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SF Chronicle Sound-Off Q+A: Still Busy During Covid with Kevin+Jonathan

People need to buy and sell houses no matter when

Kevin+Jonathan In and On the Media

Kevin+Jonathan on the media

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE Q+A

The San Francisco Chronicle asks expert area realtors questions every week for their Sound-Off segment found in its Sunday Real Estate Section. The online counter part appears on SF Gate. We've been asked to contribute and do so fairly often, which is what you're seeing here.  

Q: Is it a challenge to stay busy right now? Why or why not?

A: Because our approach to real estate is quite personal and big picture, we’ve been very busy recently as the pandemic has changed personal circumstances for so many. It’s a transition period where it’s important to keep an eye on the bigger perspective, which is still strong in San Francisco: inventory and activity is up.

Buyers fortunate enough to be able to buy now are eager to secure low mortgage rates instead of paying rent. Because COVID has changed commutes, some homeowners are looking to relocate to homes with yards and more space. And there are landlords who want to leave the rental business.

Serving this wide mix of client needs takes more time and effort: property visits require PPE and scheduling; mortgage processing times are up; decisions to buy or sell consider more factors than before. This is why it’s great that there are two of us helping our clients and that we have a go-to support team to ensure nothing is missed.

The online version of this was published on July 27, 2020, while the print version was published on Sunday, July 26, 2020. Find the online version here.

People need to buy and sell houses no matter when

For More Sound-Off Snippets...

 

SF Chronicle Sound-Off Q+A: Still Busy During Covid with Kevin+Jonathan

Even during a Pandemic, people need to buy and sell houses and properties. See why it’s been such a busy market in San Francisco with Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry of Vanguard Properties, the largest, locally owned and operated boutique brokerage in the Bay Area.

SF Chronicle Sound-Off Q+A: Impact a Second Corona Spike on San Francisco's Housing Market Considered with Kevin+Jonathan

How has another wave of Corona-19 cases impacted San Francisco’s housing market? It’s emphasized how important it is to be working with professionals like Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry of San Francisco’s largest, independently owned brokerage Vanguard Properties.

Kevin Quoted in Mission Local: “Real estate market in the Mission appears to recover, for now - Mission Local”

“A lot of renters have become buyers,” observed real estate agent Kevin Ho. “All the talk of exodus — that’s the headline-grabbing news — but the real news is that a lot of buyers have a little more affordability. And a little more balance to the market allows them to own a piece of San Francisco.”

Ho said more of the buyers right now seem to be people who want to live in the home they’re purchasing, rather than using it as an investment. He said some of the recent changes to the law around tenant protections and rent forgiveness might be having an impact, and investors “don’t necessarily want to assume that risk.” In Mission Local.

Kevin on KTVU-2 Talking About Corona and SF Real Estate

San Francisco real estate and the coronavirus/COVID-19 as discussed by Kevin Ho of San Francisco’s Vanguard Properties, the leading locally owned luxury brokerage for the San Francisco Bay Area. The forecast is optimistic, the question is when.

Top Places for LGBTQ Folks to Live—and It's Not Just NYC and San Francisco | realtor.com

Talking about destination neighborhoods for LGBTQ folks, Kevin Ho of Vanguard Properties discusses how the Castro in San Francisco’s Eureka Valley, stacks up compared to other destinations and why it has a unique appeal.

SF Chronicle Sound-Off Q+A: On Setting a List Price with Kevin Ho + Jonathan McNarry

Setting a property’s list price or better yet trying to find a property’s real market value is always tricky especially in high-value and competitive markets like San Francisco. See how Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry, top-ranked agents at San Francisco’s luxury boutique brokerage Vanguard Properties handle the question in the San Francisco Chronicle’s Sound-Off Section

San Francisco Chronicle's Sound-Off: What Can Buyers Do To Help Their Agents with Kevin Ho+Jonathan McNarry

Getting into San Francisco’s real estate market can be daunting, but don’t worry, Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry have a map.

SF Gate's Sound Off: Will the 49ers playing in the Super Bowl affect open houses this weekend? 

We compare how San Francisco real estate stacks up against its Super Bowl rivals Baltimore and Kansas City. It’s not even close.

SF Chronicle Sound-Off Q+A: Impact a Second Corona Spike on San Francisco’s Housing Market Considered with Kevin+Jonathan

A Second Wave's impact on San Francisco's housing market

Kevin+Jonathan In and On the Media

Kevin+Jonathan on the media

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE Q+A

The San Francisco Chronicle asks expert area realtors questions every week for their Sound-Off segment found in its Sunday Real Estate Section. The online counter part appears on SF Gate. We've been asked to contribute and do so fairly often, which is what you're seeing here.  

Q: How do you expect the recent spike in COVID-19 cases to affect the Bay Area’s housing market?

A: Since COVID started, many aspects of the Bay Area’s housing market stayed the same: it still costs about $1,000 per square foot to buy a home in San Francisco. People are still buying and selling.

Lenders are still lending (at very low interest rates). But it’s also changed: There are fewer transactions overall. Prices have stayed strong for houses but dipped a bit for condos. And there are no open houses.

The latest spike in COVID-19 cases will impact the housing market like everything else: it’ll interrupt our slow crawl towards a semblance of normalcy. You won’t be able to stumble upon an open house while out one weekend for a long while.

But the spike stresses why it’s even more important to work with good agents especially now.

Private appointments that agents facilitate are the only way to see a property for sale in person. More important, because COVID has really highlighted what “home” means to people, who better to help guide people with expertise, perspective and context sorely needed now than your friendly agent?

