The West Portal/Inner Parkside Second Quarter 2009 Real Estate Market Update

By Eric Castongia, Zephyr Real Estate

The West Portal/Inner Parkside Real Estate Market in the second quarter of 2009 was steady from the same quarter last year.  We’re seeing more buyers in the real estate marketplace creating some competition and overbids on our limited inventory.  People are starting to feel like we’ve hit the bottom of the challenging economy and want to take advantage of the better pricing.  The following is my ‘state of the neighborhood’; an interpolation of data from the San Francisco Multiple Listing Service and my analysis of the real estate market in the West Portal/Inner Parkside area.

  • The number of sales in the second quarter of 2009 was up from four in the first quarter to 11 in the second.  Note this is typical from year to year; the first quarter is typically slower than the second. In looking at the data from year to year, each quarter tends to be similar to the quarter in the previous year.
  • The inventory is steady.  Our second quarter total transactions, including active properties is right on target at 31; it was 30 in the second quarter of 2008.  For active listings from this year to last in the same quarter, there were seven. There’s not a lot of inventory for buyers to choose from, which is the reason why demand  remains constant in our neighborhood.
  • Five of the seven currently active listings are in the prime West Portal/Inner Parkside areas which is the reverse of what it typically is; usually the area outside prime West Portal/Inner Parkside (including the area around the Safeway on Taraval and 19th Ave.) have the most listings available.  It seems the inventory is getting snapped up in these areas.
  • The highly anticipated homes at the corner of 15th Ave and Wawona have started coming onto the market.  Priced between $1,995,000 and $2,195,000, they are definitely setting a new benchmark in the neighborhood.  It will be interesting to see what happens with them.
  • Buyers remain selective.  Desirable, well-priced property with nice remodeling or great potential, are still well-visited and in demand.  A recent listing on Ulloa that was beautifully remodeled and well-priced, sold with multiple offers approximately seven percent over asking.  In contrast, there were two properties on the market in the prime West Portal area in the last quarter that did not sell. Both were inappropriately priced for market conditions.
  • As I have previously reported, my scientific comparison method for determining property value involves printing out all the sales in a given quarter and spreading them out on my dining room table, then comparing them to each other.  I experimented this month with looking at property values for typical West Portal/Inner Parkside area homes with two bedroom, one bath with a room down (or expansion potential) in each second quarter since 2005.  These are yearly averages and don’t take into account quarterly fluctuations.
    • In 2006, there was a 20 percent increase in values from 2005.
    • In 2007, there was a 10 percent reduction in values.
    • In 2008, prices remained steady.
    • In 2009, we have seen a five percent drop in values.
    • As of today, we are still above 2005 prices.
  • Interest rates, have bounced around a bit, but remain low.  Obtaining financing still requires lots of hoops to jump through, so qualified buyers are gold.
  • If you are going to buy, remember location, location, location.  If you are going to sell, prepare your home to make a great first impression and price it correctly.

Eric Castongia, Residential Sales Specialist at Zephyr Real Estate provided the information in this article.  Eric can be reached by e-mail at, or via mobile phone at (415)307-1700.