This year, I’ve really enjoyed writing the “Home of The Week” that usually heads this newsletter. I think the varied disposition of these different listings says a lot about the kind of year we had. I thought it might be fun to let you know how the marketing of each of these homes turned out. There is a link to the listing for each property (the address) as well as to the original blog post (the date).


Address Date on Blog Status
39 Havens 4/17/08 Remains unsold.  The price has been reduced three times from an original price of $1,675,000 and is now priced at $1,295,000
849 Sanchez 5/9/08 Originally priced at $3,250,000 it sold after 20 days on the market for $3,400,000 with multiple offers.
43-45 Sanchez 5/21/08 Originally listed for $1,525,000, this three unit building sold in 18 days for $1,600,000 with multiple offers.
Kick Ranch 5/30/08 Listed for $6.2 million, this award winning vineyard was withdrawn  from the market in July after about 3 months in the MLS.  Updates on the Web site look like the owners are enjoying having retained the property.
821-823 Fillmore 6/6/08 Originally listed for $1,898,000 in March, this property eventually sold in July after four price reductions for $1,500,000.
The Orchard at Carneros 6/18/08 The management has sold 28 out of 170 fractional shares in the 17 homes.  The 2008 price of $300,000 remains unchanged.
419 Peru 7/8/08 The property is currently available, but withdrawn from the MLS.  It was in escrow in October, but fell out because the buyer’s were unable to obtain financing.  Prior going into escrow the price was reduced once from the original list price of $649k to $619k. 
1611-1613 Fulton 7/28/08 Sold after a mere 2 weeks on the market for $2,386,000, which was 10k less than the original asking price.  I believe the 10k was the result of a negotiation that occurred during escrow.
1601 Monterey 9/5/08 Listed for $5.4 Million, this home was sold after 29 days on the market for an undisclosed price.
2730 Fulton 9/26/08 One of the great success stories of 2008, the developers deserve to be congratulated for their timing as well as building exactly the kind of perfect family home we find in short supply in San Francisco in all price ranges.  This home was sold as a 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath fixer in March of 2008 for $1,605,000 and then brought back fully remodeled as a 5 bedroom, 4.5 bath showplace in September and quickly sold $17k over asking price for $2,415,000.
SF City Hall 10/30/08 Still not for sale.
123 Laurel 11/20/08 Perfectly reflective of the market mood, current scarcity of development capital, and the fact that the market prefers perfect homes, this yardless luxury fixer remains unsold at its original price of $3,750,000
60 Clarendon 12/12/08 After 80 days on the market, and a 300k price reduction just over a month ago, this home remains unsold.  This is reflective of the home’s design, which is beautiful and luxurious, but is not terribly well-suited to the kind of large family that could use all those bedrooms.



An Unusual Sighting

January 12, 2009

01-09-09_1005Last Friday, as I was parking on Union Street near Battery to visit Paragon’s Levi Plaza office, I saw this real giant ball of yarn with what I hope were fake feet sticking out of it. I did go pull on them to check. No yarn shops nearby, so I have no explanation. If you do, or want to make one up, please post.

BR = # of Bedrooms
H = House, C = Condo

Pacific Hghts 8BR H $18,000,000

Sea Cliff 6BR H $14,500,000*

Russian Hill 4BR H $ 9,500,000*

SOMA 4BR C $ 8,975,000*

Russian Hill 4BR C $ 6,700,000

Nob Hill 3BR H $ 6,400,000

Noe Valley 5BR H $ 5,818,000

Clarendon Hts 4BR H $ 5,625,000

St Francis Wd 5BR H $ 5,400,000*

Marina 4BR H $ 4,700,000*

Nob Hill 2BR C $ 4,625,000

South Beach 3BR C $ 3,500,000

Lake District 5BR H $ 3,100,000

Financial Dist 2BR C $ 3,020,000

Ashbury Hts 3BR H $ 2,850,000

Glen Park 4BR H $ 2,800,000

Richmond 4BR H $ 2,420,000

Mission Bay 2BR C $ 2,350,000

North Beach 3BR H $ 2,250,000

Bernal Hts 4BR H $ 2,150,000

N. Panhandle 4BR H $ 2,125,000

Balboa Ter 5BR H $ 2,100,000

Alamo Square 4BR H $ 2,050,000

Sunset 4BR H $ 1,900,000

Hayes Valley 3BR H $ 1,875,000

W. Portal 5BR H $ 1,850,000

Parkside 5BR H $ 1,555,000

Mission 4BR H $ 1,509,000

Excelsior 4BR H $ 1,300,000

Miraloma 4BR H $ 1,275,000

Bayview 3BR H $ 710,000

Ingleside 4BR H $ 685,000

2008 sales reported to MLS by 12/10/08
* Final list price (confidential sale)

Paragon Outperforms Market

January 12, 2009

In November 2008, Paragon was the #2 brokerage in SF by dollar volume of sales-with the highest average sales price of any brokerage in the top 10-after less than 5 years in business.

