West Portal Property Values up again for 2014

The West Portal/Inner Parkside 2014 Year-End Real Estate Market Update

2014 started out with a bang real estate wise and I expect we will see that again in 2015. A lack of inventory has kept prices on their move up.

Of particular note at the present time, is that a home’s selling price seems to have less to do with their location, as it is with

Eric Castongia-2655 16th Ave.

the type of property and the condition it’s in. A great example is a home on Claremont that was priced appropriately for its location and condition; it received 21 offers. The fact that the home is a grand, two story detached home mean

t more than the busy street; it sold for more over asking than I expected.

Buyers are very educated, so not every home sells for more. Another two story on Forest Side that needed significant work, sold for un

der asking, despite its multiple offers.

  • The total number of sales for 2014 was 60, a slight decrease from 64 last year. Historically, the normal in previous years has been around 50; perhaps we are seeing a new normal.
  • At the close of the fourth quarter of 2014, we had one active, 18 sold (closed) and two failed to sell properties. Of the 18 sold, 15 received multiple offers and 16 sold over their asking price. The amount of over bids ranged from as little as $10,000 to as much as $462,000.
  • There were many similarities comparing the last quarters of 2013 and 2014. There were 18 sold properties in each, both received 16 received multiple offers and the amount of over bids ranged from as little as $31,000 to as much as $405,000.
  • Three of the 18 sales (17 percent) were reported as all cash (meaning no loan on the property); and we had 14 reported for the year (23 percent).
  • There were no short sales or bank owned properties this year.
  • There were four ‘failed to sell’ listings for the year; two in the last quarter. One of these came back on and is still active.
  • A few ‘apples’ on the market in the last quarter, meaning properties that have sold in the recent past. One on 15th that sold in 2004, sold for $502,000 more in 2014.
  • In my analysis to determine market value, I do not use median price. Rather, I compare specific property types, sizes, conditions and locations, from quarter to quarter and year to year. Using that comparison method, I determined that property values went up both quarter to quarter and year over year.
  • From the third quarter to the fourth, prices went up as much as seven percent.
  • Year over year, we gained as much as 19 percent.
  • List prices started to change this year, going up along with the increase in value, but still needing to take into account that buyers expect to overbid.
  • I expect the usual first quarter bump up in prices; as there isn’t much inventory and we haven’t had much on over the holidays.
  • I have also heard from several staging companies that they are poised to be very busy at the beginning of the year.

Eric Castongia, Residential Sales Specialist at Zephyr Real Estate (BRE Lic. No. 01188380) provided the information in this article. The content of this article is an interpretation of data from the San Francisco Multiple Listing Service and Eric’s observations in the marketplace. Eric can be reached by e-mail at Eric@SFHotBuy.com, or via mobile phone at (415)307-1700.

Vote NO on Prop G on Nov. 4th

 

no on g

This coming Tuesday, please vote. If you are going to vote on one thing, please vote NO on Proposition G.

You may not have even heard of it. It’s a very poorly written and thought out ordinance that would increase the transfer tax on the sales of property.

I lovingly refer to the transfer tax as a ‘get out of your house’ or ‘get out of San Francisco’ bill. It ranges from .5% to 2.5% of your sales price (sliding scale depending on the amount of your sale) and is one of your expenses of sale. This legislation among other things, would increase the cost of selling your house for your first five years of ownership. The most you would pay (at this point) is 24% of your sale price. That is not a typo. 24%.

For example, you’ve just bought an affected property (not all are) and you get transferred for a job offer within the first year. Let’s assume you paid $750,000 for your property. Your transfer tax would be $180,000. Again, not a typo. $180,000. I hope you’ve put down 30%, because we’ll need that to close your transaction. Without Proposition G, you would pay $5,100 in transfer tax.

This legislation does not affect all properties in San Francisco. Neither did rent control when it was enacted in 1978. My fear is that if this passes, all properties could become affected over the coming years.

Please vote NO on Proposition G. Someday, you’ll be glad you did.

