As you might have noticed, due to the fanfare around The Big Rumble, last Saturday was the 20th Anniversary of the Loma Prieta Earthquake. Not to get to preachy about the whole thing, but are you prepared?

If anyone reading this does not know how to shut off their gas, please let me know and I will come show you or at least explain it on the phone.  But in addition to that, you might want to think about getting an earthquake preparedness kit together.  These can be assembled or purchased.  Here’s a great source for one stop shopping:  Disaster Survival Solutions.  They make a kit in a weather proof box you can keep outside your home (which is really important if your house falls down…).  If you want to assemble your own, just take a look at what’s in the kit do it yourself.

After you have your tent, sleeping bags and 3,600 calorie food bars, and WATER, you might want to consider making sure you know what to do and how to best help if the big one hits.  The San Francisco fire department offers fantastic free Neighborhood Earthquake Readiness Traning or “NERT.”  Elvis wants me to take the traning to get the free hard hat.  But fashion options aside, it’s probably a good idea, which I hope you will consider.  To find out more click here.

A couple of things happening in the next few weeks I wanted to mention.

First, Paragon is having a client appreciation event – and I wish Icould take each and every one of you – at the Millennium Tower.  This is the shining 60 story tower at 301 Mission with the new Michael Minna restaurant RN74 on the ground floor.  Way up in clouds on the 50th floor, there is a newly unveiled decorator showcase and we are having a party there on November 12!  Please let me know right away if you’d like to join me there!

Second, as many of you know, I am a big fan of San Francisco’s public schools and my son, Elvis, goes to Claire Lilienthal.  We are having our 2nd annual Texas Holdem Tournement – and yours truly is one of the sponsors!  So if you like kids and you like Poker (no, there won’t be any kids at the event), come and gamble the night away!  Tickets are $100 in advance and prizes include $3500 worth in value of American Express Gift Cards, Dinners at great restaurants such as Perbacco and Harris’ Steak House, health club memberships, and much, much more!  See evite for details by clicking here.

As I mention in my article on volume, more activity puts pressure on prices. As you can see in the table below, the number of transactions where the property is selling for more than the asking price, is sharply up from earlier this year, where even for single family homes, under 20% of transactions were yeilding a sales price over asking. We’re at a whopping 54% of single family home transactions closed in the last two weeks coming in over asking price.  To see more about earlier in the year, click see “Have we found the Floor?” from July 31, 2009

Last 2 weeks’ home sales in SF:      
  Over Ask Under Ask At Ask Total 
SFD 39 20 13 72
% of sales 54% 28% 18%  
Condos/TICs 17 41 13 71
% of sales 24% 58% 18%  
2-4 Unit Buildings 2 9 1 12
% of sales 17% 75% 8%  
Total 58 70 27 155
% of sales 37% 45% 17%  

In every category, even luxury, the number of homes sold is trending upwards. The charts below are not reflective of the price they are trading at, but generally higher market activity starts to put upward pressure on prices. The charts below show a two year period ending August 30, 2009.  Overall, my reading of these charts is that if you were waiting for the market to bottom out, it has already done so.  Also, it’s still a very good time to buy between 500k and $2MM as those curves have only just started to gently edge up.

Home Sales $500,000 & Under (It must be noted here that one of the reasons the growth in sales is so high is because there were fewer homes as a proportion of the market under $500,000 back in 2007.)

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Home Sales $501,000 – $999,000

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 Home Sales $1,000,000 – $1,999,999

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Home Sales $2,000,000 and Above

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