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SoMa as described on the SFResidence neighborhood guide:
“SOMA (South of Market) is a huge district, sprawling from the Embarcadero to Eleventh Street, between Market and Townsend. The neighborhood is a patchwork of warehouses, swanky nightspots, residential hotels, art spaces, loft apartments, furniture showrooms and the tenacious Internet companies that survived the tech market collapse. Although a lot of building has gone on in recent years, it is still not densely developed. You can walk several desolate blocks before suddenly finding a hopping restaurant.”
SFGate says, “This former industrial zone is in a cultural renaissance, with museums, galleries and multimedia companies reviving the area. ” Read more here.
Other features include:
- What’s it like?
- Sights and Culture
For more information on other neighborhoods and street maps visit our website.
- Mick Orton
Read what Rick Turley, new President of Coldwell Banker, San Francisco/Peninsula said in his latest weekly report:
Momentum continues to gather as inventory gets sold as fast as it comes on the market in most areas. Even some wall flower listings lingering from last year are being courted by genuinely interested buyers. Most offices report that they are seeing more buyer-controlled transactions, and that sales associates are working with significantly more buyers as well.
Listing inventory remains mostly steady, so these shoppers eagerly await new listings and a wider selection to appear on the market. 15 offices reported steady listing inventory while 9 reported increasing levels and 4 indicated that inventory was decreasing.
Over 450 houses were held open last weekend to large crowds with some first showing garnering 150 to 200 visitors, and more than 50 properties received multiple offers through all price points. One home received 44 offers – but the highest offer was $25k under the list price. Those large numbers of buyers out there are serious, but they’re still looking for bargains. Fortunately, sellers are increasingly willing to negotiate as 16 offices reported steady sales activity and 11 testified to increasing sales activity. One office reported sales activity as declining.
Even our usually nay-saying media is starting to take notice of a market that is showing signs of health with headlines containing words like “stabilization,” “increasing,” and “eases up.”
- Rick Turley
* For an e-mail alert when this report is updated, send a note to info@SFResidence.com with “weekly market report” in the subject line.
Foster Weeks publishes a weekly mortgage update which is updated every Monday morning.
…Well…like it or not, last week’s economic news continued to rain on the parade for Bond prices and home loan rates. Most of the reports showed stronger than expected data and signs of a strong economy. This tends to be bad news for Bonds and home loan rates, as on the heels of good news, investors tend to pull money from safe-haven Bonds and inject them into Stocks, which have a better chance of profiting from a strong US economy. Overall, home loan rates worsened by about .125%.
Decent news on the housing front, as New Home Sales came in better than expectations, and while Existing Home Sales were slightly less than expected, both enjoyed improved paces of inventory. Looking at last year, 2006 represented the 3rd best existing home sale market on record. But the media is already putting a doom and gloom spin on the story, making a buzz about the steep drop from 2005 to 2006, and the fact that sales haven’t fallen off this much year-over-year since the early 80′s. But some important considerations: first, 2006 is coming off a record year in 2005, so to see a drop off in record levels is not unexpected. Second, the media is comparing the drop in year-over-year sales to the early 80′s – but in 1982 the national unemployment rate was 9.7%…more than double the current unemployment rate. Many experts believe that we will look back at August 2006 as the bottom of the housing market.
- Foster Weeks
Recently, top stories in reports from California Association of Realtors deal with increasing mortgage defaults and foreclosures. CAR features the latest video updates about the real estate market so it would be a good idea to bookmark this page if you want daily updates of market conditions.
- Mick Orton
A reader asks: I have seen the term fractional real estate used in newspaper articles, etc but do not quite understand it. Can you please explain what fractional real estate is?
Our reply: Fractional ownerships have been around awhile, particularly in vacation areas. Similar to time shares, developers have recently begun to offer these to San Francisco residents. The Ritz Carlton was one of the first to offer fractional ownerships to capitalize on the condominium market and owners who wanted to own something in the City, but didn’t want the burden of owning a second home.
Carol Lloyd, of the San Francisco Chronicle, addressed the nuances of this type of ownership in her quirky January 26th column. She likens this new real estate twist to a ordering a Starbuck’s beverage:
Lately, developers have been innovating on the condo concept like it’s a Starbucks beverage. Grande? Foam or no foam? Soy, 2 percent, caramel, peppermint, raspberry? Most of the new products — like the fractional condominiums of the Ritz Carlton and the ultra-luxury condos planned for Rincon Hill — capitalize on the abundant resources of the richest of the rich.
