Archive for May 2011 | Monthly archive page

What You Get for How Much, Where in San Francisco

Year To Date 2011 Home Sales at Selected Price Points

Below are specific San Francisco home sales which closed in 2011 between January 1st and May 15th. The short descriptions can only give a very general sense of location, appeal, quality, condition and amenities of each property, and the sales listed are not necessarily representative of typical values for the neighborhood and property type. Sales listed as “bank sale” are sometimes in distressed condition and usually go at a significant discount. Though bank sales now occur throughout the city, they are clustered in the less affluent neighborhoods and the lower price ranges. As always with real estate, the devil is in the details. Further information regarding particular sales can be furnished upon request.

For $12,100,000

Presidio Heights on Washington: 7 BR, 6.5 BA, 4-story, 17-room, 10,000 square foot, 1902 Beaux Arts mansion; bay and city views, additional guest house, 2 car pkg. $1210/sq.ft.

For $8,800,000

Pacific Heights on Normandie cul de sac: 5 BR, 6 BA, 1938 house; GG bridge, Alcatraz & bay views, library, deck, 3 car pkg.

For about $7,000,000

Russian Hill on Filbert: 3 BR, 5 BA, 2011, 5800 sq.ft. house; LEED Platinum certified, roof deck with GG bridge view, 2 pkg. $1188/sq.ft.

Four Seasons on Market: 3 BR, 4.5 BA, 2001, 3318 sq.ft., high-rise condo; bay , bridge or city views from every room; library, 2 pkg. Monthly HOA dues of $2447. $2170/sq.ft.

For $4,000,000 to $4,500,000

St. Francis Wood on Santa Paula: 5 BR, 5.5 BA, 1928, 10,853 sq.ft. Spanish-Med villa; ocean and city views, 2 family rooms, gym, elevator, 4 pkg. $405/sq.ft.

Noe Valley on 22nd Street: 4 BR, 4.5 BA, 6140 sq.ft., fabulously remodeled firehouse; pano view tower, spa, elevator, library, wine cellar, 2 pkg. $659/sq.ft.

Sea Cliff on 25th Avenue: 4 BR, 5.5 BA, 1936 Art Deco house; ocean, GG bridge and Headlands views, den, deck, 2 pkg.

Presidio Heights on Walnut: 4 BR, 4.5 BA, 1908, 3975 sq.ft. house on Presidio wall; GG bridge and Presidio views, family room, 1 pkg. $1006/sq.ft.

Pacific Heights on Broadway: 3 BR, 4 BA, full-floor co-op; bay and GG bridge views, 2 pkg, monthly dues of $4777.
For $3,000,000 to $3,500,000

SOMA on Freelon: 3 BR, 2 BA, 1998, 4430 sq.ft., multiple-level, live-work loft; downtown views, roof terrace, 3 pkg. $794/sq.ft.

Jordan Park on Commonwealth: 4 BR, 3 BA, 1912, 4200 sq.ft., traditional house; family room, elevator, 3 pkg. $765/sq.ft.

Marina on Bay: 4 BR, 3.5 BA, 4215 sq.ft. house; plus studio apartment, office, deck, 3 pkg. $854/sq.ft.

Cow Hollow on Steiner: 5 BR, 4.5 BA, 2010 house; in-law apt, deck, wine cellar, 2 pkg.

Eureka Valley on Sanchez: 4 BR, 3.5 BA, 1938 Art Deco house on Liberty Hill; water and city views, media room, fitness room, patio and garden, 1 pkg.

For about $2,000,000

Ashbury Heights on Ashbury Terrace: 4 BR, 3.5 BA, 1907, 2715 sq.ft. house; bay, GG bridge and ocean views; family room, deck, wine cellar, 2 pkg. $773/sq.ft.

Duboce Triangle on Henry: 3 BR, 2.5 BA, 2300 sq.ft. Victorian house; deck, garden, 1 pkg. $848/sq.ft.

Mission Dolores on 19th Street: 3 BR, 2.5 BA, 2788 sq.ft., 1940, corner-lot Spanish-Med house. $699/sq.ft.

Presidio Heights on Cherry: 4 BR, 3.5 BA, 3342 sq.ft., 2-level, top-floor condo. $627/sq.ft.

