Weekend Events and the Weekly Real Estate Update

Sunday the annual Bay to Breakers race takes place. With a starting point near the San Francisco Bay, a few blocks from The Embarcadero, the 12K race runs west through the City and finishes at the Great Highway where breakers crash onto Ocean Beach. In-person registration is available at the Orig3n Health & Wellness Expo at Pier 35 today and tomorrow. Click here for more information. Also on Sunday, the Western Conference Finals continue as the Golden State Warrior take on the Houston Rockets starting at 5 PM. This will be the third game in the seven game series, which is currently tied at one win apiece.


On the “Homes for Sale in San Francisco” front, here’s our report for this week, 5/13/18 – 5/19/18

Should You Buy Earthquake Insurance?

Hill & Co. Sales Manager Jill Gumina was quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle recently, this time responding to the question “Do you recommend earthquake insurance?”

Here’s what she had to say:

“Earthquake experts agree it’s not a matter of if but when regarding a Bay Area earthquake of significance, so consider the following:

Has the home been retrofitted to withstand even moderate shaking? If not, can you afford to take necessary steps to reinforce your home now? Location near a fault is irrelevant. As we saw from the Napa earthquake in 2014, your property doesn’t need to be on or even near a fault to sustain severe damage.

Would losing the home or having heavy damage cause catastrophic financial ruin? Most earthquake policies charge very high premiums of thousands of dollars. The deductibles are 10 to 20 percent of the value of the structure. On a $1 million Bay Area home, that could mean $100,000 to $200,000.

But most importantly, how much home equity do you have? Owners with less than the deductible have little to lose. If your equity is 30 to 50 percent or more than the deductible, consider coverage because your loss would be so much greater in a severely damaging event. Speak with a trusted insurance advisor to help you make a sound decision.”

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Weekend Events and the Weekly Real Estate Update

Weekend Sessions presents admission-free performances at the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival. The programs range from music, dance, circus, and theater to cultural festivals from May through October. Innov Gnawa and Book of J perform this Saturday from 1 to 3 PM. Meanwhile, SFMade opened on Monday, and concludes on Sunday. It features factory tours, demos, shopping events, and lots of beer tastings. For more information about SFMade and a complete list of what’s taking place this weekend, click here.


On the “Homes for Sale in San Francisco” front, here’s our report for this week, 5/6/18 – 5/12/18

How Higher Education and Incomes Are Impacting Housing

In a recent San Francisco Chronicle column, writer Kathleen Pender posed this question: “If people are fleeing the Bay Area for cheaper housing, why is it still so costly?” It’s an excellent question, given that we are constantly hearing that people are leaving town for that very reason.

If you look just at domestic migration — people moving around the country — the Bay Area lost about 46,000 people more than it gained during the year that ended July 1, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates released March 22. That net loss was nearly twice as big as the previous year and marked a turnaround from earlier years, when more people were coming to the Bay Area than leaving.

However, net immigration — people coming from and leaving for other countries — is still positive in the Bay Area. About 58,000 more people came here from abroad than left last year, surpassing the nearly 46,000 who decamped for other states. (The census estimates included the nine-county Bay Area and three neighboring counties.)

People moving into the state are higher-income and better educated. They’re much more likely to pay state income tax and better able to afford a home in California, which had the nation’s highest median price in 2016. In the Bay Area, housing creation has lagged far behind population growth, which is why home prices and rents are climbing and people are commuting longer distances to work.

In short, the tech boom has resulted in a housing squeeze to be sure. The challenges are very real, and yet, it’s good to know that many of the world’s brightest people still come to the Bay Area to be a part of the extraordinary things that are going on here.

Weekend Events and the Weekly Real Estate Update

Here are some of things going on this weekend to celebrate Cinco de Mayo: the 14th Annual Cinco de Mayo Festival in the Mission District takes place on Saturday; the 2018 Aventine Cinco de Mayo Block Party and the Cinco de Mayo Celebration with Mariachi and Margaritas happen on Friday evening, and the 2018 Cinco de Mayo San Francisco Lowrider Car Show and the San Francisco Cinco De Mayo Pub Crawl both take place on Saturday. Also this weekend, Saturday is Free Comic Book Day,  the San Francisco Ballet is hosting a free family-friendly Fan Fest on Saturday,  and on Sunday Bay Area Dance Week comes to a close.