SF is one of the world’s most desirable places to live and still has the “strongest economy in the state”* but with September’s deterioration of financial markets, the real estate market underwent a seismic shift. Sales and median prices declined dramatically. Price reductions, time on market, and the months-supply of homes for sale soared. Where the market was strongest-generally the high end-activity dropped precipitately. Areas with the highest foreclosure rates-in the less affluent southeast quadrant of the city-saw large increases in sales. Some offers are being accepted well below asking price. It is too early to say exactly what this means for 2009: between macro-economic conditions and the holiday season, many neighborhoods had too few sales for meaningful statistics. And medians and averages are always generalities. Still, after years of being mostly a seller’s market-high demand, low supply, multiple offers over asking price-SF has made the transition to a buyer’s market-more choice, more negotiation, lower prices and low interest rates. This trend may well spark an upswing in sales in 09.

Comparing November 2008 with November 2007, SF house sales declined by 26%, condos by 55%, TICs by 74%, and 2-4 unit buildings by 65%.  This reflects a market in shock from national economic conditions.

Comparing November 2008 with November 2007, the average sales price as a percentage of list price for houses accepting offers within 30 days of going on market declined from 104.1% to 99.8%. Though still high by national standards, this is the first time in years that the average sales price has been below average list price for houses selling quickly in SF.

2008 San Francisco Home Market by Price Range
(As of 12/12/08)

Price Range For Sale        2008 Sales    Inventory Supply (MSI)
$500k & under




        4.7 months  
$501k – 1m




        5.5 months  
$1001k – 2m




      12.1 months
$2001k – 5m




      13.8 months
$5001k – 10m




Over $10m






Months-Supply-of-Inventory (MSI) is a measure of how long it would take to sell the existing inventory of homes at current sales rates. Generally speaking, an MSI below 4 is considered a seller’s market and an MSI over 5 or 6 is considered a buyer’s market.

Comparing 11/08 to 11/07, the MSI for houses increased from 3.8 to 4.8 months; for condos from 3.2 to 7.8 months; and for TICs from 4.2 to 8.9 months. Year over year, the MSI for many SF neighborhoods doubled, tripled or quadrupled, and are deep in “buyer’s market” territory.

SF Median Home Prices: Sold & Pending Sale    
    Sold Nov-07 Sold Nov-08 Pending 12-8-08
SF All Houses






SF All Condos













Median sales prices decline for 2 reasons: decreases in value and changes in buying patterns towards lower priced homes. The first reason applies, to some degree, to all 3 property types above, but the huge drop in median price for houses also reflects a large decrease in higher-end home sales and a large increase in sales of less expensive homes. For example, comparing 11/08 to 11/07, house sales in the affluent Realtor Districts 5 (Noe, Castro, Haight) and 7 (Pacific Hghts, Marina) decreased 65%, while house sales in District 10 (Bayview, Excelsior) -with the highest foreclosure rate in SF-increased 41%.

Median Price & Dollar per Square Foot by Neighborhood

The chart below compares median sales prices and average dollars per square foot for the 1st half of 2007-typically considered the peak of the market-with sales occurring since September 15, 2008, and then with homes pending sale as reported to MLS by 12/12/08. For pending sales, the calculations are based upon list price, since final sales prices were unknown. We see a general decline in both median price and dollar per square foot. These neighborhoods were chosen because there were sufficient sales for statistical analysis.

