Thursday, February 21, 2008

Weekly Sales Report

As we enter the fourth week in February, it seems that all of those buyers who are thinking of buying in 2008 are starting to get serious. Our loft in Potrero Hill is finally in escrow after over three months on the market. We had received offers previously, but they were low and the seller was patient and confident that he would eventually get his price. Interestingly enough, the last two weeks on the market were the busiest. In those last two weeks, we had more private showings and more clients with their Realtors on Sundays than we had any other time. Private showings are a good indicator of activity. Those are usually the most serious buyers, and they are often returning for a second visit with their Realtor after seeing it first at the open house.

If that growing activity is any indicator of a market that is starting to come out of hibernation, you sellers out there should wake up too! Many sellers we spoke with last year were waiting until mid February/early March to put their homes on the market. Here we are!

In terms of numbers for the week, one third of the properties sold were multiple offer situations. Half of the properties that closed were over asking; the other half were under. The winner for highest bid over asking was (surprise) a house in Noe Valley. We mentioned it in a previous posting as it had received 12 offers after being on the market for only 10 days. That house was on Newburg at Castro, and was listed at $899,000. It was a two bedroom house, and as we mentioned before, it was nice but not spectacular. It sold for $1,090,000. There is another house nearby, on 28th Street at Noe. It is three bedrooms instead of two, and on a much larger lot, but otherwise a similar house. It is listed at $949,000 and it will be interesting to see how fast and how high it goes.

Mortgage Minute

As you know, the Economic Stimulus Package has been signed into effect. The loan amounts will be provided within 30 days. The limits will be 125% of the median home price at a maximum of $729,000. You are probably thinking that we are obviously fine in San Francisco and will benefit from the maximum loan amount. What is still undecided is what area will be used to determine median home price. It may not be just the city of San Francisco. It may be the greater bay area, or some combination of counties within. It may be San Francisco with Sonoma and Napa. We will wait and see. They are also calculating the latest median home price in order to incorporate January and February sales.

The rates for jumbo loans will not be the same as those of conforming, as they will still be larger loan amounts, but they will be closer than they are now. These "new conforming" loan limits will be in effect for an interim window of July 1st to December 31, 2008. This may be extended, but for now the time is limited. Don't wait and see; be sure and take advantage of these lower rates. Also, the Fed is again expected to lower interest rates in March.

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