Misc Musings from Your San Francisco Realtor, San Francisco Absorption Rate, San Francisco Neighborhoods, San Francisco Real Estate, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Buyers, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Sellers, San Francisco Real Estate Market Conditions

San Francisco Real Estate Dances “The Bump”

Comments Off on San Francisco Real Estate Dances “The Bump” 07 February 2011

As the good folks at the San Francisco Real Estate Blog noted, January is often the time when San Francisco home buyers shake off the holidays and add buying a home to the list of New Years Resolutions.

The San Francisco Real Estate Blog notes:

In years past, when the market was stronger, there was a “January Bump” in the San Francisco real estate market. The surge in activity occurred as droves of buyers came back to the market after the holiday season, while sellers lagged behind.

This meant there were more buyers than property listings, and competition ensued. Last year the San Francisco real estate market didn’t experience a January bump, but there are early signs that one is happening right now.

The blog post quotes a fellow Zephyr Realtor with a recent experience where a home his buyers tried to purchase received 3 over-asking price offers the FIRST day the home was on the market!

And his experience is not rare.

An Inner Sunset single family home received 11 offers on its offer date just 4 days after the first open house.

An Inner Mission condo sold after just 9 days on the market with 8 offers (an offer date was set on this one also.)

In fact, of the 67 reported sales at Zephyr Real Estate’s weekly meetings for January, 15 had multiple offers and 13 sold over the asking price.  Another 11 sold at the asking price.  (One caveat to mention – these are just the sales that are verbally reported – some agents aren’t able to make the meetings and those sales don’t get mentioned.  But BTW – based on those numbers, that means Zephyr represented more than 20% of the sales that occurred in January.  Um, yeah, we ROCK!) 😉

In fact, 329 properties went into contract this January.   There are still a total of 1356 properties on the market.

That means the absorption rate is just 4.1 (or it would take 4.1 months for the market to “absorb” all of this inventory – aka, it would take 4.1 months for these San Francisco listings to be bought up by buyers.)

And according to the standard guidelines that we use to determine whether we are in a Sellers’ Market (1-4 months of inventory), a Neutral Market (5-6 months of inventory) or a Buyers’ Market (7+ months of inventory) – right now, we in SF are actually in (drumroll please) a *Soft* Sellers’ Market!  😀

(Fair warning to sellers – DO NOT get greedy, this ain’t 2005!  Fair notice to buyers – there are still lots of great values out there, but a variety of circumstantial evidence including a decrease in the unemployment rate, especially in high-paying tech jobs, these good values may not be around too much longer!)

So, we in the SF Real Estate biz are enjoying the good news the January Real Estate Bump is bringing us.  And since our spirits are dancing, you may as well dance with us.  If you don’t know how to do “The Bump” – the video above will show you how. 😉

Misc Musings from Your San Francisco Realtor, San Francisco Absorption Rate, San Francisco Mortgage & Financing Info, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Sellers

Can’t Afford Your Mortgage? What to Do To Avoid Foreclosure

Comments Off on Can’t Afford Your Mortgage? What to Do To Avoid Foreclosure 25 November 2008

San Francisco has weathered the foreclosure storm much better than most places in the country. 

But, I’d be flat out crazy if I believed that there aren’t at least some of you out there that got in above your head.  No down payment loans, negative amortization loans and loans whose rates reset within a short period of time have put many homeowners in uncomfortable situations. In some cases, those situations are just plain painful. 

Because there are those of you that need help, I thought I’d pass on some information provided by the California Association of Realtors.

The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) has created consumer information sheets detailing the various mortgage modification programs available through the larger lenders and government entities, and also has created an easy-to-use reference chart about available programs.

· The consumer sheets contain information such as eligibility requirements; who to contact to apply; costs associated with the program; and other vital data. In general, the loan modification programs on the chart and consumer information sheets are intended for primary residences only.

· Mortgage loan modifications typically are handled on a case-by-case basis. Homeowners having difficulty meeting their mortgage obligation or interested in finding out more about a loan modification program should start by contacting their lender. Prior to calling a lender or loan servicer, homeowners should have the following information available: loan number; income information and documentation; most recent mortgage statement; bank statements; and a letter demonstrating financial hardship.

To download the mortgage modification sheets, please visit:

What if you don’t qualify?

The majority of the mortgage modification programs from the larger lenders only are available to homeowners who either already are in default or are at risk of defaulting on their primary residences. However, some homeowners, in particular those who may default on a vacation home or an investment property, have some options available.


· Homeowners who are in default or at-risk of defaulting should contact a reputable credit counseling agency to discuss possible options other than foreclosure. When calling a credit counseling agency, the homeowner should have their loan number, most recent mortgage statement, bank statements and a letter demonstrating financial hardship. To find a credit counselor, visit the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Web site at http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm?webListAction=search&searchstate=CA or the non-profit organization National Foundation for Credit Counseling at http://www.nfcc.org/.