Neighborhood Property Type Sold 1/1 – 6/30/07 Sold 9/15-12/12/08 Pending Sale*
Noe Valley House  






Pacific/Presidio Hts Condo  




Richmond District House  






Noe/Castro Valleys Condo  






South Beach Condo  




Sunset/Parkside House  






Ingleside/Oceanvw House  






Bayview/Excelsior House  






SOMA   Condo  






South Beach Condo (to $2m)            $841/sq.ft.            $782/sq.ft.               N/A  
Pacific/Presidio Hts Condo          $830/sq.ft.            $731/sq.ft.               N/A  
SOMA   Condo (to $2m)        $715/sq.ft.            $654/sq.ft.    $591/sq.ft.  
Hayes Vly/NOPA Condo          $664/sq.ft.            $554/sq.ft.               N/A  
Bernal Hghts House         $629/sq.ft.            $571/sq.ft.    $560/sq.ft.  
Sunset/Parkside House         $605/sq.ft.            $551/sq.ft.    $535/sq.ft.  
Richmond District House         $583/sq.ft.            $555/sq.ft.    $534/sq.ft.  
Bayview/Excelsior House         $526/sq.ft.            $439/sq.ft.    $420/sq.ft.  
Ingleside/Oceanvw House         $487/sq.ft.            $456/sq.ft.    $451/sq.ft.  

All data from sources deemed reliable, but subject to error, omission or revision and not warranted. Medians and averages are generalities which can fluctuate dramatically and do not necessarily reflect values or changes in value for specific properties.

Foreclosure Sales Rates in the Bay Area

San Francisco continues to have the lowest foreclosure sales rate of any county in the Bay Area-less than half the rate of the second lowest county. According to DataQuick, in November 08, foreclosure sales in SF constituted 10% of property resale activity. The rates for the other 8 counties were as follows: San Mateo at 21.8%; Marin at 22.6%; Santa Clara at 38.9%;  Napa at 40.8%; Alameda at 44.4%; Sonoma at 51.6%; Contra Costa at 63% and Solano County at 63.6%.

60% of all SF foreclosure sales are occurring in just 3 of its 24 zip codes — 94134, 94124 & 94112 — all in the city’s SE quadrant (Bayview-Excelsior-Ingleside). Conversely, 94114, Noe & Eureka Valleys, had less than 1% of the city’s foreclosure sales.

Upcoming Listings

January 12, 2009

$959,000/West Portal/ 2555 15th Avenue BR/BA: 3/2 PKG: 4 Brief Description: Beautifully remodeled 20s SFH. Ocean Views from upper level bedroom, large family room down new kitchen & baths, lovely garden, deck, hardwood floors and fireplace.

$779,000/ Bernal Heights/ 632 Prentiss / BR/BA: 3/2 PKG: 1.5 Brief Description: 2 story, clean and vacant single family home in great shape. This home should be on the market by 1/18 or 1/25 staged.

Pocket Listings:
$1,999,000/Pacific Heights /2067 Green St BR/BA: 3/3 PKG: 2 Brief Description: Top floor unit in two unit condo building. 2 levels. Master with Bay and Alcatraz views from sitting area. Not on MLS until early February

$1,349,000/ Marina/ 3530 Webster BR/BA: 2/2 PKG: 2-car Brief Description: Withdrawn from MLS but still available for sale. Fabulous full-floor condo in a 2-unit building in a prime Marina location. Beautifully remodeled kitchen and bathrooms. LR w/ wood-burning fireplace, formal dining room, great floor plan for entertaining. Move-in condition. Over 1500SF per the condo map.

$975,000/Nob Hill/1515 Leavenworth St. Brief Description: 7 studios + 2 non-conforming. Free standing, nice light and much upside. $60k+ inc. Must sell to complete exchange.

$867,000 or less /Telegraph Hill/ 1451 Montgomery # 7 BR/BA: 1+/ 1 PKG: 1 Brief Description: Completely renovated with dramatic panoramic views Telegraph Hill condo. 9 unit condo assn. with elevator from garage to the unit. A special place – one of a kind property. This view condo was listed with lots of activity before the holidays but no takers. Still available as sellers have identified a replacement property in Berkeley If you have a client looking in this area, let us know. We can set up a showing with notice.

$595,000/ Media Gulch/Mission / 2711 18th St #34 BR/BA: 1/1 PKG: Brief Description: Rarely available loft/condo in the former Sees Candy Factory Building. Huge east facing industrial windows, views, tons of exposed concrete, polished concrete floors. Dramatic space great for someone who is an artist or photographer or just a first time buyer who wants a very cool and affordable place. Could make a great second home too Wide open space, very cool. Great Inner Mission location by KQED.

Price Reduction:
$1,150,000 Old Price: $1,250,000 /Cole Valley / 1315 Cole Street BR/BA: 3+/1 PKG: 1 Brief Comments: NOT ON MLS, Private showings only, large Edwardian flat