Archive for July 2013 | Monthly archive page

Case-Shiller Home Price Index Up Again in May

Note: Case-Shiller Home Price Indices for “San Francisco” are for a 5-county area, of which the city’s housing market is a very small part. Since they are published 2 months after the month of the Index, are 3-month rolling averages, and the time between offer acceptance and closed sale typically runs 4-8 weeks, Case-Shiller is generally 3-6 months behind the market itself, i.e. when offers are being negotiated in the present. Case-Shiller publishes 4 main indices for SF Metro Area houses: an aggregate index for all price ranges, and then one index for each third of unit sales – low price, middle price and high price tiers.

The aggregate C-S Index for the SF Metro Area is up approximately 30% – 34% from its low point, but is still approximately 20% below its peak in 2006. Please note that for a drop of 30% to be recouped, the increase must be about 43%.

When the market fell from its peak in 2006-early 2008 (different areas and different market segments peaked at different times), the scale of the decline varied widely, mostly by price point. With the recovery that began in 2012 and has accelerated in 2013, the magnitude of the price recovery, as compared to previous peak values, has also varied by price point and area.

The lowest price range (terribly affected by foreclosures and distressed sales) fell most dramatically – an approximate 60% decline from its peak. It is now recovering dramatically on a percentage basis – up 38% from its low point – but is still way below its 2006 peak. It simply has much more loss to make up.

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The upper price range (the top third of unit sales) in the 5-county metro area fell much less than the 2 lower price tiers (low and middle) during the bubble pop. On a percentage basis, it’s increase from its low point – about 25% — is not as great as for the lowest price tier, but is now getting close again to its previous peak value. In the city of San Francisco itself, many neighborhoods have now reached or surpassed previous peak values reached in 2007-2008.

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This chart below illustrates the short-term monthly changes in the C-S high tier price index: the recovery in 2012 accelerating in 2013. May’s reading jumped 3.7% from April’s.

Case-Shiller_High-Tier_2011

And then looking just at the city of San Francisco itself, which has, generally speaking, among the highest home prices in the 5-county metro area: many of its neighborhoods are now blowing past previous peak values. Note that this chart has more recent price appreciation data than available in the Case-Shiller Indices and that the rate of appreciation accelerated in the March-May timeframe. Note that median sales prices and C-S Index numbers do not correlate exactly.

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Nihonmachi Street Fair – August 3-4, 2013

Founded in 1973, the Nihonmachi Street Fair was hatched as an idea to provide leadership and mentorship opportunities for the youth of J-Town and to honor the cultural heritage that was, at the time, at risk of being displaced. Since then the annual event has grown from a four-booth affair to a two-day event expected to draw over 30,000 guests.

What makes this street fair a uniquely San Francisco event is the broader cultural context participants can experience in addition to traditional Asian-Pacific influences. The Nihonmachi Street Fair organizers have a long history of including local entertainment that has spanned genres from Taiko to hip-hop to salsa, rock and jazz. Also included in the festivities are Children’s World, Doggie World, Asian artisans and the Food Fest.

August 3rd and 4th from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM PST
Japantown, San Francisco, located on Post Street between Laguna and Fillmore Streets
Admission is free.

For more information go to www.nihonmachistreetfair.org/

From our NorCal network : The Artisan Group

1520903

14235 SORREL LANE
Reno, NV 89511
Offered at $1,245,000

For more information about this property or a referral to other areas of Northern California, please contact me.

Updated Bay Area Home Value Map

Median prices almost always conceal large disparities in the prices of the underlying individual sales – this is particularly true for larger cities: in San Francisco for example, median house prices by neighborhood range from $465,000 to $4,000,000, and there will be similar disparities in Oakland and San Jose. But median prices can be valuable to show appreciation trends, and to some degree, to compare general home values between different areas. The last quarter was a period of rapid price appreciation virtually everywhere on this map.

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Is the Market Cooling? Let’s look at the weekly charts.

It’s typical for the market to slow down during the summer months (not as bad as the Thanksgiving to New Year slow down but still a slow-down). However, looking at the Weekly Charts below, statistically there is little sign of a cooling market – which doesn’t mean that it might not be: these supply and demand statistics won’t change if a listing gets 3-5 offers instead of 10-20 as long as it goes into contract. But even if it is cooling – which is not a certainty – it would still be a very-high-demand/very-low-supply market by any historical measure.

