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!

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…]

The Zephyr Market Update is Here

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You can’t get enough stats these days, can you?

Well, the Zephyr Market update is actually a useful one. Find out which neighborhood property values in our beautiful city appreciated the most, how condos and houses fared year over year, and which new neighborhood app is doing its part to unify communities.

It’s all here in the Zephyr Market Update!

SF Real Estate Summer Stats Are In!

The San Francisco real estate market didn’t seem to slow down this summer. I was “on vacation” last week, but still reported for duty to prep my upcoming listing, manage my current seller escrow and write offers. Many of my colleagues continued to bring on new listings straight through to the end of August, despite the threat of Burning Man and Labor Day weekend thinning the buyer pool.

And in fact, the last week of August saw many listings coming up dry when offer dates arrived. But I don’t think that this was because the market is softening significantly.

How did buyers and sellers fare in July and August in the condo and single-family home markets? [Read more…]

Story Behind Prop G, Noe Luxury, Latest Prices

The contentious Prop G will be on our November ballot this year. The proposition calls for a higher transfer tax on people who sell certain residential real estate within five years of purchase. The tax would increase to 24% in those first five years, and then would drop to 14% after five years.

As always, there are multiple sides to the issue, and this edition of the Zephyr Market Tracker looks at some of the different angles.

We also check out some luxurious Noe Valley properties, as well as feature the most recent citywide sales and averages.

It’s all here in the Zephyr Market Tracker.

2BR Condo Market Explodes in Noe Valley

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Buyers competing for two-bedroom condos in Noe Valley are apparently willing to pay whatever it takes to snag them a home near a tech shuttle stop and the freeways.

The average price for such a unit in the time period from June through mid August was $1,250,667. Only two of the nine condos sold were under $1M; the rest ranged from $1,250,000-$1,475,000. Average overbid? 27%.

Yes, there are some such condos selling for less, but they generally involve 1,000 square feet or less and don’t include parking—or have other quirks. (For example, a 2BR/2BA condo with parking on Dolores at 29th Street sold recently for $875,000. But the developer owns three of the 13 units, meaning any buyer needing a loan would have to use non-conforming financing.) [Read more…]

InsideSFRE Makes the Nightly News

My seller clients and I were interviewed last night on KTVU’s ten o’clock news about the Zillow acquisition of Trulia, and how online real estate sites continue to play an important role in the real estate industry.

I’m a big fan of Trulia, Zillow, and Redfin, and believe they are key in helping buyers and sellers do their research. As I mentioned during the broadcast, most of my clients have done their fair share of online research before I even meet with them for the first time. As a result, they’re up to speed on values and we can get right to in-depth market discussions.

You can watch the broadcast here.

And look for our Bernal Heights listing later this week, especially if you’re in the market for a three-bedroom single-family home in a fantastic neighborhood location.