Nob Hill on Sacramento: 2 BR, 2.5 BA, 2052 sq.ft., high-rise, contemporary condo; bay and GG bridge views, doorman, 1 pkg. Monthly dues of $2777. $950/sq.ft.

South Beach on 1st Street: 3 BR, 2 BA, 1971 sq.ft., Rincon Hill condo on 53rd floor; pano bay and city views, monthly dues of $871, 1 pkg. $1048/sq.ft.

For about $1,500,000

Lake Street district on 16th Avenue: 3 Br, 2.5 BA, 2390 sq.ft. 1914 Edwardian house; sunroom, 2 pkg. $633/sq.ft.

Sherwood Forest on Robin Hood Drive: 4 BR, 3 BA, 3510 sq.ft. 1952 house; ocean view, den, quarter acre lot, 2 pkg. $413/sq.ft.

Noe Valley on Chattanooga: 3 BR, 2 BA, 1650 sq.ft., 1926 Georgian house; 1 pkg. $909/sq.ft.

Marina on Chestnut: 3 BR, 1.5 BA, 1921, 2432 sq.ft. Edwardian house; sunroom, 2 pkg. $637/sq.ft.

Pacific Heights on Laguna: 3 BR, 2 BA, 1908, 2-level, top-floor, Victorian condo in 2-unit bldg; deck with GG bridge views, 1 pkg. $605/sq.ft.

Russian Hill on Jones: 3 BR, 2.5 BA, 1917, 1882 sq.ft. Edwardian condo in 6-unit bldg; Bay bridge and downtown views, 2 pkg. $821/sq.ft.

Inner Mission on 20th Street: 3 BR, 3 BA, 2007, 2-level, 2500sq.ft. penthouse condo; 1 pkg. $580/sq.ft.

Inner Richmond on 5th Avenue: 3500 sq.ft., Victorian 2 large flats plus in-law apt; 5 pkg. $428/sq.ft.

Alamo Square on Golden Gate: 1908, 2170 sq.ft., two 3-BR, 2-BA Victorian units, 2 pkg. $691/sq.ft.
For about $1,250,000

Eureka Valley on Diamond: 3 BR, 2 BA, 1941, 1800 sq.ft. tunnel-entrance house; family room, office, 2 pkg. $694/sq.ft.

Inner Sunset on 5th Avenue: 3 BR, 2.5 BA, 1970 sq.ft. Edwardian house; 2 pkg. $634/sq.ft.

Forest Hill on Mendosa: 3 BR, 2.5 BA, 1965, 2640 sq.ft. contemporary house on cul de sac; bay and ocean views, deck, patio, 2 pkg. $475/sq.ft.

Glen Park on Diamond: 4 BR, 3 BA, 1942, 2375 sq.ft. house; east bay views from roof deck, 2 pkg. $535/sq.ft.

Inner Richmond on 11th Avenue: 4 BR, 2.75 BA, 1916, 2538 sq.ft. Edwardian house; 2 sunrooms, deck, 2 pkg. $496/sq.ft.

Hayes Valley on Oak: 3 BR, 3.5 BA, 1889, 2588 sq.ft. Victorian house; studio apt, deck, capped brick foundation, 2 pkg. $489/sq.ft.

Haight Ashbury on Waller: 4 BR, 3 BA, 1904, 2-level, 3000 sq.ft. Victorian condo; library, 2 pkg. $418/sq.ft.

Noe Valley on 25th Street: 2 BR, 3 BA, 1999, 2-level, top-floor, 1955 sq.ft. condo; deck, east bay view, 2 pkg. $652/sq.ft.

Cow Hollow on Union: 2 BR, 2 BA, 1548 sq.ft., top-floor TIC in 2-unit bldg; pano view roof deck, 1 pkg. $807/sq.ft.

Russian Hill on Larkin: 2 BR, 2 BA, 1907, full-floor, 1540 sq.ft. Edwardian condo in 4-unit bldg; GG bridge and bay views, 1 pkg. $795/sq.ft.

South Beach at The Brannan: 2 BR, 2 BA, 2002, 1137 sq.ft., corner penthouse condo; bay and ball park views, 3 pkg. $1099/sq.ft.