West Portal Property Values Continue up in the 2nd Quarter

Homes in the West Portal Area continue to increase in value

The state of the real estate market is now everyday conversation. If you are an owner, you wonder how much some desperate buyer will pay for it; if you are a tenant, you wonder when your landlord is going to sell and how expensive it will be to find a new rental. Can we keep appreciating at the level we have been for the last few years? No, of course not; we’ve seen this before. The question is always, when? Eric Castongia

  • At the end of the second quarter 11 homes had sold. Of the 11, all of them sold for more than asking, nine of them with multiple offers. In the first quarter of 2014, 15 had sold;13 of them received multiple offers and 13 sold over asking price.
  • One of the 11 in the current quarter (10%) reportedly sold for cash, compared to five of the 15 (33%) in the previous quarter. While there weren’t as many all cash offers this time around, there were a significant number with large down payments, which made it impossible for many buyers to compete.
  • The amount of the overbids in the second quarter ranged from a low of $55,000 to a staggering $500,000 over asking (which in that case was nearly 30% over the asking price); note that this home sold for 35% percent over it’s 2011 sale price. Great timing, happy seller.
  • At the end of the current quarter, there were two failed to sell properties and in the first quarter, there were none. Let’s look at that a bit closer. All properties in the first quarter sold, even if they sold for at or below asking. In the second, they did not. This could be an indication that some sellers have a higher expectation for the value of their home than the market will bear. I have seen other incidents of this trend starting to happen and have even seen some properties list price get increased after their offer date came and went with no offers. I have also seen properties where multiple offers were expected and none were received. I think this could be an indication of a change brewing.
  • Note, that the biggest overbids are for desirable properties-those in great condition, remodeled and premium location, larger size and/or bedroom count, a nice floor plan with no quirks, outdoor space and parking.
  • Property values are getting harder and harder to figure out. The area I call North of Ulloa (how about NoLoa), which is Inner Parkside North of Ulloa St., is where the majority of sales in the neighborhood occur. The area has seen big gains in the last few years; I figure approx. 10-15% in the last year.
  • The area closer to West Portal Village is even harder to gauge, as there are less sales to compare quarter to quarter and year to year. As an educated guess, I would say desirable homes are up 20-25% in the last year. The premium is for location to the village.
  • Prepare your home well and price it appropriately. Stay nimble and listen to the market; it will tell you what your home is worth-just be ready to accept what it tells you.
  • As for when will the market slow down, I think we are already there for properties with quirks. Those are the properties that are not getting the larger overbids, or are missing out on the offers all together. For now, that is the distinction, because clearly, desirable properties are still in a frenzy.

Eric Castongia, BRE No. 01188380, Residential Sales Specialist at Zephyr Real Estate provided the information in this article. The content of this article is an interpretation of data from the San Francisco Multiple Listing Service and Eric’s observations in the marketplace. Eric can be reached by e-mail at Eric@SFHotBuy.com, or via mobile phone at (415)307-1700.

West Portal Real Estate Market 2013

West Portal Real Estate Market goes up for another year

The West Portal/Inner Parkside 2013 Year-End Real Estate Market Update

By Eric Castongia, Zephyr Real Estate

Eric Castongia

This was an interesting year to look back on.  In looking at the analysis I did for 2011 and 2012, it’s amazing how far we’ve come!  In 2011, we had price reductions, withdrawn listings and properties sat on the market.  In February 2012, we roared back to life and we’ve been running ever since, although I felt a pause in the fall.   Even over the holidays this year, we saw properties come on right up to Christmas and then they sold right away.

