Weekend Events and the Weekly Real Estate Update

San Francisco Opera is once again hosting Opera in the Park, this year in celebration of the opening of its 96th season. The annual free concert has been held in Golden Gate Park since 1971, and it happens this Sunday. On Saturday and Sunday, starting at 2 PM  both days, The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival will present its 2018 Free Shakespeare in the Park production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Lastly, the 2nd Annual Autumn Moon Festival will take place on Saturday, on Clement Street between 5th and 8th Avenues, from 11 AM to 3:30 PM.


On the “Homes for Sale in San Francisco” front, here’s our report for this week, 9/2/18 – 9/8/18

The Housing Market Cooled A Bit In July

We’re beginning to hear that the housing market is starting to cool down. The National Association of REALTORS® just issued a report suggesting that for the U.S. as a whole there was a slight decline in homes sales and a slower price growth in July in comparison to last year.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said, “The reason sales are falling off last year’s pace is that multiple years of inadequate supply in markets with strong job growth have finally driven up home prices to a point where an increasing number of prospective buyers are unable to afford it.”

Meanwhile, the real estate website SocketSite.com just reported that the number of single-family homes and condos that traded hands across the greater Bay Area totaled 7,547 in July, slipping 0.3 percent on a year-over-year basis to a 7-year seasonal low.

What’s more, in San Francisco, recorded sales totaled 482 in July, down an above-average 18.9 percent from June and 2.0 percent lower on a year-over-year basis for the lowest July sales volume since totaling 444 in July of 2011. At the same time, inventory levels have actually been ticking up in San Francisco.

The median price paid for those 482 homes in San Francisco was $1,300,000 in July, down 5.8 percent from a record $1,380,000 in May but 8.3 percent above its mark at the same time last year.

All of this is based on July numbers. We will have to wait a bit to see if some of these cooling trends continued into August. What will be most telling though, is what takes place this September and October, when the real estate market tends to heat up again each year.

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San Francisco’s Free Opera in the Park Is this Sunday

San Francisco Opera is once again hosting Opera in the Park, this year in celebration of the opening of its 96th season. The annual free concert has been held in Golden Gate Park since 1971, and it happens this Sunday.

The day will include arias al fresco (in the open air), featuring the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and stars from the fall season. Bring friends and family for a fantastic afternoon of performances.

It all begins in Robin Williams Meadow at 1:30 PM. Bring along food, snacks, or something to drink if you forget to do so, not to worry, the event has items for sale. Bring only low beach chairs and/or picnic blankets so that everyone can have a chance to see the performances. After all, 20,000 people are expected to attend.

For more information, click here.

Weekend Events and the Weekly Real Estate Update

It’s the 3-day Labor Day Weekend! If you’re sticking around town, and why wouldn’t you, there’s lots to do. The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival is presenting its 2018 Free Shakespeare in the Park production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream tomorrow, Sunday, and Monday (Labor Day) on the Main Post Parade Ground Lawn in the Presidio. All these performances begin at 2 PM. For more information, click here. For more ideas, check out SF.FunCheap.com. The website has posted a 2018 Labor Day Weekend Guide — spotlighting “a bucket load of awesome things to do” over the long weekend.


On the “Homes for Sale in San Francisco” front, here’s our report for this week, 8/26/18 – 9/1/18

Why Residential Projects Are Being Put On Hold

Even though there is a huge demand for condominiums in San Francisco, the cost of building brand new condo developments has become prohibitively high, according to a report just published by the San Francisco Chronicle and shared on SF.Gate.com.

The combined increases in construction costs and in affordable housing requirements have made building any project extremely difficult in San Francisco.

There are 6,750 units under construction in the City, about 1,000 units more than a year ago. While that is well above the historic average, there are another 15,000 units that have been approved by planning officials but have not started construction. Projects containing 6,690 of those units have secured all the permits needed to start construction but have not broken ground.

A big reason for the delay is construction costs have increased 10 to 15 percent annually over the past five years. Developers say they can’t make a profit. In the current real estate environment a condominium developer needs to sell units for at least $1,400 a square foot for a wood-frame building, and $1,800 a square foot for a taller, steel-frame mid-rise or high-rise. That’s asking a lot of buyers. According to one developer, above $1,400 a square foot is a tough sell unless it’s an unusually good location.

In addition to the cost of construction, City policies have hampered development. As the housing crisis has gotten more serious, lawmakers have required private developers to include more “community benefits” — below-market units or inexpensive space for artists, nonprofits, and manufacturing, all sectors that are being squeezed out in the City’s roaring job market. Well intended for sure, but there are unfortunate consequences.