Duboce Triangle on Henry: 2 Victorian 2-BR flats; 2 pkg.

For about $1,000,000

West Portal on Granville: 4 BR, 2 BA, 1924, 1700 sq.ft. house; ocean views, 1 pkg. $599/sq.ft.

Glen Park on Laidley: 3 BR, 2 BA, 1890, 1640 sq.ft. Victorian house; no pkg. $601/sq.ft.

Central Richmond on 15th Avenue: 2 BR, 1.5 BA, 1913, 2200 sq.ft. Edwardian house; 2 pkg. $455/sq.ft.

Central Sunset on 35th Avenue: 3 BR, 2 BA, 1933, 2230 sq.ft. Rousseau house; deck, garden, 2 pkg. $451/sq.ft.

Corona Heights on 17th Street: 3 BR, 2.5 BA, 2-level, 1496 sq.ft. contemporary condo; bay and skyline views, 1 pkg. $662/sq.ft.

Hayes Valley on Waller: 3 BR, 1 BA, 1895, 1672 sq.ft. Victorian condo; family room, deck, garden, 1 pkg. $606/sq.ft.

Pacific Heights on Sacramento: 2 BR, 2 BA, 1964, 950 sq.ft. high-rise contemporary condo; city lights view, 24-hour doorman, monthly dues of $874, 1 pkg. $1068/sq.ft.

Marina on Pierce: 2 BR, 1 BA, 1930′s, top-floor condo; Palace of Fine Arts view, sunroom, 1 pkg.

Jackson Square on Front: 2 BR, 2 BA, 2007, 1459 sq.ft. contemporary condo; den, monthly dues of $727, 1 pkg. $668/sq.ft.

South Beach on King: 2 BR, 2 BA, 2004, 1197 sq.ft., corner penthouse condo; bay and city views, balcony, monthly dues of $782, 1 pkg. $819/sq.ft.

Potrero Hill on De Haro: 2464 sq.ft., vacant 2-unit fixer; trustee sale, bay bridge views, bonus room, 1 pkg. $396/sq.ft.

For about $800,000

Miraloma Park on Teresita: 2 BR, 1 BA, 1942, 1150 sq.ft. corner house; 2 pkg. $687/sq.ft.

Bernal Heights on Bonview: 2 BR, 1 BA, 1929, 1125 sq.ft. house; bonus BR & BA, 1 pkg. $704/sq.ft.

Lower Pacific Heights on Pine: 3 BR, 1.5 BA, 1390 sq.ft. Edwardian house; 1 pkg. $576/sq.ft.

Outer Richmond on Anza: 4 BR, 2 BA, 1923, 1740 sq.ft. corner house; 1 pkg. $466/sq.ft.

Central Sunset on 23rd Avenue: 3 BR, 2 BA, 1937, 1750 sq.ft., center-patio house; 1 pkg. $457/sq.ft.

Lakeside on Eucalyptus: 3 BR, 3 BA, 1939, 1960 sq.ft. split-level house; probate sale, 1 pkg. $408/sq.ft.

Midtown Terrace on Marview: 3 BR, 2 BA, 1958, 1270 sq.ft. house; ocean and Twin Peaks views, expansion potential, 2 pkg. $622/sq.ft.

Russian Hill on Green: 1 BR, 1 BA, 1961, high-rise, contemporary condo; north bay and GG bridge views, deck, 24-hour doorman, monthly dues of $1029, 1 pkg.

Inner Mission on 23rd Street: 2 BR, 1 BA, 1877, “historically significant”, upper 6-room Victorian condo; 1 pkg. $599/sq.ft.

Haight Ashbury on Delmar: 2 BR, 1 BA, 1904, top-floor, 1589 sq.ft. condo; bonus room and bath, roof deck, city views, 1 pkg. $509/sq.ft.

Yerba Buena on New Montgomery: 2 BR, 2 BA, 2004, high-rise, 1148 sq.ft. condo; 24-hour doorman; downtown, bridge and water views; balcony; 1 pkg. $703/sq.ft.

Inner Richmond on 3rd Avenue: 3 BR, 2 BA, 1900, 2-level, 1950 sq.ft. TIC; office, deck, 1 pkg. $410/sq.ft.

