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Pacific Heights Neighborhood Confirmed as Most Expensive in SF

A recent report stated what everybody (way past and present) figured in their heads: that Pacific Heights is currently the most expensive neighborhood in the city. The 2712 Broadway super-mansion in Pacific Heights had a price tag of $40 million and that made national news. The report, a joint project from NeighborhoodX and Curbed, did a detailed ranking of SF’s neighborhoods according to prices per square foot, and, indeed, PH is the big gorilla on the block. Actually, 3 blocks—as there is a 3-block stretch in PH known as the Gold Coast.

However, while really stratospheric prices are there to be admired, the really interesting knowledge of this story is what are the cheapest places to live in Pacific Heights. This is the tack that sfgate.com took in a recent story, sussing out the affordable hideaways in the Heights. For instance, a one bedroom / one bathroom top floor condo covering 623 square feet is listed at $649,000—only $1,000 per square foot. And it includes bay windows, 12-foot ceilings, crown molding and pocket doors. This one will probably go very fast.

Here’s the full article at SF.Gate.com.

Buy Local

Paragon Real Estate’s 2017 San Francisco Farmer’s Market Guide.

Best Indian Curry Houses in San Francisco

Indian restaurants are mushrooming (as in a good mushroom korma curry) in the city, along with a growing number of fast lunch spots and food truck street eats. SF has even imported some Indian curry brands from New York City. Ever thought of a tikka masala (which by the way is the most popular fast food in England) burrito. Maybe not. You’ll find it in our foodie-centric city.

So, the tandoori-burning oven question is: what are the best curry eateries here in SF? Sf.eater.com has done us the great favor of creating a numbered list of the best houses with an interactive map and tempting descriptions.

Number 1 is August 1 Five, a particularly non-Indian name, with a modern improv take on the traditions of Indian cuisine. Lunch and dinner at Van Ness. Comes out of the Rasika restaurant in Washington D.C.

Number 2 is Babu Ji which immigrated to us from Manhattan. Located on Valencia Street, this spot features gonzo curries, and some fusion food like naan and smoked salmon, and spicy cocktails if that’s your thing.

Enjoy the full article at the SF.Eater.com site.

Master Interior Decorators Set the 2017 Look in San Francisco

It’s an annual event that is much anticipated and applauded among SF watchers of all things home design—the Decorator Showcase, for 2017. This year’s showcase was staged in Pacific Heights at a Classical Revival mansion parked at 2698 Pacific Avenue. Last year’s was up on Telegraph Hill at the Villa de Martini. Last year’s Showcase was a pyrotechnic explosion of color and contemporary form. This year’s went for darker but more subdued palettes while filling out rooms with classical or modern stylings.

Among the featured designers are Jonathan Rachman, Elan Evans, Beth Martin, Jaimie Belew, Diane Rosenblum, Kristen Pena, and Dina Bandman, and others (see full article link below). The results are stunning improv in both old world style and especially in the contemporary looks brought to bedrooms or even the Zen treatment of the penthouse living room and bar. Many touches include hand tooled items, like origami birds or drapery cut and wrapped round a chandelier. A curio closet is made coppery magical from designer Krista Hoffman.

Read the full article at SF.Curbed.com.

Dogs Have it Dog Gone Good in Some SF Luxury Condo Mid-Rises

An article out of mansionglobal.com last January dwelled lovingly on the latest trend for amenities for luxury condo complexes: everything pets. Pets are now the new humans when it comes to bringing in new buyers. Take Chicago, which is a very pet friendly town, and its new crops of luxury condo high rises offering Puppy Play Spaces and Run and Relief Rooms—astro turf and a cute fire hydrant installed. Many spots offer dog walking, vet care, feeding, grooming, training, in-condo dog sitting, and, of course, pet therapy with the Dr. Phils of dogs and cats.

San Francisco has now added in a kind of doggy car wash to these pampering amenities. The District is a mid-rise luxury living condo habitat over in the Lower Pacific Heights and along with an impressive list of what’s available in services, entertainment and walking-about is a dog washing station. Not much more is said about this, but it sounds like a bespoke convenience for residents with bespoke pooches if someone does it for you, or perhaps its like a car wash where you do your own dog and the station is outfitted with splash rooms, hoses and big fluffy dog towels or air blowers.

Here’s the full article at the mansionglobal.com site.

A Second Wind for San Francisco Real Estate?

