How SF ranks in price reductions nationwide

Here’s an interesting article I found on my google reader from the SF Chronicle.  They are reporting on the top 15 cities that have price reductions in excess of historic levels.  OK, that’s a mouth-full.

To simplify it, it’s the top 50 list of cities, the percentage of active listings (not including foreclosures) that have experienced price reductions and the average percentage reduction.  Measured over the last year.  I’m usually a little hesitant to totally rely on media for this sort of thing, as it’s usually sensationalized.  One of the reasons I hate median price.

I like visuals and the map gives a stark snapshot of the hardest hit areas.  Of course, working in San Francisco, I wondered how we ranked.  As it turns out, we’re 42nd out of 50.  Better than the top 15 for sure.  In looking through the list, the average price reduction, on the whole, seems to range from 9-13%; that certainly seems in line with what I’m seeing locally.  Those reductions, according to the article, are on 25 percent of our listings.  That means that 75 percent of listings are not seeing that reduction.  That’s pretty encouraging in my opinion.  In a balanced market, I would expect those sorts of numbers.  Speaking for the SF market, that 25 percent probably represents poor locations, condition and overpricing for market conditions.

That means to me that there are still opportunities out there for buyers; that in conjunction with extremely low interest rates means great opportunities abound!

On the Block-SFGate

There’s still time for government rebates-but not much!

Sorry, this is a little late and perhaps you already heard.  The Federal (as well as state and local) Government are offering rebates for qualifying home improvements for energy efficiency.  Here we are at Dec. 13th, so there isn’t too much time, but if you were thinking of taking on some improvements, such as a new furnace, appliances, or a tankless water heater, there may be time to get part of it paid for.

I’m guessing there will be more in the new year, but if this is the carrot that gets you moving-here it is!

Last month for government sponsored home improvement-SFGate

Time to move up in San Francisco?

If ever you think it’s time to move-up in San Francisco and get the most advantage out of the market you can, this could be a great time.

Here’s the thing.  It only works if you have some extra cash, or equity in your home.  With financing available, but lenders scrutinizing more, you need to qualify for the mortgage.  With rates lower, your good credit rating, and your equity, you may be able to get more for your money than you thought!

Time to move up in San Francisco-SFGate

Is the SF Real Estate Market improving?

Is the SF Real Estate Market improving? It depends.  Unclear answer, but there it is.  The article below spells out pretty well the conversion I’m having with both buyers and sellers.

Overall, I’d have to say that any current improvement is very slow.  Whether it’s summer, a retreat in consumer confidence, the Federal Tax  Credit expiration, or a combination, the market has slowed in the last month.

All that being said, multiple offers are still occurring (not nearly as frequently as in the Spring) and it’s hard to explain to buyers and sellers why with two similar properties, one sold (or is expected to sell) with multiple offers, over asking and another is languishing on the market with multiple price reductions.

A lot of it boils down to luck.  The buyers in the market place that week, the improvements you’ve taken on to best prepare a home for sale, the side of the street the home is on, or whether the likely buyer of your home went away for the weekend and didn’t look at your house.  In general, homes that are well-prepared and well-priced get looked at first.

My observation is that the current, motivated buyers have seen the home in the first two weeks-hence, an offer in the current market in the first two weeks is really important.  If it’s gone beyond that, we’re likely to get new buyers in the market, not ready to make a decision for 30 days or more-and folks, time is not your friend right now.  Time = price reduction.

About all that can be done is to keep communication open between you and your agent, and keep your ears to the tracks to see what the word is on the street about the property.  Remember, the more you see, both good and bad, the more you’ll know when to leap.

SF Real Estate Market-SFGate