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.

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.

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.

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.

Weekend Events and the Weekly Real Estate Update

Now in its 11th year, Outside Lands takes place today through Sunday in Golden Gate Park. Once again the festival will showcase world class music, art, and comedy along with some of the Bay Area’s best food, wine, and beer. Headliners include Janet Jackson, Florence + The Machine, and The Weekend. Meanwhile, there will be a huge “Rooftop Park and Salesforce Transit Center Opening” Block Party on Saturday from noon to 4PM — admission is free. There’s also the 2018 Hillwide Garage Sale in Bernal Heights on Saturday from 9AM to 2PM. Lastly, the Pistahan Parade & Festival takes place on Saturday and Sunday, celebrating the best in Filipino art, dance, music, and food — admission is free.

On the “Homes for Sale in San Francisco” front, here’s our report for this week, 8/5/18 – 8/11/18

SF Just Ranked Among Top 5 U.S. Cities in Which to Live

We are constantly hearing about how expensive it is to live in San Francisco, and how people are moving away. Yet the website WalletHub just compared the 62 largest cities in the U.S. based on 56 key indicators of attractiveness, and found that San Francisco ranked 4th in the nation, just behind Seattle, Virginia Beach, and Austin.

Affordability is clearly a problem, but San Francisco ranked 2nd in “quality of life”, 3rd in “Education and Health”, and 6th in “Economy”. We were surprised at the economy ranking, but “Building-Permit Growth” and “Wealth Gap” were both factored into the category, and that might explain the lower than we would expect rating.

According to the report, cities all across the country are dealing with issues around the high cost of living, pollution, traffic delays, and limited living space. But big cities represent opportunity, economic and otherwise, which appeals to people of all walks of life — especially young professionals seeking advancement in their careers and social lives. Another main draw is easy access to diverse dining and entertainment options.

The bottom line is this: San Francisco remains a city that draws people from all over the world. People want to live here and, given our limited supply of real estate, that demand continues to drive up the cost of rent and the price of homes.

Weekend Events and the Weekly Real Estate Update

Lots going on this weekend, beginning with the 45th Annual Nihonmachi Street Fair on Saturday and Sunday on Post Street between Laguna and Fillmore Streets in Japantown — from 11AM to 6PM both days. The 9th Annual Chinatown Music Festival happens on Saturday, from 12 – 4PM at Portsmouth Square. At the same time, the Playland on Balboa Music Festival takes place on Balboa Street between 35th-38th Avenues. There’s more. The San Francisco Neighborhood Theater Foundation will kick off its “2018 Film Night in the Park” series at dusk, on Saturday at Dolores Park. They will be showing Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994). Lastly, Jerry Day 2018 takes place Sunday, from 11AM-6PM, at the Jerry Garcia Amphitheatre in McLaren Park — 50 John F Shelley Drive.

On the “Homes for Sale in San Francisco” front, here’s our report for this week, 7/29/18 – 8/4/18

Bay Area Home Prices Remain Up Year-Over-Year

The median price of a Bay Area home was $875,000 in June, matching the all-time high set in May, while sales dropped precipitously to the lowest level for the month of June in four years, according SF Chronicle columnist Kathleen Pender, citing a recent CoreLogic report.

The median price of a new home, resale or condo in the nine-county region was up 12.9 percent from June of last year. Sales, meanwhile, were down 2.2 percent from May and 9.2 percent from June 2017.

The Bay Area continues to defy expectations that prices would drop — or at least moderate — this year as a result of rising mortgage rates and the federal tax law that limits the benefits of homeownership, especially in high-cost markets.

In fact, according to the column, the price of a single-family home in San Francisco in the first half of this year was $1.62 million, up an astonishing $220,000 from the same period last year.

Weekend Events and the Weekly Real Estate Update

The San Francisco Civic Music Association presents the Mozart to Mendelssohn concert, Pastoral, on Saturday night at Herbst Theater. Admission is free and registration/RSVPs are appreciated but not required. Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors open at 7:30 PM. The 41st running of the San Francisco Marathon (Full Marathon, 1st Half Marathon, 2nd Half Marathon, 5K and Ultramarathon) will fill San Francisco’s streets with over 27,500 runners on Sunday. The race expo, open to the public and free, will be held at Fort Mason today from 12 PM to 7 PM and tomorrow from 9 AM to 5 PM.  The San Francisco Ballet returns to Stern Grove Festival performing an afternoon of selections from the current repertory. It all starts at 2 PM on Sunday. Admission is free with seating on a first come, first served basis.

On the “Homes for Sale in San Francisco” front, here’s our report for this week, 7/22/18 – 7/28/18

2nd Quarter 2018 San Francisco Real Estate Report

Hill & Co. recently released its 2nd Quarter 2018 San Francisco Real Estate Report. If you haven’t already seen it, you might want to take a look.

Prices for homes declined a bit from the first quarter, but the median sales price for a single family house remained above $1.6 million in all three months of the second quarter — well above last yearʼs median prices during the same period. Condominiums and lofts also saw an increase in the median sales price year-over-year, though the increase wasnʼt as steep in comparison to single family homes.

If the Bay Area were a nation, it would be the 19th largest economy in the world, according to a recent Mercury News report. Whatʼs more, the nine-county regionʼs dynamic economy is still charging ahead, and shows no signs of slowing down. This puts tremendous pressure on housing of course, and that explains why home values have continued to climb so dramatically year after year.

The 4-page Hill & Co. report features a number of charts, including second 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 April, May, and June.

