January Newsletter

San Francisco Rankings, Real Estate Prices & Trends, and the Biggest Home Sales of 2012
January 2013 Paragon Market Report

Here is a look at how a diverse group of major and minor organizations have recently ranked San Francisco on a wide variety of important and whimsical measures. Where disagreements existed — 3 different surveys ranked SF as the 1st, 2nd and 3rd “Greenest City” in America, and 2 surveys ranked us as second and third smartest city in the country — we naturally chose the highest grade as most accurate.

The ranking report is followed by some fascinating snapshots of the San Francisco and Bay Area real estate markets.

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Median Home Sales Prices around the Bay Area

This mapped analysis calculates median prices from both distressed and non-distressed property sales around the Bay Area as reported to MLS. Median price is a very general statistic and many cities include districts of wildly varying value. For example, San Francisco contains neighborhoods whose median prices vary by over $4,000,000: The overall statistic mixes them all up together and comes up with $810,000. Maps with SF neighborhood values are included later in this report.

2

The 2012 Rebound

Exactly a year ago, we suggested that, based upon the changing market and economic dynamics we perceived developing in 2011, the SF real estate market was on the cusp of a major turnaround in 2012, possibly similar to what occurred in 1996 when the market blasted off after years of doldrums. And that is what happened, not only for the city, which led the way early in the year, but for the Bay Area, state and country somewhat later. Note that the SF house median price quoted here for 2012 is for 4th quarter non-distressed sales only.

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San Francisco Neighborhood Values
This map charts median sales prices and average dollar per square foot for houses by city neighborhood. And this link goes to a map for SF condo values:
SF Condo Values Map

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Year over Year Changes in Values
Very generally speaking, and depending on neighborhood and property type, SF home values have risen by 10% to 20% over the past year. Here is a chart assessing the surprisingly consistent change in overall SF condo value statistics and this link looks at SF house statistics.
SF House Value Statistics

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SF Homes Sales by Price Range
One client once called this the “high-heel shoe” graph of San Francisco home prices. One of the big components of the 2012 market was the resurgence in luxury home sales, the chart for which can be found using this link:
SF Luxury Home Sales

7
Sales by Property Type
Gradually, with the addition of the big new developments in the SoMa-South Beach district (and other areas of the city), condos have become the largest single category of property type sales in the city. This trend will only accelerate with the new burst in construction plans. And this link leads to a chart showing the resurgence in unit sales. Unit sales would have been much higher in 2012 if inventory had not been so drastically low:
Unit Sales Trends

8
Distressed Sales: Goodbye to All That
Distressed home sales have been a market aberration caused by the collapse in loan underwriting standards and the refinancing frenzy of the bubble years. Fair market value is defined as “the price a willing, able and reasonably knowledgeable buyer would pay to a seller not under distress.” But bank and short sales radiate distress: underwater sellers, overwhelmed and unresponsive banks; often the physical condition of the homes themselves is distressed. Buyers demanded a huge discount to deal with them. In SF, this market segment was largely confined to the lower price ranges and less affluent neighborhoods. Now, with the market recovery, the city’s distressed home market is rapidly dwindling and should soon disappear altogether.

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Percentage of Listings Accepting Offers
This one statistic provides the context to everything we’ve seen in the market this past year: ferocious, pent-up, buyer demand met a drastically inadequate inventory of homes for sale, leading to much more competition for listings and strong upward pressure on prices.

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Median SF home prices vary on some of the charts above, depending on whether the price specified is for both distressed and non-distressed properties together, only non-distressed homes, for the last 4 months of 2012 or for the last quarter of the year, or whether price limits were placed on the analysis (limiting sales to under a certain sales price). This is natural: the statistics will change depending on the parameters of the analysis, and it’s always useful to look at the market from slightly different angles.

Statistics are generalities and should be considered approximations: How they apply to any specific property is unknown. These analyses were performed in good faith with data derived from sources deemed reliable, but they may contain errors and are subject to revision. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

© Paragon Real Estate Group, January 2013

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Real Data: December Newsletter

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San Francisco Smorgasbord: A Neighborhoods Sampler

Some time soon, we’ll be doing our annual wrap-up of the SF housing market statistics. And I expect it will be a doozie. But for our November Newsletter, our Chief Analyst Guru Extraordinaire did a survey of various neighborhood values. You can find all the ones he covered here. I thought I’d cover just a few of the highlights.

Inner and Central Richmond. These neighborhoods have recovered smartly since the market crash in 2008. They are now almost back to their pre-crash peaks.

There are some gracious homes in these areas, and at $575 per square foot they represent good value, in my opinion, compared to some of the tonier neighborhoods. This assumes, of course, that you can live with the fog. Compared to 2011, prices have increased 13 to 14 percent.

(Note, we’re using home values from September through November 2012 rather than year to date values in all these charts. We feel this reflects current conditions more accurately, since values were substantially lower at the beginning of 2012.)

