Posts Tagged ‘tech’

The New Mansions of Noe Valley: Part I

 

For many San Franciscans, talk of the city’s mansions conjures images of the so-called “Prestige North” — the trophy properties of Pacific Heights, Presidio Heights and Sea Cliff which are historically the most expensive single-family homes San Francisco has to offer. Indeed, when 2701 Broadway sold earlier this year for $31M it became the highest priced sale of the year. Nonetheless, there’s been a remarkable shift in the number of multi-million dollar home sales in recent years to the city’s more southerly neighborhoods.

Between 2012 and 2014, the number of single-family homes sales $3M+ in Noe Valley increased more than 800%; if the eight homes currently listed [we’ll examine some of these in The New Mansions of Noe Valley: Part II] trade at or above listing price by the end of 2015, that figure will reach 900% over the four year period. See this chart of $3M+ Noe Valley home sales over the past decade:

 

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Earlier this year, Noe Valley saw its record-setting most expensive home sale ever, 625 Duncan (March 2014), matched by 553 Elizabeth (June 2015) — each sold for $7M. [Note: 625 Duncan was then partially gutted and re-sold in April 2015 for $4.4M.] That same month, Noe got its new next priciest sale at 471 Hoffman, sold for $6.7M. In all, 19 $3M+ single-family homes in Noe Valley have sold YTD — compare that to 23 in Pacific Heights.

At various times over the past decade, the average $/sqft sales price in Noe Valley has exceeded that of Pacific Heights, both with consideration to all property types sold and also individually to homes, condos, and TICs leading to some dramatic comparisons between the two neighborhoods. In 2013 it was said “Pacific Heights is cheap compared to Noe Valley” with regard to particular $/sqft figures, and last year it was declared “Noe is the new Pac Heights” following a measured shift of dominance in the number $2M+ single-family home sales from the “Prestige North” to the Noe, Eureka and Cole Valleys.

With regard to median sales prices for single-family homes, Noe Valley led the whole of San Francisco in surpassing the $1M mark by almost five years. Not since May 2009 has the neighborhood seen a six-figure median for houses, and today close to 95% of all properties there — houses, condos and TICs — are valued at $1M+ according to this Zillow report.

 

In fact, having grown from 54.26% in January 2010, the number of $1M+ properties as a percentage of all housing stock in Noe Valley today is the 3rd highest in the city, trailing Inner Sunset (95.67%) and Central Richmond (95.64%). Pacific Heights comes in 4th at 88.24%.

 

 

While neither Noe Valley nor Pacific Heights could claim the highest average $/sqft for houses in September 2015, the spread between their prices — $1,334/sqft and $1,509/sqft, respectively — is relatively small. And while Noe is only one of a handful of neighborhoods in the southern part of San Francisco to experience some of the highest average annual compound appreciation rates in the long term, none of the others come close to touching the “Prestige North” — in terms of ultra-luxury house prices, average $/sqft figures, median single-family home prices, percentage of $1M+ properties, number of $3M+ homes sales or otherwise.

 

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With Noe Valley’s easy access to Silicon Valley, it’s proven to be a desirable area for wealthy tech-employed homebuyers. Furthermore, the neighborhood’s limited capacity for infill luxury housing developments means that any existing structure is an appealing candidate for renovation, expansion and/or rebuild for 21st century sensibilities. Looking at the $3M+ single-family homes sold this year as well as ones currently on the market, it’s evident the neighborhood is experiencing a wave a mansionization every bit as worthy of “Prestige” as Pacific Heights.

In The New Mansions of Noe Valley: Part II, we’ll take a look at some of these properties and offer a professional’s analysis of the draws for these mansions that tech built. Stay tuned!

 

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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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Gold Rush Real Estate: Then & Now

Portsmouth Square, 1851

Portsmouth Square, 1851

 

When writer Bayard Taylor arrived in San Francisco by ship in the summer of 1849 and began chronicling the Gold Rush economy in his dispatches for the New-York Daily Tribune, he feared nobody would believe him. The imbalance of supply and demand for basic essentials — food, tools, clothing, equipment — was riding high, driving prices to astronomical levels–

 

“There were reports of canteens charging a dollar for a slice of bread or two if it was buttered, the equivalent of $56. A dozen eggs might cost you $90 at today’s prices; a pick axe would be the equivalent of $1,500; a pound of coffee $1,200 and a pair of boots as much as $3,000…”Smithsonian

 

In today’s economy — booming not with gold but with technology — even San Francisco locals are in disbelief to learn the premiums being paid for another commodity in short supply: real estate. In sharp contrast with current times, mid-19th century SF was a largely rural setting with abundant raw land awaiting the development of businesses, homes and infrastructure. Now, there’s practically nowhere to build up — and when it comes to homes prices here in one of America’s richest cities, the sky is the limit.

