Archive for November 2013 | Monthly archive page

2BR Condo Values in Selected Neighborhoods

Union Square Tree Lighting

The 24th annual Union Square Tree Lighting on November 22nd, 2013, featuring Macy’s gift to the City of San Francisco and most recognizable Christmas tree. The 83-foot tall, reusable tree will be dressed with 33,000 energy-efficient twinkling LED lights.

One of the prettiest features of winter and Christmas in San Francisco is the lighting – lights on buildings, on trees and in windows, which look even better as the nights get longer and colder. When the light diplays switch on (starting the week before Thanksgiving) you know it’s the onset of the holiday season.

Friday, November 22nd, 2013
Union Square, San Francisco – located between Geary, Powell, Post and Stockton Streets

Holiday Season Events

Wishing you and yours the safest and happiest of holiday seasons!

Please confirm all locations, dates, times, ticket fees and reservation requirements in advance.

(click to enlarge)

San Francisco Home Sales by District


Source :

Mixed Signals from October Market

Government Shutdown & Default Fears Affect SF Homes Market

Paragon Real Estate Report, November 2013

The number of home listings accepting offers was way down in October (when it usually goes up); months-supply-of-inventory was significantly up (when it usually goes down in October); average days on market were still very low; median sales price was generally stable: The San Francisco real estate market is currently delivering a wide variety of signals, some of them undoubtedly influenced by the U.S. government shutdown fiasco, which dominated the first 3 weeks of last month.

1Percentage of Listings Accepting Offers
October is usually one of the busiest months of the year for buyers purchasing new homes – as measured by having their offers accepted – as they react to the surge of new listings that typically arrives after Labor Day. But the government shutdown and the threat of U.S. default hammered October’s activity as SF buyers nervously waited to see how it was going to shake out. Surveys show that the affluent were the group most concerned about a possible default – and SF is a very affluent home-buying market. In this chart, the plunge in the percentage of listings accepting offers is well illustrated; and on a unit basis, the number of homes accepting offers dropped by about 20% year over year, a big decline. Closed sales were actually up about 7%, but October closings reflect accepted offer activity in August/ September before the shutdown crisis began. It is too early to tell if there is more going on in the market besides the temporary reaction to default fears.

This chart on Months Supply of Inventory shows a similarly unusual trend for October: MSI going up from September instead of down. Though it’s well up from recent months, it’s still low by market standards.
Months Supply of Inventory

2Average Days on Market
Although many fewer listings went into contract (i.e. accepted offers) in October compared to last year, those homes that did accept offers did so, on average, very quickly. That, of course, is usually an indication of a hot market. So buyers didn’t snap up as many listings – either as a percentage of listings or in units – but the ones they did, were snapped up very quickly. Sometimes different statistics appear to indicate different trends on a short-term basis; such anomalies are almost always resolved over a longer term.

3Case-Shiller Home Price Index
The last Case-Shiller Index reading – for the 5-county “SF Metro Area” – came out in late October for the month of August, and it’s a 3-month moving average, so the Index really reflects the market 3 to 5 months ago. This chart gives an overview of long-term trends in Bay Area values for homes in the upper third of sales by price range (i.e. more expensive homes). If we looked at what was happening month by month in the Index, we’d see a gradual plateauing of price appreciation of higher-priced homes over the past few months after the furious increases of spring. Home values in the city of San Francisco itself (as opposed to the Metro Area) are now generally above the previous peak values in 2006-2008.
Paragon Case-Shiller Report

4Median Sales Price Appreciation
This chart tracks SF home median price appreciation since the market recovery began in earnest. The overall trend has been dramatically up, but median prices for the last 5 months have been relatively flat after the springtime spike. If the October slowdown in accepted offers had any effect on median prices, it won’t show up until November and December closed sales are tallied. The market has certainly shifted from the frenzy of the first half of the year, but, except for October (affected by default fears), statistical measures of supply and demand have generally continued to show a strong market by historical measures. If a significant shift is occurring in the market, it will become clearer in the statistics of upcoming months. Note that median price changes are not perfectly correlated to changes in home value, as they can be affected by issues such as seasonality and inventory.

5Mortgage Interest Rates
In good news for buyers and sellers, 30-year interest rates have been dropping and are now at their lowest since June (though still above the historic low reached earlier in the year).

6Home Values around the Bay Area
We just updated our Bay Area Home Value map, which provides an interesting look at comparative home prices around the bay. Remember that each median price delineated for a particular city disguises a huge variety of prices in the underlying sales. For example, in San Francisco, median house sales prices by neighborhood vary from under $500,000 to over $4,000,000. Other towns and cities will have a similarly wide range in property values underlying their overall median sales prices.
San Francisco Neighborhood Values

How Home-Buyers Find Homes

One of the first steps in designing an effective property marketing campaign is to analyze how buyers typically find the homes they purchase. It only makes sense to focus on those media and those efforts that grab the most eyeballs, generate the biggest response and create the greatest sense of urgency to see your home quickly—and write clean, strong offers. Ideally, one wants to orchestrate a multiple-offer scenario where motivated buyers compete with one another to buy your home—it is that situation or the perceived threat of that situation which generates the highest possible sales price.