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

Weekend Events and the Weekly Real Estate Update

The 2018 SF Art Book Fair runs today through Sunday, July 22nd at Minnesota Street Project (MSP). Admission is free. Also this weekend, 2018 Orchids in the Park takes place on Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM to 5 PM in the San Francisco County Fair Building. Thousands of beautiful orchids will be for sale and on display. Meet local growers, and purchase plants and supplies from vendors from all over the world.

On the “Homes for Sale in San Francisco” front, here’s our report for this week, 7/15/18 – 7/21/18

New Report: SF Housing Needs and Trends

Earlier this month City staff presented a memo to the Planning Commission — the first step toward devising some sort of effective solution to the housing crisis, according to SF.Curbed.com.

Here are just some of the findings included in the report:

San Francisco is building more new housing now than anytime in previous generations, despite appearances: “San Francisco new housing construction has averaged 1,900 new units per year since 1990, though the recent rate has increased substantially, to more than 5,000 in 2016 and an average of 4,000 between 2014 and 2017.”

City Hall is aware that despite building more, the problem has not ebbed much.

Most San Francisco renters still live in rent-controlled homes: “More than 60 percent of renters live in housing that is subject to the City’s rent control ordinance.” Since the report also estimates that some 65 percent of city residents rent, that means more than 39 percent of the entire SF population lives in rent controlled housing. While these figures are comparable to some past estimates, the City usually doesn’t quantify or keep track of precisely how many rent controlled units we have, since that figure changes often.

But even rent-controlled homes are less and less affordable.

Wealthier renters are increasingly occupying rent-controlled homes too.

To read the entire memo, please click on, or copy and paste, the link that follows: https://bit.ly/2NUCGlt

Weekend Events and the Weekly Real Estate Update

SF.FunCheap.com has published a great online guide to San Francisco’s best Bastille Day celebrations taking place Saturday. Enjoy all things French — food, music, wine , beer, and more at a variety of venues. Meanwhile the SF Anime & Cosplay Festival is happening from 11 AM to 4 PM in Japantown Peace Plaza. And on Sunday you can watch the World Cup Final, France vs. Croatia, on a big outdoor screen with thousands of others at Civic Center Plaza. It promises to be a spirited and fun event!

On the “Homes for Sale in San Francisco” front, here’s our report for this week, 7/8/18 – 7/14/18

A California and Bay Area Real Estate Market Report

We will soon be releasing our 2018 Second Quarter Report, but in the meantime we thought we would share information provided by the California Association of Realtors, based on May 2018 real estate sales. A continued shortage of homes for sale pushed California’s median home sales price to a new record for the first time since the previous housing boom, with the Bay Area recording double-digit percent annual growth for the 11th straight month.

According to the report, the median sales price for a single-family home in the state was $600,860 in May, up 9.2 percent year-over-year for the highest annual rate of appreciation in four years. California’s median price surpassed its previous peak of $594,530, recorded 11 years ago.

“As we predicted last month, California’s statewide median home price broke the previous pre-recession peak set in May 2007 and hit another high as tight supply conditions continued to pour fuel on the price appreciation fire,” CAR Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young said in a statement accompanying the report. “With inventory starting to show signs of improvement, however, home price appreciation could decelerate in the second half of the year, especially since further rate increases are expected to hamper homebuyers’ affordability and limit how much they are willing to pay for their new home.”

The median sales price for a single-family home in the nine-county Bay Area climbed to $1,088,000, up by 16.4 percent from May 2017, marking the second straight month the region hit a new peak. More specifically, all five of the state’s million-dollar counties are in the Bay Area: San Francisco ($1,620,000). San Mateo ($1,600,000), Marin ($1,415,000), Santa Clara ($1,400,000), and Alameda ($1,025,000).

Weekend Events and the Weekly Real Estate Update

Looks like we’re in for some sunny and warm weather over the next few days — the perfect conditions for the San Francisco Open AVP Beach Volleyball Tournament taking place now through Sunday, July 8 on Pier 30/32, the Embarcadro. Admission is free. If you’d rather stay indoors, and you’re a holder of a Bank of America or Meryl Lynch credit or debit card, you can take advantage of free admission to the de Young, Legion of Honor, and Contemporary Jewish Museum. It’s the first full weekend of July, and so it’s a Bank of America Free Museum Weekend. Click here for details.

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

The Rise of the Older, Single Female Home Buyer

Since 1981, single women over 55 have been the fastest-growing demographic of home buyers when compared with a multitude of other categories, according to a recent Wall Street Journal report, citing an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data by Ralph McLaughlin, founder and chief economist at Veritas Urbis Economics in Alameda, Calif.

Married couples are by far the largest group of home buyers, and single women the next largest group. But last year, single, older women made up 8.2% of all home buyers, roughly double the percentage of 20 years ago, Mr. McLaughlin says. These women also buy homes at nearly twice the rate as their male counterparts.

There have long been many more older single women than men, reflecting the fact that men remarry at a higher rate after a divorce, as well as the fact that men generally die at younger ages. But the dramatic increase in home purchasing by older women speaks to something else.

Many women in this place in life want to own a home of their own, says Jessica Lautz, director of demographics and behavioral insight for the National Association of Realtors. Ms. Lautz also notes that longer average lifespans — and people working until later in life — are giving older buyers across the country the confidence to take on a 15- or 30-year mortgage.

The fact that this trend is taking place is not surprising, but it is certainly worth noting.