Never has a fake moustache been put to better use. This is Val (Stan’s brother) last night at Capp’s corner after the parade. Elvis and Stan were wearing them too but failed to rock the look.
Archive for February, 2012
I love a parade. Especially one where the cops are setting off thousands of illegal firecrackers…
The “crookedest street”, Lombard Street.
Often billed as the “crookedest street,” San Francisco’s Lombard Street is, in fact, neither the crookedest nor the steepest street in the city, let alone the world. Vermont Avenue between 22nd and 23rd is “crookedest,” and Filbert between Hyde and Leavenworth is steepest at 31.5 degrees, but neither fact discourages tourists from flocking to Lombard Street’s seductive curves.
San Francisco Home Values by Neighborhood
February 1, 2011 – January 31, 2012
The first group of statistics below (in table format) apply only to non-distress home sales with at least 1 car parking, as reported to MLS. Distress sales – bank-owned property sales and short sales – typically sell at a substantial discount due to condition-of-property issues and/or deal-aggravation issues, and if included in the analysis, would reduce the median sales price and average dollar per square ($/sq.ft.) figures in certain neighborhoods. (Distress sales, though occurring everywhere in the city, are generally clustered in less affluent neighborhoods and in the lower price ranges.)
The average size of homes vary widely by neighborhood: for example, the average size of a 4-bedroom house in Pacific Heights is much larger than one in Noe Valley. Besides affluence, the era and style of construction often play a large role in these disparities. Some neighborhoods are well known for having “bonus” bedrooms and baths built without permit (often behind the garage). These additions can add value, but being unpermitted are not reflected in average dollar per square foot ($/sq.ft.) figures.
If a price is followed by a “k” it references thousands of dollars; if followed by an “m”, it signifies millions of dollars. Sales unreported to MLS are not included in this analysis, and where abnormal “outliers” were identified that significantly distorted the statistics, these were deleted as well. Please see the definitions and caveats at the end of this report.
Trends in Dollar per Square Foot Values for Houses in Selected San Francisco Neighborhoods
Trends in Median Sales Prices for 2-Bedroom Condos in Selected SF Neighborhoods
The MEDIAN SALES PRICE is that price at which half the properties sold for more and half for less. It may be affected by “unusual” events or by changes in buying trends, or seasonal trends, as well as by changes in value.
Low Price & High Price are self-explanatory, but the low price might be for a property that needs significant work just to be habitable. Within a single neighborhood, it is possible for the low and high prices to be millions of dollars apart – the difference between a small, dark 2-bedroom condo above a Laundromat, and a lavishly appointed, full-floor, 2-bedroom penthouse with spectacular views in a prestige high-rise.
AVERAGE SALES PRICE is calculated by adding up all the sales prices and dividing by the number of sales. It is different from median sales price, but like medians, averages can be affected by other factors besides changes in value, such as fluctuations in average unit size. Averages may also be distorted by a few sales that are abnormally high or low, especially when the number of sales is low. Average sales prices are usually higher than median sales prices.
DOLLAR PER SQUARE FOOT is based upon the home’s interior living space and does not include garages, storage, unfinished attics and basements; rooms and apartments built without permit; decks, patios or yards. These figures are typically derived from appraisals or tax records, but can be unreliable, measured in different ways, or unreported altogether: thus consider square footage and $/sq.ft. figures to be very general approximations. Generally speaking, about 60-80% of listings report square footage, and dollar per square foot statistics are based solely on those listings. All things being equal, a house will have a higher dollar per square foot than a condo (because of land value), a condo will have a higher $/sq.ft. than a TIC (quality of title), and a TIC’s will be higher than a multi-unit building’s (quality of use). All things being equal, a smaller home will have a higher $/sq.ft. than a larger one. The highest dollar per square foot values in San Francisco are typically found in upper floor condos in prestige buildings with utterly spectacular views.
The AVERAGE SIZE of homes of the same bedroom count may vary widely by neighborhood: for example, the average size of a 4-bedroom house in Pacific Heights is much larger than one in Noe Valley; and the average of a Marina 2-bedroom condo is larger than one in South Beach. Besides the affluence factor, the era and style of construction often play large roles in these disparities.
Some neighborhoods are well known for having additional ROOMS BUILT WITHOUT PERMIT, such as the classic 1940’s Sunset house with “bedrooms” and baths built out behind the garage. These additions often add value, but being unpermitted are not reflected in $/sq.ft. figures.
Many aspects of value cannot be adequately reflected in general statistics: curb appeal, age, condition, views, amenities, outdoor space, “bonus” rooms, parking, quality of location within the neighborhood, and so forth. Thus, how these statistics apply to any particular home is unknown.
In real estate, the devil’s always in the details.
