Category Archives: Market News

“End Users” Snatch Up Fixers for Dream Home

“End Users” Snatch Up Fixers for Dream Home

The “fixer” buyer pool no longer exclusively consists of contractors and small-scale developers. Instead, deep-pocketed buyers looking to purchase a fixer and turn it into their dream home are increasingly becoming the dominant players in this property category.

A small Noe Valley Victorian recently hit the market (see above photo, left) and attracted multiple offers within a week. The listing agent reported that all offers were from “end users”—industry speak for buyers who will eventually owner occupy the property as their primary residence. There was a time when the only purchasers for a property like this would’ve been contractors looking to flip. Continue Reading

Slice of Steel Hits the Market in Cole Valley

Slice of Steel Hits the Market in Cole Valley

1415 Shrader in Cole Valley just came on the market, and it’s perfect for buyers who love tiny houses and minimalist, stark finishes.

The home originally started construction in the early 2000s, and was completed in 2004. It last sold in 2011 for $849,000, and the current owners have since renovated the kitchen and bath, along with other components of the property:

This one bedroom/one bath home is only ten feet wide—less than half the width of a standard San Francisco home. But it sits on a relatively deep, 94.8′ lot. At first glance from the street, it looks like a bizarre extension of the Spanish Mediterranean style home next door. The lot size is 948 square feet, and the home itself is 1,030 square feet. This is all larger than your bonafide tiny house, but it’s considered to be pretty small even by San Francisco standards.

List price is $1,295,000 for this condo alternative on a great block in the neighborhood. Thinking of writing an offer? Comp this one out with small houses in Cole Valley and adjacent neighborhoods—or one-bedroom standalone condos/cottages in the area.

[Photos courtesy of McGuire Real Estate]

Is the Coronavirus Infecting San Francisco Real Estate?

There’s been considerable speculation among home buyers, sellers and real estate agents over the past few days about the coronavirus’ potential effect on our local San Francisco market.

Indeed, the stock market just had its worst week since 2008, and the World Health Organization elevated its virus risk assessment to “very high.” Home buyers hoping to take advantage of what may be a lull in the market are well advised to move down payment funds from securities accounts to easily accessible, non-volatile bank accounts.

So what might we expect if the outbreaks continue popping up, disrupting business and travel in the process? Continue Reading

Adding ADU To House, Duplex May Not Be The Best Idea

The climate is ripe for adding housing in San Francisco, and that extends to the city’s efforts to make adding an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) to a property easier. But whether you should move ahead with “legalizing” an existing in-law apartment—or creating one—depends upon what type of property you own.

If you own a building with three or more units, adding another one won’t really introduce new use restrictions on the building or resale complications. Continue Reading

Zephyr Real Estate is Now Corcoran Global Living

Zephyr Real Estate is Now Corcoran Global Living

The real estate industry has changed dramatically over the past several years, with highly funded “disruptor” companies attempting to take over major markets. As these companies have gobbled up or forced smaller local brokerages to close, buyers and sellers are discovering fewer options to work with locally owned and locally savvy real estate mainstays.

Rather than get swallowed up by a larger corporation or tech company that may or may not share the Zephyr philosophy of integrity, local expertise, innovation and community involvement, Zephyr has joined forces with Corcoran in New York to launch Corcoran Global Living. This franchise affiliate will operate independently. But we’ll have the financial backing of parent company Realogy, allowing us to enhance our client service offerings with innovative tech and marketing.

The biggest change is that the Zephyr brand no longer exists and is an end of era of sorts for San Francisco real estate. Bill Drypolcher started Zephyr in 1978, and it became the top independent brokerage in San Francisco. As an agent at Zephyr since 2010, I feel fortunate that our management team remains in place and will continue to guide our new company.

And as you may know, Barbara Corcoran is a legend in New York real estate circles and started Corcoran in 1973. I have nothing but admiration for Corcoran, particularly as I was born and raised in New York. I’ve always maintained that if I ever sold real estate in New York, I’d work with Corcoran. It’s a renowned company whose agents and management also understand the importance of clients, relationships and building dreams.

Two companies born in the 1970s now band together in 2020 to position Corcoran Global Living as a dynamic, independent and customer-focused brokerage.

I am excited to be a part of this new venture!

Long “DOM” May Be a Good Buyer Deal

Long “DOM” May Be a Good Buyer Deal

One of the most important factors in real estate is how long a property has been sitting on the market. The “days on market” (DOM) number is critical in a city like San Francisco, where properties typically go into contract with multiple offers within a week or two of coming on the market. The single-family home segment is a particularly hard nut to crack, as a majority of buyers would prefer houses to condos.

So when a single-family home has been out there for 30 days or more, it’s a sign of one of two things: The sellers are sticking to their price and won’t sell unless they get that, or there might be room to negotiate a lower price. Indeed, sales data from the last quarter of 2019 indicates that there are more sellers out there in the first camp. Continue Reading

Just Sold: Vacant Noe Valley Duplex

Just Sold: Vacant Noe Valley Duplex

There’s nothing like a vacant two-unit building to bring everyone out of the woodwork—even in the middle of December. My listing at 3742-3744 Cesar Chavez in Noe Valley was quite the hit. We marketed the building across two weekends and received three offers.