The online version of this was published on July 5, 2020 while the print version was also published on Sunday, July 5, 2020. Find the online version here.

A Second Wave's impact on San Francisco's housing market

For More Sound-Off Snippets...

 

SF Chronicle Sound-Off Q+A: Still Busy During Covid with Kevin+Jonathan

Even during a Pandemic, people need to buy and sell houses and properties. See why it’s been such a busy market in San Francisco with Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry of Vanguard Properties, the largest, locally owned and operated boutique brokerage in the Bay Area.

SF Chronicle Sound-Off Q+A: Impact a Second Corona Spike on San Francisco's Housing Market Considered with Kevin+Jonathan

How has another wave of Corona-19 cases impacted San Francisco’s housing market? It’s emphasized how important it is to be working with professionals like Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry of San Francisco’s largest, independently owned brokerage Vanguard Properties.

Kevin Quoted in Mission Local: “Real estate market in the Mission appears to recover, for now - Mission Local”

“A lot of renters have become buyers,” observed real estate agent Kevin Ho. “All the talk of exodus — that’s the headline-grabbing news — but the real news is that a lot of buyers have a little more affordability. And a little more balance to the market allows them to own a piece of San Francisco.”

Ho said more of the buyers right now seem to be people who want to live in the home they’re purchasing, rather than using it as an investment. He said some of the recent changes to the law around tenant protections and rent forgiveness might be having an impact, and investors “don’t necessarily want to assume that risk.” In Mission Local.

Kevin on KTVU-2 Talking About Corona and SF Real Estate

San Francisco real estate and the coronavirus/COVID-19 as discussed by Kevin Ho of San Francisco’s Vanguard Properties, the leading locally owned luxury brokerage for the San Francisco Bay Area. The forecast is optimistic, the question is when.

Top Places for LGBTQ Folks to Live—and It's Not Just NYC and San Francisco | realtor.com

Talking about destination neighborhoods for LGBTQ folks, Kevin Ho of Vanguard Properties discusses how the Castro in San Francisco’s Eureka Valley, stacks up compared to other destinations and why it has a unique appeal.

SF Chronicle Sound-Off Q+A: On Setting a List Price with Kevin Ho + Jonathan McNarry

Setting a property’s list price or better yet trying to find a property’s real market value is always tricky especially in high-value and competitive markets like San Francisco. See how Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry, top-ranked agents at San Francisco’s luxury boutique brokerage Vanguard Properties handle the question in the San Francisco Chronicle’s Sound-Off Section

San Francisco Chronicle's Sound-Off: What Can Buyers Do To Help Their Agents with Kevin Ho+Jonathan McNarry

Getting into San Francisco’s real estate market can be daunting, but don’t worry, Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry have a map.

SF Gate's Sound Off: Will the 49ers playing in the Super Bowl affect open houses this weekend? 

We compare how San Francisco real estate stacks up against its Super Bowl rivals Baltimore and Kansas City. It’s not even close.

From the Chronicle: Bay Area residents still want to stay in California despite ‘mass exodus’ myths

The much hallybooed exodus isn’t as exodusing as it’s supposed to be…

There’s been a lot reported about San Francisco residents fleeing the city, causing rents to plummet and SF home sales finally embracing transparent pricing. But when looking at data from online real estate platforms, most of the real estate searching is still happening within the metro area and throughout California.

 

Source: Bay Area residents still want to stay in California despite ‘mass exodus’ myths

Kevin Quoted in Mission Local: “Real estate market in the Mission appears to recover, for now – Mission Local”

Is it a good time or not for real estate?

ON THE MEDIA 

Mission Local Talks Real Estate During Corona

Kevin gets quoted and sounds a bit more upbeat and nuanced than all those other agents. 

Is it a good time or not for real estate?

The real estate market in the Mission District and San Francisco appears to be on its way to recovering from the shutdown in March, according to several real estate agents ... 

— Originally published July 9, 2020 on missionlocal.org/2020/07/real-estate-market-in-the-mission-appears-to-recover-for-now/

Real estate market in the Mission appears to recover, for now

 

The real estate market in the Mission District and San Francisco appears to be on its way to recovering from the shutdown in March, according to several real estate agents, although some parts of the market remain sluggish.

“The market is holding up pretty strong, but it depends on the segment,” said real estate agent Ruth Krishnan. “Condos and high-rise buildings are the softest. I would say people aren’t super stoked about getting in an elevator. And people have decided that they really, really value outdoor space and greenery.”

Krishnan said her agency recently sold a condo in the Mission District on Shotwell Street.

“It did very well, but it had this beautiful private garden,” she said. “With condos, definitely the ones that are doing the best, selling the quickest, and selling for the highest prices have outdoor space. That’s a big thing for people right now.”

 

“Most of the stuff sitting right now, it just doesn’t have any yard space,” she added.

Krishnan said that, typically, March is the busiest month for real estate in San Francisco, but this year all listings were pulled when the shelter-in-place order was announced. That didn’t keep things down for long, though. The city added real estate to the list of essential businesses on March 31, and Krishnan immediately started seeing business pick up.

“I was shocked. Right coming out of [March], people were already writing very aggressive offers. I was like, ‘Wait, what? Really? Right now?’” she said.

The monthly median house sale price in San Francisco set a new record of $1.8 million in June, according to the monthly report from the Compass real estate brokerage. “But it’s just a single month,” added Patrick Carlisle, chief market analyst for Compass.

“I never would have guessed that we would see this sort of rebound around the Bay Area, in the midst of one of the greatest health and economic crises in U.S. history,” Carlisle said.