Since the year began, preliminary data has been trickling in regarding the Bay Area and city economy, and the commercial and residential real estate markets in particular, that appears to indicate that things may be heating up again after clearly cooling in late 2015 and 2016 (subsequent to the increasingly torrid conditions in the 4 years prior). It is far too early to come to any definitive conclusions regarding the long-term significance of recent local or national shifts: Some of the data is not always consistent with such a conclusion; some of the data may indicate over-exuberance in the markets. Though always hesitant to make too much of short-term trends, we will take a look at a few angles on current developments. A recent article in the San Francisco Business Times (of similar title) describes what is going on in commercial real estate, while this report will primarily focus on the SF residential market.

Percentage of Home Listings Accepting Offers
by Property Type & Price Segment
Note: 12-month median sales prices in San Francisco are currently approximately $1,350,000 for houses and $1,100,000 for condos

One of the classic statistics of supply and demand is percentage-of-listings-accepting-offers: The higher the percentage, the hotter the market. In the chart above, we assessed San Francisco by property type and price segment, comparing this past April to the same months of 2015 and 2016. Note that spring 2015 was considered a particularly feverish market characterized by very high demand and very low inventory. Most of the segments saw a considerable cooling from April 2015 to April 2016. However, almost all the segments bounced back in April 2017, and, indeed, the lower price segments performed significantly better than 2 years ago.

Other standard measures of market heat such as average-days-on-market, and months-supply-of-inventory saw similar changes (approaching all-time lows), though we did not chart them for this report. On the ground, increased buyer competition for an inadequate supply of houses under $2 million and condos under $1.5 million, dovetails with the statistics. We have also heard that new-project condo sales have seen a considerable surge in buyer demand, but we cannot verify that.

It will be interesting to see if these dynamics continue through Q2, usually the most active selling season of the year, and, if so, how they will affect median sales prices: As seen in the second chart below, so far, there has been no appreciable year-over-year change. However, most listings accepting offers in April will not close sale until May, which will then be reflected in median sales price data available in June.

Year-over-Year SF Median Sales Price Comparison

Looking at 3-month rolling median sales prices in the chart above, comparing the February through April periods of 2015, 2016 and 2017, the SF median house price is relatively flat since last year, and the median condo price is relatively flat since 2015, after both saw rapid appreciation rates in the previous years. (At this point, the recent, minor percentage changes comparing 3-month periods should not be considered significant.) The flattening in condo median price for the additional year reflects the earlier and greater cooling that occurred in that market segment.

 

Comparative Neighborhood Values & Appreciation Trends

One of our readers suggested that it would be interesting to see multiple San Francisco neighborhoods illustrated on a single chart to compare home prices and appreciation rates. We got a little carried away and created more than 2 dozen graphs, of which 6 are below.

The extremely affluent Presidio Heights neighborhood has the largest houses and highest prices in the city, with next door Pacific Heights right behind.

All the charts in this series are here: San Francisco Neighborhood Comparisons, which also includes an SF neighborhood map.

If you are interested in a city neighborhood not included our full report, please let us know.

 

San Francisco Luxury Home Pricing

It has been clear over the past 2 years that the market for higher priced homes has cooled more than that for less expensive homes, and this is reflected in the first chart of this report. One of the big issues is that many luxury home sellers have simply been asking for more money than buyers are willing to pay: This is illustrated in the chart above which compares median sales prices with median asking prices, and then with the median prices of expired listings that were ultimately pulled from the market without selling.

 

Various Economic Indicators
Bay Area Employment & Unemployment Rates

The lowest unemployment rates in 15 years, but the picture in hiring and
new high-tech hiring in particular, is a bit unclear with recent shifts up and down.

S&P 500 Stock Index

Maybe some irrational exuberance at play since the election?

Housing Affordability

Perhaps the biggest social, economic and political issue in the Bay Area right now: Remaining close to all-time lows

San Francisco, Alameda & Marin Rents

Rents in all 3 counties ticked back up in Q1 after recent declines, but too much should not be made of this until substantiated over a longer term than 1 quarter

Mortgage Interest Rates

Up after the election, down since the new year began, rates remain extremely low by historical standards

S&P Case-Shiller House Price Index
Another Angle on Bay Area Home Price Appreciation Trends

According to Case-Shiller, which divides sales into 3 price tiers and measures Bay Area home price appreciation using its own proprietary algorithm (instead of median sales prices): In the period from April 2016 through February 2017 (its most recent report), less expensive homes appreciated by 7% during the period; mid-priced homes appreciated by 3%; and high-priced homes remained flat over the 11 months. Over the last year or two, the greatest pressure of buyer demand in the Bay Area has shifted to the more affordable home segment. Again, the first chart in this report highlights this dynamic in San Francisco.

