Watergate Condominiums in Emeryville - presented by Watergate Sales Company from Joseph Stein on Vimeo.
The most premier condominium location on the San Francisco Bay, with 360 degree views of the entire waterfront - extending from the Berkeley hills to Mount Tamalpais, from the Golden Gate to San Francisco and Alameda harbor. Watergate Condominiums are situated on over 24 acres of meticulously landscaped grounds, with many amenities including four pools, two spas, saunas, full gym, four tennis courts, and much more.
Call us today to tour or receive further information: (510) 654-8700, watergatesales.com
From drab to fab - The Maurice in Burlingame, CA. A previously uninspired property at a prime location was recently renovated and is now up for sale. (Equitera is NOT the listing Agent, video for informational purposes only and clients of Equitera Realty. Interested parties are referred to Listing Agent’s prospectus and to conduct own investigations.)
If the Bay Area economy were considered a stock, analysts would definitely rate it a “strong buy” for 2013.
"You folks will continue to outperform the U.S. economy and all of California," predicts Wells Fargo’s chief economist, John Silvia.
Of course, prognosticators can be wrong. Many had predicted the state’s unemployment rate, for example, would continue in double digits through 2013. In fact, unemployment dipped below 10 percent last month for the first time in four years and continued to fall even further in the Bay Area. And job growth numbers were led by industries such as transportation, construction and leisure and hospitality, rather than high tech, which has almost single-handedly powered the local economy.
Stephen Levy, director of the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy, said: “2013 will be the year the recovery becomes real to many more people, not just for those in the tech sector. I don’t see that abating.”
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/business/bottomline/article/Bay-Area-economy-looking-bright-for-2013-4142769.php#ixzz2GMj0vdze
Both national and California real estate trends are shifting in favor of more practical designs catering to baby boomers looking to downsize, first-time homeowners on a budget and growing or multigenerational families in need of flexible living spaces.
The report notes that home builders throughout the state are beginning to focus on homes that are more energy efficient, compact and closer to work and entertainment centers. In addition, some homes are being built with multiple generations in mind, and including separate quarters, cottages or detached units for aging parents or adult children who need a place to stay but also wish to maintain some degree of privacy and autonomy. In today’s economy, both of these options make sense – for buyers on a budget, and also for those who simply prefer smaller, more customized living environments to large luxury homes. For example, some baby boomers are choosing to downsize in order to reduce the time and money spent on maintaining a big house, yard, pool and other amenities. Instead, they may choose to live closer to entertainment, shopping, restaurants and other amenities in their community, or to spend their discretionary funds on travel.
Commercial landlords are looking at their crystal ball, trying to envision the future of the rental market, based on the preferences of SV workers.
The strong preference for urban living shown by the educated echo boomers has pulled technology companies to San Francisco’s downtown and South of Market district like never before as the enterprises seek the city’s brainy, single, digital natives graduating from the region’s and country’s most elite schools. Parts of the Silicon Valley like Palo Alto, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, portions of Santa Clara and San Jose (along state Highway 237 in particular) have participated in the current tech boom. But regions farther south and to the east have been less lucky so far.
On one hand, the desire for walkability, good public transit, easy commutes to work, school and daily errands seems unlikely to abate, said Charles J. DiRocco Jr., director of real estate research at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. “I really see this being an ongoing trend.”
“But that doesn’t mean the suburbs are done,” he adds.
Even today’s urban-bound echo boomers—the nearly 85 million Americans aged 25 years to 34—won’t all want to stay in the city once children arrive in their lives. But as they leave, the generation behind them will swiftly fill their shoes near the bright lights and 24-hour, seven-day-a-week urban cores, he said.
“Echo boomers are important. They are the next-biggest generation after the baby boomers, and they are a key attribute for investor capital,” DiRocco said.
Washington might be fixated on the fiscal cliff, but Silicon Valley landlords are worried about a cliff of their own: the chasm now separating rents and tenant demand in Palo Alto, Mountain View and on the Peninsula from markets farther south on U.S. 101.
Most of the luxury high-rises along the western Queens waterfront didn’t flood or lose power, but they may be the latest victims of Superstorm Sandy.
Potential buyers, insurers and banks may now be reluctant to invest in prime Long Island City real estate located in hurricane evacuation Zone A, real estate experts said.
But the same experts also said they doubt the market will suffer a debilitating long-term slump, citing the lure of waterfront living and the short memories of buyers.
FULL STORY HERE: http://articles.nydailynews.com/2012-11-19/news/35211345_1_evacuation-zones-real-estate-modern-spaces
Sales of existing homes increased in October, even with some regional impact from Hurricane Sandy, while home prices continued to rise due to lower levels of inventory supply, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
Total existing-home sales1, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, rose 2.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.79 million in October from a downwardly revised 4.69 million in September, and are 10.9 percent above the 4.32 million-unit level in October 2011.