By introducing San Francisco to its first fractional condominiums, the Ritz Carlton Club and Residences (on sale now and slated to be finished in November) have discovered what one might consider an unlikely niche.
Sometimes referred to as high-end time shares, fractional condos allow people to buy a percentage of the property — say, 1/12 — which gives them access to the property one month out of the year.
Unlike many of the negative articles that the San Francisco Chronicle publishes about the real estate market, this one does a good job of explaining the offering and is quite informative. There is also a site called San Francisco New Developments which lists many of the current building projects going up in the City, some of them offering fractional ownerships.
- Mick Orton
Read and Learn! Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:
- Ask the individual to SMILE
- Ask the person to TALK to SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently) (I.e. . . It is sunny out today).
- Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.
(NOTE : It has also been reported that another ‘sign’ of a stroke is this: Ask the person to ‘stick’ out their tongue. If the tongue is ‘crooked’, if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a stroke. Though this is true, it may be harder to diagnose… better to stick to the first three suggestions.)
If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call 911 immediately!! And describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.
Verified by Snopes.com
According to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR), first-time homebuyers accounted for 40 percent of homes purchased in 2005. This percentage may well increase, given current market conditions that have made buying a house more affordable for many people. These new homebuyers were previously priced out of the market when home prices spiraled upward faster than income levels.
With low interest rates and plenty of great homes to choose from, this is the ideal time to encourage first-time homebuyers to come off the sidelines and jump into the market.
©2007 Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corporation.
This came from the Sunday, January 7th SFGate column by Robert Bruss. To quote:
Q: I saw an item in your column about the abnormally low appraisal on a condo refinance. As I recall, the lender’s appraiser estimated a value $157,000 below that of an independent appraiser.
I had a similar experience with a lender who claims to be the nation’s largest. Because I have a 745 FICO score and good income, my qualifications for the refinanced mortgage were not at issue.
The appraiser hired by the lender told me she was expected to appraise at least 10 percent below market value. But I was so shocked by how she valued my home, despite three nearby sales within the last four months for at least $35,000 more each, I demanded a reappraisal. The lender refused.
So I refused to pay the appraiser her $450 fee. I then refinanced with another lender who used an honest appraiser. Are lenders now requiring low-ball appraisals on mortgage refinances?
A: Based on your experience and other readers who responded, it appears some mortgage lenders have become ultra-cautious about appraisals for mortgage refinances.
Although it is against appraisal rules for a lender to instruct appraisers to “hit the number” or lowball appraisals, it appears that is happening.
If enough borrowers like you refuse to accept low appraisals, lenders will stop their illegal tactics.
Loopnet reported today in its e-mail newsletter that class B rents are surging in San Francisco. Although this pertains to commercial buildings, rising rents for office space usually means more businesses are opening. And more businesses means more jobs with more people coming to the Bay Area to fill those jobs. This in turn leads to more houses being sold to those coming to the area. Here’s the report:
Asking rents for class-B buildings in San Francisco’s financial district spiked 23% in Q4, according to a report by Colliers International. Class-B buildings, well-maintained buildings constructed before 1965, had an average asking rent of $31.47/sf during the fourth quarter of 2006, a 25% increase over the average seen during the first half of 2006. A handful of class-B buildings have commanded as much as $40/sf. Typically, asking rents for class-A buildings in San Francisco run about $40/sf.
Sign up to get more information here. Basic membership is FREE.
- Mick Orton
Yahoo Travel says, “Developed by physicist Frank Oppenheimer and opened in 1969, this innovative, interactive museum behind the Palace of Fine Arts is dedicated to art, science and human perception. The hands-on displays unveil the mysteries of science and language (trace hundreds of languages through family trees!). The exhibits present theories simply and succinctly. For a different kind of hands-on experience, check out the tactile dome, a labyrinth of different textures that explorers negotiate in the dark. Seminars on quirky subjects are offered on weekends.”
3601 Lyon StreetSan Francisco, CA 94123-1019
+1 415 561 0360 / +1 415 397 5673
Open Hours10a-5p Tu-Su
- Mick Orton
Part 1 – Golden Gate Bridge, Part 2 - Alcatraz, Part 3 – Japanese Tea Garden, Part 4 – Cable Cars, Part 5 – Fisherman’s Warf
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