Although the rebound in San Francisco is dramatic, it’s the smallest of the Bay Area, he said. Other counties — including more rural areas like Sonoma, Napa, Monterey, and Santa Cruz counties — have all seen spikes that “may be higher than at any time in history, in terms of offers being accepted.”

The rebound in San Francisco might not be as pronounced, perhaps, because the city has stricter shelter-in-place rules, Carlisle said, or perhaps because it’s the most densely populated region of the Bay Area.

 

“The Mission remains popular and strong,” said real estate agent Jennifer Rosdail. “The shutdown slowed it down at first, but people have figured out how to get their transactions done, and it’s accelerating a little bit.”

Since April, Rosdail said sales started coming back and have improved each month. “I’ve seen that in every segment I’ve checked — except for the luxury homes over, like, $2.5 million,” she said.

There aren’t many of those more expensive single-family homes in the Mission, but in a neighborhood like Noe Valley, the pattern is striking, Rosdail said. Single-family homes priced lower than $2.5 million there are moving much more quickly than those above $2.5 million, and more appear to be entering the market than are being sold.

“I think that dichotomy is interesting. I see a deceleration in the luxury homes” in Noe Valley, Rosdail said.


"All the talk of exodus — that’s the headline-grabbing news — but the real news is that a lot of buyers have a little more affordability. And a little more balance to the market allows them to own a piece of San Francisco." — Kevin Ho


Taking the city as a whole, Carlisle’s analysis shows luxury single-family homes priced above $3 million are increasing in price — but that’s based on properties that have accepted offers, while Rosdail is also examining the growing supply of inventory in Noe Valley.

By and large, Carlisle said he prefers not to look at individual neighborhoods.

“When you look at a specific neighborhood, the sales numbers are so low, it’s hard for the data to be statistically reliable,” he said. “I generally try to look at them only on an annual basis.”

But, even with small sample sizes, it remains the only tool we have.

Crunching the numbers for the Mission, Rosdail said things were picking up in terms of volume and price — but that didn’t mean losses had been fully recovered, especially for condos. Comparing the median price of a two-bedroom condo that sold in May this year with the same time period last year, the price had dropped from $1.25 million to $1.05 million — or about 16 percent less. But, again, prices have gone up since then.

“April was a terrible month to sell your home. May wasn’t so bad. June was pretty good,” Rosdail said. “I don’t think we’re going to experience a summer slowdown this year; I think we already had it in April. People are just going to keep charging forward.”

The pandemic has also shifted what many people normally think of as in-demand neighborhoods.

“Outer Richmond is hot right now. The Sunset is doing great, because people want more space, they want to be away from each other,” Rosdail said.  Meanwhile, condos in SoMa haven’t been moving as quickly.

“A lot of renters have become buyers,” observed real estate agent Kevin Ho. “All the talk of exodus — that’s the headline-grabbing news — but the real news is that a lot of buyers have a little more affordability. And a little more balance to the market allows them to own a piece of San Francisco.”

Ho said more of the buyers right now seem to be people who want to live in the home they’re purchasing, rather than using it as an investment. He said some of the recent changes to the law around tenant protections and rent forgiveness might be having an impact, and investors “don’t necessarily want to assume that risk.”

In San Francisco, the market for apartment buildings has also changed. For buildings with six or more apartments, Ho said the market had “quieted down, with not much movement.”

“For four units or under, we’re seeing good activity, because it’s more manageable,” he said. “Bigger buildings with multiple units, we’re seeing that market kind of take a pause as they wait and see how this pans out, because of all those changes” to rental laws.

Not all real estate agents Mission Local spoke to were convinced prices would continue to climb. An agent familiar with the Mission District, but who did not wish to be quoted by name, conveyed skepticism that the rush the city had seen over the past few months would be sustainable. Buyers may become choosier before submitting an offer on a less-desirable property, they argued, which could lead to more houses than buyers.

Analyzing numbers can tell us how the market has performed so far, but predicting the future remains as elusive as ever.

For More Media Mentions ...

 

SF Chronicle Sound-Off Q+A: Still Busy During Covid with Kevin+Jonathan

Even during a Pandemic, people need to buy and sell houses and properties. See why it’s been such a busy market in San Francisco with Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry of Vanguard Properties, the largest, locally owned and operated boutique brokerage in the Bay Area.

SF Chronicle Sound-Off Q+A: Impact a Second Corona Spike on San Francisco's Housing Market Considered with Kevin+Jonathan

How has another wave of Corona-19 cases impacted San Francisco’s housing market? It’s emphasized how important it is to be working with professionals like Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry of San Francisco’s largest, independently owned brokerage Vanguard Properties.

Kevin Quoted in Mission Local: “Real estate market in the Mission appears to recover, for now - Mission Local”

“A lot of renters have become buyers,” observed real estate agent Kevin Ho. “All the talk of exodus — that’s the headline-grabbing news — but the real news is that a lot of buyers have a little more affordability. And a little more balance to the market allows them to own a piece of San Francisco.”

Ho said more of the buyers right now seem to be people who want to live in the home they’re purchasing, rather than using it as an investment. He said some of the recent changes to the law around tenant protections and rent forgiveness might be having an impact, and investors “don’t necessarily want to assume that risk.” In Mission Local.

Kevin on KTVU-2 Talking About Corona and SF Real Estate

San Francisco real estate and the coronavirus/COVID-19 as discussed by Kevin Ho of San Francisco’s Vanguard Properties, the leading locally owned luxury brokerage for the San Francisco Bay Area. The forecast is optimistic, the question is when.