The buyers were two couples who are friends, and they are aiming to add their own touches and also work toward condo converting the building.

We listed the property for $1,995,000 and closed late last week for $2,150,000. Props to Nadia Ruimy at Zephyr Real Estate, who did an amazing job representing the buyers.

And here’s what Ed had to say about my experience working with him on this sale (click to enlarge image):

Congrats, Ed! You have been a fantastic steward for this home for the past 30 years.

Low Inventory SF Market Will Continue In 2020

High buyer demand and low inventory were the hallmarks of 2019. And it’s a good bet these conditions will fuel another year of high real estate prices, multiple-offer situations and overbidding.

The good news for homeowners is that the average price of a house in the fourth quarter of 2019 was $1,960,000. But it’s worth noting that the average price was roughly the same in Q4 2018. Given that we’ve seen double-digit growth over the past few years, it looks like home prices in San Francisco have hit a long-awaited plateau. Continue Reading

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

2019 is in the rear view and I’m excited to kick off a new year! I’m still on holiday, but I’ll be back on the job and the blog on January 6th. Thank you again for being a regular reader.

Best wishes to all my clients and blog readers for a happy, peaceful and prosperous 2020!

Welcome To The 2019 Holiday Home Stretch

Serious buyers hit the streets right after Thanksgiving to scoop up what’s left of the year’s inventory. Yes, there are fewer homes from which to pick. But the competition thins out because a majority of the buyer pool gets distracted by holiday activities. (Why spend Sunday going to open houses when you can get your Christmas tree, attend a party or go shopping?)

There are 185 single-family homes, 388 condos and 59 TICs currently on the market as of this writing. Here’s a quick look at each category:
Single-Family Homes
Median list price: $1,850,000
Avge days on market: 65
My pick: 1086 Alabama is an updated three-bedroom home with a large kitchen that leads to a deck and yard. There’s also expansion potential on the garage level (if you don’t need two-car parking). Convenient Mission location near 24th Street and SF General. List price is $1,795,000. Continue Reading

Cash Sales in San Francisco Drop in 2019

San Francisco real estate sees its share of cash buyers, but they’re not popping up as frequently as they used to. For the past several years, cash buyers have represented a quarter of all single-family and condo sales.

However, the percentage has dropped to 16.5% for houses and 14.6% for condos in 2019.

Having the ability to pay all cash certainly gives you an advantage as a buyer. You’ll likely get a call back in a multiple-offer situation if your offer isn’t the highest. But being able to pay in all cash typically doesn’t exempt you from having to overbid like everyone else.

Here’s how things have shaken out in 2019: Continue Reading

National Association of Realtors Bans Pocket/Off-Market Listings

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) board of directors voted last week to ban off-market listings—ones that agents promote outside of their local Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The policy will take effect on January 1, 2020 and will be fully implemented starting May 1, 2020 to give the hundreds of MLS’s time to make tech changes and educate users.

I agree, in general, that buyers and sellers benefit from full MLS exposure. However, there are situations in which it may not be beneficial for sellers to go the full marketing distance. Privacy concerns, tenant-occupied properties and trial list price runs are reasons why some sellers would prefer to wade into the marketing waters in a lower-key manner. Many ultra high-end properties also have a limited pool of buyers that doesn’t lend itself to an MLS. Continue Reading

Fall Market Check: Start Considering Existing Inventory

We’re cascading through the heart of the Fall real estate market in San Francisco. And the mixed bag scenario continues to play out, with many properties going quickly into contract—and others sitting a bit longer before buyers come along.

Our current market indicates that more than half of all the single-family homes, condos, TICs and two- to four-unit residential buildings currently on the market have been sitting for 21 days or more. That timeframe is important, as it means the window of time for sellers to receive multiple offers and crazy overbids is likely closed. Continue Reading

Just Sold: 26 Topaz Way

Just Sold: 26 Topaz Way

My clients just purchased a fully updated, two-level condo in a convenient Diamond Heights location. The condo is as close to a house as you’ll get without actually owning a house, with a private yard and garage included.

The previous owners did a lovely remodel, updating the kitchen and bathrooms and adding a sense of style throughout. There are balconies off two of the three bedrooms upstairs, and a really cool center patio with a retractable roof.

Right around the block from the Safeway shopping center and just up the hill from Noe Valley, 26 Topaz is a real find. Listed for $1,595,000, the property closed for $1,850,000.

Congrats to Phil and Zai!

High-End Market Sees Softening in San Francisco

The high end of the San Francisco real estate market appears to be softening—or sellers are overreaching on their initial list prices, and coming back down to earth after their properties fail to sell quickly.

Examples of the softening have popped up in September. Take 571 Noe, a renovated 3BR/3.5BA Victorian in Eureka Valley that first hit the market in early 2018 for $4,290,000. The listing expired, and the property returned to the market in May 2019 for $4.2M. The sale closed last week for $3.8M. Continue Reading

Get in touch:

Eileen Bermingham

Corcoran Global Living


DRE# 01352627

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