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Two weeks ago I attended the South Beach Mission Bay Neighborhood Association. Alan Mark of The Mark Company was the speaker for the evening, and if you do not know who he is, just think of sales and marketing for The Infinity, The Brannan, The St. Regis, 200 Brannan, The Arterra, The Montgomery, 733 Front, and the soon to be released One Hawthorne.

Alan Mark and his company represented the sales of all of the above buildings in the South Beach and SOMA areas of San Francisco and many more since his company was founded 11 years ago. So I was dying to hear his perspective on the sales activity in the South Beach area that night.

What did he say? He said that within 2 years he sees us with a shortage of inventory in South Beach. Why? New construction loans are extremely tough to get these days. But let’s say an entity was fortunate enough to get a loan. Getting the entitlements to the land is another time-consuming hurdle that could take years. Then there’s the time it takes to build.

What is available today in new construction? As of February 2010:

  • Only 14 units are left at The Infinity
  • One Hawthorne is going to open soon with just 119 units
  • The Montgomery is sold out, and
  • The Arterra is also close to being sold out

If an entity gets that new construction loan and the entitlements to build, it could be up to 10 years before the building would be complete and ready for sale.

Realtors get accused of being overly optimistic. So I’m not going to make any recommendations; I’m just reporting this is what Alan Mark sees on the horizon. He’s pretty credible in my book. Like I said, think The Infinity, St. Regis, The Brannan, 200 Brannan, One Hawthorne….

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We are done with 2009. What’s behind us? In the fourth quarter ’09 the real estate market began to recover from the trauma of the financial market fallout that began in 2008. The quantity of homes and condos sold increased 5% over last year which ends a four year decline. Prices still were down however there are signs that there is competition in the marketplace again as properties sold closer to their asking price in Q4.  But talk to people that have been writing offers in 2009 and you will find many stories of buyers having to write *over* the list price to get the home.

I have detailed neighborhood reports for all districts in San Francisco. Shoot me an email and I will send it to you!

jdavis@mcguire.com

Jenn

Greetings!

Are you eligible for the $8000 “first time homebuyers” or the $6500 “move up buyers” tax credit? Read on…you may qualify but the deadline to act is April 30, 2010. Buying a home in 2010 may just fit in to your New Year’s resolutions.

The “first time homebuyers” tax credit is available for the purchase of principal homes costing $800,000 or less, meaning vacation homes are ineligible. The credit would be phased out for single tax filers with annual incomes above $125,000 and for joint filers with incomes above $225,000.

“Move-up buyers” who buy a new home don’t have to purchase a more expensive home than their previous home to qualify for the $6500 tax credit, but they need to have lived in their previous home for at least five consecutive years of the eight years prior to the purchase of the new home.

For more detailed information on this program and how to qualify,  email me and click on this link for answers. http://www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com/ I can supply you with a list of condos and homes that would be available to you under these guidelines.

Happy Holidays to you!

Jenn Davis

South Beach Hot Spots

I have a new challenge for 2010: keeping up with the new hot spots that keep opening up in San Francisco’s South Beach.

In 2009, and in just the past few weeks, I have seen these South Beach establishments open for business:

Coming down the pike is the long-awaited Prospect restaurant (a spinoff from Nancy Oakes’ Boulevard Restaurant) that will be located on the ground floor of the Infinity building at 300 Spear @ Folsom.

These new establishments continue to enhance the walkability of the South Beach neighborhood. That is great for the real estate values in the area. And there are some great deals in South Beach these days.

Stay tuned. There are more South Beach hot spots to come in 2010!

Have you noticed the shift in the topic on the real estate market?

Just 6-8 months ago the conversation about the market began with ‘How much worse can it get?’  Today, the conversation begins with ‘There are signs of a recovery’.

Earlier this week Bernanke said the deep recession that’s gripped the US economy is “very likely over at this point.” A recent survey conducted by the City Business Journals Network, an alliance with the Business Times, stated that over half of small to mid-sized business owners feel that their prospects will be a lot better in the next 12 months. That is a sizeable increase when just five months ago only a third of business owners felt optimistic about their prospects.

I took a look at recent sales in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). In San Francisco, from January 1, 2009 through June 30, 2009, 1417 homes were sold or an average of 236 homes per month. From July 1 until now (less than 3 months), 884 homes have been sold or an average of 294 homes per month. That is an increase of 58 homes sold each month. Optimism fuels a recovery just as pessimism fuels a downturn.

I expect we will have a very active fall in San Francisco. Buyers are feeling that optimism and writing more offers. Serious sellers are more acclimated to the current environment and are willing to price their homes to meet the market. Of course, there are also sellers that quickly turn in to buyers as some are willing to take a bit of a loss on their current home and trade up into a larger home to recoup their investment!

Do you fall in one of these categories? Call me today to discuss your needs or if you want more detail about your neighborhood. Enjoy the San Francisco Indian Summer!

jdavis@mcguire.com

http://www.jenndavis.com

As the market shifts and changes, I am starting to see more of a silver lining. Your property may be eligible for a reduction in your property tax. The Assessor’s office is accepting “Requests for Informal Review of Assessed Value” through August 28, 2009.  You may also submit a request for a formal appeal with the Assessment Appeals Board. See below link.

The filing period is between July 2nd – September 15th, 2009. If your appeal is approved by the assessor’s office, you could benefit from the tax reduction for the period of July 1, 2009-June 30th, 2010. You will need sales comparables to support your claims.  Let me know if I can be of assistance!

San Francisco property tax appeal information

Jenn Davis

jdavis@mcguire.com

San Francisco Painted Ladies

San Francisco Painted Ladies

I have been working with a buyer for the past 6 months who wants to upgrade from a condo to a single family home. We all are aware the market has softened and the time is right to make a move.

My client finally found the home of her dreams last month but felt the market had not hit bottom and wanted to wait things out. See if the Sellers would drop their price. Sure enough, another buyer thought this home was their dream home too and made an offer that was accepted immediately. Surprised and disappointed, my client continued her search.

The next dream home surfaced just a week later. The listing agent set an ‘offer date’! (what year is this – 2005?) and would not entertain offers until there had been 2 Sunday open houses. The offer date arrived. Three offers (including ours) were presented. The offer that was accepted was head and shoulders above our offer. The Sellers didn’t even bother to issue a counter. The belief was it is best to accept the top offer than to take their chances in issuing a counter (what if the buyer went away? they felt).

I’ve also seen two fixer single family homes go into contract in under 10 days.

I know we are in a softer market. But it is not a market that can be generalized. The nicer properties, priced well, will go alarmingly fast. My perspective is why wait? If you see a property that fits your needs, write your best offer now. Many times, the first offer in is the best offer. Sellers know that. But even if a Seller does not know that, an agent representing you knows that. Just my 2 cents.

Jenn Davis jdavis@mcguire.com

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