Top Places for LGBTQ Folks to Live—and It's Not Just NYC and San Francisco | realtor.com

Talking about destination neighborhoods for LGBTQ folks, Kevin Ho of Vanguard Properties discusses how the Castro in San Francisco’s Eureka Valley, stacks up compared to other destinations and why it has a unique appeal.

SF Chronicle Sound-Off Q+A: On Setting a List Price with Kevin Ho + Jonathan McNarry

Setting a property’s list price or better yet trying to find a property’s real market value is always tricky especially in high-value and competitive markets like San Francisco. See how Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry, top-ranked agents at San Francisco’s luxury boutique brokerage Vanguard Properties handle the question in the San Francisco Chronicle’s Sound-Off Section

San Francisco Chronicle's Sound-Off: What Can Buyers Do To Help Their Agents with Kevin Ho+Jonathan McNarry

Getting into San Francisco’s real estate market can be daunting, but don’t worry, Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry have a map.

SF Gate's Sound Off: Will the 49ers playing in the Super Bowl affect open houses this weekend? 

We compare how San Francisco real estate stacks up against its Super Bowl rivals Baltimore and Kansas City. It’s not even close.

COVID-19 + Real Estate in San Francisco

No Open Houses During COVID-19, no worries

Real Estate In the Time of Corona.


(L’immobilier au temps de Corona)

 


 

How real estate can get done even during COVID-19

What About Property Values?

We thought you’d never ask. Historic data from past pandemics like the 1918 Flu, something in the 1950s, SARS, the Swing Flue and others show that while the number of real estate sales go down during the outbreak significantly, property values remain steady and will rise once the danger has passed. This makes sense: less inventory meets less demand. Early data tracking COVID-19’s impact on real estate appears to be confirming this phenomenon.   

COVID-19: A Call to Adapt.

 

 

→ Yes, real estate is still happening in San Francisco during COVID-19. People still need to buy and sell property regardless of the circumstances. 

Ah, the Before Times.... Gone are the open houses that you could willy nilly stumble upon out one weekend thanks to COVID-19. In their place is a more focused (and, arguably, more efficient) process whereby only pre-approved and committed buyers can actually visit a property they may want to buy in person. While it’s difficult to visit a property in person, it’s becoming easier to see or ‘experience’ a wide number of properties thanks to increased agent use of 3-D property tours, property videos and virtual open houses via Zoom, YouTube Streaming. What follows is a rough and early guide as to how real estate is changing in the coronavirus era.

How Are Prices Holding Up in San Francisco? 

Thanks to low mortgage rates and the fact that sellers in San Francisco have seen such large gains in their property values over the past 10 years (not to mention the gains properties have made over the past 30 years) property values will remain high because owners have a lot of equity protecting their homes for the time being. 

And yet, it’s also a good time for buyers who are willing, able and ready to buy because of historically low mortgage rates have boosted buyer power and because there is less competition. 

1. No More Open Houses (For Now)

No Open Houses During COVID-19, no worries

Unfettered Access to Properties is Now Fettered

Expecting to stroll into a Sunday open house unexpectedly or on a whim?

Curious neighbor who just wanted to check an open house out? 

Au contraire... No open houses or broker tours are allowed during shelter-in-place orders

→ Suspending public, in-person open houses was an early part of social distancing practices that had the following impacts:

Loss of spontaneity: to the extent they happened, there will be fewer impulse buys that were aided and abetted by being able to go to open houses easily

Loss of serendipity: lots of folks may not realize they can buy or that their house has appreciated in value significantly until they meet an agent at an open house in their neighborhood.

When public open houses come back, expect to encounter limits on how many folks can be inside at once, temperature checks, hand sanitizer overload, booties, and signing waivers just to enter a property or for tracing purposes should someone get sick.

2. Visiting Virtually

Virtual Property Tours and other means

For the truly determined.

 

 

→ While there is no real substitute for an in-person property visit, technology is making it easier to see something without actually being there. We’re seeing agents use polished property videos, matterport 3-D virtual tours, and Zoom open houses. And while these means a decent job of communicating what a property is about, a lot of folks want a more genuine sense of what a property is like in person. That’s where we come in. We will go out and make exhaustive, first-person walk-through videos that we’ll post on YouTube. We’ve made more than 400 of these videos over the years and have the process down. The hope is that these videos and commentary will help you decide if it’s worth visiting in person.

3. Didn’t Al Gore Talk about Lockboxes? 

How to setup a property showing during COVID-19

It’s Time for a Relay for Keys.  

 

 

→ Unlike their Bay Area counterparts, San Francisco agents rarely put lock boxes on their listings. A property would be too unique or expensive to let people attend without the chance to sell the place in person was the logic. Now the world has been turned upside down, we’re seeing San Francisco agents use lock boxes as the default. Because it’s somewhat new practice, we’ll see more fumbling for keys, issues with lock boxes and less in-person selling.

4. Time for P.P.E.

Property Showings during COVID-19

Venturing Out (P.P.E., PEADs and all).

 

 

→ In-person property visits should be sponsored by 3M, Purell and Clorox at the rate we’re going. Before listing agents let anyone visit a property, buyers will have to cough up a pre-approval letter or proof of funds (pardon the pun) and will make buyers sign a the newly created statewide waiver form disclaiming the right to sue if you get sick. Property visits currently limited to two buyers (from the same household) and just 1 agent. Wipes, sanitizer, masks and social distancing do make a property feel a little eerie but if that’s the price of admission for a new place to call home and shelter, it’s a small one.

5. Contracts with Roadmaps  

Offers and Escrows during COVID-19

Navigating this New (not-so) Normal Requires Planning for the Unexpected.

