West Portal Property Values Q2 2015

Property values up again in West Portal in the Second Quarter

WP street scene-2 There was a little burst of energy between the first and second quarters. The market is under constant change and evolution, so one has to nimble and active to stay on top of it. I can tell you there are a lot of conversations between real estate agents to keep tabs on the trends of the market!

Toward the end of the quarter, the number of offers seem to have gone down, but not necessarily the amount of the overbids. There have been some isolated instances of no offers being received on a property, but that is not common. We can very likely blame the market changes on the start of the Summer Season, with more people going on vacations, as well as educated (and weary) buyers opting out of competing if they feel they don’t have a chance of winning.

Is there a greater chance of winning with fewer offers? Doubtful, given the amount of the overbids below. One thing seems certain; buyers who embrace the market more quickly will pay less than if it takes longer to find a home.

  • At the close of the second quarter of 2015, we had one active, three pending and 12 sold. Of the 12 sold, 10 received multiple offers and sold over their asking price. The amount of the overbids range, from as little as $210,000 to as much as $550,000. Compare this over bid range with the first quarter at $66,000 to $375,000.
  • The amounts of the homes that sold below asking, ranged from $9,000 to $49,000.
  • There is no rhyme or reason to the amount of an overbid; it is dependent on the list price, the amount of interest in the property, what has sold most recently and the buyers in the marketplace that particular week offers are due. A gut reaction to this is that list prices are staying the same or being set lower (not going up with rising prices). That may be part of the fuel keeping prices going.
  • Comparing the same quarter of multiple years indicated that we are right on target for the expected number of sales. We have ranges from 12 to 14 sold properties over the same quarter in the last six years, with only one exception in 2010 when we had 21 sales.
  • You’ve heard me or other real estate agents moan about inventory and how there isn’t much on the market. Interestingly, I think these numbers indicate that West Portal/Inner Parkside is actually quite stable year in and year out; what is different is the number of buyers; not a reduction in listings.
  • Of the 12 sales, five (42%) were reported as all cash (meaning no loan on the property); compare that to the first quarter of 2015, where one (13%) of the eight sales reported all cash. This is contradictory to what I am seeing and hearing – more transactions with financing; I speculate that cash is saved for only the most in demand properties.
  • On average across the board by house type, appreciation for last quarter to the current quarter looks like it’s up three to five percent.
  • Year to year, appreciation looks to be up as much as 11 percent.

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; he can be reached by e-mail at Eric@SFHotBuy.com, or via mobile phone at (415)307-1700.

Property Values in West Portal and Inner Parkside

Eric Castongia-2655 16th Ave.Property Values in West Portal and Inner Parkside-Third Quarter 2014

The market is great, but maybe not as great as you hope.
This summer was a strange one; strange in that it was more normal. Over the last two years, the market plowed right through summer, overbids, multiple offers and all. This year we still had good market activity, but it slowed down-offer dates came and went, in some cases without offers. My observation is that buyers are tired and sellers are wanting to hit the market at the height. Call me conservative; I suggest cautious optimism in the sale of your home.
• At the end of the third quarter 2014, 13 homes had sold. Of the 13, 11 of them sold for more than asking, 10 of them with multiple offers. Compare that to the second quarter where 11 had sold; nine of them received multiple offers and all 11 sold over asking price. This highlights the importance of pricing. Both of the homes that sold below asking in the third quarter had started too high, not letting the market determine price.
• Of the 13, 38% of them reportedly sold for all cash, compared to 10% in the second quarter. If we look to the first quarter, 30% of the sales were reported as all cash. I am dragging the first quarter back into the comparison to shed some light on what may have happened in the second quarter. Did we see a lull? Buyers felt more emboldened to get financing, than to pay all cash; in the third quarter cash was back.
• The amount of the overbids in the second quarter ranged from a low of $51,000 to a high of $467,000 over asking (which in that case was nearly 28% over the asking price). Note that this home sold for 37% percent over its 2007 sale price. I should further note that the high was the exception, not the rule.
• At the end of the third quarter, all properties that were on the market sold, as opposed to the second quarter, where there were two properties that had not sold. Both had been tenant occupied and one of them was in the foreclosure process. This is significant in that even the overpriced properties sold, so there were outside influences in those two properties that made them less desirable, or salable. Note to sellers, get rid of those problems before you go on the market.
• I have seen several instances where sellers have a higher expectation for the value of their home than the market will bear. It’s an expensive lesson for a seller; those homes usually sell for less than they would have if priced correctly to start with.
• As for property values quarter to quarter, it looks like West Portal proper and Inner Parkside, have seen a 2-4% increase in values. This smaller increase could be a result of less on the market and fewer buyers in the market in the Summer.
• The area I call North of Ulloa (NoLoa), which is Inner Parkside North of Ulloa St., is where the majority of sales in the neighborhood occur. I figure we have seen as much as a 15% increase between the last two quarters. My theory is that market pressure is to thank. Prices in West Portal and Inner Parkside have priced many people out. Even the Sunset is seeing sales of a million dollars or more, so the market is squeezing NoLoa up in value. I expect that rate of appreciation will slow down and fall in line with West Portal and Inner Parkside.
• The marketplace is not seeing every property selling at the same level of frenzy as it once was. The best answer remains for sellers to do everything they can to minimize their homes quirks, get rid of problems if possible and price the home for the market, not for their desired outcome.