When a market is this strong, it’s not unusual for demand to keep up through the third week of August. Some listing agents believe late July/August is a better time to list – with inventory so low – than after Labor Day, when new listings surge again and there’s more competition. Other agents always wait til September.

These weekly market charts are for SFD and Condo listings only.

The number of Active Listings has been falling since summer began and is now at a level roughly comparable with February; it’s about equal to the number available last year at this time. It’s not unusual for inventory to continue to drop as the summer progresses — until that turns around after Labor Day. September is usually the month of the year with the highest number of new listings.

7-21-13_FS_SFD-Condo

The number of New Listings coming on the market has been falling from the spring “burst”, but new listings in the last 3 weeks are about 13% higher than the same period last year – which is a positive sign.

Blue Columns = Number of Listings Accepting Offers;
Red Columns = Number of New Listings Coming on Market

Over the past 5 weeks, new inventory is still being gobbled up as fast (actually faster) than it is coming on market:

7-21-13_New-vs-UC_Listings

Percentage of Listings Accepting Offers: Except for the slight (typical) decline in the 4th of July week (you see the same thing in the Memorial Day week), the percentages have continued to be very high, similar to the percentages we’ve seen since mid-February (which has been a red-hot demand period). Two years ago, the percentages ran 6% – 7%; now they’re twice that.

7-21-13_SFD-Condo_Percentage-UC

San Francisco Victorian & Edwardian Architecture

Victorian & Edwardian Architecture in San Francisco
An Illustrated Overview

One of the great charms of San Francisco is the wonderful variety of architectural styles that grace our streets – it’s not unusual to see half dozen distinct types of architecture on a single block. Here is a brief overview of the Victorian and Edwardian eras of home architecture with which the city is perhaps most identified – though, of course, many beautiful homes and buildings have been built since that era, and continue to be built.

The text, chart and photos are all courtesy and permission of the San Francisco architect James Dixon: James Dixon Website. We are most grateful for his generosity in allowing us to use them.

1Victorian-Edwardian Timeline
This is a fascinating timeline of the different styles of architecture that will be discussed in this piece, created by Architect James Dixon. It can be a little difficult to read, but is easier to decipher if you adjust your screen-view zoom larger. It can also be found online at James Dixon’s website.

2Gothic Revival: 1840 – 1890
The publication of Cottage Residences by Andrew Jackson Downing in 1842 became the spur for the Gothic Revival style in America. The residential offshoot, called Carpenter Gothic, used wood rather than stone and eschewed gargoyles and stained glass in favor of simpler ornament. Although some of the more extravagant homes may qualify as Gothic Revival, most can safely be called Carpenter Gothic. Characteristics of this style include pointed arches over doors and windows; steeply pitched roofs: turrets, pinnacles, crenellations; and leaded glass windows.

3Victorian Italianate: 1850 – 1890
In 1850, Andrew Jackson Downing published The Architecture of Country Houses. which popularized a new style: Italianate. The house at 807 Franklin is an elaborate example of the style, exhibiting many of the hallmark characteristics: quions along the edges; tall, narrow windows with rounded tops, porch portico, a slanted bay window, classical columns and pilasters, as well as the look of a building that should be made out of stone.
Additional Photos
 
 
 
4Victorian Stick: 1860 – 1890
These houses have long, thin pieces of wood, called “sticks,” applied to their surface, especially at corners. These sticks are meant to be both decorative and expressive of the underlying wood framed structure. In the 1870s these decorative elements became exceedingly numerous and elaborate. Homes in this new vein were called Stick Eastlake, which is actually a misnomer since Charles Eastlake, from whom the name derives, abhorred excessive ornamentation. San Francisco has the greatest concentration of Stick and Stick Eastlake style homes in the world.
More Photos
 
5Queen Anne: 1880 – 1910
The Queen Anne style came after many Victorian styles and it is not uncommon to see elements of preceding styles in one house. Two things make it easy to identify a Queen Anne: plasticity (“in-ness and out-ness”) and a continuous gable roof that is expressed at the street. Some houses that began as Italianate or Stick became Queen Anne after a remodel, and there are also some that are all three styles at once. The Victorians dreaded the vacant surface, everything was decorated. Characteristics include multi-textured facade; steeply pitched roof with gable front; conical, corner tower; cutaway bay windows; bands of ornament; and stained glass
More Photos