Just for fun, let’s take a look at some Gold Rush era properties that have hit the market in recent years and their inflation adjusted prices. They’ll have you wishing you could travel back in time!

 

1032 Broadway Street, Nob Hill

Year Built: 1853

2015 List Price: $12,000,000

Inflation Adjusted 1853 Price: $434,813.47

1032 broadway

 

 

1948 Sutter Street, Lower Pacific Heights

Year Built: 1858

2006 Sales Price: $2,405,000

Inflation Adjusted 1858 Price: $115,151.52

1948 sutter

 

 

816 Grove Street, Alamo Square

Year Built: 1850

2004 Sales Price: $1,650,000

Inflation Adjusted 1850 Price: $75,370.45

816 grove

 

 

10 Napier Lane, Telegraph Hill

Year Built: 1855

2012 Sales Price: $810,000

Inflation Adjusted 1855 Price: $32,849.01

10 napier

 

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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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Triple-Digit Temps, Six-Figure Overbids

 

It’s heating up — and I’m not just talking about the triple-digit temperatures around the Bay Area!

More than 145 properties have come on the market in San Francisco in the past seven days, signaling what promises to be a heated post-Labor Day selling season for local real estate. September is historically the biggest month for new listings, and while some things change — year-over-year lower inventory, fewer average days on market, higher median prices, etc. — this looks to be one trend that’s remaining constant.

 

Already this month, nearly a dozen homes have traded for 30% or more over list price; Even with the forthcoming wave of new inventory, sellers who price and market right have a good shot at realizing six-figure overbids. This article from the Wall Street Journal outlines some ways both home sellers and buyers can succeed at bidding wars, surely implemented with success by the sellers of some of San Francisco’s Top 20 Overbids.

Those competing for these properties are primarily high-paid tech professionals (the number of employed San Francisco residents is at a record high) and overseas buyers looking for investment properties. Just recently, San Francisco was named as one of the top cities for Chinese investors. Meanwhile, economic volatility abroad is underscoring the safety and profitability of real estate as an investment, and San Francisco real estate in particular has a proven track record of resilience. With that said…

Two looming events may impact local market performance in the next few weeks: interest rate hikes mandated by the Federal Reserve, and new disclosure rules effective October 3rd that will (at least temporarily) lengthen the escrow process. How will these play out? We’ll have to wait and see.

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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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Million Dollar Affordable Housing. Only in San Francisco.

 

No San Francisco neighborhood has so squarely positioned itself at the epicenter of opposition to rising housing costs than the Mission District. Of course, housing un-affordability is but one of many rapid changes in the neighborhood, and seeking legislative action is but one response (sidebar: remember when protestors were blocking tech shuttles?) — and median home prices have soared 76% citywide since 2011! For now, let’s take a focused look at some of the real estate sales dynamics in the Mission.

August 2007, at the peak pre-recession height of local real estate, a TIC at 901 Guerrero Street (below) sold for $955,000. The 3-bed and 1.5-bath Edwardian was purchased for 12.5% more that its list price and in 26 days on the market.

 

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Earlier this year, in February 2015, I represented the buyer of 901 Guerrero Street sold for $1,650,000. This time, the property returned favorable to the market with a fresh coat of paint, a successful condo-conversion on the record, and convenient proximity to “every tech bus.” The winning bid (of course there were competing offers!) after only eight days on the market came in at 18% over asking. The San Francisco Chronicle even wrote about it.

 

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Given that 901 Guerrero did have a significant value-adding improvement between 2007 and 2015, consider still that its 2015 price is nearly 75% higher than at the previous peak. It’s not uncommon for properties to be improved from one sale to the next, and it makes sense that those properties will sell for higher prices, all else equal. Couple that with record-low inventory and cash investors, and now not even techies (let alone teachers) can compete as homebuyers. Since 901 Guerrero Street sold, I’ve seen comparable properties in the neighborhood sell for even higher. What’s a city like San Francisco with its economy supercharged by the high-tech boom to do?

There appears to be a “try everything” approach in the works for the Mission.

First, a ballot initiative calling for an 18-month moratorium on new market-rate residential developments in the Mission has been approved for the November 2015 ballot. If passed, the effect of the moratorium on neighborhood home prices can be debated. Because the overwhelming majority of housing in the Mission is market-rate which is favored by homebuyers, constraining supply could drive prices of existing homes higher. Alternately, negative attitudes toward an influx of affordable housing could lead residents to leave for other neighborhoods and influence homebuyers to buy elsewhere, ultimately hurting market-rate resale values.