For about $650,000

Outer Parkside on 44th Avenue: 2 BR, 1 BA, 1947, 5-room, 1242 sq.ft. house; ocean view, 1 pkg. $511/sq.ft.

Outer Sunset on 40th Avenue: 3 BR, 1 BA, 1941, 1300 sq.ft. tunnel-entrance house; 2 pkg. $491/sq.ft.

Outer Richmond on Geary: 2 BR, 1 BA, 1940, 1430 sq.ft. house; trustee sale, bonus room, 2 blocks from ocean, 2 pkg. $447/sq.ft.

Westwood Park on Faxon: 2 BR, 1 BA, 1919, 1000 sq.ft. bungalow; family room, 2 pkg. $640/sq.ft.

Bernal Heights on Bosworth: 2 BR, 1 BA, 1936, 1204 sq.ft. Art Deco house; south view, 2 pkg. $540/sq.ft.

Miraloma Park on Myra: 2 BR, 1 BA, contemporary house; bonus room and bath, deck with views, 1 pkg.

Excelsior on Edinburgh: 3 BR, 3 BA, 1920, 7-room, 2128 sq.ft. house; family room, 1 pkg. $298/sq.ft.

Potrero Hill on Connecticut: 2 BR, 2 BA, 2001, top-floor, 1056 sq.ft. contemporary condo; bank sale, 2 decks, city lights and downtown views, 1 pkg. $630/sq.ft.

Inner Sunset on 17th Avenue: 2 BR, 1 BA, 1926, full-floor, 1500 sq.ft. Marina-style condo; 2 pkg. $440/sq.ft.

Eureka Valley on Eureka: 1 BR, 1 BA, 1906, 1028 sq.ft. Victorian condo; sunroom, garden, bonus room, leased pkg. $620/sq.ft.

NOPA on Broderick: 2 BR, 2 BA, 2007, top-floor, 893 sq.ft. condo in 70-unit bldg; city lights view, 1 pkg. $727/sq.ft.

Pacific Heights on Vallejo: 1BR, 1 BA, 1938, lower, full-floor, 1079 sq.ft. condo; short sale, bay views, leased parking. $602/sq.ft.

Nob Hill on Jones: 1 BR, 1 BA, 1916 top-floor, 911 sq.ft. condo; bridge to bridge views, monthly dues of $535, 1 pkg. $719/sq.ft.

SOMA on Howard: 1 BR, 2 BA, 2000, 1120 sq.ft. mid-rise loft condo; city views, monthly dues of $400, 1 pkg. $571/sq.ft.

South Beach on Lansing: 2 BR, 2 BA, 2006, top-floor, 1082 sq.ft. condo; short sale, city views, balcony, tenant occupied, monthly dues of $592, 1 pkg. $596/sq.ft.

For about $500,000

Outer Parkside on Quintara: 2 BR, 1 BA, 4-room, 870 sq.ft., Hollywood-style house; 1 pkg. $575/sq.ft.

Ingleside on Howth: 2 BR, 1 BA, 1946, 1362 sq.ft. house; bonus room and bath, 1 pkg. $375/sq.ft.

Oceanview on Montana: 4 BR, 2 BA, 1925, 1456 sq.ft. center-patio house; family room, “needs TLC”, 2 pkg. $347/sq.ft.

Bayview on Lydia: 3 BR, 2 BA, 1998, 6-room, 1394 sq.ft. house. 1 pkg. $357/sq.ft.

Excelsior on Ney: 3 BR, 2 BA, 1942, 7-room, 1322 sq.ft. house; large lot, family room, 1 pkg. $374/sq.ft.

Inner Richmond on 8th Avenue: 2 BR, 1 BA, 1996, 4-room, 836 sq.ft. condo; city views, monthly dues of $500, outside pkg. $598/sq.ft.

Haight Ashbury on Page: 2 BR, 1 BA, top-floor, 770 sq.ft. Edwardian TIC; plus bonus finished attic, 1 pkg. $649/sq.ft.

Mission Dolores on Guerrero: 1 BR, 1 BA, 1983, top-floor, 775 sq.ft. condo; downtown views, 1 pkg. $652/sq.ft.

Nob Hill on Miller, 1 BR, 1 BA, 1963, 600 sq.ft. condo; bay and downtown views, doorman, deck, monthly dues of $835, 1 pkg. $833/sq.ft.

