Archive for April, 2010
Larry Kudlow is on a flat tax campaign and since I respect his views on economic issues I thought I would post this video link. Let me know what you think.
Existing home sales rose more than expected in March, reversing three months of declines, as government incentives drew in buyers and kicked off what’s expected to be a strong spring selling season.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, April 15, 2010 – Sales activity in San Francisco’s housing market rebounded
during the second half of 2009 and into early 2010, resulting in a significantly tighter housing
market from a year ago, according to the most recent Market Focus report released jointly by
the Rosen Consulting Group and the San Francisco Association of REALTORS®. The report states
that completed home sales in March 2010 increased 58 percent from the same month a year
ago, absorbing much of the excess inventory in the market and intensifying competition among
buyers for desirable properties.
John Lee, president of the San Francisco Association of REALTORS®, notes that the scarcity of
housing units for sale has driven up the median sale price of single-family homes. “In March,”
he notes, “the median single-family home sale price increased by 19.4 percent, compared to a
year ago, to $791,000.”
In a welcomed development for a city known for the high value of its real estate, the report
indicates that the sale of luxury property has gained traction in recent months. The Rosen
Consulting Group attributes this development to sentiment among high-end buyers becoming
The condominium market also gained ground during March with the median sales price rising
to $670,000, a 4.9 percent increase from the March 2009. Stimulated by the availability of FHA
financing, tax-credits, and attractive pricing/concessions in comparison to recent periods,
completed condominium sales reached 206 units in March, a 76 percent increase from the
The report sounds an optimistic note about housing sales activity in the near-term future by
noting that the market’s return to supply and demand fundamentals as a result of a decline in
the number of foreclosures is likely to drive home price appreciation. California’s $200 million
home buying tax credit program should continue to incentivize home buying, supplanting the
expiring federal tax credit. While mortgage rates are expected to increase in coming months,
with the end of the Federal mortgage-backed security purchase program, rising interest rates
from private investments should help offset the rise in mortgage rates.
Real estate data in Market Focus is provided by Terradatum. Market Focus is written by the
Rosen Consulting Group. For additional information on the real estate market or Market Focus,
San Francisco Association of REALTORS®
301 Grove Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
Rosen Consulting Group
1995 University Ave., Ste. 550
Berkeley, CA 94707
San Francisco homeowners have a new way of paying for solar panels, energy-efficient appliances and low-flow toilets.
A new city-run program, GreenFinanceSF, will give San Franciscans the money to pay for such projects up front and let them pay it back through installments on their property tax bills. Berkeley pioneered the idea in 2007, and since then, hundreds of cities, counties and states have adopted their own versions.
The redevelopment of the Transbay Terminal will re-locate the center of downtown San Francisco to the soon-to-be-developed Mission Plaza, which will include a new 1000-foot tall building along with the striking new terminal building. The new, one million square foot, terminal building will will be the transportation hub of Northern California and the 10 county Bay Area. The terminal will be the northern terminus for the voter approved high speed rail service to Southern California and will serve the 10 county area via Golden Gate Transit, AC Transit and Cal-train to the Peninsula/ Silicon Valley.
The roof of the terminal building, spanning some 5.4 acres, will give new meaning to the phase “living roof,” As it will incorporate a tree-lined park complete with amphitheater, water features, playgrounds and sculptures. Visit the Park.
Natoma Street from Second to Beale will be a pedestrian walkway with cafes and shops. The lower part of Folsom is also included in the redevelopment plan, as a wide boulevard lined with trees, cafes and shops. Visit the Redevelped Folsom Street.
The Transbay Joint Powers Authority has a great website with pictures, videos and ar-ticles about the redevelopment plan; you’ll probably need to bookmark it, though, as there is too much information to take in at one visit. Vist the Future Transbay Terminal.
Is there a real estate play to make now that will position you well for the second half of this decade? I think there are several, depending on your appetite for risk and the amount you want to invest. Certainly if you are thinking about changing your primary residence you should investigate the options. And from an investment stand point, I believe that this area offers great potential and relatively low risk.
Some of my top picks: The Millennium Tower is located at the corner of Mission and Fremont. The units on the south side of the tower will have views of the roof-top park while units on the west side will look on to Mission Plaza. While there will be at least 7 other residential buildings built as part of the redevelopment plan (some 700+ units) none will have such a prime location.
Imagine walking out the door and hopping onto a train to LA, or shopping at the numer-ous retail and food outlets in the terminal’s shopping areas, or jogging through the 5-acre park with its water features designed by renowned artists.
The Millennium building is full service. There are valets to park cars, doormen, pages to carry parcels and groceries, and a concierge to screen visitors and take care of all the other needs of the residents. The building features a large pool, hot tub, steam rooms, a health club run by LA Sports Club, many outdoor seating areas with a fire pit and city views, and to top it all off a private lounge with a dining room serviced by Michael Mina’s RN74 Restaurant. It is an incredible place to call home and appeals to residents of all ages. Visit the Millennium.
Resale units at the Infinity Tower and One Rincon are comparatively bargain priced. While not the Millennium they too are full-service buildings in the right location. There are also many existing lofts and smaller condo projects in the area whose value should receive a boost by this redevelopment. A few more of my top picks include: Hills Plaza, SF Blu (which is FHA approved so resale is easier), and One Hawthorne.
There is great change coming to the south part of the Financial District and while large amounts of government expenditures don’t always equal success I am convinced that in the second half of this decade this will become the new center of San Francisco and offer an outstanding return on investment. If you would like to investigate the possibilities give me a call.
SF Gate Articles
Even as prospects for the American economy brighten, consumers are about to face a new financial burden: a sustained period of rising interest rates.