· Homeowners should contact their loan servicer as soon as possible to try to work out potential solutions. According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), some borrowers who do not meet the requirements for an existing mortgage modification program may still be considered for a loan adjustment based on personal circumstances.

· If a mortgage modification is not possible, homeowners may want to consider a short sale — sell the home for less than the amount of the mortgage. Although a short sale enables a homeowner to avoid foreclosure and often causes less damage to the homeowner’s credit score than a foreclosure, the lender must agree to accept the loss and in some cases the homeowner may have to pay taxes on the difference. Also, many lenders are overwhelmed by the large number of short sales being submitted by homeowners, so it could take longer than usual to receive a short-sale acceptance from the lender.

· If a homeowner cannot qualify for a mortgage modification or a short sale, some lenders will consider a deed in lieu of foreclosure, where the homeowner transfers the title to the lender in exchange for debt forgiveness. Properties that have additional debt, such as home equity lines of credit or additional mortgages, may not qualify for a deed in lieu of foreclosure. Homeowners who have additional debt tied to the property must share this information with their lender for consideration when applying for a short sale.

To read the full story, please click here:

San Francisco Absorption Rate, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Buyers, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Sellers, San Francisco Real Estate Market Conditions

Who Does This Market Belong To?

Comments Off on Who Does This Market Belong To? 14 July 2008

OK – I know my grammar ain’t great. Yes, the title should read “To Whom Does This Market Belong?” But who talks like that? And besides, I just got back from vacation and have too much work to do to think about silly things like grammar.

And since I’m swamped, I thought I’d throw a little gem from the last version of The City Update (TM) at you.  What’s The City Update (TM), you ask?  Only The Best San Francisco Real Estate Newsletter EVER!  It’s taken a little bit of the best features of all of the other good real estate newsletters out there (common, I’m humble enough to admit there are not only other good agents out there, but even other good newsletters), thrown in a little bit of flavor from yours truly, and is sent out to anyone who is anyone every Friday (except of course when I’m on vacation like I had been the last 2 weeks).  If you want your own, visit The City Update (TM) website, or click on the sign up box on the top right of your screen.  You know you want to!

Anyway – back to the topic at hand.  The debate is always continuing.

San Francisco? Is it a Buyer’s Market or a Seller’s Market?

I wasn’t quite sure what to call this little blurb about the market.  We’re always hearing the terms “Buyer’s Market,” “Seller’s Market,” and “Normal Market” thrown around.  
In fact, I’ve been hearing more and more often that San Francisco currently has a Buyer’s Market.  Frankly, it feels like a bit of a Buyer’s Market.  I’m able to find some pretty good values for my buyer clients and I’m extra careful about properly pricing my listings. 
But, what it feels like and what it is are often two different things, so I decided to crunch a few numbers.
Really quickly, let me break down the nature of this terminology for those not familiar with it.
The type of market we are in is ultimately determined by a thing we call the “absorption rate.” The absorption rate is essentially the mathematical answer to how long it would take to sell every listing on the market today.  It’s determined by dividing all available listings on the market by the number of listings that have sold in the last month. 
“Normal Market” conditions exist when the Absorption Rate is between 5 and 6 months.

 “Sellers Market” conditions exist when the Absorption Rate is lower.  (1-4 months)

“Buyers Market” conditions exist when the Absorption Rate is higher.  (7+ months)
Well – looking at those numbers, San Francisco’s current absorption rate is 5 months – putting us smack dab in the middle of a Normal Market.
Yeah, I know, I know, the market sure doesn’t feel normal.  The hotter real estate districts (5-8) actually have a Sellers Market with 4 months, while the slower real estate districts (3 & 10) have a Buyers Market with 7 months. 
The numbers prove that there is no one story in SF.  Real estate is completely local, and the state of your district, your neighborhood, or even your specific block may look nothing like the pictures I’m painting here. 
If you have specific questions about how things are going in your neighborhood, or in an area you’re interested in buying in, give me a holler – we’ll talk. 

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About the Blog

Luba’s San Francisco Real Estate Blog was created to share insights about San Francisco Real Estate and about San Francisco living. Written by Luba Muzichenko, an "almost-native" San Franciscan and a local Realtor® with Zephyr Real Estate, Luba’s San Francisco Real Estate Blog is meant to inform you about a variety of good things and happenings around SF and its unique neighborhoods, about buying and selling homes in the City and about the real estate market in general. If you like what you see, please tell a friend.

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Luba Muzichenko
Top Producer
Certified Residential Specialist®
Zephyr Real Estate
415-307-1392 (cell)
[email protected]
DRE License #01768716
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