Lawrence Yun , NAR chief economist, said there was some impact from Hurricane Sandy. “Home sales continue to trend up and most October transactions were completed by the time the storm hit, but the growing demand with limited inventory is pressuring home prices in much of the country,” he said. “We expect an impact on Northeastern home sales in the coming months from a pause and delays in storm-impacted regions.”
The national median existing-home price2 for all housing types was $178,600 in October, which is 11.1 percent above a year ago. This marks eight consecutive monthly year-over-year increases, which last occurred from October 2005 to May 2006.
“Rising home prices have already resulted in a $760 billion growth in home equity during the past year,” Yun said. “Given that each percentage point of price appreciation translates into an additional $190 billion in home equity, we could see close to a $1 trillion gain next year.”
Distressed homes3 - foreclosures and short sales sold at deep discounts - accounted for 24 percent of October sales (12 percent were foreclosures and 12 percent were short sales), unchanged from September; they were 28 percent in October 2011. Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 20 percent below market value in October, while short sales were discounted 14 percent.
Total housing inventory at the end of October fell 1.4 percent to 2.14 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 5.4-month supply 4 at the current sales pace, down from 5.6 months in September, and is the lowest housing supply since February of 2006 when it was 5.2 months. Listed inventory is 21.9 percent below a year ago when there was a 7.6-month supply.
According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage fell to a record low 3.38 percent in October from 3.47 percent in September; the rate was 4.07 percent in October 2011.
NAR President Gary Thomas, broker-owner of Evergreen Realty in Villa Park, Calif., said record low mortgage interest rates shouldn’t be taken for granted. “Even with rising home prices, we’ll continue to see favorable housing affordability conditions over the coming year, but they won’t last forever,” he said.
“Inflationary pressures are expected to build during the next two years. As a result, mortgage interest rates will also rise with inflation. Buyers who are currently held back by tight mortgage credit standards should work to improve their credit scores so they’ll be able to qualify for a mortgage while conditions are still favorable.”
With stringent mortgage underwriting standards, Thomas said it’s very important to understand credit issues and how credit scores work. “Realtors ® are a good source to learn about lenders with more reasonable terms and ways to increase your likelihood of obtaining safe and sound financing. Buyers can also visit NAR’s consumer website, Houselogic.com, and search for ‘credit score.’”
The median time on market was 71 days in October, little changed from 70 days in September, but down 26.0 percent from 96 days in October 2011. Thirty-two percent of homes sold in October were on the market for less than a month, while 20 percent were on the market for six months or longer.
First-time buyers accounted for 31 percent of purchases in October, compared with 32 percent in September and 34 percent in October 2011.
All-cash sales were at 29 percent of transactions in October, up slightly from 28 percent in September; they were 29 percent in October 2011. Investors, who account for most cash sales, purchased 20 percent of homes in October, up from 18 percent in September; they were 18 percent in October 2011.
Single-family home sales rose 1.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.22 million in October from 4.14 million in September, and are 9.6 percent above the 3.85 million-unit pace in October 2011. The median existing single-family home price was $178,700 in October, which is 10.9 percent higher than a year ago.
Existing condominium and co-op sales rose 3.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 570,000 in October from 550,000 in September, and are 21.3 percent above the 470,000-unit level a year ago. The median existing condo price was $177,500 in October, up 11.7 percent from October 2011.
Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast fell 1.7 percent to an annual pace of 580,000 in October but are 13.7 percent above October 2011. The median price in the Northeast was $232,600, which is 4.6 percent above a year ago.
Existing-home sales in the Midwest rose 1.8 percent in October to a level of 1.11 million and are 18.1 percent above a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $145,600, up 10.6 percent from October 2011.
In the South, existing-home sales increased 2.1 percent to an annual pace of 1.92 million in October and are 11.0 percent higher than October 2011. The median price in the South was $152,200, which is 8.2 percent above a year ago.
Existing-home sales in the West rose 4.4 percent to an annual level of 1.18 million in October and are 3.5 percent above a year ago. With much tighter inventory conditions, the median price in the West was $242,100, up 21.2 percent from October 2011.
The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
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NOTE: For local information, please contact the local association of Realtors® for data from local multiple listing services. Local MLS data is the most accurate source of sales and price information in specific areas, although there may be differences in reporting methodology.
1 Existing-home sales, which include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, are based on transaction closings from multiple listing services. Changes in sales trends outside of MLSs are not captured in the monthly series. A rebenchmarking of home sales is done periodically using other sources to assess the overall home sales trend, including sales not reported by MLSs.