That, economists say, is the inevitable outcome of the nation’s ballooning debt and the renewed prospect of inflation as the economy recovers from the depths of the recent recession.
Why,Terry | Getty Images
The shift is sure to come as a shock to consumers whose spending habits were shaped by a historic 30-year decline in the cost of borrowing.
The increase in the National Assn. of Realtors’ pending home sales index is a sign that the government’s extended tax credit for buyers may bolster sales this spring.
This home in Palo Alto. Pending sales of previously owned homes rose 21.8% in the Midwest, 9.2% in the South and 9% in the Northeast in February, but fell 4.8% in the West in February, according to the National Assn. of Realtors. (Paul Sakuma / Associated Press / April 5, 2010)
The National Assn. of Realtors said Monday that its pending home sales index, a forward-looking measure based on contracts signed, rose to 97.6 in February from a downwardly revised 90.2 in January. That was 17.3% above February 2009, when the index was at 83.2.
A reading of 100 is equivalent to the amount of activity hit during 2001, when home prices began their record climb and when the data were first measured.
“I don’t expect a vigorous market resurgence or a sharp, new rise in home prices,” said Michael D. Larson, a housing and interest rate analyst with Weiss Research.
“Foreclosure inventory will continue to be doled out into the market over the next year or two, taking some vigor out of this recovery,” Larson said. “But it will be a recovery nonetheless, one warmly welcomed by battered home sellers, banks and home builders.”
The Midwest notched the biggest increase, rising 21.8%. Pending sales climbed 9.2% in the South and 9% in the Northeast, but fell nearly 4.8% in the West.
Sales nationally have plummeted for three consecutive months beginning in December after surging last fall as buyers rushed to take advantage of the government’s credit for first-time purchases before its initial November expiration.
Congress extended that incentive of as much as $8,000 for first-time borrowers through the end of April and expanded it to include as much as $6,500 for some current homeowners.
Contracts signed typically lead to closings in one or two months, although distressed sales such as foreclosure sales and short sales often can take longer.
The plans to redevelop the transbay terminal are high reaching. They include a 1000 tower, a 5.4 acre roof top park, under ground high speed rail to Southern California and will most likely re-center downtown and the Financial District to Mission and Fremont, at Mission Plaza. There are several videos that have been put together and are worth watching. If realized I think this will be fantastic.
SAN FRANCISCO – (Business Wire) Millennium Tower, the 60-story, ultra-luxury residential tower located at 301 Mission Street in San Francisco, developed by Millennium Partners, has been honored with two coveted awards — the prestigious “Deal of the Year” and the “Best Market-Rate Residential / San Francisco” — by the San Francisco Business Times as part of its 2009 Real Estate Deals of the Year Awards.
The Real Estate Deals of the Year Awards honor the boldest, toughest and most creative real estate deals done in the Bay Area. The annual awards are selected by the San Francisco Business Times editors and writers in conjunction with a panel of judges, including several of the Bay Area’s top real estate professionals.
“Being recognized with these two awards is a tremendous honor that reflects the unmatched quality of Millennium Tower’s residences and our commitment to San Francisco and the redevelopment of the Transbay neighborhood,” said Richard G. Baumert, managing director of Millennium Partners.
Millennium Tower, the first Millennium Partners project in San Francisco to bear the company’s name, serves as a showcase for extraordinary standards of design, services and amenities. Visually striking for its graceful elegance of design and distinctive blue glass curtain wall, Millennium Tower is the tallest luxury residential property in San Francisco, the tallest residential building west of the Mississippi, and the fourth-tallest structure on the San Francisco skyline.
Designed by acclaimed architect Glenn Rescalvo of Handel Architects, the 645-foot, 60-story luxury residential tower and an adjacent 11-story, mid-rise building comprise a total of 419 residences, including 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom, 2-bedroom + library, 3-bedroom and penthouse residences, ranging in size from approximately 750 square feet to 6,000 square feet. Each of the three residential components — Residences at Millennium Tower, City Residences at Millennium Tower and Grand Residences at Millennium Tower — has its own separate and distinct entry and lobby as well as its own dedicated staff.
Every detail of the residence interiors has been designed with meticulous attention to detail. From the living spaces and kitchens to the bedrooms and baths, only furnishings and finishes of the highest quality have been be used. Resident services include a private concierge and exclusive access to the 20,000-square-foot Club Level, featuring an owners’ lounge, tasting room and cellar, private dining room (serviced by chef Michael Mina’s RN74), screening room, children’s playroom, outdoor terrace, and a 5,500-square-foot fitness center operated by Sports Club-LA, complete with Pilates and yoga studios, massage therapy, locker rooms, Jacuzzi and steam rooms as well as a 75-foot, indoor, competition-length lap pool set beneath a soaring skylight.
Located in one of the city’s most exciting South of Market (SoMA) neighborhoods — bounded by Mission, Fremont and Beale streets — Millennium Tower is steps from the Financial District, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and SoMA’s burgeoning museum district and cultural corridors, and only a short distance from AT&T Park, Chinatown, Union Square and the theater district. Potential buyers may schedule an appointment to visit the sales center via email at SFLives@MillenniumTowerSF.com or by calling (415) 989-3333. For more information about Millennium Tower, visit www.millenniumtowersf.com.
Above all, Gary is efficient, honest and knowledgeable. Unlike many realtors, Gary will genuinely look out for you and help you get the best deal, period. He really knows his market, and is always up-to-date on the latest deals. He’s very honest, down-to-earth, and frank in his opinions about the pros and cons of a [...]
Ive bought 8 houses with Gary as my Realtor. Super easy to work with and he has a great eye. He’s been in the game a long time and understands real estate cycles. I would highly recommend Gary.