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This bill could kill the already struggling housing industry in California. As numbers are falling in most of the areas of the state, this bunch of money hungry politicians are bent on killing the golden goose. For years the market has been strong and could have supported this legislation (even though we think it is a bad idea no matter what) but if this is passed, you could possibly see California’s housing market slide right over the edge.
What are the facts? Here is a note from California Association of Realtors:
AB 2678 would require, among other things, that ALL homes and commercial property in California have an energy audit at point-of-sale, and that mandatory energy efficiency investments be made. While C.A.R. appreciates the goal of energy conservation, C.A.R. strongly opposes the point-of-sale requirements in AB 2678 because they are not necessary to achieve the bill’s objectives and such mandates will weaken the housing market. If enacted, AB 2678 could add thousands of dollars to the cost of purchasing a home, including up to $400 just to have the home audited. AB 2678 will next be considered by the state Senate.
- Mick Orton
One of the most famous buildings in a famous city is the San Francisco Ferry Building. Once when ferries were the only way to get across the bay from Oakland, Richmond or Marin County, this was one of the busiest places in San Francisco.
Today, the ferry building has undergone a renovation and has been reborn as the Ferry Building Marketplace, a sort of farmer’s market meets the food court! The Ferry Building Marketplace website says this about the history of the building:
Opening in 1898 on the site of the 1875 wooden Ferry House, the Ferry Building became the transportation focal point for anyone arriving by train from the East, as well as from all the East Bay and Marin residents who worked in the city. From the Gold Rush until the 1930s, arrival by ferryboat became the only way travelers and commuters—except those coming from the Peninsula—could reach the city.
Today…the Ferry Building and its 240-foot tall clock tower is the iconic landmark of the San Francisco waterfront. The dramatic heart of the building is a three-story tall, sky lit hall, known as the Nave. It runs the entire 660-foot length of the building. The ground floor of the Ferry Building is devoted to a 65,000 square foot public food market showcasing the very best of the Bay Area’s world-renowned food community. The second and third floors of the building house 175,000 square feet of office space and the ceremonial hearing room of the San Francisco Port Commission.
California Association of Realtors just released its report for April real estate activity.
Calif. median home price - April 08: $403,870 (Source: C.A.R.) (note: compared to $430,370 last month)
Calif. highest median home price by C.A.R. region April 08: Santa Barbara So. Coast $1,170,000 (Source: C.A.R.) (note: compared to $1,135,000 last month)
Calif. lowest median home price by C.A.R. region April 08: High Desert $210,860 (Source: C.A.R.) (note: compared to $234,310 last month)
Calif. First-time Buyer Affordability Index - First Quarter 2008: 44 percent (Source: C.A.R.) (note: compared to 33 percent third quarter 2007)
Mortgage rates – week ending 05/22:
- 30-yr. fixed: 5.98%; Fees/points: 0.5% (note: compared to 6.03% and 0.3% points last report)
- 15-yr. fixed: 5.55%; Fees/points: 0.6% (note: compared to 5.62% and 0.3% points last report)
- 1-yr. adjustable: 5.24%; Fees/points: 0.6% (note: compared to 5.29% and 0.5% points last report)
- California Association of Realtors & Freddie Mac
SFResidence is part of the TRI Coldwell Banker office at 1699 Van Ness in San Francisco which is one of the premier offices in the City and has the market share numbers to prove it. We have some of the top agents selling real estate in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a result, our office posts some impressive numbers.
Could it be the Memorial Day weekend or the cold weather we’ve been experiencing over the last week that has affected numbers? Or is it truly the recession like the news media has been pushing day in and day out? We don’t see the forclosures that many other areas do, so it’s not likely the latter. Bottom line is… who knows? As you can see by the numbers below that prices are still up and sales are still happening, just not at the breakneck speed they were several years ago. Multiple over-asking price offers are still happening, but are not nearly as common as before. Maybe the sky really is falling? Stay tuned!
Here are the numbers posted this week: 5/28/08:
- 4 new listings (average price $2,789,250 – low $1,299,000, high $4,995,000)
- 5 ratified sales (pending) (average price $2,480,800 – low $659,000, high $8,250,000)
- 4 closed sales (sold) (average price $1,781,250 – low $765,000, high $2,820,000)
- 1 reduced – $555,000
- Mick Orton
There has been a lot of misinformation out there about the two propositions, 98 & 99 on the ballot in November regarding property rights. If you vote for both, one cancels out the other, so it is important to vote YES on one and NO on the other. Realtors and property rights advocates support 98. Prop 99 has been put forth by special interest groups who want to perpetuate the status quo, especially in rent controlled areas. Here is a Q&A put forth by the California Association of Realtors.
C.A.R. is urging REALTORS® to vote YES on Proposition 98 and vote NO on Proposition 99 when they vote in the upcoming June primary. Proposition 98 will limit the ability of local governments to use eminent domain to seize private property and give it to OTHER private entities.