SOMA on Folsom: 1 BR, 1.5 BA, 996 sq.ft. top-floor, 2-level, live-work condo loft; city lights view, patio, 1 pkg. $499/sq.ft.

South Beach on Beale: 1 BR, 1 BA, 2002, 828 sq.ft. condo; bank sale, bay bridge views, deck, den, 1 pkg. $606/sq.ft.

Inner Mission on 15th Street: 2 BR, 1 BA, 2007, 905 sq.ft. condo; short sale, 1 pkg. $556/sq.ft.

For about $400,000

Parkside on 19th Avenue: 3 BR, 2 BA, 1915, 7-room, 1292 sq.ft. house; bank sale, protected tenant, 2 lots, 2 pkg. $313/sq.ft.

Oceanview on Broad: 3 BR, 1 BA, 1914, 1155 sq.ft. house; bank sale, bonus room and bath, 2 pkg. $338/sq.ft.

Excelsior on Gladstone: 2 BR, 2 BA, 1983, 1400 sq.ft. “loft-style” house; bank sale, city views, 1 pkg. $279/sq.ft.

Visitacion Valley on Hahn: 3 BR, 2 BA, 1947, 1458 sq.ft. house; bank sale, bonus rooms and bath, 1 pkg. $274/sq.ft.

Outer Sunset on Noriega: 3 BR, 2 BA, 2004, 1654 sq.ft. condo; bank sale, “cash offers only”, 1 pkg. $242/sq.ft.

Noe Valley on Alvarado: 1 BR, 1 BA, 1972 TIC; east bay and downtown views, monthly dues of $383, 1 pkg.

Civic Center on Van Ness: 2 BR, 2 BA, 1982, 2-level, 977 sq.ft., townhouse condo; bank sale, 24-hour doorman, monthly dues of $726, leased parking. $415/sq.ft.

Inner Mission on Mission: 2 BR, 2 BA, 2000, 957 sq.ft. condo; bank sale, sold by auction, 1 pkg. $409/sq.ft.

South Beach on King: 1 BR, 1 BA, 2004, 903 sq.ft. condo; short sale, bay and bridge views, monthly dues of $772, 1 pkg. $454/sq.ft.

Exact location within a neighborhood, quality of condition and renovations, quality of views, curb appeal, “bonus” rooms, lot size and many other factors all impact property values. Square footage is based on “livable space”, which may be measured in different ways, but does not include decks, patios, yards, garages, unfinished basements and attics, or rooms built without permit (“bonus rooms” and “in-law apts”). Square footage figures are often unreported or unreliable.

All data from sources deemed reliable but subject to error and omission, and not warranted.

Distress Sales by District

House distress sales remain concentrated in the southern border neighborhoods in districts 10 and 3 (especially as a percentage of sales in those areas).

District 9 dominates distress condo sales.

City Controller’s – Economic Barometer for SF

The Controller’s Office just issued their Economic Barometer report for February 2011. As you can see in the last column, almost all the trends are now marked “Positive.” 1-BR apartment rents are up 17% in 12 months.

They mark Median Home Sales Price Trend as “Negative”, but February’s median reflected an unusually high number of distress sales as a percentage of sales, which dragged the median sales price down overall, without reflecting the stability in values and the strengthening of the market that we started to see in late January. Distress sales as a percentage of sales in SF declined from 26% in February (the highest ever) to 18% in April.

I think in March and April’s Barometer reports, we’ll see further improvement in these economic measures.

Below is the chart, and the full report can be found here:

Click to enlarge:

How do distress sales affect median sales prices in San Francisco?

Distress home sales – bank-owned properties and short sales – have a major impact on the overall median sales price in San Francisco, even though the city is much less impacted by such sales than the greater Bay Area or California. In actual numbers and as a percentage of sales, distress sales have been increasing in the city in the first quarter of 2011 – now running at 20% – 25% of sales — and since distress sales are by far the lowest-priced sales, they drag down the overall median price for San Francisco. (The median price is that price at which half the sales occur for more and half for less, so it is mostly affected by the quantity of sales at different price points. It has no relation to average sales price.)

