The West Portal/Inner Parkside Second Quarter 2014 Real Estate Market Update

By Eric Castongia, Zephyr Real Estate

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?

  • 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, or via mobile phone at (415)307-1700.