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Bubble or not?

by sfishome on May 31, 2006

Nothing has changed, half the experts think there is a bubble, half don’t. Still few people recognize that every market – even from one neighborhood to the next, and sometimes one street to the next, is reacting very differently from each other. One neighborhood may have already had their bubble burst seeing a 10% drop in prices from the peak, while another neighborhood is still selling homes quickly, at higher prices from the previous year, previous quarter and previous month.

So the question you ought to ask yourself is “what about ‘MY’ market?”. I can help you answer that if you email me at robr@kw.com. Tell me the property you are interested in, and what you love about it, and what you wish was different. I can run a Trend report to help indicate where your property has been, and where it might be going in terms of price.

My view of the San Francisco market based on numerous Listings, CMA’s (single property Comparable Market Analyses) and from conducting my own Trend reports, is that some parts of the city have already had the bubble burst seeing 10% or more price reductions over their peak. These are “less desirable” areas to Buyers. What I mean by that is if a Buyer can have everything, they usually want to be within walking distance to dining, shopping and coffee shops. They want the neighborhood to feel safe, look clean, and they don’t want to live on a loud street. I had a Twin Peaks listing. Now Twin Peaks has a LOT going for it, but the Condo sold for a lot less than it was worth last year because every buyer who loved the Condo eventually backed away because they couldn’t walk to either the Castro or Haight shopping districts. Those buyers probably bought a somewhat smaller condo “closer in” so that they could walk. And those areas have NOT dropped in value. They’ve either held their value or even gone up slightly.

Buyers are kicking the tires right now. During the bidding wars of the last few years Buyers had to act in days on a property they liked. Now they can take weeks to evaluate every home and area of interest. One condo with a deeded deck, in-unit washer/dryer and a view WILL sell quickly at top dollar vs. a very similar unit with no deeded outdoor space, where you must visit the building’s laundry room, and has no views.

Will this eventually translate into a drop in the ENTIRE San Francisco market? Some people believe it will. I just don’t see that happening for many areas that “have it all” and for properties that “have it all”. These are still in VERY high demand. I just had a Buyer offer $900,000 all cash on a Condo. With that kind of money fairly typical in this town, and virtually no new construction in the most sought after parts of town, there can not be a drop of any significance.

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