  • The total number of sales for 2013 was 64, a huge increase from the normal of around 50; that’s a 28 percent jump. 2012 was 50.  Even in a down market, 2011 saw 51 sales because of our consistency and built-in demand.
  • At the close of the fourth quarter of 2013, we had two active, two pending (not yet closed) and 18 sold (closed) properties.  Of the 18 sold, 16 received multiple offers and 16 sold over their asking price.  The amount of over bids ranged from as little as $25,000 to as much as $251,000.
  • Technically, no properties sold under asking, but if you dig a bit deeper, two of the sold properties had been reduced, then sold for over asking.  Another property sold at asking.
  • For a little perspective, at the close of the fourth quarter of 2012, we had 17 sold (closed) properties.  Of the 17 sold, 12 received multiple offers and all 12 of them sold over their asking price.  The amount of over bids ranged from as little as $2,000 to as much as $262,000.
  • There was one short sale this year and it is still pending.  In 2012 there were six.  It seems that property value increases and previous sales have flushed out most of the short sales and foreclosures.
  • There were four ‘failed to sell’ listings for the year; one came back on and is still pending (the short sale mentioned above), so net affect is three; in 2012, we had seven.  Again an indication of an accelerated market.
  • Interestingly, a property that had sold on 17th Ave. in 2008 for $1.3m, sold in the fourth quarter for $1.4m.  That’s a pretty good return considering that three of those nearly five years where in an economic downturn.  The property would have gone down between 2008 and 2011, then recovered between 2011 and 2013.
  • As you may know, my scientific method for establishing value is spreading sold properties from different quarters across my dining room table.  In that way, I can compare apples and apples and avoid median price, which I think is not too useful.
  • By my interpolation, property values went up year over year, but down quarter to quarter.
  • From the third quarter to the fourth, it looks like prices went down as much as three percent; that’s the pause I felt.
  • Year over year, we gained approximately four to eight percent.  That seems like a big spread, but consider this.  The target moves every single quarter.  I compare properties between quarters and the properties I compare change, because I have to find similar properties between quarters.  Since each house and block is different, we have little control in coming up with firm numbers.
  • Interestingly, list prices didn’t seem to change; it was the overbids that did.  Being part of the dotcom mentality, we have to take into account that buyers expect to overbid.  Note that I mentioned above that the minimum overbid was $25,000 in the fourth quarter, in the third it was $2,000.  Price your property near where you think it will sell and you won’t get activity, or a buyer.
  • I expect the usual first quarter bump in prices; there isn’t much inventory, so if you go on the market right now, you’ll likely get a premium.
  • If you read the national news, they expect equilibrium in the real estate market this year; I do not agree for San Francisco.  Our real estate market has always reacted differently and I don’t think this year will be any different.  We are still likely to see short supply and buyers staying the course trying to buy before interest rates go up.

Eric Castongia, Residential Sales Specialist at Zephyr Real Estate provided the information in this article. The content of this article is an interpretation of data from the San Francisco Multiple Listing Service and Eric’s observations in the marketplace.  Eric can be reached by e-mail at Eric@SFHotBuy.com, or via mobile phone at (415)307-1700. DRE Lic. No. 01188380

West Portal Property Values in the third quarter 2013

The West Portal/Inner Parkside Real Estate Market Update

AWP street scene-2 lack of supply and high demand for the number of available homes in West Portal / Inner Parkside is an issue most of the time; there is a predictable lack of inventory that keeps property values up and in demand.  Dot com round two, in the last few years, has accelerated values and created a level of frenzy beyond our normal level of activity. Changes in the marketplace in the last few months have made predicting a home’s value that much more difficult and has left a lot of real estate professionals shaking their heads trying to figure out how to council their clients.  There are lots of theories about why that might be true.  Here’s what I have observed about our neighborhood:

* At the close of the third quarter of this year, we had three active homes, four pending (not yet closed) and 17 sold (closed) properties.  Of the 17 sold, 10 (59%) received multiple offers and 13 (76%) sold over their asking price.

*  Two of the active homes on the market have been on for longer than 60 days, indicating that they are over priced for market conditions.

*  There were no properties that were withdrawn from the market in the third quarter.

*  Of the 24 transactions in this quarter, we had 2 short sales; one active, one pending.

*  Sellers North of Ulloa took advantage of the market to sell.  11 of the 17 (65%) sales were in this area and 6 of the 11 were purchased by their sellers since the year 2000.  Eight of the 11 sales were multiple offers, over asking. The overbid amounts ranged from $81,000 to $405,000.  The most under asking was $67,000.

*  In the second quarter, 13 of the 14 sales had multiple offers over asking.  The range of overbids was $5,000 to $273,000.  The most under asking was $900.

