Archive for December, 2010

Current Sales Activity Up while Case-Shiller October prices decline

The latest Case-Shiller report came out today showing a 1.9% composite decline in SF single family home prices in October from September’s figures.  Probably a much less significant number than the media is making it out to be, simply because monthly fluctuations within 3% are well within the margin of error, and stand to be seasonally corrected.

The “SF” index shows a modest 2.2% year over year gain, but I still have strong issues with Case-Shiller’s ‘San Francisco’ label, being as it’s not really San Francisco at all but a composite of five, seemingly random, Bay Area counties; not even the 9 Bay Area Counties generally associated with the Bay Area.  Having said that, it’s still the most well-respected real estate index in the nation (although I’ve often wondered why).

What I’m much more interested in are the Nov/Dec 2010 numbers.  Weekly charts show San Francisco properties going into contract significantly up for the end of the year, with the week before Thanksgiving showing the 2nd highest number of properties going into contract in 2010- the highest being the week of the April tax credit rush.   The median price for San Francisco (proper) Single Family Dwellings and Condos is virtually unchanged from 2009 to 2010, showing the resilience of the San Francisco market.  Year end data, coming soon…

If Case-Shiller March Figures were accurate… [SFHomeBlog May 2009]

Meredith Martin is a life long resident of the bay area and a real estate professional with over 15 years experience. She can be reached at mm@meredithmartin.com.
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Rental Scams on the Rise

The California DRE issued a consumer alert this week warning renters to be on the lookout for fraudulent landlords.  The imposters often are able to convince potential renters to pay money, which may include a first and last month’s rent and a security deposit, as well as follow up rental payments, for a house that is not owned by the supposed landlord.

The scams are getting increasingly elaborate and more common place so keep an eye out.  I have several clients that have come close here in SF as well…

For more information, including warning signs, visit the DRE consumer alert by clicking here.

Meredith Martin is a life long resident of the bay area and a real estate professional with over 15 years experience. She can be reached at mm@meredithmartin.com.
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Best American cities to invest your real estate dollars

Experts predict “best” places to invest, American cities where the housing market is expected to a) rebound, b) stay strong, and/or c) improve. And this time, San Francisco proper is on the list. In fact, it tops the list.

Trulia, a top real estate site for buyers, sellers, and renters, has identified the 10 cities the site’s data and analysts thereof consider best positioned to thrive in 2011.

10 Real Estate Markets that Will Thrive in 2011

1. San Francisco, CA
2. Austin, TX
3. Madison, WI
4. Raleigh-Durham, NC
5. San Antonio, TX
6. Oklahoma City, OK
7. Des Moines, IA
8. Salt Lake City, UT
9. Fort Collins, CO
10. Omaha, NE

But, wait! We know San Francisco, real estate value-wise, has done fairly well, compared not only to a large portion of the Bay Area, but also to a large portion of California and the nation. However, the city is budget crunched, raising the cost of living, and dealing with historic high unemployment. Where does Trulia come up with such a sunny outlook? When asked, Trulia’s experts responded with these points, some of them very solid, and others perhaps debatable.

San Francisco, CA

1. Important note: many articles stating SF is struggling consider Bay Area (SF, San Jose and OAK) together, rather than looking at the city individually

2. 9.7% unemployment, but job growth in the high income/skill sectors required to buy a home there (one of the lowest in Calif., against 12% unemployment rate for CA)

3. Job growth over the decade: # of high-tech computer jobs in SF have doubled from 8,000 to more than 16,000 (SF Center for Economic Development) # of life sciences jobs in SF has grown 5X to 2,750, up from 500 in 2004.

4. Venture capital dollars invested into SF during the recession: over $6.3 B has been invested in software/computer and bio-tech – just in 2010

Best American cities to invest your real estate dollars in 2011: [sfgate.com]

Meredith Martin is a life long resident of the bay area and a real estate professional with over 15 years experience. She can be reached at mm@meredithmartin.com.
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