Todd David of the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition, an industry group representing residential developers, said that weighing projects down with so many extra fees and obligations means that they simply don’t get built. A growing number of developers are seeking to cash out rather than risk losing money building something that they believe from the start won’t be profitable.

There are no easy answers here, but it’s important to know that this growing problem exists and clearly needs to be addressed.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” This Labor Day Weekend

The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival is presenting its 2018 Free Shakespeare in the Park production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream this Saturday, Sunday, and Monday (Labor Day) on the Main Post Parade Ground Lawn in the Presidio. All these performances begin at 2 PM. For more information, click here.

Of course, it’s a three-day weekend, so you’ll need more than one activity to make the most of your days off.  SF.FunCheap.com comes to the rescue with its 2018 Labor Day Weekend Guide. The website calls it a “A bucket load of awesome things to do over your long weekend.” It’s certainly that! It includes things happening throughout the Bay Area, as well as in San Francisco, so there’s bound to be something that you’re going to want to do.

A popular destination of course is the annual Labor Day weekend Sausalito Art Festival, on the waterfront on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin. We might see you there!

Weekend Events and the Weekly Real Estate Update

Eat Drink SF is now in its 10th year, and organizers say this is San Francisco’s premiere food and drink festival. It includes three days of curated programming today, tomorrow, and Sunday at Fort Mason, with 35 restaurants and more than 70 beer, wine, and spirits makers participating in the festival. On Saturday and Sunday the Vintage Paper Fair happens in Golden Gate Park — the last of three such fairs that will have taken place in 2018. And finally, on Saturday night, Lady Bird will be presented on a giant outdoor screen in Washington Square Park in North Beach. The movie begins at dusk, and it’s free, but donations are accepted.


On the “Homes for Sale in San Francisco” front, here’s our report for this week, 8/19/18 – 8/25/18

Downtown San Francisco Continues to Grow

Of the record 67,800 residential units in the current pipeline of development across San Francisco, roughly 10,000 of the units, or 15 percent, fall within the boundaries of the City’s Greater Downtown, which now includes most of the burgeoning Transbay District but only a sliver of Central SoMa.

At the same time, according to SocketSite.com, citing the latest Monitoring Report for Downtown San Francisco, the number of people working within the boundaries of the City’s old-school Downtown increased 3 percent in 2017 to 288,000, which is up 23 percent since the end of 2011 (233,500) and now represents 40 percent of the total 711,000 jobs in San Francisco.

“Eat Drink SF” Takes Place Friday Night Through Sunday


Organizers say this is San Francisco’s premiere food and drink festival. Eat Drink SF (fka SF Chefs), now in its 10th year, features an impressive lineup of renowned tastemakers to celebrate the Bay Area’s world-class cuisine.

With three days of curated programming from August 24-26, the festival brings elevated VIP experiences from newcomers like Sorrel and Eight Tables; main stage demonstrations by luminaries like Chef Dominique Crenn and Chef Roland Passot; and bar programs from mainstay Pacific Cocktail Haven and Japanese-influenced Kabuki Hotel.

35 restaurants and more than 70 beer, wine and spirits makers will be participating in the festival, which takes place at Fort Mason all three days. For event information and tickets, click here.

Weekend Events and the Weekly Real Estate Update

Noise Pop is presenting the sixth annual 20th Street Block Party to Benefit Mission Language and Vocational School. They expect 20,000 people will be there. It takes place Saturday, from noon to 6 PM, on 20th Street between Harrison and Bryant. The Polk Street Blues Festival happens on Saturday and Sunday,  from 10 AM to 6 PM both days on Polk between California and Sutter Streets. Lastly, the 6th Annual Aloha Poly Fest takes place on Saturday, from 11 AM to 5 PM on the Marina Green.


On the “Homes for Sale in San Francisco” front, here’s our report for this week, 8/12/18 – 8/18/18

Our Aging Housing Stock

In San Francisco we celebrate our Victorian, Tudor Revival, and Edwardian Craftsman homes, among many other styles. This means though that our housing stock is older, certainly in comparison to much of the United States.

The entire country’s housing stock is aging however, as construction was hampered and slowed by the housing crisis, and has never fully recovered. According to MortgageNewsDaily.com, a nationwide survey puts the median age of owner-occupied homes at 37 years compared to a median age of 31 years in 2005. The aging trend accelerated during the Great Recession.

An aging housing stock means a growing market for remodeling. Old structures need new amenities, aging systems and components need repair and replacement, and rising home prices encourage home owners to spend more on home improvement. We see this in San Francisco, most often when properties are sold and bought. The transformations can be truly breathtaking.

This explains why there are construction crews busy at work in nearly every one of our neighborhoods. It may be inconvenient at times, but these makeovers are essential — keeping older San Francisco homes in pristine condition for the well-being and comfort of their occupants.