*  While the average number of offers has gone down on all properties, the number of offers and the amount of overbids has accelerated on the best properties on the market. Gone (for now) are the days when all properties in the marketplace are treated the same way.

*  In the first part of this year, large down payments and all cash buyers had been dominating the marketplace; I am now hearing more offers are coming in with financing and 20 percent down payments.

*  The number of offers on listings have been dropping for the last few months; I suspect a combination and buyer fatigue slightly higher interest rates.  The holidays will contribute to that slow down as well.

*  As for values, year over year, it looks like three to seven percent appreciation, while quarter over quarter, it looks like we have stayed even or lost a little.  In comparing two comparable homes that sold within a block of each other for the second and third quarters, it would appear that we had a spike in value in the second quarter.  I think we will look back at the second quarter as a high point in the year.

*  Seller tip; if you are thinking of selling your home, use the remaining time this year to prepare your home for sale and be ready to go on the market in February/March of 2014.  We typically see a bump in prices after the first of the year.  Work with your realtor to come up with the to do list and don’t be afraid to spend a little money to make your home stand out in the best possible light.  Remember, once you decide to sell, it is no longer your home; it is an asset that you need to merchandise and market to it’s best potential.

 

Eric Castongia, Residential Sales Specialist at Zephyr Real Estate provided the information in this article. The content of this article is an interpretation of data from the San Francisco Multiple Listing Service and Eric’s observations in the marketplace.  Eric can be reached by e-mail at Eric@SFHotBuy.com, or via mobile phone at (415)307-1700. DRE Lic. No. 01188380

I am ready to sell my property

The good news is that San Francisco is and has been for a long time, a very desirable place to live.  Supply has historically been short of demand, so prices remain stable in down markets and appreciate in up markets. With equity in property and changes in personal financial ability, many homeowners find it possible to make the next move-either moving up, or accumulating property for retirement.

There are many things to consider in the sale of your property, such as establishing the target market, marketing schedule, and an appropriate list price that will generate maximum exposure to the property.  If you are selling a property to purchase a replacement, timing will be even more important. Then there is the discussion about what repairs, remodeling, or market preparations are needed.

You may need to refinance to pull cash out for a down payment (if that is possible financing wise-that will depend on what is available at the time), or find out what you can afford once you sell. Check out my posting on this site ‘Getting started with financing’

The key to making the marketing and sale of a property go smoothly is when there is planning and preparation.  That means getting your house looking ship-shape and ready for interested buyers to view, and having presale inspection reports and disclosures available for review when marketing begins.

A comprehensive list of the items that should be considered to be accomplished to make your home the most presentable for a prospective buyer can be found in my posting on this site ‘Presenting your Property Checklist’

West Portal Property Values

Eric Castongia - West Portal Avenue West Portal Property Values continue their upward movement in the Second Quarter of 2013

Homes in West Portal and Inner Parkside continue to get snapped up. The lack of inventory in the neighborhood keep buyers interested and waiting to pounce on that right property the moment it comes on. Generally speaking, a property comes on the market and sells within a week; there is a steady demand and not enough homes coming on the market to fill the demand. Even a water main break and sink hole didn’t slow it down! Interest rates are just started to creep up, so we should know by next quarter whether there is any measurable change to property values and the number of buyers out there.

* At the close of the second quarter of this year, we had one active home (it just came on the market and hasn’t taken offers yet), eight pending (not yet closed) and 14 sold (closed) properties. Interestingly, that is what happened at the end of the first quarter; the only difference-we had 13 closed sales.

* Of the 14 sold, 13 received multiple offers (93%) and 13 sold over their asking price. The amount of over bids ranged from as little as $5,000 to as much as $273,000. Overbids in the $200,000 range are not uncommon; the lower the list price, the higher the overbid. The closer you price to your expected sales price, the more likelihood that you will sell at or below asking.

* For a little perspective on the state of the market and how it has accelerated, at the close of the second quarter of 2012, we had 10 sold (closed) properties. Of the 10, seven received multiple offers (70%) and five of them sold over their asking price. Of the 10, three of them (30%) sold under their asking price; in the current quarter we had one of the 14 sell under asking.

* We did not have any short sales and foreclosures this quarter; it was also down citywide.