Second, the city is feeling pressure to build more affordable housing units right now. Such developments, like 490 South Van Ness at 16th Street, are permanently reserved for low-income, median-income and moderate-income residents. Below Market Rate housing is purchased for a fraction of market value– not a single unit has sold in the Mission since March 2014 (and a 2-bedroom BMR condo in the Inner Mission is listed right now for just under $450,000). Plus, projects like these can take a year or more to construct once ground is broken, meanwhile the price of affordable housing continues to rise with $15 minimum wage.

Lastly, flood the market with new housing units of all kinds to help meet demand and stabilize prices as quickly as possible. There are 26 residential developments planned for the Mission and a few have begun construction (see the entire pipeline of residential projects in San Francisco here). Still, the pace of new units coming to the market pales in comparison to the city’s growth of employed residents (yes, people can afford to relocate to San Francisco even with housing costs as they are). Some sites available in the Mission could be bought by the city for affordable housing, and the proposed moratorium would give it enough time to organize and fund the investment.

 

A 2015 Yale School of Management survey of recent home buyers found that a quarter of San Francisco respondents has the extravagant expectation for annual home price increases of 10% or more annually for the next 10 years. Although more likely be closer to 5%, it could happen. In 20+ years working locally in real estate, I’ve learned to never underestimate the voracity of the San Francisco market. I’m of the opinion San Francisco median price trends are headed the direction of Tokyo, Sydney and London toward $3,000 per square foot. Before we get there, though, we may find ourselves asking sooner rather than later: When does an affordable housing unit cost a million dollars?

 

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 Secret Spaces

Rooftop Reverie

Rooftop Reverie

San Francisco is a very special place. Right now, some think  it’s the epicenter of the universe. The Titans of Tech, the heart of artistic culture and Karl the fog (our weather is now a mascot!) reside here, working and playing hard. But we all need a break…

The folks at SPUR have shared their local real estate expertise in a cell phone application titled, SPUR Secret Spaces & Hidden Oases to showcase destinations for revitalization. The best part, all are open to the public!

I have narrowed to my top 5. Enjoy!

1. Rooftop Reprieves at The Crocker Galleria on 50 Post St. @ Montgomery St. This breath of fresh air location boasts 2 Rooftop Sun Terraces. Complete with lovely benches, flowering trellis’ and a working foundation, this quiet open space has lived up to its name since its construction in 1982. With easy access to restaurants & restrooms, Rooftop Reprieves receives a stamp of excellence!

2. Standing Among Giants at TransAmerica Redwood Park on 600 Montgomery St. @ Clay St. This iconic oasis lives up to it’s fame.

TransAmerica Redwood Park

TransAmerica Redwood Park

Resting beneath the shadow of this towering skyscraper, an Urban Park accessorized with massive Redwood trees, grass, wooden benches and a stage, takes my first prize for best of the best. Nearby restaurants have cooked lunch for the voyeur of these gentle Redwood giants since 1973.

Moroccan Bliss!

Moroccan Bliss!

3. A Moroccan Plaza at Citicorp Center Building on 1 Samsome St. @ Sutter St. This remarkable architectural accomplishment has provided San Francisco with a glass enclosed roof, supported by 2-story arches of white marble since 1912. A visitor is sure to have a few moments of holiday bliss as palm trees accent this quaint cafe scene. Drift amongst the true show stoppers, an art deco bronze sculpture and marble fountain centerpiece. Sit back, relax and enjoy the tables and chairs free for visitors use since 1983.

4. Up in The Clouds on 343 Sansome St. @ Sacramento St. This split location shares 2 open spaces with the public. Savor the sun and the view from the 15th floor terrace.

15th Floor Terrace

15th Floor Terrace

Travel to the adjacent mall for easy food service. Bring lunch back over and appreciate the olive trees and flower bed planters. This special space has been gifting benches, moveable chairs and tables since 1990.

5. Power Lunch Greenhouse on 101 2nd St. In 2000, contemporary minimalism invited an expansive, glass-enclosed designer cafe to SOMA.

Modern Greenhouse eatery

Power Lunch Greenhouse

Bath in sunlight and pull up a chair or a bench to watch daily noon-time entertainment. Delight in the contrasting white marble and black granite decor that frame an over-sized painting and sculpture. What are your favorite San Francisco spaces?

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

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