Our First 3D Matterport Scan

I like to think of myself as being pretty skeptical. Or maybe, I should say that I find myself growing more skeptical. As the years go by, every piece of technology I try but discard because it fails to deliver on its marketing promises just makes me that much more skeptical. So I’m thrilled to report on a new technology, a unique 3-D camera made by Matterport that does an amazing (not yet perfect, but hey, neither are we) job of creating virtual layouts, virtual home tours, and virtual walkthroughs in one awesome embeddable link, like this one (shameless self-promotion ahead) for our listing at 239 Bonita:

What I love About Matterport 3D

The turn-around was fast. We had to give the company with the Matterport 3D camera technology a little heads up (but right in line with normal real estate service lead times) to schedule our Matterport Scan day but Nicholas Khoe of ING Studios was great to work with. Both he and his assistant were professional, friendly, and easy to work with both over e-mail and on-site. Once the scan was done, we had it in our inbox in just a few hours. Which is amazing!

What I can’t wait to see Get Better

Size. I can’t wait to see the files get smaller as their compression technology and magic algorithms do the magical math stuff that made my eyes glaze over in high school and college. But programmers, apparently, thrive on such things and I have no doubt that the engineers at Matterport can make it happen.



Lies, Damn Lies, Statistics

Unless you know about the data behind the data, most SF real estate charts probably doesn’t mean what you think they do. For example: Is a condo or a single family home in San Francisco more expensive?

We love data! We wrote a neighborhood by neighborhood guide to 2013 sales prices, crunched the numbers to compare MLS and off-MLS sales, and just today posted our 2014 Luxury Condo building survey. At this week’s sales meeting, the below graph was shared by the management team and I think it is a great example of how a chart usually raises more questions than it provides answers:

Condos vs SFR: Accurate or Not....?
Condos vs SFR: Accurate or Not….?

I had a few quick thoughts when I saw the above chart:

  • What about district 10?
  • How big?
  • BMRs?

District 10 is the most southern part of San Francisco, and essentially is the area south of 280 and north of the county line. It is home to some of San Francisco’s poorest and least-safe neighborhoods. The housing stock in District 10 is also almost exclusively single-family homes – I can think of one big condo project in the entire district….

The chart above also doesn’t take into account that single family homes are often larger than condo homes. Which leads to my charts!

Finally, I wasn’t sure if the above chart filtered out BMR and senior-only condos that have price or other restrictions that would weigh down the average condo price…

In my years of being a San Francisco Realtor, I’ve seen plenty of people actually prefer a condo to a single family home for a variety of reasons, and while I work with plenty of buyers that want a single family, I work with just as many people that are indifferent to condo or single family and a sizable number that don’t want a single family home.

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Based on my calculations, the median price for a condo is slightly higher than Zephyr computed – so those BMR and senior condos had brought the average down by a bit (about $20,000). And look – single family homes are bigger than condos! And look – if you take out district 10, it reduces the number of single family homes by 45, while the number of condos is only reduced by 4. In other words, District 10 is all about single family homes, and often single family homes at the lower end of the price range.
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In absolute price dollars, a single family is more expensive than a condo. But if we look at price per square foot, condos actually are more expensive. Across the city, the median price per square foot for a condo is about $917/square foot while a single family home comes in at $785/square foot.
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When we take out District 10, single family homes get a lot more expensive and condos are unchanged:image (4) On a price per square foot basis, taking out District 10 puts single family homes and condos almost on price parity. But condos still come out slightly more expensive on a price per square foot basis. image (6)


A Tale of Two Markets in Bernal Heights

505 Anderson in Bernal Heights is a single family home that has been on the market and off the market for the past several years. It provides a great perspective on how the San Francisco real estate market has changed in the past few months.

505 Anderson in Bernal Heights
505 Anderson in Bernal Heights

The home is small – about 750 square feet, doesn’t have parking, but does have two bedrooms, one bathroom, and is a single family home. So, in other words, it has some upsides – single family home. And some downsides – on the small side, no parking.

It was listed in 2010 for $489,000 and then withdrawn after about a month on the market. 2010 = No Sale!

The home was listed for sale again in 2011 for $489,000 and sat on the market for about 3 months before being withdrawn. 2011 = No Sale! 

The Bernal heights home was listed again in the spring of 2013 for $499,000. It was the same house, with only minor changes made since the last two sale attempts (new windows and siding in 2012), and plans had been drawn up showing how you could make a larger bedroom and add one car parking.

In 2013 the home was on the market for about 3 weeks, and after listing for $499,000 it closed for almost 125% of the asking price, closing just over $620,000. 2013 = Over Asking Sale! 

In a nutshell, I think 505 Anderson is a great indication of how the market has changed in San Francisco. Homes that languished on the market in 2010 and 2011 are now being snapped over for substantially over their previous listing prices. And the only substantial difference is that the market has changed – not the house.

What are your experiences with the San Francisco market this year? Can you think of other homes you saw for sale in the past few years that didn’t sell but ended up doing phenomenally well in 2013? Leave a comment below, I’m happy to do some more research and share what I can about the sales.

Up, Up and Away – February Market Stats

How’s the market in San Francisco? If you haven’t heard, it’s a very busy market right now, with more buyers than inventory. I gathered data and created a chart to help you visualize how rapidly the San Francisco real estate market has changed. Below, you can see the number of transactions reported in the MLS for the months of February 2012 and February 2013. Looking only at single family homes, the number of sales/purchases is down from 165 in February of 2012 to 122 in February of 2013. That’s a decrease of roughly 35%!

Number of Sales for Single Family Homes is down year over year
Number of Sales for Single Family Homes is down year over year

The chart below gives you some more insight into the market for single family homes. You can see that in February of 2012, the median list price for a single family home in San Francisco was $629,000 and the median sales price was just a little bit higher at $633,000. Fast forward 12 months to 2013, and you can see that the median list price is up substantially to $723,500 and the median sales price is up even higher to $800,500. The median size reported for 2012 was 1,404 and for 2013 was 1,412, so I think it is fair to assume that market dynamics are driving this change, not a feature of the underlying homes for sale.

The median list and sales price are both up substantially for single family homes in San Francisco

Year over year, for single family homes, the median list price is up about 14%, and the median sales price is up about 20%. Please remember that these statistics are only for single family homes in San Francisco (districts 1- 10), and all data is from the San Francisco Association of Realtors multiple listing service (SFAR MLS). I’ll be taking a look at data for other property types in the next couple of days, so if you aren’t interested in single family home data, check back later in the week for a look at condos, TICs, and lofts.  What are your thoughts?