Luxury Northern Neighborhoods. Go pretty much anywhere north of California Street and you will find yourself in the stratosphere. Whether it’s Sea Cliff, the Heights (Presidio and Pacific) or the Hills (Telegraph and Russian), this band of presitige neighborhoods has come back with a vengeance this year, with values now up 18 to 20% over the market bottom in 2010. Absolute prices (as opposed to per square foot) are now at new all-time highs.

South Beach Condos. Head south-east to high-rise condo central and the story is pretty much the same, with prices up 15 to 18 percent off their lows. South Beach and Yerba Buena high-rises boast some of the most spectacular views in the city — and you’ll pay for them.

Noe Valley and Surrounds. Back towards San Francisco’s geographic heart, Noe Valley has seen an exceptional turnaround in prices, with homes now selling for more than they did prior to the crash in 2007/2008. The average sales price of a home may be $1.66 million, but expect to pay well over $2 million for one with bells and whistles.

Bernal Heights. A perennial “up and comer,” this eclectic neighborhood kitty-corner from Noe Valley actually saw prices fall slower than more expensive parts of the city. They didn’t reach bottom until 2011. Now, they’ve come roaring back, with prices up 19% and very close to their previous 2007 peak.

A Winter Cooling Trend? Prices and sales volume typically fall during the winter months, especially at the higher end of the market as those who can afford to take off on vacation do so. It’s actually not a bad time to be out looking to buy for that very reason — less competition. This year, however, available inventory is so low that we are predicting a relatively busy winter season.

For charts and tables on even more neighborhoods, read the complete newsletter here.

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December Newsletter: SF Neighborhood Values

San Francisco Neighborhood Values

December 2012

The general market dynamics in November were little changed from October, so for a different perspective, below are long-term trends in average sales prices and average dollar-per-square-foot values in a variety of areas around the city. The last sales period assessed on the charts is made up of the three months September through November; the neighborhoods chosen were picked for their high volume of sales for the property type being tracked — generally speaking, the greater the volume of sales, the more reliable the statistics.

Pretty much all areas of San Francisco are now showing the same general trend line, a distinct and substantial recovery in values, though some neighborhoods began their recovery earlier in the year and have seen greater increases year to date.

If you’d like to review the overall real estate market dynamics of San Francisco — months supply of inventory, days on market, the number of new listings coming on market, percentage of listings accepting offers, and so on — these can be found online here: SF December Market Report


Inner & Central Richmond House Values
House sales here over the past three months had an average sales price of $1,186,000 at an average of $575 per square foot. Compared to 2011, those figures reflect a 13% to 14% increase.


Central & Outer Sunset & Parkside
This table shows the changes in average sales price and dollar per square foot since 1995. One can also see that the average size of the houses sold can fluctuate (which will affect the average sales price). Distressed home sales are in rapid decline here, as they are throughout the city. The average dollar per square foot is up about 9% since 2011.
Chart


Bernal Heights House Values
With an average sales price of $896,000 and a distressed home market that has basically disappeared, the Bernal Heights averages are up about 19% from the bottom of the market in 2011. And getting very close to the previous peak in values in 2007.
Numbers Table


Noe & Eureka Valley House Values
Average house sales price in this extremely hot market area was $1,665,000 in the past 3 months, which is actually higher than previous peak values in 2008. However, we’ll have to wait to see what occurs over the longer trend since seasonality is one of the factors in prices. Average dollar per square foot is still somewhat below the 2008 peak.
Chart


Noe, Eureka & Cole Valleys: Condo Values
Condo values in these highly sought after Upper-Market neighborhoods have followed a similar trajectory. The average condo sales price here over the past 3 months was $1,000,000.
Numbers Table


Prestige Northern Neighborhoods
The most expensive area for houses in San Francisco is in the northern band of old-prestige neighborhoods running from Telegraph Hill in the east to Sea Cliff in the west. As the luxury market has rebounded in a big way in 2012, we’ve seen increases in value in the 18% to 20% range since the market bottom in 2010.


South Beach – Yerba Buena Condo Values
The greater South Beach area has seen a rebound in condo values in the 15% to 20% range. This area has some of the most expensive condos in the city, many featuring spectacular views.
Numbers Table


Pacific Heights-Marina Condo Values
At $1,235,000, the average condo sales price in the neighborhoods of Pacific & Presidio Heights, Cow Hollow and the Marina is now back up to the previous peak-value level of 2008. While the condos in South Beach have all been built in the last 15 years or so, condos in these older prestige neighborhoods are in buildings typically built 70 – 100 years ago.


Portola & Mission Terrace House Values
The southern-most neighborhoods of San Francisco were those hit hardest by the distressed sale crisis. But the distressed property market is rapidly dwindling here and prices have been rebounding dramatically in the past 6 months. The recovery here started a step behind the recoveries in the most affluent neighborhoods, but is now accelerating rapidly.

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