San Francisco property values, and the latest Zephyr Market Tracker rounds them up. Yes, there are the expected over asking prices, but there are a few surprises.

Market Tracker also takes a look at how the SF Moma’s major reno is doing, as well as hones in on the secret of Golden Gate Park. We also check out some great looking homes that are near coveted green space.

It’s all here in the Zephyr Market Tracker!

Know San Francisco’s Overbidding Hot Spots

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The selling patterns in San Francisco continue to be “list low, sell high.” Sellers looking for buyers to pay well over asking for their properties were in luck over the past two months.

Buyers looking to make a purchase before the end of the year need to be aware of the house and condo overbidding hot spots. These are the neighborhoods where you can expect to pay 20% or more for properties, based on sales in August and September 2014. [Read more…]