The 2010 Residential Wrap-Up: What’s goin’ on? Not much.

Avid readers of this blog will recall that I hastily pulled my last attempt to post on this subject because of some errors in the data.  Horrors.  The errors caused 2010 to look like a much stronger year in terms of price increases for single family homes.

Whether that would have been good news or bad depends, of course, on whether you’re trying to buy or sell.  As it is, 2010 ended up being a wash from either perspective.  Here’s the chart (click to enlarge:

Footnote on Potrero Hill: 473 Pennsylvania

I first saw this house, advertised as a fully remodelled 4 BR, 2BA, Potrero Hill View Home,”  back in October 2009.  With its Spanish Mediterranean, sunny yellow exterior, it had curb appeal, together with terrific if industrial views over the working end of the Central Waterfront and I-280.  The main floor showed started off well, with an open layout, great sun and expansive views.  I don’t recall the exact layout any more, but I do recall that a lot of the home’s square footage, including “an expansive fourth bedroom/media room” and “informal office space” were located on  a lower floor basement conversion that still felt like a basement. ...  Additional Details

Is Buying a House a Good Investment?

Among the scions of the real estate industry presenting at the Fisher Conference (see my previous post) was none other than Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist and Vice President of Freddie Mac.  He had a doozy of a slide set.  Here’s one my favorites.  More to follow.

The chart shows that nominal (ie. not inflation-adjusted) prices hadn’t shown an actual decline in over 50 years prior to 2006/7.  Real (inflation-adjusted) prices have fallen in previous recessions, though with the exception of 1980-82, those declines were pretty small.  This time round, though, we’re down big-time. ...  Additional Details

Noe Valley: The Condo/TIC market

At long last, here’s the promised data on Noe Valley condos and TIC’s.

First, a look back (in anger?) at the make-up of Noe Valley sales in 2009.

Note that there were more than twice as many condos sold as TICs, and more homes sold than condos and TICs put together. (What’s a TIC?  — Check out my series of posts on Tenancy-In-Common Interests, starting here.)

Also, that absurdly long DOM for TICs was distorted by 3 TICs at 201 Hoffman that took 410 days to sell.  Still, without those sales, DOM for TICs (tired of the acronyms yet?) was still 99 days.  And I’d be somewhat skeptical of the whopping difference in price between TICs and condos as well:  TICs sales often don’t have a price per square foot listed, so there are very few data points — and there are very few sales to begin with. ...  Additional Details

Looking Back at 2009: Half-Empty or Half-Full?

Less than two months into the new year and a brand new decade and already 2009 may seem as far away as a bad dream – assuming you still have a job.

It’s hard to remember just how close to the brink of catastrophe we seemed to be just a year ago.  Major financial institutions – failed.  Credit – impossible to get. Sales—anemic.

With the benefit of hindsight, not to mention survival, some are now criticizing Paulsen, Bernanke, et al., for their haste in rescuing the financial system, but I, for one, will reserve my scorn for the appalling judgment of the likes of Morgan and Goldman and their obscene bonuses. ...  Additional Details