Archive for April 2010 | Monthly archive page

Muni Schedule Changes effective May 8th.

As part of efforts to address the City’s unprecedented budget deficits, MUNI SCHEDULE CHANGES are effective May 8. New schedules and other information are at (printable PDF brochure of the changes) or call 511 for specific transit information.

Transbay Blog has a good overview of the changes coming up:

  • Most major lines (J, K, L, M, N, T, 1, 5, 6, 8X/AX/BX, 9/9L, 14/14L/14X, 16X, 22, 28, 30 long, 38, 45, 47, 49, 71L, and 88) would see decreases in peak and/or midday frequencies of 1-3 minutes.  Most major routes would also see a 2-10 minute frequency reduction in evening and night service.
  • Local lines could see as much as a 1-5 minute frequency reduction at peak, 1-10 minute reduction midday, and 5-10 minute reduction in the evening and night hours.
  • Some community lines could see a 5-10 minute frequency reduction at peak or midday.
  • Peak-hour short runs implemented on the M-Oceanview, which would slightly increase service to S.F. State while decreasing service to Balboa Park.
  • Some lines will start later in the day, and many will end earlier at night than currently scheduled.
  • Reduce owl service frequency from 2 buses/hour to 1 bus/hour.

Market Update Charts — by Week over past 6 months

These are charts showing trends by WEEK for the past 6 months, through April 18th. Weekly data is not as reliable as monthly or quarterly, but it’s useful to see trends. Except for the median price charts, these apply to SFDs, Condos, TICs and 2-4 Unit Bldgs.

Home Listings Going Under Contract (Accepting Offers): demand continues to strengthen

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New Home Listings Coming on Market

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Active Home Listings for Sale

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SFD Median Price (Sold): with small jigs up and down, it continues to remain very stable. (The numbers above the charts are for actual units sold that week.)

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Condo Median Price (Sold): as with houses, the median price seems remarkably stable within a relatively narrow band.

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REO (Bank-Owned) properties in San Francisco

For all districts except 3 & 10. There have to be some good deals in here.

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What Costs How Much Where in San Francisco

Low, High & Median Sales Prices & Average Dollar per Square Foot: 10/16/09 – 4/15/10

These charts track recent SF home sales by low, high and median sales price, and average dollar per square foot ($/sq.ft.) for the 6-month period of 10/16/09 – 4/15/10. Changes in median price and average $/sq.ft. don’t necessarily signify a change in market values, as both statistics can be affected by changes in buying trends, "unusual" events, and, when the number of sales is small, by a few specific sales clustered well above or below normal.

Comparing this data to the previous 6-month period, changes in median price and average $/sq.ft. most commonly ranged in the 0 – 5% range, plus or minus: no definitive city-wide trend can yet be determined, though the increasing market demand would typically exert upward pressure on prices. Finally, remember that sales data is always 4 to 8 weeks behind the market, since that is the usual period of time between acceptance of offer and the final closing of the sale.

Within the charts, neighborhoods are listed in order of median sales price. If a price is followed by a "k" it references thousands of dollars; if followed by an "m", it signifies millions of dollars. "REO" refers to the sale of bank-owned properties (typically pursuant to foreclosure).

Many aspects of value cannot be reflected in general statistics: curb appeal, age, condition, views, amenities, outdoor space, "bonus" rooms, parking, quality of location within the neighborhood, and so forth. Huge disparities may appear between low and high prices for a property type in the same area: a 3-bedroom house may be a 4000 sq.ft. Victorian or a 1500 sq.ft. 1950′s era home. Thus, how these statistics apply to any particular home is unknown.

In real estate, the devil’s always in the details.

N/A signifies that there wasn’t enough trustworthy data to make the calculation.

REO refers to bank-owned properties. These properties usually sell at a discount to a non-REO property, and are mostly concentrated in the city’s less affluent southern border neighborhoods for REO houses, and the city’s southern and eastern neighborhoods for REO condos. San Francisco has one of the lowest rates in the Bay Area and state for foreclosure sales and sales of bank-owned properties. REO sales do however constitute a relatively hot market segment.

The Median Sales Price is that price at which half the properties sold for more and half for less. It may be affected by "unusual" events in any particular period or by changes in buying trends as well as by changes in value.

Low Price & High Price are self-explanatory, but be aware that the low price listed might be for a home that needs significant work just to be habitable. Or it could be a distress sale of a banked-owned property. An asterisk signifies a confidential sale and the price shown is the list price, not the sales price. Such sales may distort the statistics.

Dollar per Square Foot is based upon the home’s interior living space and does not include garages, unfinished attics and basements, rooms built without permit, decks, patios or yards. These figures are usually derived from appraisals or tax records, but can be unreliable or unreported altogether. All things being equal, a house will have a higher dollar per square foot than a condo (because of land value), a condo will have a higher $/sq.ft. than a TIC (quality of title), and a TIC will have a higher figure than a multi-unit building. All things being equal, a smaller home will have a higher $/sq.ft. than a larger one.