 

A bit of balance is back in San Francisco. The sellers’ market of the past several years often meant buyers wanting contingencies, a price break or other concessions wouldn’t get very far in the market. While evolving, we’re seeing offers with financing contingencies get accepted and a certain amount of negotiation is back too. It’s also a good idea to include more flexible contract terms that allow for the unexpected to happen while still promoting good will and understanding on both sides.

6. For Everyone Else Who Bought: Forbearances + Re-Fis, Oh My.

Mortgages during Corona

Time-shifting.


 

→ So, for existing homeowners who may be facing a rough patch who need to defer loan payments to another month (or months) or to the very end of a loan’s term (forbearance), or others who just want to re-finance their loans, COVID-19’s impact on real estate has been profound. Negotiating with mortgage lenders is on the table again, which was unthinkable at the beginning of the year when the economy was humming along. The economy’s shutdown is thought to be only temporary but important enough so as to compel most major lenders to accommodate mortgage payment changes in order to avoid anything resembling the financial crisis era.

Track Property Prices in San Francisco

Take a look at what COVID-19 has done to San Francisco real estate prices.

Recent Posts

 

Now Selling: 65 Hermann St., No. 3, San Francisco, MLS # 506536

65 Hermann, No. 3, San Francisco, listed by Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry, Vanguard Properties. A sublime urban pad with location, smart updates and comfort in the time when comfort is all the more important. This 1-bed, 1-bath, 1-car parking condominium is right for you MLS 506536.

Market Updates: August is the first time since 2014 that SF 1-bed median rent has been below $3000, new report finds - SFGate

“Despite much speculation of a Bay Area exodus, ApartmentList found that the percentage of renters who are currently living in the San

Now Selling: 875 Vermont St., No. 204, San Francisco, CA | $699,000 MLS 503836

Listed with Kevin Ho + Jonathan McNarry: 875 Vermont Street, No. 204: Just-updated 1-bed, 1-bath, 1-car parking, Potrero condominium with in-unit laundry that’s comfortable, bright and relaxed. San Francisco MLS 503836, www.875-vermont.com (https://www.875-vermont.com/)

HELLO.

Hi, we’re Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry of Vanguard Properties in San Francisco, California. We’re partners in life and in business. Together with our big black Labrador retriever, Raffi, we are top producing Realtors in San Francisco’s competitive and valuable residential real estate market.

We truly love what we do and are passionately committed to our clients, their needs and advancing their interests. We represent both buyers and sellers with many repeat clients but we are always expanding our client base. Our belief is that by working with you you will make better informed decisions in this most important of areas of life.

We invite you to contact us to learn more and to start your success story now.

SOME STUFF TO KNOW.

To that extent possible, the information here is copyright protected. But other information such as links, articles and the like are only reproduced here for market education purposes. Remember to research all matters discussed here to your own satisfaction.

Terms & Conditions

Real estate is always changing and evolving. It's complex and can be as fickle as it is surprising. And while the information and knowledge on this site is considered to be accurate and correct, it cannot be warranted. Market conditions in San Francisco, California, and the world can change with a tweet or a sneeze and is beyond anyone's control.

In San Francisco, things like local, state and federal tax regulations can change with big implications. Other things like rent control rules, eviction control, lending practices and standards, building and zoning regulations are just a few of the other things that can change with little or no notice. All of these things and other intangible factors can and will impact market values and performance. 

Kevin is a licensed California attorney but focuses on real estate about 99.9 percent of the time. It's important to note that while you can’t take the attorney out of him he will not be acting as your attorney here. This speaks to the larger point that you should also seek out qualified folks who work in their respective sectors if you have further questions. 

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We’ve been told that our website may be using cookies — the electronic ones — not the ones that Cookie Monster loves. These cookies, tracking pixels and related technologies are small data files that emanate from our server or platform and are stored on your device or browser.

Our site uses cookies developed by third parties for a variety of purposes with the most important ones to us being focused on supporting our abilities to support our clients — current and future — as they look for San Francisco real estate services.

Also, cookies may also be used to track how you use our site, which, of course, may give rise to seeing related advertisements on other websites you visit. To comply with the California Consumer Privacy Act, we have deployed various measures you may see on this site. If you have a question or concern, feel free to contact us at [email protected]. We want you to be aware that your personal information stays private with us with SSL standards here among other protocols we employ. 

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Kevin K. Ho, DRE 01875957/SBN 233408

Jonathan B. McNarry, DRE 01747295

Vanguard Properties
2501 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
555 Castro Street, San Francisco, CA 94114

Kevin on KTVU-2 Talking About Corona and SF Real Estate

Kevin Appears on KTVU-2 Talking About the coronavirus' impact on San Francisco residential real estate

Practicing safe social distancing, Kevin Ho of San Francisco's Vanguard Properties talks with long-time reporter Amber Lee of KTVU-2 about a rare mix of anxiety, opportunity and yet optimism that's been brought on by the disruptive effect of COVID-19. The piece aired on March 25, 2020.  

Kevin is regularly asked to comment on area real estate developments and changes. 

Kevin and Jonathan’s Other Media-related Posts

Take a look below at other interviews and editorial contributions.

SF Chronicle Sound-Off Q+A: Still Busy During Covid with Kevin+Jonathan

Even during a Pandemic, people need to buy and sell houses and properties. See why it’s been such a busy market in San Francisco with Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry of Vanguard Properties, the largest, locally owned and operated boutique brokerage in the Bay Area.