C-S numbers all refer to a January 2000 home price set at 100. Thus, a reading of 249 signifies a price 149% over than of January 2000.

If you have any questions or comments regarding this report, or if assistance can be provided in any other way, please call or email.

Our full article on market cycles: 30+ Years of San Francisco Real Estate Cycles

All our analyses can be found here: Paragon Market Reports

It is impossible to know how median and average value statistics apply to any particular home without a specific, tailored, comparative market analysis.

These analyses were made in good faith with data from sources deemed reliable, but may contain errors and are subject to revision. It is not our intent to convince you of a particular position, but to attempt to provide straightforward data and analysis, so you can make your own informed decisions. Median and average statistics are enormous generalities: There are hundreds of different markets in San Francisco and the Bay Area, each with its own unique dynamics. Median prices and average dollar per square foot values can be and often are affected by other factors besides changes in fair market value. Longer term trends are much more meaningful than short-term.

© 2017 Paragon Real Estate Group

Nonprofit Hero Donates Largest of Kind Gift to City to Help Homeless

The homeless are, of course, part of SF’s history and current challenges. There’ve been homeless in the city ever since its boom in the 1849 gold rush, and certainly in the aftermath of the 1906 there was an explosion of homeless people. Right now San Francisco spends $265 million on homelessness, with those funds going to a spread of programs including housing, healthcare, policing and counseling.

The local nonprofit Tipping Point Community announced that it is committing $100 million to reducing homelessness in San Francisco by 50 percent by the year 2021. This is the largest gift of its kind in SF’s history, and is certainly welcomed by all parties involved. The nonprofit stated in an interview with SF Chronicle that its program is starting on July 1st, but it has already put in $2 million toward programs assisting the homeless.

In terms of reducing the homeless in SF over the next five years the nonprofit’s goal is to increase the number of homeless per year being settled in a non-homeless state from 800 to 1,000. Tipping Point estimates that there are currently 2,000 chronically homeless in the city. SF Mayor Ed Lee has been working for years to bring in more involvement from philanthropists to help with the homeless situation. Tipping Point will be spending part of the $100 million on actual homeless housing.

California Population Up to 39.5 M in 2016, Gains in SF

The count for the 2016 California population was released on May 1st, and it stands  at 39.5 million, an increase of 335,000 Californians—by daughters and sons of the soil and those moving on in. This keeps us easily the most populous state in the union. Texas is behind us by 12 million and Florida is behind us by 19 million. The population report came out of the California Department of Finance.

Overall, the Bay Area was a major contributor to the 0.9 percent growth, but behind our southern California sister cities of Los Angeles and San Diego. Sacramento grew the most in 2016 with a 1.4 percent uptick.

San Francisco in 2016 grew by 9,000 people for a total of 874,000; so if you noticed a bit more crowding at your favorite outdoor, entertainment and dining places—that’s why. Down in San Jose, the population ratcheted up by 10,000 people to a sum of 1,046,000.

On the state level there’s been a push to add housing in cities to address the housing shortage which fans the flames of steadily higher prices and rents for many cities. 90,000 units were added last year, but not nearly enough to really change the numbers.

Millennium Tower Penthouse Takes a Haircut of 29%

Unit 1A is the 58th floor penthouse of the Millennium Tower, which over the past 5 months has been embroiled in controversy over its sinking 16 inches and tilting northwest several inches. This sinking and tilting is far beyond any settling the building was projected to undergo, and at a far faster rate. The controversy has involved finger pointing as to blame for the fiasco, lawsuits among parties and condo owners, and the steep falling of the tower’s unit’s values. Now Unit 1A, the penthouse, just sold for $5.75 million on April 28th, down from $9 million asking price in November 2017.

The sale was 29% less than what the 2-bedroom penthouse sold for 22 months ago when it was bought for $8.1 million. The 2,700-square-foot condo had a makeover in “ultra contemporary design” and was outfitted with “only the finest materials, procured from the globe” as SocketSite reported.

Part of the amazement with this drop in price is that it sold at all. Many homeowners and observers are stating that the building was made worthless by the significant structural shifts and resulting cracking damage to the ground floor and the reality of a building tilting and sinking. Another penthouse two floors up sold back in December 2016 for $13 million, its full asking price, the most expensive condo purchase in five years.