It’s New November

New for November: More Inventory? 

An uptick of inventory this weekend may be a blip or could it be more?

Welcome to November. Welcome to the extra hour of sleep we got this weekend. take a read below for some of the updates from the wild world of San Francisco real estate. Highlights this week include a walk-through of the top 75 Bay Area construction projects among other news. Surprisingly, this weekend sees a bigger push of new homes for the market than last. If this is just a weekly blip will be seen. The general trend, however, is that inventory will be getting tight. Rates are surprisingly low and have actually declined over the past few weeks. And with Ms. Yellen’s impending Fed Chair appointment it looks as if we are in store for a good run in 2014.
But some may ask if we are paying too much for homes? Or, is the market bubbling? These are questions I hear from my clients and others all the time these days. You may be paying more for a home by $10,000, $30,000 and so on, but over the long run those are distinctions without major differences. That’s only because you can purchase with lower mortgage rates. Citibank rates, for example, are now averaging3.875% (with a cash-on-deposit discount) for a 30-year conventional fixed loans with 10-year ARMs are averaging 3.375% (jumbo).
Stay tuned to be overrun by realtors from all over next weekend as the National Association of Realtors starts its annual national convention here at the end of the upcoming week. An anticipated 8,000 realtors from all over the world are expected. Among luminaries visiting the NAR convention is Hillary Clinton, who will deliver the keynote address.

Trending Currently:

  • The buying public is becoming much more price sensitive – even more and six weeks ago…
  • …Which is ironic because interest rates are now back down to their lowest point for the past three months with a 30-year, fixed jumbo loan coming in at 3.875%. But no one thinks this rate will last too long.
  • Lock your rate in today. What better way to guard against that then to lock-in your rate today on a property want but can wait for for a while? Loan rate locks greater than the typical 30-day period average about .5 points for a 6 month lock and 1 point for a 9 month rate lock with a one-time draw down allowance if rates fall in the intervening time between when you’re in contract for a property and when you actually close on it. This system is perfect for those buying a new condo or home that is under construction or is otherwise not ready yet.
  • Because Thanksgiving falls so late in the calendar this year, we have an extra week of market activity this November.
  • The media and activists are paying more attention to Ellis Act evictions and rental issues, which is what I predicted way back in March when the Supervisors enacted the modified condo conversion system; landlords have nothing left to lose by using the Ellis Act these days and are choosing to cash-in instead.
  • Coldwell Banker just gobbled up Frank Howard Allen, long-time stalwart of Bay Area real estate. While stronger in Marin County and the Peninsula, this means less competition in those areas.
  • Right or wrong, sellers are now thinking of waiting until January to sell. Look at it two ways: if you’re selling you have far less competition; if you’re buying are you going to wait for January and compete with all those other buyers who have given up for the year?
  • People are willing to pay for properties they want. Over at 3500 19th Street, more records continue to fall. Seven of the 17 units are expected to be in contract by this writing. Remember averages are pushing the $1400-$1600/sqft territory.
  • Deals are out there, but we have to look long and hard for them.
  • The market is quite complex these days with things being on market far longer than they should be and other things never making it to market before being snapped up quietly.
  • A lot of sellers are walking into open houses and buying without independent representation as we’re seeing a lot of double-ended transactions where the listing agent represents both parties. While that’s fine in many cases, you still want to consider having independent representation in other cases.
  • Transactions have been more emotional lately. A lot of agents are reporting that there are late-night calls, worries and high running emotions at all price points and areas of the city. Must be the time of year.