Eric Castongia, CRS, 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 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

Home deals in West Portal

Remodeled kitchen at 153 Granville

153 Granville is a really great deal now!  Starting out at $1,189,000, it’s a lot of house, in a great neighborhood, with an Ocean view from the bedrooms.

Despite the pluses, detached, remodeled, big, parking, no offers as of yet.  The house is now $995,000!!  No typo.  It really is now a screamin’ deal.

Open on Sunday, June 5th, 2011 from 2-4pm.  Please come by and say hello.

Here’s the previous post.

West Portal Property Values

The West Portal/Inner Parkside First Quarter 2011 Real Estate Market Update

A typical street in West Portal

It has been fascinating to watch the West Portal/Parkside Real Estate Market over the years and a challenge to predict what will happen in it. In the last quarter of 2010, we had a very active quarter-one of the most active in recent memory. The beginning of 2011 has not continued that trend.
• For the first quarter of 2011, we had eight active, three pending (not yet closed), seven sold (closed) and no ‘failed to sell’ listings. At the beginning of 2010, I reported eight active listings, 12 pending (which was a very high number), nine sold and three ‘failed to sell’. Although the number of active and sold properties were stable quarter to quarter, there was more activity last year, reflected in the number of overall transactions.
• Interestingly, in 1st quarter 2010, of the nine closed properties, three sold over their asking price and four transactions received multiple offers. Conversely, in same quarter 2011, only one property received multiple offers and one other received an over asking offer. This could be indicating less buyer activity, but it could also be reflecting higher list prices, which slow down activity, as buyers wait for price reductions and for sellers to get used to the idea of a smaller sale price.
• Of the eight properties currently active on the market place, three have been on the market for over 30 days, with a fourth coming pretty close. Unless some price reductions happen in the next quarter, a few of the second quarters ‘failed to sell’ may be the first quarter’s active listings.
• I tried something new for this analysis-to look at the number of short sales and bank owned properties on the market. One bank owned property closed in fourth quarter of 2010 and one short sale is active in the first quarter of 2011. There was neither in the first quarter of 2010.
• Despite there not being a drag on the market from short sales and bank owned properties, property values in the neighborhood ranged from staying even to down five percent from the last quarter.
• Overall, the San Francisco Market seems to suffering from a lack of good inventory in preferred locations. To illustrate, in prime West Portal/Inner Parkside (Portola to Ulloa and 18th Ave. to Kensington), there are currently no active listings. This may be a good time to put your property on the market if you are in a prime area-priced for the market of course.
• In each of the years from 2005 to 2010 where there were more sales in the first quarter, we reached the normally expected sales activity. To illustrate, in 2007 and 2009, there were six and four sales respectively (with 37-38 sales for year, which is lower than expected), and all other years in that time period, it ranged from nine to 16 sales (51 to 60 sales for the year, which is expected.) Interpolating that information, and with seven sold listings in the first quarter, I’m going to predict that we will have fewer sales in 2011 than normally expected-so the economic recovery will likely continue to trudge slowly along this year.


West Portal Real Estate in 2010

In my year-end article last January, I wondered if, in 2010, we would bounce back to our expected number of sales-we did.  We did not, however, see an increase of property values.  In the end we had overall stability in terms of values and the number of expected sales, despite all the drama of the market occurring behind the scenes.  Here’s what happened:

West Portal Avenue

The total number of sales for 2010 was 51, up from 2009’s 38, and in line with 2008’s 54 sales.  Total annual sales since I started recording in 2004, have ranged between 52 and 60 each year, except for 2007 and 2009-so, for this year, we seem to be back in expected territory in terms of the number of sales.

As for ‘failed to sell listings’, in 2010, we had a total of 11 (18% of sold and failed to sell listings) and in 2009 we had 13 (25%).

Looking at sales in the 4th quarter of 2010, only one of 12 sales (.8%) sold over the asking price, with nine selling under (75%).  In the 3rd quarter, seven of the 13 sales (54%) sold for more than list with five selling under (38%).  In the 4th quarter of 2009, there were nine sales, three of them sold over list (33%) and five sold under (56%).  These numbers indicate a slow down in activity in the fourth quarter.  Inventory and activity were higher in the third quarter, yet both were down in the fourth quarter-prices remained stable.   It seems to me we had our Fall burst of energy a little earlier this year.

More properties sold and sellers were willing to negotiate.

Interest rates have remained historically low, but have seen an uptick over the past two months.  I expect this to push some buyers off the fence in the new year, as purchasing power goes down with each rise in interest rates.

Lending is still tight and easier for those with verifiable income and good credit scores.

Historically, we see a healthy supply of listings coming onto the market in January-April.  The challenge we have run into over the past few years, is that the inventory coming on doesn’t necessarily match the buyers in the marketplace-creating a supply and demand issue.  This may explain why some listings are getting multiple offers over asking and others are lingering on the market and selling below their asking price.

Most of the loss of value we experienced occurred in 2008 and the beginning of 2009.  I think the real estate values flirted with the bottom of the market mid-2009.  Since that time, our neighborhood seems to be stable overall.  In my interpolation, I think we have stayed even in terms of values over the course of 2010.

While, I feel rumblings that more buyers are starting to poke around in preparation to buy in 2011, I do not expect the extra buyers to push prices up too much in the short term.  Sellers still need to consider this a buyers’ market.