In recent weeks Proposition 98’s opponents have circulated a great deal of misinformation. To set the record straight, C.A.R. wants you to know the truth about 98:
Myth 1: Opponents claim that tenants currently in rent controlled units will be summarily evicted.
Tenants currently in rent controlled units cannot be summarily evicted. Prop 98 only lifts rent controls AFTER a tenant: (1) vacates the unit voluntarily or (2) has been removed for a just cause, which is defined by local rent control ordinances
Myth 2: Critics of reform claim that Prop 98 threatens the construction of state water projects.
Prop 98 will NOT limit the construction of state water projects. This view has been rejected by independent legal authorities such as the Institute for Justice, the organization that litigated the case, as well as a prominent water attorney that represents numerous California water agencies. Experts have affirmed Prop 98′s intent to protect government’s use of eminent domain for legitimate public use – state water projects are OBVIOUSLY a legitimate public use. Additionally, the state Legislative Analyst’s Office did not cite any impact on water projects in their report to the Attorney General’s office.
Myth 3: Opponents claim that Prop 98 prevents local governments from using eminent domain to obtain property for PUBLIC purposes, like schools, libraries, etc.
Prop 98 ONLY prevents eminent domain from being used to seize private property to give to other PRIVATE entities. The state Legislative Analyst’s Office says this: “Under the measure, government could continue to take property for facilities that it would own and use, such as new schools, roads, parks, and public facilities.”
- C. A. R.
The new cell phone while driving legislation becomes law on July 1, 2008. Be sure you know the law. This information is provided by Diana Barrett of Fidelity Title. Please click on this link to bring up the PDF attachment!
- Mick Orton
We have not been as consistent about posting these press releases from First Republic Bank, but we promise we will from now on. These quarterly reports show just how well San Francisco is doing in the luxury home markets.
Here is an excerpt from the report:
SAN FRANCISCO, May 19, 2008 – Luxury home prices in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco all posted modest declines in the first quarter of 2008, according to the First Republic Prestige Home Index.
- San Francisco Bay Area values dropped 0.8% from the fourth quarter of 2007, but were up 2.9% from the first quarter of 2007. The average luxury home in San Francisco is now $3 million.
They go on to say:
In the San Francisco Bay Area, values fell for the second straight quarter. Despite the decrease, the average luxury home in the region has remained above $3 million for the past 4 quarters. Agents said (sales in) San Francisco, the Peninsula and southern Marin County continued to be robust, while luxury values in suburban communities have been affected the most.
One agent in the artice is quoted as saying, “The luxury market is as strong as ever. Our biggest problem is lack of well-done properties. In the corridor between San Francisco and Silicon Valley, you’re still seeing big numbers because the jobs are there, and the economy is strong.”
- First Republic Bank Press Release
To our Canadian colleagues,
I am writing this letter as an introduction, and also to give your clients the opportunity to invest in San Francisco real estate. The other day it occurred to me that the Canadian dollar is very strong against the US dollar and that there might be real estate agents with clients who would like to invest in property in the US or have a second home in our beautiful city of San Francisco but don’t know how to get started or where to buy.
As a Realtor with over 33 years of experience in San Francisco real estate, I can tell you that NOW is a great time to buy and can best guide your clients to the right areas of the City. Our market has never been stronger, and with the Fed continuing to lower rates, loans are just going to get better and better.
A lot of areas have been hit by the sub-prime meltdown and foreclosures but not us. In fact, while sales volumes are down for the year (mostly because of low inventory), our average selling price has continued to go up at about 10% a year! Think about the cash on cash return for your clients in these leveraged investments!
We expect as the year rolls on, our economy continue to roar back, and with that comes a stronger housing market and higher home values. Don’t let your clients miss out on the opportunity to take advantage of the strong Canadian dollar, the lowering of interest rates and a strong San Francisco real estate market!
We pay referral fees and will take great care of your clients. Please check out my website www.sfresidence.com or call me TOLL FREE: 1-866-224-8024.
I hope to hear from you soon!
When I moved to the Bay Area, one of the first places we had lunch was the Cliff House. I had no idea of the history behind the place. I just enjoyed the Pacific Ocean views, the sea gulls and the sea lions out on the rocks.
Perhaps this is where the saying “Third time is a charm” comes from, since the previous 2 Cliff Houses were burned down. The third was built in 1909 and in 1977 was acquired by the National Park Service as part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
The Cliff House history page says this about the 3 versions of the Cliff House:
The first Cliff House was a modest structure built in 1863 by Masters Butler and Buckley…On Christmas Day 1894, the Cliff House was destroyed by fire.
Sutro spent $50,000 in 1896 to rebuild the Cliff House in grandiose style…This exquisite building survived the 1906 earthquake only to succumb to a raging fire the following year.
A third Cliff House was built in 1909 by Sutro’s daughter Emma…The Cliff House was remodeled several times before the National Park Service acquired it in 1977. Today the Cliff House is preserved as part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
We constantly look for interesting places to go and history of our City. So keep coming back to see what we’ve found!
- Mick Orton
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