The median sales price in March in SF dropped 5% from March 2010, (from $710,000 to $675,000) and it is mostly because of the increasing number of distress sales. But if we break down the statistics, we find that the median price for distress sales over that period dropped from $470,500 to $441,000, but the median price for regular home sales stayed virtually the same, actually going up a tad from $750,000 in March 2010 to $759,500 in March 2011. That is, distress sales are impacting the overall SF median price due to their increasing numbers and decreasing prices, but not the overall, regular, non-distress median home price.

In fact, the regular median-home price has been generally stable for the last 20 – 24 months, and shows no sign of declining.

Why is that? It’s because distress sales are clustered in specific neighborhoods and impact the values there, while having little or no impact on most of the neighborhoods of San Francisco. If you want to buy a house in Pacific Heights, the fact that you can buy a foreclosure house, with the fixtures ripped out, in Bayview doesn’t make much difference to you. To a large degree, the distress home market and the regular home market in San Francisco are different markets in different neighborhoods with different buyers.

In fact, buyer demand — as measured by months’ supply of inventory, average days on market, percentage of listings accepting offers and other statistical parameters – has significantly improved since 2011 began, for both distress homes (albeit with declining prices) and for non-distress homes (with generally stable prices, with perhaps the beginning of a slight upward pressure on values).

As can be seen in the two charts below, distress house sales continue to be clustered in Realtor Districts 3 & 10, the band of less affluent neighborhoods that run along the southern border of the city. Together, they make up about 60% of all distress house sales, and their home values have been hugely affected by such sales. Other areas, such as Districts 5, Noe/Castro/Haight, and 7, Pacific Heights/Marina, have had very few distress sales and they have virtually no impact on values there.

Distress condo sales are mostly clustered in the SOMA/ South Beach/ Mission Bay area where the huge new developments went up in the past 10 years, and that is the area where condo values have been impacted most. On a percentage basis, again Districts 3 & 10 have been deeply affected, but in absolute numbers, their condo markets are relatively small.

Click an image below to enlarge:


Who’s Right about the San Francisco Home Market?

Is It Strengthening or Declining?

Some of our readers have been understandably confused between the bad news reported elsewhere and our recent reports of a strengthening market in San Francisco. Besides the possibility of specific agendas, there are some legitimate reasons behind the apparent disconnect:

  • Much of the data reported elsewhere, such as the Case-Shiller Index, is for the San Francisco “metro area” comprised of 5 or more counties. We focus only on the city and county of San Francisco, which is its own, specific market (or actually its own specific collection of neighborhood markets).
  • Our data is typically 2 to 4 months ahead of that reported elsewhere. When the media is headlining the median sales price or Case-Shiller Index for February (reflecting accepted-offer activity in December and January), we have market data straight from MLS for April, both for closed sales and newly accepted offers (which is the most current market data available). When a market starts to heat up, as ours has in 2011, we are well ahead of the news curve.
  • Instead of comparing a single statistic, say one month’s median sales price to another’s (last month’s, last year’s, peak values in 2007/ 2008), to make a dramatic statement, we try to show the larger picture using 7 to 10 statistical measures over the longer term, in order to show trends beyond normal and relatively meaningless monthly fluctuations. (Median prices may, but actual market values don’t jump up, down, up, down significantly by month.)
  • All our data comes directly from the Multiple Listing Service and Broker Metrics, and we can provide the hard data behind all our charts.

    As illustrated below, indications continue of strong buyer demand amid a limited supply of homes for sale: as mentioned before, this typically does not result in a decline in values. In unit sales, the SF home market is up YTD about 5% over 2010 and up 7% in accepted offer activity — with an inventory of home listings that is 16% below last year’s (on April 30) and without the double homebuyer tax credit which fueled last spring’s surge.

    Whether this active real estate market will continue is unknown, but current signs are positive.