Based on the chart below, it’s clear that the effort and money should go into comprehensive online marketing, including buying premier placement on the major real estate websites; on broker to broker marketing efforts, because a large percentage of buyers are still steered to listings by their agents; on open house advertising and presentation materials; and on efforts to reach the neighbors, which often includes a direct mail campaign.

As a foundation to these efforts, money is also well spent on preparing the home to show at its absolute best and on professional photography—since most buyers and agents will first see and evaluate the property through its photographs. Pre-marketing inspection reports can also be a smart investment. And it always makes sense to give thought to the buyer profile for your home—to whom will your property most appeal, and who is likely to pay the highest amount of money for it—as this can help tailor the home preparation efforts and marketing campaign to maximum effect.


The quality of the agent working on your behalf, his or her competence, integrity, work ethic, willingness to spend money on effective marketing, and commitment to your interests can make an enormous difference in the outcome of the sale of your home.

From our NorCal network : The Artisan Group


16730 Mt. Rose Highway
Reno, NV 89511
Offered at $1,395,000

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

Bay Area Home Value Update: Third Quarter 2013 Median Prices

Median prices tend to mask large disparities in the prices of the underlying individual sales, especially in the case of larger cities. For example,  San Francisco neighborhood median house prices range from $465,000 to $4,000,000, and there will be similar disparities in Oakland and San Jose. That being said, median prices can be useful to help show general appreciation trends, and to some degree, to compare home values between different areas. 2012 – mid 2013 was a period of rapid price appreciation just about everywhere on this map.

Buyer & Seller Closing Costs

How buyers and sellers in San Francisco split the closing costs pertinent to the sale of real estate is ultimately decided in the purchase contract itself, but this list details how they are typically split in San Francisco County.

Very generally speaking, a buyer can expect that closing costs will run anywhere from 1% to 3% of the purchase price, the major variable being the loan points charged, if any, by their lender. Other than loan-related fees, the big costs for buyers are for escrow fees and title insurance, home inspections, the first year of hazard insurance and property tax pro-rations, if any.

For sellers, closing costs usually run in the range of 6% to 8% of the sales price, not including loan pay-off and any home preparation or repair costs. Typically, the largest seller costs are brokerage commissions and transfer taxes.


Here is the standard clause governing closing costs in the SFAR purchase contract (Revise date 10/09). Again, buyer and seller can agree to change how these costs are divided.

“PRORATIONS AND EXPENSES. The following shall be paid current and then prorated between Buyer and Seller as of Close of Escrow: real property taxes (based upon the latest information available regarding the assessed value of the Property and the applicable tax rate); bonds and assessments; Homeowners’ Association dues and assessments; interest on any loan(s) secured by the Property assumed by Buyer; premiums for any insurance on the Property assumed by Buyer; rents; and operating expenses. Security deposits and accrued interest thereon, where the law requires interest to be paid on security deposits, shall be credited to Buyer’s account at Close of Escrow. Buyer shall pay the escrow fee and title insurance premiums. Seller shall pay any real property transfer taxes. Buyer shall pay any Homeowners’ Association transfer fees and move-in fees. Seller shall pay any Homeowners’ Association move-out fees. Seller shall pay any prepayment penalty or other fees or charges imposed by lenders for loans being paid off through escrow. Unless specified in this Contract, all other prorations and expenses shall be paid by either Buyer or Seller in accordance with local custom. Buyer and Seller understand that the Property will be reassessed upon change of ownership. A supplemental tax bill will be sent to Buyer which will reflect a change in property taxes based on the Purchase Price becoming the new assessed value. Any tax bills issued after Close of Escrow for periods of time before Close of Escrow shall be paid by Seller.”

The information below is from the website of the San Francisco Assessor’s office, as of April 2013:

Property Taxes in San Francisco

Under State law (Proposition 13), real property is reappraised only when a change-in-ownership occurs, or upon completion of new construction. Except for these two instances, property assessments cannot be increased by more than 2% annually, based on the California Consumer Price Index. The property tax rate is 1% plus any bonds, fees, or special charges.

What is the Transfer Tax Rate for the City and County of San Francisco?

If entire value or consideration is:

More than $100 but less than or equal to $250,000, the tax rate is $2.50 for each $500 or portion thereof;

More than $250 but less than $1,000,000, the tax rate is $3.40 for each $500 or portion thereof;

$1,000,000 or more but less than $5,000,000, the tax rate is $3.75 for each $500 or portion thereof;

$5,000,000 or more but less than $10,000,000, the tax rate is $10.00 for each $500 or portion thereof;

$10,000,000 or more, the tax rate is $12.50 for each $500 or portion thereof.