Archive for the ‘rent vs. buying’ Category

Where Renting is Most Expensive in San Francisco

For those of us living in San Francisco, it’s no surprise the price of housing is a big concern both locally and nationwide. San Francisco in fact has been the country’s most expensive rental market (for one bedroom units) since August 2014 when our City by the Bay claimed the top spot over New York City.

Thanks to our friends at Trulia, here’s a breakdown of the San Francisco’s neighborhoods where rents are highest:

San Francisco Neighborhoods with the Most Expensive 1-Bedroom Rentals

#

Neighborhood

 % of 1-Bedrooms Renting for $3,000+

Median Rent

1

Fisherman’s Wharf

82.80%

$3,500

2

Mission

78.8%

$3,500

3

Pacific Heights

73.8 %

$3,600

4

Castro

71.9%

$3,500

5

Potrero Hill

71.7%

$3,600

6

Telegraph Hill

70.0%

$3,325

7

Mission Dolores

69.0%

$3,500

8

Cow Hollow

68.8%

$3,350

9

Hayes Valley

68.7%

$3,500

10 

Marina

68.3%

$3,348

 

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You may recall the story we published in September where we analyzed the financial question of Buying vs Renting and revealed this gem: Buying… is a better financial decision even if you could rent for free! Despite early indicators showing our local market could be leveling off, don’t expect prices to decrease unless we see an actual decrease in demand. 

 

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Meredith Martin is a Broker Associate at Paragon Real Estate Group and can be reached at Meredith@OpeningDoors.me

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To Buy or to Rent: That is the Question

top-10-one-bedroom-rents-in-september-2015

Unless you are fortunate to live in a rent controlled building, you may have noticed your monthly rent rise dramatically in recent years. Checking in at $3,530 per month, the median rent for a one-bedroom has been the highest in the country for six months following a 13.5% rise last year (and up as much as 29.2% in Noe Valley). For many renters, what they pay out every month could easily be a mortgage payment on a comparable place– the monthly Principal + Interest on a $1,000,000 home is $3819.32, assuming 20% down and a 30-year mortgage fixed at 4%. As of today, there is more than 330 single-family homes and condos/TICs/lofts that are Active on the MLS listed for under $1,000,000.

Plugging in local San Francisco data (August 2015 sales figures) to the New York Times’ Rent vs. Buy calculator reveals some compelling numbers. Buying a condominium at August 2015’s $1,045,000 median sale price or a single-family home at the $1,225,444,000 median is a better financial decision even if you could rent for free!

 

San Francisco condominium Rent vs. Buy results:

condo

San Francisco single-family home Rent vs. Buy results:

home

 

The assumptions I made in the above calculations are as follows:

  • Purchase price: $1,045,000 for condos, $1,225,444 for single-family homes
  • Length of time in home: 5 years
  • Mortgage Rate: 4%
  • Down payment: 20%
  • Length of Mortgage: 30 years
  • Home price growth rate: 13.3% for condos, 20.0% for single-family homes (12-month average, the NYT calculator maxes out at 15%)
  • Rent growth rate: 13.5% (median one-bedroom increase in 2014)
  • Investment rate of return: 7% (approx. long-term average annual ROI of stocks)
  • Inflation Rate: 2%
  • Property tax rate: 1.19%
  • Marginal tax rate: 28%
  • Taxes filed on a Joint Return
  • Costs of buying a home: 3% (approx. closing costs)
  • Costs of selling a home: 8% (approx. closing costs + marketing + customary 5% commission to brokers)
  • Maintenance/renovation: 1%
  • Homeowner’s insurance: 0.1% (approx. $50-$100+ per month depending on property type)
  • Monthly utilities: $100
  • Monthly common fees: $600 for condos, $0 for single-family homes
  • Common fees deduction: 0%
  • Security Deposit: 1 month
  • Broker’s fee: 0%
  • Renter’s Insurance: 0.1%

 

San Francisco condominium median price growth, 2005 to present:

San Francisco single-family home median price growth, 2005 to present:

 

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Meredith Martin is a Broker Associate at Paragon Real Estate Group and can be reached at Meredith@OpeningDoors.me

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To Buy or to Rent: That is the Question

I was recently introduced to an international all-cash home buyer who had come to San Francisco for one week on a mission to find housing for his two young adult children. Initially looking at rentals in the Infinity, Ritz Carlton and AVA Nob Hill in addition to some properties on Nob Hill and Russian Hill, it wasn’t long before I was asked the question: Does it make more sense to buy a place?

top-10-one-bedroom-rents-in-july-2015

Unless you are fortunate to live in a rent controlled building, you may have noticed your monthly rent rise dramatically in recent years. Since July 2014, the annual growth rate of rents has in fact outpaced that of home prices in San Francisco. Checking in at $3,500 per month, the median rent for a one-bedroom has been the highest in the country for four months following a 13.5% rise last year (and up as much as 29.2% in Noe Valley). For many renters, what they pay out every month could easily be a mortgage payment on a comparable place– the monthly Principal + Interest on a $1,000,000 home is $3819.32, assuming 20% down and a 30-year mortgage fixed at 4%. Now consider that nearly half the properties for sale right now are listed for under $1,000,000.

Plugging in local San Francisco data (June 2015 sales figures) to the New York Times’ Rent vs. Buy calculator reveals some compelling numbers. Buying a condominium at June 2015’s $1,100,000 median sale price or a single-family home at the $1,301,000 median is a better financial decision even if you could rent for free!