6Arts & Crafts: 1890 – 1910
Inspired by John Ruskin and William Morris, the Arts & Crafts movement started in England in the 1860s and started to influence American architecture around 1890. The movement advocated the use of locally sourced natural materials, pride in craftsmanship, and emulation of medieval design. Common characteristics include doorways and windows dressed with stone and brick; projecting eaves; intricate joinery; leaded-glass windows and square chimneys; Gothic ornaments and Tudor half-timbering
More Photos

8Shingle: 1880 – 1910
Ubiquitous shingle cladding is the defining feature of the Shingle Style. These houses vary widely in composition and historical affiliation, but are still readily identifiable as Shingle style. They minimized decorative elements due to the influence of the Arts and Crafts Style and aimed for informality and rusticity. These homes are a reaction to the design excesses of the Victorian period. San Francisco has many excellent examples of the Shingle style by some the best architects of that time: Bernard Maybeck, Ernest Coxhead, Julia Morgan, Willis Polk.
More Photos

9Tudor Revival: 1890 – 1940
Evocative of country homes from medieval England, Tudor Revival houses stand out in the urban context of San Francisco. This style is based on the principles of the Arts and Crafts movement, which advocated a return to medieval building types and design. Characteristics include steeply pitched roof; decorative half-timbering; prominent cross-gables; mix of brick or stone with stucco or wood; and grouped, leaded windows with small panes.
Another Example of Tudor Revival

 
 
13Mission Revival: 1890 – 1920
All you need to do to identify a building in this style is look up. They always have a Mission-shaped parapet or window dormer, from which the name of the style derives. Although the Mission Revival style began around 1890, it did not become common until the start of the Edwardian period. San Francisco is no exception to the rule. Most of the Mission Revival homes and buildings were built after 1901.
More Examples

Craftsman_1Edwardian Craftsman: 1900 – 1930
In 1901, Gustav Stickley started a magazine called The Craftsman, for which the style is named. The magazine and some pioneering works by the Greene brothers quickly spread the style around the nation. Both Stickley and the Greene brothers were heavily influenced by the English Arts & Crafts movement. Craftsman homes tend to emphasize the horizontal, as in the bands of windows on the facades of these SF houses. Other characteristics include the use of native, natural construction materials; projecting eaves and exposed rafter ends; and casement windows, often with art glass.
Another Example

Spanish-Edwardian_1Spanish Eclectic & Revival
Spanish Revival homes look like they belong in Spain, while Spanish Colonial buildings are less refined and look like they belong in a Spanish colony. These homes freely mix elements of Spanish Revival, Spanish Colonial, and Mission Revival. Mediterranean Revival is another freely-mixed style that was popular with San Francisco builders. Thousands of Spanish Eclectic and Mediterranean Revival homes were built in the Marina District and Sunset. Characteristics include a low-pitched roof with little or no overhang; red roof tile; arches over front door and most prominent window; stucco walls; and the large bow front window over a garage.
Another Example

This link goes to architect James Dixon’s complete overview, which was the basis for this article. It features short videos on each of the different Victorian and Edwardian styles mentioned above. Also included is a link to his overview of subsequent styles of San Francisco architecture:

James Dixon on San Francisco Victorian and Edwardian Architecture

James Dixon on San Francisco Architecture 1920 to Present

And for those who find San Francisco history as interesting as we do, here are two other websites we’ve discovered filled with fascinating stories and photographs:

FoundSF: History, Stories & Images

OldSF: San Francisco Photos, 1850 – 2000

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1635 Lombard Street


Buyer Represented
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Charts: Hayes Valley-NoPa; Richmond District; Inner Mission

Hayes Valley, NoPa, Alamo Square Condos

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Inner & Central Richmond Houses

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Richmond District Condos

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Inner Mission Condos

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Updated: St. Francis Wood, Midtown Terr, Miraloma Park

St. Francis Wood Houses

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Midtown Terrace Houses

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Miraloma Park Houses

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5 White-Hot Districts in a Red-Hot SF Market

5 White-Hot Districts in a Red-Hot San Francisco Market

July 2013 Report

Virtually every area of San Francisco and the Bay Area has been experiencing dramatic home-value appreciation in the past 12 to 18 months. Some that were hard hit by distressed property sales, which experienced the largest price declines, have surged in price but remain 20% – 30% below previous peak values reached in 2006 – 2008. As a state, California is still about 25% below its 2007 pre-crash median home price. And in San Francisco itself, many if not most neighborhoods now appear to have re-attained or moved slightly beyond previous high points.

