Buyer-Seller Dynamics in San Francisco

This April 2014 analysis was based upon a survey of Paragon Real Estate Group agents regarding their past 12 months of activity: Paragon agents close over 1000 San Francisco home transactions per year; Paragon’s Van Ness office represents more buyers in successful city home purchases than any other brokerage office.

All percentages are approximate: This was not a rigorously controlled survey and analysis, but more an informal poll; still we believe the data below does generally reflect market dynamics in San Francisco.

San Francisco Home Sellers 

60% are selling to relocate outside of San Francisco: The main reasons, in order of prevalence, are schools (and other family-raising reasons) — which ties in with the fact that SF has the lowest percentage of children of any major city in the country — affordability (the ability to buy more home for the money elsewhere), job-related reasons (relocation, commute) and retirement.

15% involve trust, probate or investor sales, or people moving into rentals or retirement homes, and no new home purchase is involved.

25% are selling in order to buy another property within the city, typically either upgrading to a more expensive home or downsizing to a smaller home, or a divorce is involved.

San Francisco Home Buyers 

50% are first-time buyers. This is a very high percentage: In the U.S. the percentage is about 30% (and, of course, the U.S. median price is under $200k, while the SF median is over $950,000).

Average age of SF home buyers is generally getting younger and is currently in the mid-thirties.

47% of SF home buyers are employed in high tech. This is a distinctly San Francisco phenomenon related to the first 2 points above: An influx of relatively young, often newly affluent, high-tech employed, often first-time buyers – who can afford SF home prices – is playing a decisive role in the market.

20% of prospective SF home buyers have become discouraged and given up on buying in the city, due to the competitive environment and rapidly appreciating prices. They’ve either given up for the time being or shifted their home searches elsewhere.

Less than 3% of SF home buyers are foreign – exposes the myth of foreign money playing a significant role in the SF market. What purchases/investments they are making seem to be mostly in new or newer, high-rise condo developments. (There are cities in the U.S. in which large numbers of foreign buyers are having a significant impact on the market – Miami may be the most dramatic example – but SF is not one of them at this time.)

26% of homes are being purchased via “all cash” offers, though many of these offers are structured this way solely for strategic reasons to get their offers accepted in an exceedingly competitive environment. That is, many of these buyers end up getting loans either before or immediately after close of escrow. (This is a different phenomenon than investors paying all cash for distressed homes in other parts of the country – San Francisco has had very few of these sales in the past 2 years.)

Approximately 10% of home sales occur outside of the multiple listing service, i.e. as so-called off-market/ off-MLS/ pocket listings. This agrees with other analyses Paragon and others have performed.

Conclusions: To a greater extent than is probably normal, there is an exchange process occurring in San Francisco, with existing residents moving out and new residents moving in. One of the biggest reasons for selling is to relocate for better public schools outside SF or to save money by enrolling children in suburban public instead of city private schools; high prices are motivating some city homeowners to cash out to buy bigger/better homes elsewhere; frenzied market conditions are discouraging homeowners who might otherwise sell to buy other (larger, better) homes within the city – many of these homeowners are staying put out of trepidation. This last situation is affecting/lowering the supply of homes for sale.

Population/ Employment Growth and Housing

According to the latest U.S. census data, the estimated increase in the city’s population since 2010 is 32,000; over the same period, the number of employed residents has jumped by over 55,000. Per the Planning Department, the approximate number of new housing units added since 2010 is 4200. With 38% of SF’s households consisting of 1 person, and an average household size of 2.3 persons, we’re looking at over 22,000 new residents who have been looking for homes that don’t exist. This is one of the biggest factors behind the huge upward pressure on rents and home prices.

With the market recovery that began in 2012, another 6000 housing units are currently under construction and most should be ready sometime in the next 2 years. Housing units include condos (sales), apartments (rentals), houses (a very few) and community housing projects.

This analysis was performed in good faith with data from sources deemed reliable,
but it may contain errors and is subject to revision.
Source: Paragon
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Warriors Ditch Plan to Build Arena on Piers 30-32, Opt for Mission Bay Site Instead


The Golden State Warriors have abandoned their plan to build an arena on Piers 30-32 just south of the Bay Bridge and instead have purchased a site in Mission Bay to hold their new 18,000-seat venue, sources close to the deal have confirmed to The Chronicle.

The Warriors bought the 12-acre site for an undisclosed amount in a deal that was inked Saturday night. The team plans to have the arena ready for the 2018-19 NBA season.

The shift in location provides the team with predictability, fewer regulatory hurdles and eliminates the need for any voter approval.

It should also assuage the project’s most vocal critics, who opposed building a 120-foot high arena on Piers 30-32 over concerns about traffic, environmental impacts during construction and blocked views of the Bay Bridge.