 

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The assumptions I made in the above calculations are as follows:

  • Purchase price: $1,100,000 for condos, $1,301,000 for single-family homes
  • Length of time in home: 5 years
  • Mortgage Rate: 4%
  • Down payment: 20%
  • Length of Mortgage: 30 years
  • Home price growth rate: 14.3% for condos, 19.4% for single-family homes (12-month y-o-y average, the NYT calculator maxes out at 15%)
  • Rent growth rate: 13.5% (median one-bedroom increase in 2014)
  • Investment rate of return: 7% (approx. long-term average annual ROI of stocks)
  • Inflation Rate: 2%
  • Property tax rate: 1.19%
  • Marginal tax rate: 28%
  • Taxes filed on a Joint Return
  • Costs of buying a home: 3% (approx. closing costs)
  • Costs of selling a home: 8% (approx. closing costs + marketing + customary 5% commission to brokers)
  • Maintenance/renovation: 1%
  • Homeowner’s insurance: 0.1% (approx. $50-$100+ per month depending on property type)
  • Monthly utilities: $100
  • Monthly common fees: $600 for condos, $0 for single-family homes
  • Common fees deduction: 0%
  • Security Deposit: 1 month
  • Broker’s fee: 0%
  • Renter’s Insurance: 0.1%

Not a stranger to the costs involved in carrying a property (and the long-term wealth-building benefit of homeownership), my client weighed the trade-offs of buying in San Francisco vs. renting at a maximum $10,000 per month. And… drum roll, please… he found that buying was the better option for him!

San Francisco condominium median price growth, 2005 to present:

San Francisco single-family home median price growth, 2005 to present:

 

Meredith Martin is a Broker Associate at Paragon Real Estate Group and can be reached at Meredith@OpeningDoors.me

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Quantifying the ROI of San Francisco Real Estate

 

Just how much have San Francisco home values increased since the market recovery began? Try 76 percent!

 

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Clocking in at $1,160,000 and up half a million dollars since 2011, the growth of the city’s median combined home & condo price is nothing short of dramatic — and it’s not even the highest percentage appreciation in the Bay Area. Solano, Alameda and Contra Costa counties measure up with growth over 80%, and Oakland takes the cake at 133%. Checkout how median home and condo prices have increased across San Francisco neighborhoods:

 

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Year to date, there’s been a 144% increase in the number of single-family homes sold in San Francisco for $5,000,000 and above (44 units compared to 18 YTD in 2014). Consumer confidence is riding high and there’s a new breed of luxury homebuyer that favors comfort over opulence, as evidenced by neighborhoods like The Mission, Glen Park and Bernal Heights leading in appreciation.

The number of condo resales in the $2,000,000+ range is also up significantly YTD compared to last year. A total 107 units have sold so far in 2015 representing a 78% increase. Keep in mind that this number would be larger if sales at new luxury developments like LUMINA, 72 Townsend, Amero and Rockwell were counted. As it stands, Russian Hill holds its place as the most coveted neighborhood for condo buyers:

 
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CNN Money recently launched this interactive calculator below allowing homeowners to compare the appreciation of their property to the returns of stocks, bonds and the average US home. Click here to plug in your numbers and see the results.

 

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With so much hype in the media about the unaffordability of San Francisco real estate as the prices reach new record highs month after month, there’s a surprising truth: the annual cost of a mortgaged median price house is actually lower now than at the last peak in 2007. You can thank historically low mortgage interest rates for that!

 

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Meredith Martin is a Broker Associate at Paragon Real Estate Group and can be reached at Meredith@OpeningDoors.me

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San Francisco Real Estate and the Holidays

Happy Holidays from San Francisco!

Happy Holidays from San Francisco!

Are you thinking of buying or selling your home? Perhaps you’re expanding and considering your current home as an investment property and entering it in the rental market? The 4th quarter is historically filled with low-inventory and quiet real estate offices. The holidays are a wonderful time to begin exploring your options.

To begin, set your financial house in order. File tax returns early to ease the process and align with a trusted mortgage lender. Connect with your financial planner to gage stock option sale limits and advantages.

Next, engage a San Francisco realtor. Reach out to friends and family or visit Yelp for community reviews. Most importantly interview a few experienced agents to find a comfortable relationship. Agents will schedule a no obligation initial meeting to discuss your needs and present their skills, strategy and network of professionals to aid in your property transition. A strong realtor is a resource, listening to your interests and priorities to best leverage their knowledge and experience in your market place.

The value of a realtor rests in advising informed decision making, negotiating contracts, competitive advantages and mitigating risk. The holidays are an excellent time to build a relationship with an agent. The limited competition gives agents the extra time and edge to gather property comparisons, market knowledge and customize a team of real estate professionals to represent your interests.

An agent’s thorough preparation prior to sale offers tools to increase the value of your home. A talented realtor will schedule a walk-thru of your property and suggest maintenance and improvement upgrades to maximize your return on investment. An agent will advise on market timing and conditions and design a comprehensive marketing presentation, including home staging, internet marketing, traditional marketing and activate industry networks to improve matching buyers and sellers.

The rental market in San Francisco is amazing. Would you like to be advised on the value of your property in the rental market? According to Colliers Research Report, all rental markets are showing growth of 12% over the past 12 months. This may warrant keeping your current property and expanding to a new one. A seasoned expert will address your lifestyle needs and financial interests to secure a smooth and successful transition.

Beginning the process of buying, selling or renting your San Francisco real estate over the holidays, results in an organized, detailed and opportunistic endeavor. To schedule a no expectation conversation with Zephyr Real Estate Broker and Assistant Sales Manager Rita Roti, please email rita@ritaroti.com or call (415)432-2114. Cheers and happy holidays!

Rita Roti is a broker associate / assistant manager at Zephyr Real Estate and can be reached at Rita@ritaroti.com.

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