About Inside SF Real Estate

June 16, 2009

Welcome to Inside SF Real Estate – a local blog dedicated to bringing you real estate news, trends, stats, stories, and photography from around the City.  Who writes Inside SF Real Estate?  Read the rest of this entry »


State of the Market and MSI

March 21, 2010

Current observations of the San Francisco residential real estate market (written on 3/21/2010):

1)  Following the market crash of late ’08, confidence slowly began trickling back into the marketplace beginning in April 2009.  Sales picked up through the summer and carried strong through the end of the year.

2)  Many experts have called the “bottom”, but our view is that “bottom” takes place at different times for different price brackets.  The low end of the market tends to feel the pain and hit bottom first, while the higher end of the market hangs on a little bit longer.  Commercial lags everything, and may not hit bottom for a year or two.

3)  The sentiment in today’s market is much better than around this time last year.  Many new sales and pendings have led to the lowest MSI (months supply of inventory) on record in over two years.  See the chart below:

Months Supply of Inventory (MSI) - Local vs National

Months Supply of Inventory (MSI) - Local vs National - click to enlarge

4)  Current inventory levels are 17%  Read the rest of this entry »


Three Good Things

March 17, 2010

1)  Good Price: 737 Cole hit the market about 14 days ago and struck us as being aggressively priced.  With ~1/2 of San Francisco’s listings being grossly overpriced (in our humble opinion), it’s refreshing to see a home like this where the seller is realistic.  The catch?  Offers were due yesterday (Monday the 16th) and we think it’ll go over.  The price?  $1,895,000 for 4BR/3.5BA/2car parking in a fantastic location.

737 Cole is a well-priced beaut.

737 Cole is a well-priced beaut.

2)  Good View: Read the rest of this entry »


And the Launch Is Official…

March 17, 2010

If you’ve read any of our recent posts you are probably aware that my business has merged with another agent’s.  It has been quite the challenge getting all our systems, data, and business processes integrated.  New logos, website, marketing pieces, brochures, photos… the list goes on and on.  Add to that our day jobs and keeping all this transparent to our clients (so they don’t feel a decline in service) has been seriously challenging.  But we’re proud to say the end of our setup is in sight and hopefully that will free up more time to write.

In case you’re curious, our new business is called “Payton & Binnings, Inc.” of Sotheby’s.  The team consists of Payton Stiewe, Arrian Binnings (me) and Sejal Binnings.  We provide real estate buying, selling, investing, and consulting services to our clients in San Francisco and the Greater Bay Area. Here is a shot of our new profile, logo, and contact info.  The new website is www.paytonbinnings.com.

payton and binnings logo

Click to enlarge


Sales Volume in ’09 Hits New Low**

January 6, 2010

Why the double asterisk?  We’ll get to that in a moment.

Sales Volume Comparison (click to enlarge)

Sales Volume Comparison (click to enlarge)


  1. Single family home sales have been on the decline since 2003 and appear to have bottomed (or at least flattened) in ’08 & ’09.
  2. Condo sales volume tends to be more sensitive to market changes (hence the bumpier road) and continued to decline in ’09.  Declines have been consistent since 2004.
  3. TIC sales volume has steadily increased over time, with a big push around 2004/2005, as Fractional Lending products became available.  TIC volume dipped during the downturn along with other property types, but appears to have flattened.

Now, for those asterisks.  As we zoom in and take a look at 2009, Read the rest of this entry »


Getting Granular in Excelsior

September 3, 2009

After writing “Getting Granular in Noe Valley” a couple days ago [which has received tons of hits], we figured it would make for a nice contrast to take a swing at Excelsior.  Located just south of I-280, the nabe is home to many interesting people and houses.  Jerry Garcia even once called the Excelsior home.

Excelsior street signs - Photos by Jef Poskanzer

Excelsior street signs - Photos by Jef Poskanzer

Like Noe Valley, the neighborhood has posted a generous amount of sales in 2009, making it a good candidate for a trending analysis.  And since it’s significantly different than Noe, it will be a fun little exercise.

Single family home medians (click to enlarge)

Single family home medians (click to enlarge)

  • The first thing I notice from this chart is how much smoother the line is compared to Noe’s, indicating that Excelsior may not be as sensitive to short-term perturbations in the market as Noe.
  • Prices have fallen 32.34% from peak (in inflation adjusted terms), compared to Noe’s 22.05%. Read the rest of this entry »

Getting Granular in Noe Valley

September 1, 2009

Noe Valley - courtesy of Wikimedia

Looking down towards Noe Valley - courtesy of Wikimedia

In Noe Valley there have been 85 single family home sales recorded in MLS for 2009.  You know what that means!  Time for a trending analysis, as we have a nice long string of sales for the year.  What did we look at?

We calculated the median sales price for single family homes in Noe for the period of January 1 through September 1 of each year dating back to 1995.  A trend became clear after plotting the values on a graph.  But what about inflation?  We added a second line to show what median values look like over the same time period when inflation is accounted for.  The results?

Noe Valley SFH Trends (click to enlarge)

Noe Valley SFH Trends (click to enlarge)

  • In inflation-adjusted terms, Noe’s 2009 median is somewhere between 2003 and 2004.
  • Values have come down 22.05% from peak. Read the rest of this entry »

Appraisers: The good, the bad, & the ugly.

August 28, 2009

As many of you know, I used to be a real estate appraiser (and in a way, always will be).   Appraisers are paid for their professional opinions, honesty, and expertise.  If they are lacking in any of those three areas, well, they’re just not cut out for the job.  I’ve heard a few stories about appraisers lately that made me cringe.

The Good: [Honest and expert] Appraisers not only protect banks from lending more than a home’s value, they also protect the buyer.  Let’s say that a buyer is in contract on a home for $500K and the appraisal comes back at $400K.  As a result, the buyer does not get their loan and they get angry with the appraiser.  In actuality, they should be extremely thankful that the appraiser saved their butts from overpaying by 25%, but appraisers are rarely thanked.  Instead, the appraiser gets bashed from the real estate agent (thanks for killing my deal), the buyer (hey, thanks, I lost my home), the seller (you imbecile, I was just about to cash in), and the loan officer (thanks pal, I’m not going to get my fee).  If the appraiser is truly an expert, there should be nothing stopping them from doing honest work, including pressure from any of the aforementioned parties.  Unfortunately, appraisers can be coerced and threatened (we’re not going to use your services anymore if you don’t hit our number!).  This is the reason new regulations are in effect that limit who can talk to an appraiser.

The old days:  "If you don't hit my number we're never using your services again!"

The old days: "If you don't hit my number we're never using your services again!"

Let’s face it, if you have three different appraisals on a property, you’ll get three different values.  Read the rest of this entry »