The West Portal/Inner Parkside First Quarter Real Estate Market Update

By Eric Castongia, Zephyr Real Estate

The first quarter of 2014 has been a rocket ride.  Since February 2012, we have seen activity and prices on the rise.  In the fall of last year, we felt a little pause, then toward the end of the year, we had people buying property Christmas week.  This year, even less inventory and more buyers, so prices have gone up even further; and we thought the market was already hot. 

  • At the close of the first quarter of 2014, we had four active, two pending (not yet closed) and 15 sold (closed) properties.  Of the 15 sold, 13 received multiple offers and 13 sold over their asking price.  They probably all would have except that one sold off market, so the buyers paid what the sellers asked and the other had a tenant, so it sold at asking. 
  • Five of the 15 (33%) reportedly sold for all cash. 
  • There were no ‘failed to sell’ listings this quarter; everything sold.
  • You may remember that I said I felt a pause in the market last fall.  That was completely erased and then some the first part of the year.  Here’s where it may be the most visible.  The amount of overbids in the first quarter ranged from a low of $105,000 to a whopping $405,000 over asking (which in that case was nearly 40% over the asking price).  Compare that to the fourth quarter of 2013 which saw the range of bids from as little as $25,000 to as much as $251,000.  Low inventory and tired buyers unite.
  • A little notoriety; we had one short sale in the first quarter and it was a former marijuana grow house.  Dare I say, it sold over asking.
  • As you may know, my scientific method for establishing value is spreading sold properties 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.  The scientific method has determined that property values went up quarter to quarter and year over year. 
  • Last quarter, I noted that from the third quarter to the fourth, it looks like prices went down as much as three percent. This quarter it went up approximately ten percent (or more).
  • Since last year at this time, we have gained approximately 20 percent.
  • List prices are starting to move up too.  Last year, we didn’t see much movement on that front, but it’s a new year and a new mentality, though we are still having to price properties attractively to get buyers to have a look. 
  • Note buyers are picky too.  Even though they are willing to overbid, they won’t, if they feel there isn’t value.
  • I have to believe that prices will level or change one of these days.  When that will happen will be anyone’s guess.  For the near term,  we are still likely to see short supply and buyers staying the course trying to buy before interest rates and sales prices go up any further.

Eric Castongia, Residential Sales Specialist (CAL Bre No. 01188380) 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.

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

By Eric Castongia, Zephyr Real Estate

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 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 meant 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 under 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 Ave. 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.

New BART trains

The Bay Citizen gives a sneak peak of what the new (hopefully soon) BART trains will look like.

From ‘Bay Citizen’ Proposed new BART car

The exterior design is pretty nice looking, albiet MUNI like, but the interior has a bit to be desired.  I’m all for getting rid of the comfortable, but terribly dirty and unsanitary seats.  The problem seems to be in the amount (and comfort) of seating on the proposed trains.  The majority of BART passengers will be on the car for a longish period of time, so making sure there is ample seating should be a priority.

Then of course, there’s this whole budget mess, which is likely to slow down getting the new cars for a while.