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A Brief Primer on San Francisco Real Estate

This week when I was managing the front gate for our listing on Polk Street, I noticed the three buildings across the street represented three very different kinds of housing styles. So I made a quick video to describe them.

The Fed is Expected to Raise Interest Rates Today

DID YOU KNOW? The Fed is expected to raise interest rates by a quarter point today and indicate it plans to keep hiking them in what many expect to be a hawkish message for markets. Wall Street economists expect the Fed to raise its growth forecasts and sound more confident about the outlook. (CNBC)

The household is in good shape. People arengoing back to work. FICO [credit] scores are fine. Companies are flush. Tax reform is still a benefit. We don’t have the extreme leverage we had in [2008]. All the lending has been pretty good.” says Jamie Dimon, J. P. Morgan Chase

I have oddly found that when the Fed raises its rate, interest rates tick down for a short period of time before gently rising. So it is not time to worry yet. But each increase means a reduction of buying power. You don’t feel the hurt so much in the monthly cost, but it will affect how much you are allowed to borrow.

SF’s Cool Urban Park On Top of New Transit Center Hot Real Estate

San Francisco has got a new urban park – 5.4 acres of trees, shrubs, flowers, grass, walkways and waterways on top of a roof five stories up. That’s a pretty big and a very cool rooftop sitting pretty on the new transit center hub in the city, dubbed Salesforce Transit Center. The park has a kind of clunky name in Salesforce Park, but that’s branding and city business fusing together.

The park is now open, so visitors are welcome.

The name does not diminish the actual environmental, panoramic climax of being up in the park, walking around and giving a good gander over its edges. It’s amazing really, and worth getting over by foot, bike, bus or car. Designed by PWP Landscape Architecture, the park features 13 gardens, a great lawn with trees that are not just saplings but full grown, tables and chairs that can be moved around, and an 800-seat amphitheater that will be very special for outdoor concerts and performances. There’s a half-mile walking or jogging trail. And, no surprise, a restaurant will be coming soon to a park perch. Good eats in sky high greenery. A raft of events are already being planned.

$2 billion more in real estate value from the rooftop park’s presence has been sucked up by the 33 adjacent properties.

SF’s Financial District Home to First Women-Only Coworking Space

Last month I wrote about the hot competition among coworking space companies in San Francisco, and their pitch battle of amenities offered to attract in clients. Coming up in October in the Financial District is our city’s first women-only coworking space. It’s called The Wing and has had noted success in New York City, and will open here with 8,000 square feet of space at 115 Sansome Street.

The Wing is only for members, with a fee of $215 a month or $2,350 a year. The company describes its bailiwick as a professional workspace and social club for women and non-binary individuals. The fee gives members open sesame to open and private workspaces and, as well, to speaker and networking events.

Amenities include showers, a beauty room, a lactation room, an art gallery featuring all women artists, an in house café and bar manned by local women chefs and bartenders.

San Francisco September Newsletter

September is typically the single month with the highest number of new listings coming on market in San Francisco, a big spike in inventory which fuels the relatively short autumn selling season. Very early indications are that this September may be a very big new-listing month, and how buyers react to the flood of new inventory will provide more clarity as to where the market may be heading next. That data will start becoming available in October.

Long-Term Trends in Median Sales Prices
& Average Dollar per Square Foot Values

These first two charts look at appreciation trends in median prices and average $/sq.ft. values since 2005. The short-term fluctuations in the lines are normal, typically seasonal effects of no great meaningfulness.

As of August 2018, the 3-month rolling median sales prices are as follows: $1,620,000 for houses, $1,200,000 for condos, and $1,125,000 for TICs.

San Francisco Home Sales
by Price Segment

Houses selling for less than $1 million are becoming an endangered species in SF, limited to small homes and/or fixer-uppers in the most affordable neighborhoods. Condos and TICs now dominate sales under $1.5 million.

Four Standard Statistics of Supply & Demand
Year-over-Year Comparisons since 2011
These 2 charts below compare the June-August periods for the last 8 years. These statistics have been moving in parallel during this period, which make them more trustworthy as true indications of market trends.

As illustrated in the first chart, the inventory of listings available to purchase continues to be constrained, and the overbidding percentages, especially for houses, remain at insane levels (though part of this has to do with a strategy of under-pricing by many listing agents).

Home Value Appreciation by City District
Since 2015

Coming out of the long, post-crash housing recession in 2012, homes all over the city began appreciating very rapidly, led at first by the most expensive neighborhoods, and this lasted through mid-late 2015. Then, in the last 4 months of 2015, financial markets went into a period of extended volatility and unease (Chinese stock market and oil price crashes, Brexit and election anxieties), which ran through the 2016 election. At the same time hiring in high-tech temporarily slowed and high-tech IPO activity ground to a halt. New condo construction in the city also soared, changing the supply and demand dynamic for that property type. These factors had significant effects on the luxury home and condo segments.

