SFRealEstateBuzz: Oh, The Places I’ve Seen! Plus Some Wild Overbidding Samples

Hello My Favorite People!
I know I’ve been out of touch. My excuses are extensive travel and launching the last home remodel I will ever do in my life. It’s a massive undertaking that will be finished off with fun wall paper, lots of color and a wall of windows in the family room that has a dead-on view of Jim’s custom tiki bar. Stay tuned for before/after pictures this summer.
The travel part included a tour of Egypt which was unexpectedly amazing. I had no idea I would be so into Egyptology. The mummies at the Met in New York are impressive but it’s another thing entirely to visit the ones sitting in their original tombs since 2000 BC.
Throughout these adventures, I’ve continued to “do” real estate for close friends, old clients and those they refer to me. I stopped hustling for new business, however, and took the extra time to do some naval contemplation. I’m turning 60 this year and it’s time to take stock and assess how I want to move forward with my real estate life. Never fear! I love real estate to much to leave and will always be there for you with 30-years-plus of sage advice, funny stories and collaborative problem-solving when you are thinking of making a change. But my business model is changing this year. Please stay tuned for more details.
In-The-Trenches Overbidding Wars
The New Year kicked off with a bang after a slow Autumn and quiet holiday season. Statistics don’t reflect it yet, because most of the January deals haven’t closed yet. Once these sales go on record however, the media will be full of stories about a run-up in the market with some wild overbidding.
A typical escrow runs 30 days. So only very recent sales can demonstrate the tremendous jump in values across much of the City. Below are examples. As always, single family sales offer the most drama, but substantial overbidding on just-the-right condo can also happen.
Closings in the first week of February include:
Listed $1,759,000/Sold $2,385,000
36% over asking
Once upon a time 1367 41st was a modest 2BR/1BA house. Today it’s a slick and sexy 5BR/4.5BA extravaganza with 2544 square feet of wide-open spaces, a walkout deck and some water views. The location is in the best part of Outside Lands and a stone’s throw from the beach, Golden Gate Park and popular neighborhood coffee shops and eateries.
Listed $999,000/Sold $1,620,000
62% over asking
Trumbull’s floor plan checks a lot of boxes with four bedrooms, a second bath and 1800 square feet, which is a decent size for San Francisco. Located in the Excelsior District, it was also priced in that sweet spot just under $1,000,000. While it went for 62% over asking, the closing price is still a hair below San Francisco’s $1,640,000 median price for a single family home.
Listed for $1,895,000/Sold for $2,400,000
27% over asking
Originally an Italianate set of flats built in 1906, this Duboce Triangle building was converted to two condos then torn down to a shell in 2008. Now completely rebuilt, 2178 15th is the top floor with 2BR/2BA and a big roof deck. Among our examples this one takes the prize for the highest price-per-square-foot at $1,735– a testament to what people will pay for high end finishings in one the City’s most sought after neighborhoods.
Listed for $1,395,000/Sold for $2,225,000
60% over asking
No parking, small rooms, a dated kitchen and narrow interior spiral staircase would normally hold the price back on a 2BR/2BA Noe Valley home. The difference here is a Muir-Woods-style setting with a solarium style dining room and deck nestled up against a giant Redwood Tree. You can fix the other stuff. Only nature can provide the kind of back yard this home boasts.
Lines, Pies and Bars: The Market in Three Charts
I chose these charts because they’re pretty- especially the last two. But they also offer a nice perspective on our market city-wide, both long and short-term.
Median Home and Condo Price: 10 Year Trend
Once upon a time, an average 2BR condo was more expensive than an average 3BR house in San Francisco. I think it’s because most 2BR condos were in cool, vintage buildings, while most 3BR houses were in neighborhoods off a buyer’s radar like the Sunset, Miraloma Park and Excelsior Districts. Now a 2BR condo is usually in a high rise near downtown, while modest single family homes across the city are getting substantially remodeled and upgraded. The yard thing is also a big deal, especially in our days of Covid.
Home Types By The Numbers
The different slices of this pie tell different stories about San Francisco housing. For instance, we don’t have that many big houses because they’re not making them anymore, but we have lots of one-bedroom condos because so many were built after 2000. New construction is also the reason a 2BR condo is smaller than it used to be. The only wedge that doesn’t accurately reflect our housing stock is the limited number of 2-4U sales, probably because rent control makes these kinds of properties a challenge to own.
Overbidding: How Much and How Far?
People often ask me how far over asking San Francisco homes are going for. The answer is “It depends.” I gave extreme examples up above, but often the big jumps come from agents aggressively underpricing. Other times the degree of overbidding is determined by home style and neighborhood. A condo in SOMA, for example, will usually be priced right at anticipated value, while single family homes generally list $100,000-200,000 below where we expect the home to sell.
30 Years and Still Standing
“If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out.”
Steve Jobs
I started selling real estate in the Summer of 1986 and knew by the end of my first week that I was a lifer. Finally! I was surrounded by lots of people who talked about the stuff I’d wanted to talk about for years. I also loved our clients’ quirks, like the guy who always slept under his front stairs, or the man who would only look at places that had a bidet.
30 years later I have buckets of good stories. My favorite these days is the one about a naked man with a raccoon tail in the Castro, but there was also the guy with an ankle monitor sitting at the kitchen table during a showing, and a loft tricked out with all the stuff a dominatrix needs. (Some of the people reading this email may remember her.) The point is that there’s always something that keeps the business new and fresh.
Having work that I love and a career that alway has new things to show and teach me (mostly about myself) is an enviable blessing. I also remember every single one of my Buyers and Sellers. If you doubt me, I dare you to reach out and promise to have at least one story to tell about you and our history together.
Blessings to you for 2022. Let’s enjoy the Year of Tiger!
License #00926690
1400 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94109
Direct 415.738.7214
Fax 415.738.7264
Mobile 415.577.0809
Cece Blase
Compass Real Estate
415-577-0809
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