SF Chronicle Sound-Off Q+A: Impact a Second Corona Spike on San Francisco's Housing Market Considered with Kevin+Jonathan

How has another wave of Corona-19 cases impacted San Francisco’s housing market? It’s emphasized how important it is to be working with professionals like Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry of San Francisco’s largest, independently owned brokerage Vanguard Properties.

Kevin Quoted in Mission Local: “Real estate market in the Mission appears to recover, for now - Mission Local”

“A lot of renters have become buyers,” observed real estate agent Kevin Ho. “All the talk of exodus — that’s the headline-grabbing news — but the real news is that a lot of buyers have a little more affordability. And a little more balance to the market allows them to own a piece of San Francisco.”

Ho said more of the buyers right now seem to be people who want to live in the home they’re purchasing, rather than using it as an investment. He said some of the recent changes to the law around tenant protections and rent forgiveness might be having an impact, and investors “don’t necessarily want to assume that risk.” In Mission Local.

Kevin on KTVU-2 Talking About Corona and SF Real Estate

San Francisco real estate and the coronavirus/COVID-19 as discussed by Kevin Ho of San Francisco’s Vanguard Properties, the leading locally owned luxury brokerage for the San Francisco Bay Area. The forecast is optimistic, the question is when.

Top Places for LGBTQ Folks to Live—and It's Not Just NYC and San Francisco | realtor.com

Talking about destination neighborhoods for LGBTQ folks, Kevin Ho of Vanguard Properties discusses how the Castro in San Francisco’s Eureka Valley, stacks up compared to other destinations and why it has a unique appeal.

SF Chronicle Sound-Off Q+A: On Setting a List Price with Kevin Ho + Jonathan McNarry

Setting a property’s list price or better yet trying to find a property’s real market value is always tricky especially in high-value and competitive markets like San Francisco. See how Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry, top-ranked agents at San Francisco’s luxury boutique brokerage Vanguard Properties handle the question in the San Francisco Chronicle’s Sound-Off Section

SF Gate’s Sound Off: Will the 49ers playing in the Super Bowl affect open houses this weekend? 

Sound off from the San Francisco Chronicle (Feb 2, 2020 Edition)

Will the 49ers playing in the Super Bowl affect open houses this weekend?

We get asked to share our take on real estate by our friends at the San Francisco Chronicle/SF Gate, like the one above. Here's our answer to this week's question about the Super Bowl's impact on open houses: 

This weekend you’re likely to see more red and gold and fair-weather civic pride out there than open house signs. The cutest condo ever can’t compete with a spectacle as big as the Super Bowl, especially when our hometown team is playing, which no one expected.

Because us agents work hard to keep property listings from become stale (or even being perceived as such), many will advise sellers to come to market after folks are done being distracted by the holidays, which should really also include the Super Bowl as 115 million people travel during the holidays and about 100 million watch the game.

The charming 2-bed, 2-bath, house can’t compete with J.Lo and Shakira just as the pricey open floor plan can’t compete with the far pricier spectacle where the commercials alone cost $175,000 a second. Sports fans rule the roost this weekend for sure, but don’t worry real estate fans, prime time is just about to kick off.

Published at: Sound Off: Will the 49ers playing in the Super Bowl affect open houses this weekend? - SFGate 

That got us to thinking about how we stack up to ourselves and to our rivals:
It's Pricy Here for Sure.

Now and Then, Here and There. What if you bought a house last time the 49ers were in the Super Bowl? And how does SF stack up against its opponents real estate wise?

 

If you liked this, check these out.

SF Chronicle Sound-Off Q+A: Still Busy During Covid with Kevin+Jonathan

Even during a Pandemic, people need to buy and sell houses and properties. See why it’s been such a busy market in San Francisco with Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry of Vanguard Properties, the largest, locally owned and operated boutique brokerage in the Bay Area.

SF Chronicle Sound-Off Q+A: Impact a Second Corona Spike on San Francisco's Housing Market Considered with Kevin+Jonathan

How has another wave of Corona-19 cases impacted San Francisco’s housing market? It’s emphasized how important it is to be working with professionals like Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry of San Francisco’s largest, independently owned brokerage Vanguard Properties.

Kevin Quoted in Mission Local: “Real estate market in the Mission appears to recover, for now - Mission Local”

“A lot of renters have become buyers,” observed real estate agent Kevin Ho. “All the talk of exodus — that’s the headline-grabbing news — but the real news is that a lot of buyers have a little more affordability. And a little more balance to the market allows them to own a piece of San Francisco.”

Ho said more of the buyers right now seem to be people who want to live in the home they’re purchasing, rather than using it as an investment. He said some of the recent changes to the law around tenant protections and rent forgiveness might be having an impact, and investors “don’t necessarily want to assume that risk.” In Mission Local.

Kevin on KTVU-2 Talking About Corona and SF Real Estate

San Francisco real estate and the coronavirus/COVID-19 as discussed by Kevin Ho of San Francisco’s Vanguard Properties, the leading locally owned luxury brokerage for the San Francisco Bay Area. The forecast is optimistic, the question is when.

Top Places for LGBTQ Folks to Live—and It's Not Just NYC and San Francisco | realtor.com

Talking about destination neighborhoods for LGBTQ folks, Kevin Ho of Vanguard Properties discusses how the Castro in San Francisco’s Eureka Valley, stacks up compared to other destinations and why it has a unique appeal.

SF Chronicle Sound-Off Q+A: On Setting a List Price with Kevin Ho + Jonathan McNarry

Setting a property’s list price or better yet trying to find a property’s real market value is always tricky especially in high-value and competitive markets like San Francisco. See how Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry, top-ranked agents at San Francisco’s luxury boutique brokerage Vanguard Properties handle the question in the San Francisco Chronicle’s Sound-Off Section

How much is a Square Foot?