SAN FRANCISCO REALTOR DISTRICTS
District 1: Sea Cliff, Lake Street, Richmond (Inner, Central, Outer), Jordan Park/Laurel Heights, Lone Mountain
District 2: Sunset & Parkside (Inner, Central, Outer), Golden Gate Heights
District 3: Lake Shore, Lakeside, Merced Manor, Merced Heights, Ingleside, Ingleside Heights, Oceanview
District 4: St. Francis Wood, Forest Hill, West Portal, Forest Knolls, Diamond Heights, Midtown Terrace, Miraloma Park, Sunnyside, Balboa Terrace, Ingleside Terrace, Mt. Davidson Manor, Sherwood Forest, Monterey Heights, Westwood Highlands
District 5: Noe Valley, Eureka Valley (Castro, Liberty Hill), Cole Valley, Glen Park, Corona Heights, Clarendon Heights, Ashbury Heights, Buena Vista Park, Haight Ashbury, Duboce Triangle, Twin Peaks, Mission Dolores, Parnassus Heights
District 6: Hayes Valley, North of Panhandle (NOPA), Alamo Square, Western Addition, Anza Vista, Lower Pacific Heights
District 7: Pacific Heights, Presidio Heights, Cow Hollow, Marina
District 8: Russian Hill, Nob Hill, Telegraph Hill, North Beach, Financial District, North Waterfront, Downtown, Van Ness/ Civic Center, Tenderloin
District 9: SoMa, South Beach, Mission Bay, Potrero Hill, Dogpatch, Bernal Heights, Inner Mission, Yerba Buena
District 10: Bayview, Bayview Heights, Excelsior, Portola, Visitacion Valley, Silver Terrace, Mission Terrace, Crocker Amazon, Outer Mission
Some Realtor districts contain neighborhoods that are relatively homogeneous in general home values, such as districts 5 and 7, and others contain neighborhoods of wildly different values, such as district 8 which includes both Russian Hill and the Tenderloin.
Statistics such as these are generalities, subject to fluctuations due to a variety of reasons (besides changes in value). Average figures in particular may be distorted by a few sales substantially higher or lower than the norm, especially where the sample size is small. Generally speaking, the fewer the sales, the less reliable the statistics. New-development condo sales not reported to MLS – of which there are quite a few in San Francisco – are not included in this analysis.
All information herein is derived from sources deemed reliable, but may contain errors and omissions, and is subject to revision.
The luxury home segment in San Francisco makes up about 10% of the overall home market in the city (by unit sales; more by dollar volume). One of the most interesting dynamics playing out right now in the SF luxury home market is the large increase of high-tech industry buyers with huge sums of new money at their disposal. Their presence is strongly impacting the market, especially in certain neighborhoods they’ve deemed most appealing for a variety of reasons. We expect this influx of new wealthy buyers to continue throughout 2012 as further IPOs occur in the Bay Area.
San Francisco Luxury Homes: Percentage of Listings Accepting Offers
This statistic is one of the clearest expressions of buyer demand vs. inventory of luxury homes for sale. Three of the last 4 quarters rank as the highest percentages since the peak of the market in 2007-2008. The decline in the 3rd quarter of 2011 was probably due to the heightened sense of crisis over the summer regarding the national debt limit increase and the Euro Zone debt crisis — both of these bringing up fears of national defaults. Typically, we’ve found that the wealthiest are those most psychologically sensitive to these financial-markets events.
Percentage of Listings Accepting Offers by WEEK for 6 Months ending February 5, 2012
Look how demand in the SF luxury home market blasted off in the beginning of 2012.
Sales Price to List Price Percentage, Days on Market,
Price Reductions & Expired Listings
Most of the luxury homes that do sell, sell quickly at very close to asking price. Those going through price reductions spend a much longer time on market and sell at an average discount of 18% off original list price. And many listings still expire without selling, usually because the market deems them overpriced.
San Francisco Luxury House & Condo Sales
San Francisco Luxury Homes: Average Dollar per Square Foot
Dollar per square foot values, even in the high-end, vary widely from neighborhood to neighborhood. The absolute highest are typically paid for luxury condos in prestige buildings with staggering views. Remember that short-term fluctuations are relatively meaningless — they occur naturally since the “basket” of homes sold varies from month to month, quarter to quarter. In 2011, one Pacific Heights mansion sold for $29.5 million at almost $3000 per square foot, but that must be considered an “outlier” even for prestige luxury homes.
Longer-Term Trends in Values
Sometimes it’s useful to take a step back and look at longer term trends. These charts delineate average sales price (which is different from median sales price) and average dollar per square foot by neighborhood, by year, going back to 1995. Annual statistics are typically more reliable and meaningful than quarterly or monthly stats, because the body of data is so much larger and the normal fluctuations of smaller time periods get flattened out. Even then, some of these neighborhoods do not have that many sales and of the sales, many do not report square footage — thus these statistics must be considered generalities with a fairly large margin of error.