The Mission Bay site, where Salesforce originally planned to locate its corporate campus, will have a planned waterfront park across from the arena, has a Muni T-Third stop right in front of it, and already has two adjacent parking garages that can hold a combined 2,130 cars.

When the Central Subway opens – projected for 2018, the year the Warriors plan to open the arena – the line will provide essentially a straight shot to the Powell Street Muni/BART station downtown.

The Warriors will own the site outright, rather than leasing it from the Port of San Francisco, and say the arena will be entirely privately financed – perhaps the first sports venue of its kind in the country that uses no taxpayer funds or public land.

The new site does not, however, have the stunning views of the Bay Bridge, instead looking out onto a dry dock, an industrial pier and the rusting old pilings that dot the water.

Source: John Coté from San Francisco Chronicle

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FOR SALE: 1769 14th St. Oakland, CA


1769 14th St. Oakland, CA

Asking price: $399,000

Tina C. Wong 510-502-6018

Exquisite floor plan with high ceiling & amazing modern design 2BD/2.5BA townhouse in Zephryr Gate Development. Bamboo floors, granite countertops, ample of cabinets, stainless appliances & high end finishes throughout this home where has a spacious & airy feel as you enter into a kitchen/LR/DR open floor plan, that leads to a balcony. 2 master suites across from each other providing privacy.

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For Sale: 2770 Sea View Parkway. Alameda, CA 94502


2770 Sea View Parkway, Alameda, CA 94502

Offered at: $799,000

2770 Sea View Pkwy. Alameda (Flyer Front) - Copy

4BD & 2.5BA townhouse situated across from tranquilizing bay view, walking trail, BBQ area. Properties in this neighborhood are rarely being listed on market.

The main level includes marble entry, wall to wall carpet overlaid a sun-drenched living room with gas burning fireplace and multiple windows with bay views. Shutters provide elegant classic setting & privacy. Dining area opens to front patio ties up outdoor living. Spacious eat-in kitchen comprises of tiles flooring, stainless steel appliances-brand new stove & hood, refrigerator; solid surface counter top for easy cleaning; sliding glass doors lead to low maintenance rear patio.

The upper level includes 4 spacious bedrooms and 2 remodeled bathrooms. Master suite consists of bright and airy bedroom, master bathroom with wide vanity area and double sinks; mirror extends from one end to another; marble tiles cover from the floor to shower walls. Bedroom next to master bedroom overlooks the well landscaped courtyard. Adjacent to the remodeled hallway bathroom, there is bedroom 3 by the staircase and facing the serene bay view. Bedroom 4 with double doors and filled with ample of natural lighting.

Side by side garage with considerable storage area plus plenty of off-street parking. Close proximity to park, 2 well known elementary schools, golf course and more…

HOA fee $276 per month

Contact info: Tina C Wong (510) 502-6018 / Realty World Advance Group

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No Anti-Property Ownership Petition AB2405 & SB1439

We need everyone’s help to flight for property ownership rights by collecting signatures on No Anti-Property Ownership Petition.
No Anti-Property Ownership Petition (AB2405 & SB1439): in the past 3 months, there were 6 laws or legislation enacted by 5 politicians targeting property owners of San Francisco, once a piece of property is rented out, owners would have an impossible time getting it back. Among the 6 laws, 4 revoke the ability to remove illegal in-law apartments, or getting both floors of a single family back using OMI. The only way left in many cases is using Ellis Act. However, the rest of the 2 legislation, AB2405 & SB1439, are announced, to restrict property owners in San Francisco to evoke Ellis Act under any circumstance, regardless the needs to sell the properties, cash out for emergency, divorce, close of business, retirement, or inheritance arrangement. Please sign petition to oppose the SF government robbing property owners of property right and value! / 过去三个月,5位政客针对三藩市业主制定了6条恶法,造成大地震: 一旦房子出租,难以收屋。6条恶法中,其中4条法律,使得业主无法拆除非法姻亲单位,从而无法用“屋主自住”的程序把独立屋的上下两层收回自用,唯一的方 法是使用艾利斯法。但是,剩下的两条新提出的法案,限制业主使用艾利斯法收屋,无论是要卖屋、兑现救命、离婚、结业、破产、还是遗产处理,都不能迁出租 客,收屋自用。请签名反对政府严重侵害业权,掠夺财产。(Check out more info at

Small Property Owners:

Preserve the Ellis Act:

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Bay Meadows Unveils ‘Social Street’ Concept

Bay Meadows Delaware St_San Mateo real estate The Registry


The developer of the massive master-planned Bay Meadows project in San Mateo has unveiled the design for a community commons it is calling a “social street,” that it expects will become a regional hot spot of action-filled spaces ranging from a beer garden and bocce ball court to a bandshell for events and entertainment.