Existing-home sales differ from the U.S. Census Bureau’s series on new single-family home sales, which are based on contracts or the acceptance of a deposit. Because of these differences, it is not uncommon for each series to move in different directions in the same month. In addition, existing-home sales, which account for more than 90 percent of total home sales, are based on a much larger sample - about 40 percent of multiple listing service data each month - and typically are not subject to large prior-month revisions.
The annual rate for a particular month represents what the total number of actual sales for a year would be if the relative pace for that month were maintained for 12 consecutive months. Seasonally adjusted annual rates are used in reporting monthly data to factor out seasonal variations in resale activity. For example, home sales volume is normally higher in the summer than in the winter, primarily because of differences in the weather and family buying patterns. However, seasonal factors cannot compensate for abnormal weather patterns.
Single-family data collection began monthly in 1968, while condo data collection began quarterly in 1981; the series were combined in 1999 when monthly collection of condo data began. Prior to this period, single-family homes accounted for more than nine out of 10 purchases. Historic comparisons for total home sales prior to 1999 are based on monthly single-family sales, combined with the corresponding quarterly sales rate for condos.
2 The median price is where half sold for more and half sold for less; medians are more typical than average prices, which are skewed higher by a relatively small share of upper-end transactions. The only valid comparisons for median prices are with the same period a year earlier due to a seasonality in buying patterns. Month-to-month comparisons do not compensate for seasonal changes, especially for the timing of family buying patterns. Changes in the composition of sales can distort median price data. Year-ago median and mean prices sometimes are revised in an automated process if more data is received than was originally reported.
3 Distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales), days on market, first-time buyers, all-cash transactions and investors are from a monthly survey for the NAR’s Realtors® Confidence Index, posted at Realtor.org.
4 Total inventory and month’s supply data are available back through 1999, while single-family inventory and month’s supply are available back to 1982 (prior to 1999, condos were measured quarterly while single-family sales accounted for more than 90 percent of transactions).
The Pending Home Sales Index for October will be released November 29 and existing-home sales for November is scheduled for December 20; release times are 10:00 a.m. EST.
Commentary: interesting view on the effect of low mortgage rates:
Mortgage rates are now the lowest they have ever been, at least in America, and possibly in the world. Today’s low rates will have lasting effects on labor mobility, the demand for new houses and the remodeling industry. The low mortgage rates will make it more expensive for homeowners to move to different homes in the future.
Let’s run some numbers. Recent mortgage rates have been around 3.5 percent, at which rate a 30-year fixed rate mortgage of $200,000 has monthly payments of $898. Let’s say that a young couple buys a house today for $250,000, putting 20 percent down and financing the remainder. After a few years the babies arrive and the couple thinks about a larger house. They may decide that they can afford 20 percent higher mortgage payments, or $1,078 per month. How much house can they get with 20 percent higher monthly payments? If interest rates have moved up just one percentage point, then their monthly payments that are 20 percent higher support a mortgage that is six percent higher. That’s not a lot of improvement for the family
This will have broad implications for business in America. The most obvious is that moving into a larger house will be very, very expensive for these families. Look for homebuilders to have difficulty selling larger houses that would best fit a growing, upper-middle-class family.
With so many families locked in to their current houses, remodeling and additions will be a big business. The desire for more bedrooms, a larger kitchen, and nice cabinetry will be alive, but moving will be expensive, so many families will upgrade their current homes.
Finally, moving for a new job will be more expensive when it means getting a much more expensive mortgage. Companies recruiting executives or technical workers will have a more difficult time luring people to new jobs that require moving to a new home. Let’s say that an engineer has a $200,000 mortgage on her home, and she will move into another house with a similar mortgage. If her interest rate moves from 3.5 percent to 5.5 percent, she will have to pay about $3,000 a year more on her mortgage. It won’t take too large a raise to justify that, but there will likely be a psychological regret about giving up the great mortgage.
The entire nation will probably see a little less labor mobility. People who live in depressed areas are usually more likely to move, and they are more likely to move to rapidly growing parts of the country. Mortgage lock-in will slow the moves.
Mortgage lock-in will not stop new homebuilding, nor will it stop all corporate transfers, but it will have an effect on some parts of the economy that should be understood in advance.
Over the past 18 months, the global fascination with Chinese economic invincibility has steadily waned. And economic sophisticates have reached a consensus: China’s growth rate is slowing. Western demand for exports is falling. And the economy is plagued by overinvestment and excess capacity in housing, steel, and a host of other sectors. Officially, China is growing at a 7.5 percent rate this year. But (…) over the next 10 years, it’s possible that China will grow at an annual rate between 3 and 5 percent.
(A) possible casualty of the slowdown may be high-end real estate in Vancouver. Just as the marginal buyer driving art markets has become the über-wealthy Chinese, so too have Chinese buyers come to dominate the market for posh residences in Canada’s gateway to the Pacific.