Luxury Home Sales by San Francisco Realtor District
The older prestige neighborhoods running across the north of the city from Sea Cliff through Pacific Heights to Russian & Telegraph Hills still dominate sales, but high-end sales in the greater Noe Valley/ Castro/ Haight Ashbury district have soared since the late nineties, and luxury condos in new developments in South Beach, SOMA and Yerba Buena are also a major part of this market now. St. Francis Woods has been an enclave for sales of big houses for quite some time.
Largest San Francisco Home Sales by Neighborhood
Inventory of SF Luxury Homes for Sale
Inventory declines rapidly as the holiday season begins. The high-end market usually, to a large degree, hibernates between Thanksgiving and mid-January and then starts to pick up again.
San Francisco Luxury Homes: Months Supply of Inventory (MSI)
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. Though often quoted in the media as such, the median sales price is NOT like the price for a share of stock, i.e. a definitive reflection of value and changes in value, and monthly fluctuations are generally meaningless. If market values are truly changing, the median price will consistently rise or sink over a longer term than just 2 or 3 months, and also be supported by other supply and demand statistical trends.
AVERAGE SALES PRICE is calculated by adding up all the sales prices and dividing by the number of sales. It is different from median sales price, but like medians, averages can be affected by other factors besides changes in value. For example, averages may be distorted by a few sales that are abnormally high or low, especially when the number of sales is low.
DAYS ON MARKET (DOM) are the number of days between a listing going on market and accepting an offer. The lower the average days on market figure, typically the stronger the buyer demand and 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 demand as compared to the supply and the hotter the market. Typically, below 3-4 months of inventory is considered a “Seller’s market”, 4-6 months a relatively balanced market, and 7 months and above, a “Buyer’s market.”
DOLLAR PER SQUARE FOOT ($/sqft) is based upon the home’s interior living space and does not include garages, unfinished attics and basements, rooms built without permit, lot size, or patios and decks — though all these can still add value to a home. These figures are usually derived from appraisals or tax records, but are sometimes unreliable or unreported altogether. All things being equal, a house will sell for a higher dollar per square foot than a condo (due to land value), a condo higher than a TIC (quality of title), and a TIC higher than a multi-unit building (quality of use). Everything being equal, a smaller home will sell for a higher $/sqft than a larger one. (However, things are rarely equal in real estate.) There are often surprisingly wide variations of value within neighborhoods and averages may be distorted by one or two sales substantially higher or lower than the norm, especially when the total number of sales is small. Location, condition, amenities, parking, views, lot size & outdoor space all affect $/sqft home values. Typically, the highest dollar per square foot figures in San Francisco are achieved by penthouse condos with utterly spectacular views in prestige buildings.
Median and average statistics are generalities subject to fluctuation due to a variety of reasons (besides changes in value): how they apply to any specific property is unknown. Averages may be distorted by one or two sales substantially higher or lower than the norm, especially when sample size is small. Sales not reported to MLS – such as many new-development condo sales — are not included in this analysis. All figures should be considered approximate and are derived from sources deemed reliable, but may contain errors and omissions, and not warranted. We are happy to provide or direct you to the original data upon which each chart is based.
Nowhere in the world will you see a lunar new year parade with more gorgeous floats, elaborate costumes, ferocious lions, exploding firecrackers , and of course the newly crowned Miss Chinatown U.S.A. and her court. A crowd favorite is the spectacular 250′ Golden Dragon (“Gum Lung”) It takes a team of over 100 men and women from the martial arts group, White Crane to carry this dragon throughout the streets of San Francisco.
Click here for more information!
Happy 2012 to you! I know it’s the first of February but 2012 still feels fresh to me. Hope you are off to a great start.
Warning – nagging just ahead: I want to encourage each and every one of you who has a mortgage to think about whether you should refinance. Even if you think you have a great rate – like 5% on a 3 year fixed – there may yet be a better deal out there. Over the last several weeks we have seen rates as low as 3.75% on 30 year fixed mortgages. So if you are not currently below 4.5% on a 30 year fixed, you might want to check on things. I am happy to run values and recommend mortgage professionals to help. (I apologize to those of you who have already read and heeded my encouragement on this subject or who are not in a position to do anything at the moment. Repetition is so boring but I keep finding people who have not taken care of this and we are talking about big savings. For example, the savings of a 1% reduction in interest rate is about $416/month on a 500k mortgage. 1.5% is over $600/month!)
Also, I want to mention that I have great referrals for just about everything to do with your home – cleaning, gardening, repairs, roofing, remodeling, etc. Last week, one Client in the Know asked me to introduce her to another to apply for a job at his company. They are currently in talks. Whatever the need, I am always happy to hear from you and offer my connections and recommendations and to hear about your favorite service providers.