Archive for January, 2012

Where the boys and girls hang out in San Francisco – UberCab stats

@Abrams  forwarded this link to this post onto me and I’ve been obsessed ever since.  It’s not just that it’s a pretty interactive map, it’s that I am fascinated by human nature and this is such a detailed sneak peak into the comings and goings of San Franciscan’s, that I can’t stop going back to it.   Penned by a @BradleyVoytek  a neuroscientist working with Uber formerly UberCab, an on-call driving service here in San Francisco that took off a couple years ago.  Here are a few snippets:

  • There are 35% more women in the Marina and 47% more women in Pac Heights on weekend nights than expected.
    * Conversely, there are 23% more men in SoMa, 16% more in the Castro, and 14% more in the Financial District;
  • What happens in Soma has a 17% chance of staying in Soma.
  • Where do Iphone users, and Android users hang out
  • During normal business hours everyone’s headed into the Financial District…
    * …but on weekend nights it’s all about the parties: the Mission, the Marina, Downtown, the Castro, and Western Addition. Read more:

(So ladies if you’re looking for a straight man in this city, you’re odds increase in Soma.  Men let’s face it you can go anywhere in this city and have high odds as a straight guy).

Uberdata: Mapping the San Franciscome []


Year of the Dragon – and 2011 San Francisco Real Estate in review

One of my long term San Francisco clients made a very wise comment to me in 2009. I was helping them look for a specific type of condo in Pacific Heights in a very specific price range, after we sold their place that wasn’t their perfect home. At that stage we had already been looking for two years and according to the market ‘facts’, what they wanted should have been readily doable. They were realistic in their expectations, willing to compromise on things like an in-unit laundry due to the older period style of home they loved, and highly qualified to buy. One day in passing, Tom wisely noted that the really good properties, the ones that everyone wants for any number of reasons, rarely come available at dramatically discounted prices, because any seller in San Francisco who can, will hold onto their property until the market recovers. They did finally find their home at a great price last year (due to the seller being relocated and not interested in being a landlord), but his comment always stuck with me because I recognized the truth in it.

It’s true in part because San Francisco does behave differently than other markets in the nation, or even in the Bay Area. It’s been known to recover more quickly from economic upheaval, and like the many micro climates San Francisco enjoys, the markets in different neighborhoods often move at dramatically different speeds or even, for periods of time, in different directions. It would appear that San Francisco real estate began turning the corner on the latest down cycle in 2011. Two and a half years following the financial markets crash, the dynamics in the city started to change: prices stabilized, Bay Area and city economic conditions began to improve, distress home listings decreased, and interest rates hit new lows. The two biggest stories for the city were that rents increased (dramatically), and the inventory of homes on the market dramatically decreased, by 35-45% from the year prior. Historically, this begins to put upward pressure on prices. Overall, the financials of home buying made more sense in 2011 than they have in several years.


Know your status! Change comes to the SFAR MLS



Real Estate has a language of its own, and it just got some new abbreviations.  Yes, I used to sit down with new clients and explain that there were four stages to a listing’s life: Active, Contingent, Pending and Sold.  But now I’ll have to change that statement to reflect a number of sub-categories:

From the SFAR:

MLS Statuses as of January 4, 2012

No accepted offer

Act. Cont.-Short Sale:
Accepted offer pending lender approval, additional offers being sought

Act. Cont. – Rel. Clause*:
Accepted offer with a subject to sale seller release clause, additional offers being sought

Act. Cont. – Show*: 
Accepted offer with Buyer contingency provisions such as inspections, accepting back-up offers

Act. Cont. – Probate*:
Accepted offer, available to be overbid through the court confirmation process

The Seller has accepted an offer and is not soliciting additional offers

Temp. Off Market*:
The listing contract is still valid, but the property is not being actively marketed and there is no accepted offer. Temp. Off Market listings will not be allowed to be relisted as new.

Withdrawn – Cancel*: 
The listing agreement has been cancelled

Withdrawn – Duplicate*:
Duplicate listing, property can be found as pending or sold in another category

The listing agreement has expired

Escrow has closed

*New MLS status as of January 4, 2012

Of course, I wish there was a version of Active Contingent that was for properties where the seller (or listing agent) didn’t want to be bothered with addition showings, but the contingencies were still in effect, because that’s a reality.  Hopefully agents will mark those properties as pending.  But old habits die hard and we are used to the old way of only moving a property status to pending when all contingencies have been removed, so they may remain on the MLS as Act. Cont. – Show instead; causing disappointment when it isn’t really possible to show them!


Rita Roti is a broker / assistant manager at Zephyr and can be reached at