On the “Homes for Sale in San Francisco” front, here’s our report for this week, 4/29/18 – 5/5/18

1st Quarter 2018 San Francisco Real Estate Market Report

Hill & Co. recently released its 1st Quarter 2018 San Francisco Real Estate Market Report. If you haven’t already seen it, you might want to take a look. San Francisco’s median home price surged to a new record of $1.61 million in the first quarter, amid falling supply and the booming tech industry.

San Francisco is the hottest real estate market in the nation, according to a number of sources. In fact, in comparison to the U.S. as a whole, homes sell nearly twice as fast in the San Francisco-Redwood City statistical region. Another report found that 64.5 percent of San Francisco homes sold for over the asking price.

The 4-page Hill & Co. SF Real Estate Market Report features a number of charts, including fourth quarter home sales by neighborhood. This chart has information on the number of sales in each neighborhood, along with median sale prices, percent of change year-over-year, days on market, median price per square foot, and the most expensive sale in the quarter.

Other charts provide a month-by-month look at San Francisco home sales by property type – whether single family home or condo and loft – for January, February, and March.

To view the report, please click on, or copy and paste, the link that follows: https://bit.ly/2HhMLFg

Weekend Events and the Weekly Real Estate Update

There are a number of things going on this weekend, including the 2018 Art Market San Francisco at Fort Mason, where you might find the perfect painting or piece for your place. For free admission tickets, click here. On Saturday, you can check out the Dutch “King’s Day” Windmill Festival near the Murphy Windmill on the south end of Golden Gate Park, or  watch as 30 dance groups take the stage at Dancing in the Park SF from 1 PM until about 5 PM. Admission is free. This event is one of many taking place during Bay Area Dance Week, from April 27 through May 6. Finally, on Sunday, you can take in the  20th Annual Glen Park Festival.


On the “Homes for Sale in San Francisco” front, here’s our report for this week, 4/22/18 – 4/28/18

Education, Income, and Domestic Migration

After analyzing recent data, BuildZoom economist Issi Romem said, “The most attractive parts of the country are harder to move to these days, and they’re being moved to by the cream of the crop in terms of education and income.”

According to an Sf.curbed.com report, the economist presents evidence of what he calls “positive income sorting”: more wealthy, high-income professionals move into expensive cities. This new crop of buyers helps push up rising home prices and push out those who can’t afford them. We’ve certainly seen this taking place in San Francisco.

Will this constant sorting on income, class, and education, as well as the run-up in property value, eventually knock some of these superstar cities off their perch? The economist says that it’s not a problem in the short run. As long as venture capital continues to disproportionately flow into places such as San Francisco, and there is enough talent, and enough parts of the value chain, to create and launch companies, there’s no immediate danger.

Long-term however, this trend could become more problematic, as the polarization we’re seeing today becomes even more pronounced.

Weekend Events and the Weekly Real Estate Update

Sun’s out, and there’s tons to do, including; the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival on Saturday and Sunday; Many, many Earth Day actives on Saturday and Sunday; Opening weekend for Unbound, A Festival of New Works presented by the San Francisco Ballet; the 35th Annual San Francisco International Beer Festival on Saturday at Fort Mason Center, from 7 PM to 10 PM; and Opening Day on the Bay and the annual Blessing of the Fleet and parade of boats on Sunday.


On the “Homes for Sale in San Francisco” front, here’s our report for this week, 4/15/18 – 4/21/18

The Earning Power of San Francisco Homes

SF homes ‘earn money’ seven times faster than average U.S. workers according to a recent report posted on Sf.curbed.com. That is a remarkable statement when you think about it.

The website says that the median sales price of a San Francisco home increased by $454,000 between February 2017 and February 2018.