  • MEDIAN SALES PRICE is that price at which half the sales occur for more and half for less. It can be, and often is, affected by other factors besides changes in market values, such as short-term or seasonal changes in inventory or buying trends (as happened in January and February). If market values are truly changing, the median price will consistently rise or sink over a longer term than just 2 or 3 months.
  • DAYS ON MARKET (DOM) are the number of days between a listing going on market and accepting an offer. Averages can get pulled out of whack by a few sales where the days on market were very high, and also by agents who don’t report their accepted offers in a timely manner. What’s important is the trend. The lower the average DOM, the hotter the market.
  • MONTHS SUPPLY OF INVENTORY (MSI) reflects the number of months it would take to sell the existing inventory of homes for sale at current market conditions. The lower the MSI, the stronger the market.
  • Statistics are generalities, subject to fluctuation due to a variety of reasons. All information herein is derived from sources deemed reliable, but may contain errors and omissions, and is not warranted. Sales not reported to MLS are not included in this analysis. All numbers should be considered approximate.

    April Overview
    Of the SF houses and condos that sold in April, 71% accepted offers relatively quickly and averaged a sales price that was 99.6% of asking price. Many sold with multiple offers. This reflects a buyer pool jumping all over houses deemed appealing and reasonably priced. The remaining 29% that sold had 1 or more price reductions, took much longer to sell, and closed at a significant discount to original asking price. And for every 2 listings that sold, one listing expired without selling, typically due to being perceived as overpriced. Buyer demand is strong, but they’re not buying everything.

    Paragon Real Estate Group
    click for larger image

    Median Sales Prices for SF Houses
    This chart shows the overall house median sales price over the past 18 months (red line), the median just for distressed houses (blue), and the median just for regular, non-distressed house sales (green). Even as distressed house median price fell in the last 2 months, the median price for regular houses has increased for the past 3 (to its second highest point in 18 months). Why the plunge in January? Holiday season dynamics: the high-end market closed down in late November/ December, resulting in fewer high-end sales in early 2011. At the same time, there was a surge in distress home sales, especially as a percentage of sales. Fewer high-end sales and more low-end sales = lower median price, which then corrected as the 2011 market began. In many ways, the distress and non-distress home markets are different markets: different price points, often different neighborhoods, in different condition. Note that even as the median for regular house sales increased in April, the overall median was pulled down by the number and price point of distress sales.

    Paragon Real Estate Group
    click for larger image

    Median Sales Prices for SF Condos
    We see a similar situation with condo sales in the city: a declining median sales price in early 2011 mostly due to holiday season inventory and buying dynamics, mostly unrelated to values, then self corrects as the market gets back to normal.

    Paragon Real Estate Group
    click for larger image

    Overall SF Median Home Sales Price
    This chart looks back over the past 25 months at how the overall median sales price for SF homes (houses, condos & TICs) jogs up and down naturally without great implications for market values. The average median sales price for the entire 25 months was $688,000; in April 2011, it was $695,000; two years ago, it was $684,000. The media gets excited by monthly changes in median price, but when one steps back, one sees a remarkably stable market. And though the median fell more than usual in this past January and February, a decline is actually common for January and February (due to holiday market dynamics). The decline was a bit more dramatic this year due to an increase in low-end distress home sales. When market values really start to definitively change, either up or down, it will be reflected consistently over a longer term than just 1, 2 or 3 months.

    Paragon Real Estate Group
    click for larger image

    Average Dollar per Square Foot
    These charts show the average dollar per square foot for sold SF houses (top) and sold SF condos (bottom) over the past 13 months. Again, we see the average naturally jogs up and down. It’s simply that in different months, different homes sell at different prices and different dollar per square foot figures. Changes in market values will be signified by consistent changes over longer periods than 1 to 3 months.

    Paragon Real Estate Group
    click for larger image

    Listings Accepting Offers
    The upper chart tracks the number of SF home listings accepting offers over the past 25 months; the lower tracks the percentage of listings accepting offers (going under contract). Accepted offer activity is the most current statistic available as to the heat of the market. Last spring, the March and April market was super-charged by the double tax credit expiring on 4/30/10 (the market then crashed in May), but this spring it’s just as strong, with no tax credit, and reduced inventory. As a percentage of listings going under contract, the last 3 months are as strong or stronger as any in years. At this point, we see no signs of it declining significantly in May 2011. (Knock on wood)

    Paragon Real Estate Group
    click for larger image

    Homes $1,000,000 & Above
    The top chart shows half the reason why the median sales price plunged in January and February: there were simply drastically fewer high-end home sales closing (a not unusual dynamic reflecting the holiday season market). In February, per the lower chart, the number of high-end SF homes accepting offers rebounded (and has stayed high), which began to be reflected in March’s sales numbers. There is a 4 to 8 week lag between accepted offers and closed sales. Low inventory is an issue for higher-end home listings as well: it is currently 26% below last year’s inventory.