“Vancouver has been a popular destination for Chinese, driven in large part by its proximity to China and its spectacular feng shui,” notes Jamie MacDougal of Sotheby’s International Realty. Vancouver emerged as a safe place to park capital. “
Commentary: Agents on both sides of the Bay have been complaining about lack of inventory in the major residential target areas. A cursory review of new home production and sales is showing a shadow inventory of properties that will be coming online in the next quarters, as builders are releasing inventory in step with local absorption rates.
True, Peninsula and Marin inventories are less than in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, but there are pockets of new homes to be found, all the same. Call us for more information.
The U.S. presidential election may be over, but economic uncertainty will continue to hinder corporate decision making and impede improvement in commercial real estate fundamentals well into 2013, according to Jones Lang LaSalle’s 2013 National Commercial Real Estate Outlook. Experts from the firm’s Research group presented key findings from the report in its annual media webcast event Tuesday.
"The election itself doesn’t clear the air of the uncertainty in the marketplace," said Ben Breslau, Jones Lang LaSalle’s Americas Research Managing Director. "We have reasonable confidence that some, or all, of the fiscal cliff may be averted, but the Euro crisis may get worse before it gets better, and will continue to drag on global confidence and the U.S. economy into 2013."
Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/11/15/4988711/commercial-real-estate-recovery.html#storylink=cpy
Commentary: while recently reviewing fractional ownership models, casual research on the subject immediately indicates that the concept apparently is being used these days to primarily promote the sale of high-priced luxury properties at an apparently even higher price. The original intention of the idea - to make vacation properties more affordable - is apparently not receiving that much play; could it be that this segment has been served by the time-share market since the 1990s? One commentator pointed out that perhaps the business of selling people time has given fractionals (which sells people a share in deeded property) a bad name by association - not a real association, but still probably an association in the minds of consumers. But it shouldn’t: when considering affordable vacation properties even in prime destinations, families could purchase a three to six weeks fractional piece of real estate for the price of a car, and modern life begs the question: when would anyone have more time to use a vacation property more than that anyways?
Comment: inventories are down to 25%-30% of their normal levels in the resale of large condominium complexes, which is an easy indicator. Affordable Single Family homes are rarer, still. Thus, many new home sales offices are engineering smaller and smaller ‘release’ phases, in order to cash in on the scarcity of inventory, see below.
The 2012 annual housing market study by the California Association of Realtors is pointing out what listing agents and brokers have been claiming for many months.
Properties are getting multiple offers — especially those priced in the affordable echelon, the C.A.R. report says. Homes are also selling twice as fast as they did in 2011.
Fifty-seven percent of home sales received multiple offers, representing the highest percentage in the last 12 years.
Each home landed 4.2 offers, up from 3.5 in 2011. Lower priced homes, think REO (real-estate owned) or short sales, drew more offers than straight-up sales. Seven out of 10 REOs and short sales attracted multiple offers; equity sales, more than one.
Here are some additional nuggets from the report:
•Fourty-one percent of the homes sold without a markdown.
•Equity homes sold faster in 2012 by 35 days. Average days to ink a sale, 32. Last year, it took 67 days to sell a home with equity.
•REO sales took 30 days, shaving 20 days from the average in 2011.
•Short sales remain a tough nut to crack: The average sale took 90 days, but is down from 141 days in 2011.
•Thirty percent of all home buyers paid with all-cash; in 2001, that buy-pool represented only 9 percent.
The C.A.R. survey, a tradition since 1981, is based on random mailings to 15,000 Realtors across California. Realtors were asked to provide information on the most recent sale to close escrow in the second quarter of 2012.
Comment: is Berkshire giving Realogy a run for the money?
Berkshire’s HomeServices of America Inc. unit will be the majority owner of the venture to manage a U.S. residential real-estate affiliate network, according to a statement on the new company’s website. The firms plan to offer a new franchise brand, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, starting next year. Brookfield’s network has operated under the Prudential Real Estate and Real Living Real Estate brands.
Berkshire’s managers have been positioning the firm to benefit as the U.S. home market recovers from its worst slump in seven decades. The Omaha, Nebraska-based company has bought a brickmaker, won the loan portfolio of bankrupt mortgage lender Residential Capital LLC at auction and built its HomeServices unit by agreeing to acquire real-estate brokerages in states including Oregon and Connecticut.
An early assessment released Tuesday from economic analysis firm IHS, estimates economic loss between $30 billion and $50 billion for the region, including infrastructure damage, oil production loss, shipping and distribution delays, and various other commercial product shutdowns. On Monday, research firm CoreLogic estimated that 284,000 properties valued at $88 billion were at risk of damage or destruction from the superstorm. New York had the highest number of properties at risk with just over 81,000 valued at $35.1 billion, followed by 75,000 properties in New Jersey totaling $22.6 billion.