116 SugarloafWhen I read “four bridge view,” I had to stop and count them… I suppose on a really clear day you must be able to see just a hint of the Dunbarton, which would make five.

In addition to unique, sweeping views, 116 Sugerloaf in Tiburon has a really cool floating fireplace, view bubble with hanging see-thru chairs, an amazing open, indoor/outdoor living design. It was designed by architects Scheidegger & Tobias with construction completed in 2004 by the current owners. A link to the previous listing can be seen here (the pictures are just so fab – kudos to the photographer!). Shown by appointment only – let me know if you or someone you know can’t resist.

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Yesterday, the Case-Shiller Index — considered the most objective index of US home prices — reported, as pertaining to April to May prices: “10-city and 20-city composites reported positive returns for the first time since the summer of 2006…the first time we have seen broad increases in home prices in 34 months. This could be an indication that home price declines are finally stabilizing.”

For the SF Metro Area (i.e. greater Bay Area, NOT just SF), C-S reported gains of .6% March to April, and 1.4% April to May. Year over year, C-S reported an overall metro area decline of 26.1%. Read the full article here.

From my own experience, I can happily say that things are picking up. Home of the Week 1617 Fulton went into escrow after just 5 days or so on the market with a pre-emptive offer. My listing at 640 Judah got three offers after just a short time on the market, and buyers who I am working with now are regularly competing in a field of 3 or more offers. To be clear, these deals are all well under the $1MM mark, and activity is definitely being driven by the availability of financing available at very low rates. Homes that are not eligible for these low rates – most TICs and homes requiring a loan over $729k are not moving nearly as briskly (if at all -oh so gorgeous Home of the Week 116 Sugarloaf has been on the market over a year and has been reduced from $7.5MM to a mere $4.5MM).

The below charts show that there has been a substantial increase in sales volume, and about a 20% decrease in homes selling under asking price.  Volume for the two weeks ended July 15 was 172% of what it was for the period ended March 18 of this year.  It is too soon to tell if the decrease in homes selling under asking price (and the commensurate increase in those selling over) means that prices are climbing.  However, my recent market experiences tell me that there has been a shift toward underpricing homes to attract attention (and multiple offers) in the “affordable” sectors of the market.

Well, it’s changes like these that keep things exciting and I am really happy to be participating in these busy times due to the support I get from all of you. Thanks, as always for your referrals and for letting me be your go-to person for your real estate needs.

(All data is from San Francisco MLS)Market Stats 73109

I’m sure we all have that gut check moment on our commitment to being San Franciscans every month when we pay our mortgages or when we visit friends out of state with really big, nice, cheap houses. Ditto that when you go out to eat or take a taxi. Why does it cost so much to live here, and why are we willing to put up with it? Well, if you believe University of Michigan economist David Albouy, it’s because it’s actually a “good deal.”

Here’s what a recent article in US News & World Report had to say about San Francisco:

“With the fourth-highest quality of life and the highest trade productivity on Albouy’s list, the San Francisco area — which includes Silicon Valley — comes in first on the list of most valuable cities. There are high wages, but even higher housing costs. Albouy found that housing costs are pushed so much above the wage level because San Francisco residents enjoy a premium beyond income, such as great weather, a thriving local arts community, and lively neighborhoods. But the business aspects of San Francisco outshine even the quality of life. Albouy says it’s often thought that small cities where workers earn lower wages, like Boise, Idaho, are where businesses should start because costs like hiring and renting a building are so low there, relative to cities like San Francisco. But low prices also mean low quality. “Boise is a terrible place to do business, and the low wages are a sign of that,” he says. Compared to Boise, “San Francisco has a highly productive workforce,” he says.”

Does this ring true to you? It does to me. I am just not Boise material.  To read the whole article, click here.

Who is San Francisco?

July 31, 2009

Some fun facts to mull over:

 

1617 FultonI was talking to my friend James Dixon, who you may remember likes to teach us about architectural styles and learned that this building (where Stefan, Elvis and I live in the upper flat) is a Queen Anne Edwardian. I had thought that the terms Queen Anne and Edwardian were mutually exclusive, but it turns out that whether something is an Edwardian or a Victorian is based on the date of construction. Since 1615-1617 Fulton was built in 1901, that makes it an Edwardian.

The reason I am featuring my own building as the Home of the Week is that the lower flat 1617 is for sale. The price is $799,000 for a spacious 3 bedroom/2 bath unit with parking and it will be open today from 1 to 4. Stop by and take a look!