Since 2015, appreciation of houses has far outpaced that of condos, and homes in more affordable areas have appreciated much faster than in more expensive neighborhoods. The lower the home prices, the higher the appreciation rates. However, virtually all segments saw a dramatic surge of demand in late 2017 through spring 2018, propelling values quickly higher.

House Values: More Expensive Districts

Though the median house sales price in the very expensive Pacific Heights-Marina district has not increased in the past 3 years – in fact, it has seen a small overall decline – it is worth noting that from the beginning of 2012 to the end of 2015, it appreciated by a whopping 87%.

Partial year data should be considered preliminary until full year results are available in January.

House Values: More Affordable Districts
In these neighborhoods, large bursts of appreciation have been common in recent years, as the pressure of buyer demand shifted to a search for affordability.

Condo Values: More Expensive Districts
As with houses, the most expensive neighborhoods for condos have seen limited or no appreciation in median sales prices since 2015.

Values in Other Major Condo Districts
The large South Beach-SoMa-Mission-Potrero Hill-Dogpatch district has been ground zero for the greatest number of large new-condo projects coming on market. That led to a drop in median sales price in 2016, but in 2018, prices jumped dramatically in all 3 districts illustrated below.

San Francisco New Housing Pipeline
The number of units somewhere along the line in the SF Planning Department new housing pipeline hit almost 70,000 in Q2 2018, however developers face increasing challenges in land and constructions costs, reportedly the second highest in the nation, as well as issues pertaining to affordable housing requirements, neighborhood activism, possible increases in rent control measures, and the lengthy review and approvals process. The outlook in new housing construction can shift very quickly if economic conditions change.

Projects of 20-Plus Units under Construction
The main areas for new home construction – of both condos and apartments – are the greater South Beach-SoMa-Potrero Hill district, and the Market Street and Van Ness Avenue corridors. These are the areas where large, previously commercial-use lots can be used for building large projects, and where zoning often allows for much taller buildings.

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.

Compass is a real estate broker licensed by the State of California, DRE 01527235. Equal Housing Opportunity. This report has been prepared solely for information purposes. The information herein is based on or derived from information generally available to the public and/or from sources believed to be reliable. No representation or warranty can be given with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the information. Compass disclaims any and all liability relating to this report, including without limitation any express or implied representations or warranties for statements contained in, and omissions from, the report. Nothing contained herein is intended to be or should be read as any regulatory, legal, tax, accounting or other advice and Compass does not provide such advice. All opinions are subject to change without notice. Compass makes no representation regarding the accuracy of any statements regarding any references to the laws, statutes or regulations of any state are those of the author(s). Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

© 2018 Compass

Just Listed: 1013 Cabrillo Street

Set near the edge of the world’s greatest urban park, this is the home where you’ll dig for treasure in the back yard, test Grandma’s secret recipes in the sunlit kitchen, and build small but perfect dreams in the workshop downstairs. Whenever you have to leave, you know you can always come back by bus, bike, or car. On other days you’ll chart your own course and set off to explore the wilds nearby where hawk and heron swoop above the lake and roses. When you return, you’ll be greeted by your home’s fresh embrace and maybe even a dog named Earl. Twilight then passes with a glass of scotch, or cup of tea in a garden where sun and fog play over a horizon of cypress and pine.

  • Arts & Crafts Full Floor Flat
  • Two Bedrooms
  • One Bath
  • One Car Parking
  • Private Workshop and Storage
  • Large Shared Back Yard
  • Formal Dining Room
  • Separate Laundry and Mud Room

Please visit: EarlsAbode.com

$3,000 Gets You What in SF Rentals Right Now, This Week?

Three thousand dollars a month for apartment rent is certainly not cheap in any city, but in SF it’s only going to go so far. However, surprisingly (depending on your neighborhood, of course), it can bring some pretty nice apartment spaces this week. Naturally, that $3,000 will bring you a studio in some well-heeled town areas, or a sweet upscale abode in more outer areas of the city.

There’s a garage in-law apartment—called “the carriage house”—out on 17th Avenue in the Richmond District that features 2 bed/ 1 bath and it actually was a stable for horses back when carriages and horses got us San Franciscans up and about. So a sprinkling of history on your digs makes it that much sweeter. However, there is no oven in the kitchen, and no pets allowed.

Over in the Nob Hill environs there’s a studio in a Jones Street building that is circa 1910. It’s described colorfully as “Made in SF, not in Miami,” and further as “spacious” but there’s no square footage given. The ad is a bit amusing, as in such declarations as “kitchen NOT confidential.”

Click here to see the full repertoire of the sf.curbed.com story.