Just like shoppers who may window-shop at different retail stores in a mall, those living, working and visiting the San Mateo development will be able to walk Delaware Street and check out the diversity of “park rooms,” said Kevin Conger, principal at San Francisco-based CMG Landscape Architecture, which is creating a comprehensive network of streetscapes at Bay Meadows that connect nearby public transit, homes and other mixed uses to sustainably designed open spaces.


Bay Meadows unveiled Delaware’s “social street” concept and renderings, which were not previously detailed in the burgeoning community’s plan, late last week. This street, with its traditional town square, will be a pedestrian-focused social hub of the likes of San Francisco’s chic Hayes Valley neighborhood or San Jose’s upscale Santana Row.

“It’s a street as a destination,” said Conger, who hopes Delaware can become a draw to those in the South Bay as Santana Row is for those on the Peninsula. “I hope it will become a regional destination.”

The street is “programmed with a lot of outdoor uses that people working and living in the community can enjoy and come together,” said Janice Thacher, partner with Wilson Meany, the San Francisco-based developer of Bay Meadows. “The street will be active and lively. We think it’s an exciting concept that will add a lot to the community.”

As envisioned, Delaware will also augment the future retail environment at Bay Meadows. “If we can invite enough people [to Delaware] … I think the retail will come,” Conger said.

Along one side of this street, five office buildings will add to the area’s vibrancy. For instance, the buildings will feature a long street frontage that can host retail uses, said Paul Woolford, director of design at HOK, a global architecture, engineering and planning firm that is part of the Bay Meadows project team. A large courtyard park will also house retail, he said.

“Some buildings will have arcades so people can walk through them,” Woolford added. Moreover, building lobbies will feature large pivoting glass doors that when open “can erase the boundaries” between outdoor and indoor spaces. So a party or presentation happening outside can spill into the lobby or vice versa.

No timeframe was given as to when construction of the social street would begin and finish, but development of Bay Meadows is expected to last the next three to four years.

Bay Meadows, once the site of an airfield and later a horse-racing track, is now being developed as a thriving, downtown-style urban village to include more than 1,100 units of housing, 1.5 million square feet of office space, 15 acres of parks, bicycle paths and hiking trails. The Nueva School, a nationally recognized independent institution serving gifted students, will also open its campus in Bay Meadows this fall.

Bay Meadows has eight planned residential neighborhoods, and the first ones that have gone on sale are communities by TRI Pointe Homes and Shea Homes. So far, more than 100 of the 156 already constructed homes have been sold with families moving in. More than 100 apartment units are also under way.

Woolford described Bay Meadows as taking transit-oriented development to the next level. “Bay Meadows is the very best example of a new type of work environment where it’s not just office buildings in a parking lot,” he said. “It’s a workplace, live and stay environment where people can work, shop, exercise and get on a train to go anywhere in the Bay Area.”


Source: Neil Gonzales

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Avant Housing Looks For New Apartment Development in Dog Patch

San Francisco-based Avant Housing, a joint venture of AGI Capital Group and TMG Partners together with the California Public Employees Retirement System, is planning to file permits for a 259-unit apartment development in the Dog Patch district of San Francisco. An official name for the project has not been determined at this time.

dogpatch-saloon_s345x230“We are planning to file our approvals for the development in May. Our expectation is that the project will likely be started sometime in the late third quarter of this year”, says Eric Tao, development principal with Avant Housing. He declined to comment on the total development cost of the project. He did say that the overall cost of the project has increased by 30 percent over the past 12 months.

The site for the development covers half of a city block. It is located between 3rdStreet, 23rd Street and Tennessee Street. The site’s official address is listed as 1201 Tennessee Street. The location of the project now includes an old warehouse and a gas station. These facilities will be torn down for the project.

CalPERS will be investing equity into the project and there will be traditional construction financing involved in the development. The expectation is that it will take 18 to 22 months to complete the project from start to finish.

One of the unique features in the project will be what Avant is calling flex space units. “This is to be for live/work units. This could be a situation for people who have design firms, are artists or young entrepreneurs who are trying to start their own business and want to be where they live and work in a single location. These units are designed first as apartments, and we pay schools fees for them just like any other apartment unit. We think that these people are being priced out of San Francisco with the high cost of both housing and office space,” said Tao.

This will be the second time these kinds of units have been planned by Avant. “We first started this idea in our projects at 5th and Folsom in San Francisco that we are developing for Essex Property Trust. We have eight units planned there and they will be available for the first time this summer. At this point we are not sure how they will be received. We thought we would make it part of the design in another project,” said Tao. This kind of housing will make up from six to 10 units for the project on Tennessee Street.

The new development will also have an affordable housing component, which will be around 16 percent of the project. The remainder of the units will be market-rate housing.



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