* In the last few weeks, we saw interest rates go up approximately a percentage point higher. Relatively, that is still low-below five percent, but it does affect buyer’s purchasing power, so I expect that to affect prices.

* Large down payments and all cash buyers are dominating the marketplace, making respectable 20 percent down buyers either lose out, or take larger risks by not having appraisal or financing contingencies and/or paying significantly more than the all cash buyers.

* The number of offers on a listing seems to be dropping; perhaps from buyer fatigue, or the start of the summer doldrums.

* North of Ulloa typically has the most sales in the neighborhood and that is true in this quarter.

* For West Portal and Inner Parkside up to Ulloa, prices are up approximately 20 percent since the second quarter of last year. North of Ulloa has seen an appreciation of approximately 10 percent. This area got hit the hardest when the economy went down and it has regained much of what it lost. Relatively speaking, it is still affordable for the area, so demand is high.

* Another datapoint; a home in West Portal that sold in 2006 recently sold for 12 percent over it’s 2006 price. This is important to note, since property values went down 15 to 20 percent between 2007 and 2011. We have recovered and then some.

* This is a great time to sell; do consider these things when you list your home: 1) buyers still take a hard calculating look at what is available, if there is more than one fatal flaw in the property, they may pass you by, and 2) Iist price is still critical; it must seem like it is a good value in order for buyers to be motivated to act. Pricing a little under neighborhood expectation is still the best way to net you the most on your sale.

Eric Castongia, Residential Sales Specialist at Zephyr Real Estate provided the information in this article. The content of this article is an interpretation of data from the San Francisco Multiple Listing Service and Eric’s observations in the marketplace. Eric can be reached by e-mail at Eric@SFHotBuy.com, or via mobile phone at (415)307-1700. DRE Lic. No. 01188380

 

West Portal Property Values

West Portal Property Values on Fire

By Eric Castongia

Residential Sales Specialist

 

It may be hard to believe, but the market has actually gotten more accelerated than the last time I filled you in.  Signs of recovery started quickly at the start of 2012, over the course of the first few weeks of  February.  In 2012, we saw multiple offers, over asking prices and steady appreciation.  In the fall, it slowed a bit and then in January of 2013, we were off to the races again; this time with prices even higher and offers more aggressive.  We are seeing no contingencies on the part of buyers in an effort to look more appealing to a seller.  It’s hard to believe that it was as recent as 16 months ago buyers were reluctantly in the market and were able to negotiate as they pleased.

At the close of the first quarter of this year, we had one active (it just came on the market and hasn’t taken offers yet), eight pending (not yet closed) and 13 sold (closed) properties.

Of the 13 sold, 10 received multiple offers (77%) and all 10 sold over their asking price.  The amount of over bids ranged from as little as $5,000 to as much as $241,000 (really).  Conversely, $70,000 is the largest amount under in which one listing sold.

For a little perspective, at the close of the first quarter of 2012, we had eight sold (closed) properties.  Of the eight, five received multiple offers (63%) and four of them sold over their asking price.  The amount of over bids ranged from as little as $14,000 to as much as $52,000. Conversely, $69,000 is the largest amount under in which one listing sold.

We were coming out of a slow market in 2011, so $52,000 over asking at that time was really good; now we can get a sense of the level of competition there is in the market one short year later.  Buyers who win in competition are setting the market, those who are not, are following it.

We did not have any short sales and foreclosures on the market in this neighborhood this quarter; it was down citywide too.

Interest rates remain historically low.  Part of the panic in the mind of buyers now is getting to take advantage of the low interest rates while they can.

The market is still being driven by a supply and demand problem (lack of inventory).

For West Portal and Inner Parkside up to Ulloa, prices were up from the end of last year to now (one quarter!) 12 to 18 percent.  This percentage is based on one specific property profile that had the most activity-two bedroom, one baths with rooms and baths down.  That segment had eight of the 13 sales in the first quarter.

The area that I call North of Ulloa, has seen a big change in property values for the better.  This area got hit the hardest when the economy went down and it has regained much of what it lost.  I figure approximately 17 percent in the past year.

