Bubble Pop? One Developer’s View of the Condo Market


The Mark Company has been developing iconic projects throughout the Bay Area and beyond for years and they put out excellent monthly summaries that track new construction across the city, from approval stage through to completion and sale. In my last newsletter, I referred to recent articles that had misquoted Paragon data to suggest, essentially, that the sky was about to fall on San Francisco Real estate. The Mark Company just published its own detailed rebuttal, and for those might be thinking about a high rise condo purchase, it’s worth a read. You can find it here.

While it’s clearly in the Mark Company’s interests to deny that the condo market is about to fall, our own data and conclusions are very much in line with theirs. In a nutshell, despite the 35,000 units that are in the pipeline for development, all but about 7,000 of them are in huge long-term developments that may or not ever get approved. Meanwhile SF’s economy and job creation remain strong.

To their credit, they don’t deny that the market is recalibrating. Here’s the takeaway: “These key facts help us point toward a normalizing market, not one on the verge of another recession.”

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Calling Giants Lovers. Live Next to Home Plate!

_110782_rawI’ll be hosting an open house at 207 King Street, Unit 410, this Sunday, May 1, between 1 and 3:30. Located a pitcher’s throw away from AT&T Park, this condo is not of the all-too-common shoe-box variety! With 2 beds and 2 baths occupying around 1800 SF on two levels, it is genuinely spacious. Tons of natural light, soaring ceilings, and sleek finishes complete the package. Priced to sell at $1.75 million, that’s below the minimum $1,000 a foot you can generally expect to pay for much less appealing condos in the area. Located in The Glassworks, one of Mission Bay’s premier boutique buildings. Come visit!

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Real Data SF April Newsletter

realdatasfAre Condos Cooling? Are Homes Still Hot?

Paragon’s April newsletter created quite a stir recently when it was misquoted in a Business Insider article to suggest that San Francisco’s condo market is heading for a bust. That, in turn, prompted cries of foul play by one of San Francisco’s leading condo developers – presumably because even the suggestion of a slowdown would not be good for business. (If you have an SF Chronicle subscription, you can read all about it here.)

Sensationalist headlines make good copy but misleading news. A fair reading of the newsletter suggests that there is increasing evidence of softness in the high-end condo market, represented most clearly by the glass towers of SOMA/South Beach, etc. Continue reading

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Special Report: Noe Valley Homes

NoeValleyMore High Priced Homes Than Any Other Neighborhood

While its homes may not generally be as grand as those of Pacific and Presidio Height or St. Francis Woods, no neighborhood in the city comes close to matching the number of $2 – $4 million sales that occur in Noe Valley and its environs. Admittedly, part of the reason is that the Noe Valley and surrounds is large geographically compared to those other neighborhoods, so you’d expect there simply to be more sales. But, as any one who has tried to buy a home in Noe Valley will tell you, homes here are expensive – period.
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El Niño Doesn’t Appear to Have Dampened the SF Housing Market

It happens every year. People decide that holiday parties, visiting with family, and staying dry are more important than visiting open houses on the week-end. Activity drops and often so do prices. But with the first glimmers of sunshine and longer days, buyers and sellers get back into the market and the home buying/selling season takes off.

And that seems to be exactly what’s happening this year, despite the lingering effects of El Niño and a bumpy stock market ride. Take a look at the chart below:

1 Continue reading

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Unicorns and Startups A Dying Breed?

UnicornYesterday’s front page article in the New York Times Business Section might sound a cautionary note for the local San Francisco market. What if our tech industry Millennials’ stock options and – even – jobs (gosh!) start disappearing? I mentioned this in my 2015 Real Estate Wrap-Up as a possible brake on the Continue reading

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