That’s more than 30 times what a worker at the federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour earns in 52 working weeks at 40 hours per week. ($15,080 before taxes.)

It’s also nearly 7.7 times the median U.S. per hour income of $28. And it’s more than four times San Francisco’s estimated median income of $103,801 in 2016, which is among the highest in the country.

The appreciation we’ve seen in home values in San Francisco in recent years has been astonishing — the result of a strong economy and implacable demand. Presenting that appreciation in comparison to annual personal incomes is an intriguing way to see just how great these gains have been.

Weekend Events and the Weekly Real Estate Update

This weekend Japantown will host one of San Francisco’s most popular events, the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival. It will run for two weekends, April 14th and 15th, and April 21st and 22nd. Meanwhile, the 2018 San Francisco International Film Festival runs through April 17, and the annual Cesar E. Chavez Day Parade and Festival takes place on Saturday, from 11 AM to 6 PM in the Mission District.


On the “Homes for Sale in San Francisco” front, here’s our report for this week, 4/8/18 – 4/14/18

What Buyers Want This Spring

San Francisco is certainly a different real estate market. This week, the numbers we draw from the MLS for this report suggest that the median sales price for a single family home in San Francisco reached a record $1,800,000! That figure is based on the sale of 48 properties. We will have to wait until May to see final April numbers, but for now at least, prices in the City still seem to climbing — and dramatically so.

Meanwhile, RISMedia just published a report that looks at buyers nationwide. While some of this may not apply to San Francisco, it’s interesting to note that what we are seeing here is happening elsewhere in the country, though at an entirely different level.

With inventory lower-than-low and prices rising, the national market is anything but ordinary this spring according to realtor.com®. Buyers, nonetheless, are opting for traditional. Keep in mind that the median sales price for homes in the country as a whole is around $233,000.

The average buyer is on the hunt for a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home. Why are buyers in the market? Family needs (17 percent) and rent raises (23 percent) are among the drivers motivating millennials, while 55-plus buyers are being prompted by a desire for comfort, privacy, and stability.

The report also mentions a preference for colonial homes by millennials, and a desire for ranch homes by buyers who are 55-plus, and everybody wants a garage. Clearly, some “buyer wants” don’t really apply here. In San Francisco we pay more for homes, and our expectations are different. Views, neighborhoods, urban amenities, and walk-ability simply count more here. And that’s true for every demographic group.

Weekend Events and the Weekly Real Estate Update

The San Francisco International Film Festival is underway and runs through April 17. Founded in 1957, organizers say it’s the longest-running film festival in the Americas. This year, the festival features more than 180 films and live events. On Sunday, the San Francisco Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon will take place. There will be live bands along the course, and parties at the Hard Rock Cafe and the Pub at Ghiradelli. Even if you can’t get up early on Sunday for the race, you might want to check out some of the ancillary events, including a Health & Fitness Expo today and tomorrow.


On the “Homes for Sale in San Francisco” front, here’s our report for this week, 4/1/18 – 4/7/18

Real Estate Through the Years

These are interesting times in real estate. But as it turns out, times are always interesting in this business. Challenges of one kind or another always seem to exist. Rarely if ever is there perfect balance between supply and demand. In some years, interest rates can become unattractive, in other years home prices can go through the roof.

Hill & Co. has been around since 1956. Lots has happened since then. The country has gone through nine recessions. Interest rates were once as high as 20 percent. There have been strong seller markets and, though it’s hard to believe today, equally strong buyer markets.

Through it all, Hill & Co. and its agents have been there — providing insights and guidance to buyers and sellers alike in every conceivable market condition. Technology and industry disruption are all the rage at the moment, and while it all sounds very intriguing, the truth is real estate remains a high-touch, very personal, very human endeavor.

Hill & Co. will continue to leverage cutting-edge technologies and adhere to the best practices in the business, just as it has done through the years. Equally important, however, the brokerage will continue to place an emphasis on the people involved in every transaction — their wants, their needs, their expectations — one person, working with another. That’s the true nature of real estate, especially during interesting times like these!