See You on the Flipside!

Happy Holidays, everyone!

We here at JacksonFuller want to thank everyone for a wonderful year, and let you know that while we will be around and working over the holidays, we will be focused on some special projects and back-end site stuff… so this will be our last post until 2013.

We will return in January, chock full of 2012 statistics and lots more fresh real estate data, news, and information. If we can be of service before then, don’t hesitate to give us a call or email – otherwise we will see you on the flip side!

Food Poverty

Yesterday, on the JacksonFuller FaceBook page I posted a picture of a car full of groceries that Britton and I had picked up during a slow Tuesday tour for donation to the SF Food Bank. It would be awesome to think that a car full of groceries could solve the food poverty that exists in San Francisco, but sadly that isn’t the case.

A Drop in the Bucket of San Francisco Hunger
A Drop in the Bucket of San Francisco Hunger

San Francisco has a reputation for affluence (and for homeless people passed out on the corner near Union Square) so the following statistic may surprise you:

  • One in four residents of San Francisco and Marin county is unable to afford all of the food they need.

I don’t know about you, but I find that to be a profoundly sad and mind-boggling statistic. Here are some other facts about the SF Food Bank – this year they will distribute roughly 45 million pounds of food, which is enough for more than 100,000 meals per day. And of the roughly 225,000 people served each year by the food bank, only 17% of those are homeless individuals. Who are the rest?

Seniors, children, and poor people.

America is an incredibly wealthy nation, and San Francisco is a tremendously affluent region. But even with all the wealth, there are still children and elderly that will go hungry tonight. Part of this is driven by the fact that the cost of living in the Bay Area is so much higher than the rest of the country. For example, to qualify for food stamps, an applicant must make less than 130% of the federal poverty level. As of now (Dec 2012), that translates into a yearly income of $24,817 for a family of three. Divide that by 12 and the monthly income is $2,068. Could you live in San Francisco (with two others, as a family of three) on $2,068? And guess what – if that’s your income and you qualify for food stamps (CalFresh), guess how much monthly you’ll be getting? $14. How many meals could you make with $14 in a month?

Please take a moment and consider making a donation to the SF Food Bank.

And to end this on a slightly more positive note – here’s a great article about the efforts taken by the SF Food Bank to ensure that they can provide healthy and fresh fruits and vegetables to those in need.


News from the Neighborhood Blogs

What’s up in San Francisco? It depends on who you ask… after being away recently, I realized how bad SF Gate’s city coverage is. If I want to keep up with the interesting news, I’ve got to turn to the blogosphere… so here are a few of the more interesting (to Matt, at least) news items of note:

That’s the news, happy Tuesday!

Ingleside Market Stats

What’s up with homes in the Ingleside neighborhood?

As you can see from the above chart, we’ve once again got a data set that doesn’t really tell us much on a year over year basis. Why? Because in November of 2011 there was one home that closed escrow, which means we have an incredibly small data set, so making useful comparison is a bit challenging. We can infer that the median size of homes sold in November 2012 was smaller than the one home that closed in November of 2011, but whether or not that is useful comes down to the specifics of that one home that sold in the Ingleside in November of 2011. Was the 2011 sale an outlier? A “typical” Ingleside home, or a sale of some sort (REO, short sale, tenant-occupied, exceptionally large or small for the neighborhood) that makes it a really bad point of comparison.

Has the median sales price on a price per square foot basis really jumped by over $200/square foot in just one year? According to the statistics, yes. But given our small 2011 data set, that’s a representation that I wouldn’t be comfortable making.

So, just like the Castro/Eureka Valley market stats that I picked apart earlier in the week, I would again say that the only relevant or useful number in this chart is the actual number of sales. So we can safely conclude that sales are up in the Ingleside neighborhood. What the chart doesn’t answer is why sales are up… have more sellers decided to sell? Have we cleared through REO/short sale inventory that was depressing the market and taking a long period of time to sell and returned to equity sales that go more quickly? Have homes that were previously tenant occupied been vacated and are being sold because of market improvements? They are all good questions…

If you’d like the specific house details of what sold in November of 2011 or 2012, just get in touch via an email or comment and I’m happy to share that information.

We Heart Copyblogger

I usually don’t dedicate blog posts to vendors we use, but Copyblogger is an exception. Copyblogger is run by a great guy named Brian Clark out of Boulder, CO and he makes a bunch of tools that make ‘content marketing’ a lot easier.

The framework we use for running this site – a theme known as AgentPress 2.0 – comes from Copyblogger, and we also use some of their other tools (although, to be fair, probably not as well as we could).

I got an email from them this morning with some new freebies that they are making available at no charge. The first is a PDF that you can download for free titled “The Death of Traditional Real Estate Marketing” and while I’ve downloaded it, I have yet to read it. So I can’t review it yet, but I have a hunch it is good stuff, and if you’ll give me a few weeks you can check back for the book report.

The second is a .mp3 podcast/audio interview that you can download titled “Brian Clark is Returning to Real Estate.” I’m listening to it as I write this blog post, and so far it is all good information, although nothing yet that I’d describe as an incredibly-awesome-holy-cow-I-wish-I-knew-that-five-years-ago nugget of information.

So while I usually write with San Francisco buyers, seller, and investors in mind, this post is dedicated to all my fellow real estate professionals that are looking for good resources for their internet plans. There are a ton of companies and people out there that will promise the world, but in my experience Brian Clark and the folks at CopyBlogger are hard to beat. So go out there and download their resources. It will take a lot of consistent hard-work to actually see the strategies he suggests pay off, but my experience has been that he has a solid grasp of the fundamentals and conveys them in a pretty straightforward way. Game on!


Castro Market Stats

I need a new cliche. I’ve blogged in the past about the different types of averages. And I’ve also blogged about apples and oranges and whether or not price per square feet is a meaningful metric in San Francisco real estate. And I had planned to sit down today and write a quick market update about the Castro neighborhood. But something happened on the way to finishing that blog post… which is mainly that the numbers were so skewed I wanted to take a moment and talk about that instead.

As you can see from the chart above (click for a larger image if you are having a hard time reading it), I’ve plotted out the November 2011 and November 2012 sales for district 5k in San Francisco, formally known as Eureka Valley/Castro. Why Eureka Valley? Read why Eureka Valley… I’ve charted out both median and average sizes, list prices, sales prices, and days on market (DOM). I’ve done this both in absolute amounts, and also calculated the corresponding price per square foot calculations in the columns for median list price, average list price, median sales price, and average sales price.

About the only useful comparison we can use this data for (IMHO) is in comparing the number of sales. And no surprise, we’ve had tight inventory all year so sales are down from 22 to 14. However, the average and median square footages that sold in November of 2011 are substantially different from those that sold in 2012. Which means that the data really isn’t useful to tell us anything about the neighborhood market in general. These market stats are also for all residential property types (single family homes, condos, TICs, and 2-4 unit buildings), so a skew in the mix of property types could also easily skew the data in one direction or the other, presenting a false conclusion for the other market types.

Since the numbers are relatively low (22 and 14, respectively), I’ve actually pulled the reports that show the individual properties that make up these two data points in time. However, it is a violation of rules to present that much sold data on the internet without having a client relationship, so I can’t just post the reports (odd, I know… but that’s a whole ‘nother ball of wax). However, if you are interested in them, feel free to email or leave a comment and I can share that information with you.