How Much is a Square Foot in San Francisco? 

No doubt about it, San Francisco real estate is an expensive proposition but it's one that has shown strong growth. Consider how much your house would be worth if you bought what an average single-family house just 10 years ago? 

The Latest Data: Dollars Per Square Foot

The latest data from the MLS:

For Single-Family Houses

Median Sale Price Figures  

For Condos

Median Sale Price Figures  

Beyond Any Expectations

We're ready to help you find the right value for you.

ABC 7: Kevin Talks About the Market Impact of San Francisco’s Millennium Tower’s Upcoming Fix

Kevin being interviewed.

I N T H E N E W S

A Monumental Fix for SF's 'Sinking' Tower

Kevin is interviewed by ABC7 Bay Area about the latest chapter in the Millennium Tower (301 Mission Street) saga a $100M fix where more than 200 pylons are to be driven into the ground to prop up the leaning luxury skyscraper. (If the story doesn’t play for you, click here).

Kevin’s experience as a reporter meshes well with his real estate experience and tendency to stay current on what’s happening in San Francisco real estate. This makes him and Jonathan the perfect market experts for reporters to call when newsworthy items pop up, which is a great attribute for their clients to have at their disposal. 

Kevin being interviewed.
Kevin Ho is interviewed with ABC7 Bay Area about a development in one of the biggest stories to hit San Francisco real estate at the Millennium Tower (301 Mission Street).

More Media Coverage 

SF Chronicle Sound-Off Q+A: Still Busy During Covid with Kevin+Jonathan

Even during a Pandemic, people need to buy and sell houses and properties. See why it’s been such a busy market in San Francisco with Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry of Vanguard Properties, the largest, locally owned and operated boutique brokerage in the Bay Area.

SF Chronicle Sound-Off Q+A: Impact a Second Corona Spike on San Francisco’s Housing Market Considered with Kevin+Jonathan

How has another wave of Corona-19 cases impacted San Francisco’s housing market? It’s emphasized how important it is to be working with professionals like Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry of San Francisco’s largest, independently owned brokerage Vanguard Properties.

Kevin Quoted in Mission Local: “Real estate market in the Mission appears to recover, for now – Mission Local”

“A lot of renters have become buyers,” observed real estate agent Kevin Ho. “All the talk of exodus — that’s the headline-grabbing news — but the real news is that a lot of buyers have a little more affordability. And a little more balance to the market allows them to own a piece of San Francisco.”

Ho said more of the buyers right now seem to be people who want to live in the home they’re purchasing, rather than using it as an investment. He said some of the recent changes to the law around tenant protections and rent forgiveness might be having an impact, and investors “don’t necessarily want to assume that risk.” In Mission Local.

Kevin on KTVU-2 Talking About Corona and SF Real Estate

San Francisco real estate and the coronavirus/COVID-19 as discussed by Kevin Ho of San Francisco’s Vanguard Properties, the leading locally owned luxury brokerage for the San Francisco Bay Area. The forecast is optimistic, the question is when.

Top Places for LGBTQ Folks to Live—and It’s Not Just NYC and San Francisco | realtor.com

Talking about destination neighborhoods for LGBTQ folks, Kevin Ho of Vanguard Properties discusses how the Castro in San Francisco’s Eureka Valley, stacks up compared to other destinations and why it has a unique appeal.

SF Chronicle Sound-Off Q+A: On Setting a List Price with Kevin Ho + Jonathan McNarry

Setting a property’s list price or better yet trying to find a property’s real market value is always tricky especially in high-value and competitive markets like San Francisco. See how Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry, top-ranked agents at San Francisco’s luxury boutique brokerage Vanguard Properties handle the question in the San Francisco Chronicle’s Sound-Off Section

San Francisco Chronicle’s Sound-Off: What Can Buyers Do To Help Their Agents with Kevin Ho+Jonathan McNarry

Getting into San Francisco’s real estate market can be daunting, but don’t worry, Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry have a map.

SF Gate’s Sound Off: Will the 49ers playing in the Super Bowl affect open houses this weekend? 

We compare how San Francisco real estate stacks up against its Super Bowl rivals Baltimore and Kansas City. It’s not even close.

Curbed SF: Why Do Some Realtors Use “Eureka Valley” Instead of “Castro”? – Curbed SF

Kevin Ho talks about why the Castro is its own neighborhood with Curbed SF

SF Chronicle: Q+A: How Do Agents Get Each Other’s Attention?

How do agents learn about each other’s property listings in San Francisco? Explore the ways with Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry of San Francisco’s leading locally owned brokerage Vanguard Properties.

San Francisco Chronicle: Q+A: How do I determine my priorities before I search for a home? By Kevin Ho + Jonathan McNarry

How to buy the right home in San Francisco while honoring your budget and priorities? Start by hiring Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry, top producers, REALTORS with San Francisco’s Vanguard Properties, the leading locally owned luxury brokerage.

San Francisco Chronicle: Q+A: How Has the Internet Impacted Real Estate By Kevin Ho + Jonathan McNarry (Jan 20, 2019)

The intersection of the Internet and real estate has made it even more important to have experienced agents like Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry whose perspective and deep familiarity with San Francisco markets help their clients win in the City’s competetive markets.