But in this past quarter, a handful of neighborhoods and districts in the city have leapt well beyond the highest average home values achieved in the past. Interestingly, comparing these white-hot areas with one another, there are often huge differences in property type, era and style of construction, and neighborhood culture or ambiance. But all of them have been very affected by affluent – often newly affluent – high-tech professionals of one age group and level of affluence or another. Naturally, these neighborhoods are highly desired by other buyers too – often professionals in finance, bio-tech, medicine and law – but the high-tech-buyer dynamic has generally super-charged these markets in particular.

However, please note that the difference we’re talking about between these neighborhoods and the rest of the city is between white hot and red hot: Honestly, they’re all very hot markets right now.

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2The Inner Mission
Super hot, super hip, generally young: this neighborhood has seen very dramatic changes since the early nineties as a classic process of gentrification occurred — changes which have recently accelerated. Houses here are often large, classic Victorians, while the condos are mostly modern, built within the last decade or so. This area has a large, vibrant and diverse commercial district centered around Mission and Valencia Streets, but is still close to Noe Valley and the Castro. This chart focuses on the condo market, in which values are approximately 15% above the previous peak.

This link goes to the numbers table behind this graph:
Inner Mission Numbers Table

3Noe Valley – Eureka Valley (Castro) – Dolores Heights
These neighborhoods are part of a district that includes Cole Valley, Ashbury Heights, Clarendon & Corona Heights, Duboce Triangle, Mission Dolores and Glen Park, all of which have seen enormous recent appreciation. Housing here is typically older, built in the first 4 decades of the last century; there are many parks for kids and pets; the streets are tree-lined and the ambiance of the neighborhoods is relaxed and family friendly. This district surged in popularity and price in the mid-late nineties, was one of the last to peak in value in 2008, and has been at the forefront of the market rebound which started early here, in 2011. Among other advantages, it has relatively easy access to highways south to Silicon Valley. The district also has a large condo market, but this chart focuses on house values.
Numbers Table

4South Beach & Yerba Buena
After the Embarcadero freeway came down in 1991 and then AT&T Park built in 2000, this area changed from a place for B and C-class offices and car stereo installations to the home of some of the most dramatic and expensive condo and loft buildings in the country. More condos are now sold here than anyplace else in the city and high-floor units with staggering views often sell for millions of dollars – one sold for $28 million. It’s popular with a number of demographics – high-tech and bio-tech workers working in offices nearby in SoMa and Mission Bay, financial district professionals, and empty-nesters who want to enjoy city life and have all the amenities, but without the responsibility of maintaining a house. Affluent foreign buyers are also a significant segment. Its neighborhood ambiance is very urban. This chart is for condos below the price of $1,800,000, but the dynamic for ultra-luxury condos is also white hot, with an average dollar per square foot value of over $1200.
Numbers Table

5Bernal Heights
Like Noe Valley and Glen Park, this was originally a blue-collar neighborhood filled with Victorian houses. Noe Valley soared in value first, becoming wildly popular, and now people who want a similar family-friendly neighborhood ambiance, but at a more affordable cost, have increasingly turned to Bernal Heights. It also has easy access to highways south to the peninsula.
Numbers Table

6Hayes Valley-North of Panhandle (NoPa)-Alamo Square
This condo market is made up of two totally different types of property: Edwardian flats that have been turned into condos and brand new, ultra-modern condo developments. The Hayes Valley commercial district is very hot and hip, similar to, but still different from the Mission’s Valencia Street. Buyers who are priced out of the nearby Cole Valley-Haight Ashbury condo market often look here for a similar neighborhood ambiance at lower cost. Hayes Valley is also close to the Civic Center cultural cluster of museum, opera, symphony, ballet and other performing arts, which attracts another buyer demographic as well.

If you have questions or would like information regarding a neighborhood not listed above,
please call or email.

Link to Statistical Term Definitions

Statistics are generalities which usually mask large disparities in the underlying individual sales: they are best used as indicators of longer term trends. Average and median statistics are often affected by factors besides changes in value – buyer profile, inventory available to purchase, significant changes in the distressed or luxury home segments – and how they apply to any specific property is unknown. Only a certain percentage of sales report square footage: average dollar per square foot values and average size are based on those that do. However average sales price is based upon all sales, thus there may be inconsistencies between the three statistics. All data from sources deemed reliable, but may contain errors and is subject to revision. Numbers should be considered approximate.