In San Francisco, the highest dollar-per-square-foot figures, $1000 – $2000, are generally found in the most prestigious houses in affluent neighborhoods and, especially, in luxury penthouse condos with staggering views.

Statistics such as these are generalities, oft times subject to surprising fluctuations due to a variety of reasons. Average figures in particular may be distorted by one or two sales substantially higher or lower than the norm, especially where the sample size is small. New-development condo sales not reported to MLS — of which there are many in SF — are not included in this analysis. All information contained herein is derived from sources deemed reliable, but may contain errors and omissions, and is not warranted.

Condo Rebound

There is an an excellent article in the SF Business Times about the rebound in the condo market. Here is the Socketsite coverage of the article that has links to further articles.

Sales Office Stats: 555 Bartlett, 829 Folsom, LindenHayes, And Union


Sales office stats by way of the San Francisco Business Times for a few of the smaller new condo developments about town:

555 Bartlett: 31 (including 9 BMR) of 46 units in contract

829 Folsom: 19 of 69 units in contract
LindenHayes: 21 of 31 units in contract
Union: 64 of 76 units in contract or closed

“Pricing of these projects is a good 25 to 30 percent below the peak of the last cycle with prices hovering in the $600 to $750 a square foot range now. Buyers are bargaining hard while developers are lucky to recoup their equity or eke out a slim profit.”

San Francisco condos rebound — in a small way [San Francisco Business Times]

Snap! 555 Bartlett In Living Color [SocketSite]
829 Folsom Cuts Prices And Pushes For April Closings [SocketSite]
233 Franklin Dubbed “LindenHayes” (And An Overview Now Online) [SocketSite]
The Union Of 76 New Units At 2101/2125 Bryant [SocketSite]


Paragon Market Charts — Updated

What’s wonderful about these charts is how consistent our performance is, whether for houses, condos, luxury homes or all homes – we’re at the top for Sales Price to Original LP %, and for Average DOM when acting as listing broker.

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Increasing Demand, Decreasing Supply, Stable Prices

April 2010 Update

As shown in the updated charts below, buyer demand in the San Francisco home market continues to strengthen, while supply (as measured by months’ supply of inventory) continues to tighten. Median prices remain surprisingly stable, jogging up and down in small increments over the past 4-5 quarters, but always staying within a 3% range.

The spring season is typically an active sales period, though some pundits believe buyers have been rushing in recently because 1) the Federal Homebuyer Tax Credit is due to expire this month, and 2) an expectation that mortgage rates will rise now that the Fed has just ended its mortgage bond buying program. However, because of income and purchase price limits, and the higher cost of housing here, the Fed tax credit has never impacted SF like it has other areas of the country, and now a new California tax credit has been announced with no income or price limits. Interest rates have started to tick up a little, but remain very low by historic standards.

New $10,000 California Homebuyer Tax Credit
Federal Tax Credit Due to Expire on April 30

Under a new California law, a homebuyer may receive up to $10,000 in tax credits as either a first-time homebuyer or as a buyer of a brand new home. With the Federal tax credit due to expire soon, there is a brief window of opportunity in April to qualify for up to $18,000 in combined federal and state tax credits. This would require an accepted contract to purchase before April 30 with close of escrow occurring May 1 to June 30. Here is a link to a chart of details and eligibility criteria for both programs. This should be reviewed with your accountant.

Homebuyer’s Tax Credit Chart

Median price is that price at which half the sales were higher and half were lower — it can be affected by changes in value, or by changes in buying trends, or by unusual market events. Months’ Supply of Inventory (MSI) is that number of months it would take to sell existing inventory at the current rate of sale — the higher the MSI, the weaker the demand. Average Days on Market (DOM) are the average number of days it takes for a listing to accept an offer — the lower the days on market, the faster homes are selling.

Statistical parameters are generalities which may fluctuate up and down, sometimes for no discernible reason. All data is from sources deemed to be reliable, but may contain errors and omissions, and is not guaranteed. Sales not reported to MLS, such as many new-development condo sales, are not included in these statistics.

SF Homes Accepting Offers As the spring selling season began in earnest, the number of listings accepting offers increased to their highest level in well over 2 years.

Paragon Real Estate Group
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Tax Credit Overview from the California Association of Realtors®

Just in case you missed it, here is an overview from CAR Realegal on the Federal and California tax credits:

Californians have a brief window of opportunity to receive up to $18,000 in combined federal and state homebuyer tax credits.  To take advantage of both tax credits, a first-time homebuyer must enter into a purchase contract for a principal residence before May 1, 2010, and close escrow between May 1, 2010 and June 30, 2010, inclusive.  Buyers who are not first-time homebuyers may use the same timeframes to receive up to $16,500 in combined tax credits if they are long-time residents of their existing homes as permitted under federal law, and they purchase properties that have never been previously occupied as provided under California law.