    Paragon Real Estate Group
    click for larger image

    Homes for Sale
    The dark red columns show the number of listings active at any time during the month; the pink columns show those active on the last day of the month. Inventory has remained low this spring, especially when compared to buyer demand. The number of active SF listings on April 30th was 16% below that one year earlier. The number of city home sales would almost certainly be higher if the inventory of homes for sale wasn’t so constrained. This has also led to a more competitive environment for motivated buyers considering appealing, well-priced homes.

    Paragon Real Estate Group
    click for larger image

    Months Supply of Inventory (MSI)
    (For houses and condos) High demand/low inventory means very low MSI statistics. It is as low as it has been in years, certainly since the market adjustment that occurred in September 2008. (The low April 2010 MSI reflects the frenzy to get offers accepted before the double tax credit expired on 4/30/10.) The lower the MSI, the stronger the market. Typically, under 3 months of inventory would be considered a “seller’s market.”

    Paragon Real Estate Group
    click for larger image

    Average Days on Market (DOM)
    One more statistic indicating a market heating up. April’s days-on-market figure for San Francisco houses and condos accepting offers is well below any for the year prior.

    Paragon Real Estate Group
    click for larger image

    Distress Home Sales (REO & Short Sales)
    As a percentage of sales (not shown in these charts), SF distress home sales (bank-owned and short sales) soared in January and February to their highest levels ever (24% and 26% respectively). This is another reason why the overall median sales price plunged in these months. However, in March the percentage declined to 21%, and in April still further to 18%. In the charts below, we see that the absolute number of city distress sales hit its high mark in March before dropping significantly in April. The number of active distress listings has been declining since November, but compared to regular homes, these listings take much longer to work their way from active to under contract to close of escrow. Because dealing with banks on these deals is about the most complicated and aggravating experience in real estate. (A lot of these deals fall though.)

    Paragon Real Estate Group
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    Distress House Sales by Neighborhood
    There are two types of distress sales, the bank-owned sale typically pursuant to a foreclosure (often in distressed condition) and short sales, where lender has to agree to a reduction on the mortgage owed for the sale to close (usually not in distressed condition). In the chart below, the red and dark gray portions of each column indicate the respective numbers of distress house sales and regular home sales by neighborhood. Districts 10 & 3, running across the southern boundary of the city, Bayview to Oceanview, make up 60% of all distress house sales (135 in 6 months). In all other areas, the percentage of distress house sales is much less and they have had much less impact (or even no impact) on general values.

    Paragon Real Estate Group
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    Distress Condo Sales by Neighborhood
    The red and dark gray portions reflect the numbers of distress and regular condo sales respectively. The area hit most dramatically by distress condo sales is the greater South of Market area (in District 9), where most of the big new condo developments went up in recent years. There were 98 distress condo sales there in 6 months, making up almost 50% of the city’s total. Many of the other neighborhoods with large numbers of condo sales were barely affected by bank-owned and short sales.

    Paragon Real Estate Group
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    Mortgage Rates
    As seen in this 3-month chart of 30-year mortgage rates from, interest rates have been declining recently and continue to be at historically extremely low levels. This has a huge impact on the cost of home ownership.

    Paragon Real Estate Group
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    Excellent, Positive News for San Francisco

    Tech jobs near all-time highs, fuel office-space boom

    PriceWaterhouseCoopers: S.F. an opportunity leader

    “Actually, it’s the third-most opportunity-rich city in the world, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the global accountancy and business consulting firm….Analyzing data from 26 world cities – “all capitals of finance, commerce and culture” – San Francisco ranks just behind New York and Toronto, and ahead of London, Paris, Singapore, Hong Kong and Chicago, among others in the top 10, according to the report.”

    And, the award for the United States’ best vacation spot goes to: … San Francisco.

    “That’s according to U.S. News’ latest USA Destination Rankings, which also chose San Francisco as the “best summer destination.” …Worldwide, San Francisco ranks No. 4, behind Paris, Barcelona and London (”

    Read More…