Debunking The Great IPO Scare of ’19 with Kevin Ho + Jonathan McNarry of Vanguard Properties

IPO v.2019

Don't Believe the Hype: Yes, 2019's IPOs are about to blast off, but their impact will take longer to feel and may not be as great as feared

By now you've probably heard that the IPO for [insert company-of-the-moment here] is going to flood the city with millionaires and push already high real estate prices out of this world. A popular variation is that many sellers who would otherwise list and sell their properties now are withholding their properties until IPO money hits the market to cash in on the forthcoming cash surge. But delve deeper into these propositions and you'll see there's more to it than those eye-catching headlines. One: Will there really be that much new cash out there? Maybe but the Facebook IPO is instructive as the company's shares did not go crazy but went down by $20 a share in the first few months after its IPO. Okay, eventually, the stock went up and cash followed. Two: Assuming there is more cash on the market and in the accounts of all those coders and sales people, the question then becomes: when will that cash be felt on the market? What many forget is that IPOs are usually followed by restrictive periods of 6 months to a year after an IPO where employees are barred from cashing their RSUs or options in. And a lot can happen to a stock during that time. Also, remember we'll be in an election cycle by the time money from 2019 IPOs hits the market and who knows what the world will be like then. Three: Just how many employees are there who stand to benefit? Not that many, the headcount at many of the darling unicorns of the tech IPO isn't high. So is now a better time to buy or later? Even if just one property owner decides to hold on to their property for longer than they would have otherwise prices will rise as our already-limited inventory will have one less property to buy thus driving up scarcity and prices. With longer term prospects looking to be ones flush with cash, the only solace you can find mow is that interest rates have fallen since last fall and continue to be low for the time being.

By now you’ve probably heard that there are lots IPOs set to blast off for San Francisco-based companies [if not, then take a read here]. The impact of these IPOs will flood the city with copious amounts of cash and a bevy of freshly minted millionaires, who will then push already sky-high real estate prices out of this world.

A popular variation of this story is that many sellers who would otherwise list and sell their properties now are instead withholding their properties until IPO money hits the market to list the property to take advantage of the anticipated forthcoming cash surge.

But if you delve deeper into these propositions you’ll see there’s more to it than those eye-catching headlines.

Three Reasons Why Money Won’t Fall From the Sky Today… 

One: Will there really be that much cash out there? Maybe but the Facebook IPO is instructive as the company’s shares did not go crazy and went down by $20 a share in the first few months after its IPO.

(Okay, eventually, the stock went up and cash flowed forth.) 

Two: Assuming there is more cash on the market and in the accounts of all those coders and sales people, the question then becomes: when will that cash be felt on the market? What many forget is that IPOs are usually followed by restrictive periods of 6 months to a year after an IPO during which employees are barred from cashing in their RSUs or selling options. And a lot can happen to a stock during that time.

(And remember we’ll be in an election cycle by the time money from 2019 IPOs hits the market and who knows what the world will be like then.)

Three: Just how many employees are there who stand to benefit? Not that many, right? The headcount at many of the darling unicorns of the tech IPOs is relatively small.

So is now a better time to buy or later?

So, if even just a single property owner decides to hold on to their property for longer than they would have otherwise, prices will rise in the short term because that will mean one less property to buy thus driving up scarcity and prices. Indeed, the data from when Google IPO’s in 2004 that condo price growth in District 5 held at a steady 15% clip while house prices rose 5% faster than the year prior to the IPO.  

The take-away: prices for single-family homes will increase post-IPO at a higher rate than they would for condominiums so buy now while you can while interest rates are lower than they have been over the past 2 years.

 

So How Did It Go When Google Went IPO?

Google's IPO was in August 2004. We look at price growth rates for house and condo prices in District 5 (Noe Valley, Eureka Valley, Mission Dolores, Duboce Triangle and the Haight) in the year before and after the IPO.

Price Change From 2002–2005

During which the average house price in District 5 grew from $948,000 to $1,074,000 to $1,292,000— by 13% and 18% respectively

[stack_progress full=”73″ label=”Sept 1 2002 – Sept 1 2003: $948,000″][stack_progress full=”83″ label=”Sept 1 2003 – Sept 1 2004: $1,074,000″][stack_progress full=”100″ label=”Sept 1 2004 – Sept 1 2005: $1,292,000″]

Price Change From 2002–2005

During which the average condominium price in District 5 grew from $613,000 to $713,000 to $827,000— holding at a steady 15% annual rate

[stack_progress full=”73″ label=”Sept 1 2002 – Sept 1 2003: $613,000″][stack_progress full=”83″ label=”Sept 1 2003 – Sept 1 2004: $713,000″][stack_progress full=”100″ label=”Sept 1 2004 – Sept 1 2005: $827,000″]

The condo market’s 2018 cooling is over — San Francisco Business Times

The condo market’s 2018 cooling is over — San Francisco Business Times

Call it something in the air: Would-be condo buyers in San Francisco stuck to the sidelines last quarter, as market volatility and the city’s air quality from the Camp Fire likely chilled an otherwise-excellent year for condo sales.November was a slow month for the downtown market, with 579 closings amounting to a nearly 20 percent year-over-year drop from 2017… For the year as a whole, however, sale volumes rose by 6.5 percent.

READ MORE: San Francisco’s most expensive condos on the market in 2019 and why the condo market cooled toward the end of 2018 – San Francisco Business Times

How Did San Francisco Real Estate Fare in 2018?

How Did We Do in 2018?

Despite predictions of doom and gloom, the market held its own in San Francisco over 2018

Despite a slower November, San Francisco real estate still performed consistantly in 2018. If anything, the end of 2018 suggests that balance – long in sellers’ favor – may be returning to the market. If so, this should mean properties will take a little longer to sell with a little more variety out there. That said, demand still far outstrips available supply, which will be the case for many years to come, so that properties that are well-prepared or are otherwise special will sell quickly and strongly.

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