Interestingly, North of Ulloa typically has the most sales in the neighborhood, but that is not true in the current analysis; they had only three of the 13 sales, which is exactly opposite of expectation.  Notably, seven of the eight properties pending in the first quarter due to close in the second are all in this area.  Once these properties close, I think we will get a better sense of how this part of the neighborhood really appreciated in the last quarter.

This may be a great time to sell but a few words of warning: 1) buyers still take a hard calculating look at what is available, if there is more than one fatal flaw in the property, they may pass you by, and 2)  Iist price is still critical; it must seem like it is a good value in order for buyers to be motivated to act.  Pricing a little under neighborhood expectation is still the best way to net you the most on your sale.

Eric Castongia, Residential Sales Specialist at Zephyr Real Estate provided the information in this article. The content of this article is an interpretation of data from the San Francisco Multiple Listing Service and Eric’s observations in the marketplace.  Eric can be reached by e-mail at Eric@SFHotBuy.com, or via mobile phone at (415)307-1700. DRE Lic. No. 01188380

West Portal Property Values 2012

The West Portal/Inner Parkside 2012 Year-End Real Estate Market Update

By Eric Castongia, Zephyr Real Estate

Eric Castongia This was an interesting year to look back on.  In looking at my analysis for 2011, I was reminded as to how many price reductions, withdrawn listings and how much longer properties sat on the market.  It was much harder to motivate buyers to move and it was more of a challenge to set a list price than it is now, and we were lucky, since our property values stayed stable over that year.

2012 was different from the start.  Mid February was the beginning of the frenzy and it really didn’t slow down all year.  I believe it would have plowed right through the last week of December if Christmas and New Years hadn’t landed on broker’s tour day.

The total number of sales for 2012 was 50, neck and neck with 2011’s 51.

At the close of the fourth quarter of 2012, we had six active, four pending (not yet closed) and 17 sold (closed) properties.  Of the 17 sold, 12 received multiple offers (71%) and 12 sold over their asking price.  The amount of over bids ranged from as little as $2,000 to as much as $262,000 (no typo).  Conversely, the most under asking offer, was sold at $148,000 under asking (again no typo).

For a little perspective, at the close of the fourth quarter of 2011, we had 15 sold (closed) properties.  Of the 15 sold, seven received multiple offers (47%) and six of them sold over their asking price.  The amount of over bids ranged from as little as $1,000 to as much as $105,000.  That in a slow market, so one can see how we have a built-in demand.

Only two of the 17 sold properties in the last quarter of 2012 was a short sale or foreclosure; the total for the year was six-that was the same number in 2011.

There were 6 ‘failed to sell’ listings for the year, of which two came back on and sold, so net affect is four; in 2011, we had 8.  Again an indication of an accelerated market and motivated sellers.

Interest rates have bounced around a bit, but remain historically low.  Now that buyers feel that the housing market has reached it’s low point, interest rates are having the effect that they are supposed to have.

Property values went up this year, mostly as a supply and demand problem.  For West Portal and Inner Parkside up to Ulloa, prices were up between four and eight percent from a year ago.  Larger homes generally had more bidders and larger overbids than smaller homes, so on a percentage basis, they went up more in value than smaller homes; in one instance, it was 13 percent higher.

Inner Parkside on the North side of Ulloa has seen the biggest change in property values for the better.  This area got hit the hardest when the economy went down and it has gone up the most this year; between 10 and 20 percent from it’s low.

This may be a great time to sell if you have been waiting, BUT, buyers still take a hard calculating look at what is available.  If there is a fatal flaw in the property, they will take that into account.  If there are choices of homes to look at, that will affect pricing as well.

List price is still critical; it must seem like it is a good value in order for buyers to be motivated to act.  Overpricing will still yield you less on your net than pricing it correctly to start with.

Eric Castongia, Residential Sales Specialist at Zephyr Real Estate provided the information in this article. The content of this article is an interpretation of data from the San Francisco Multiple Listing Service and Eric’s observations in the marketplace.  Eric can be reached by e-mail at Eric@SFHotBuy.com, or via mobile phone at (415)307-1700. DRE Lic. No. 01188380