Category Archives: South Beach Condo Market

Swapping, the old fashioned real estate transaction

Until fairly recently in our history, and the advent of lending and mortgages, most real estate transactions were exchanges and they are still the norm for many ranches and farms. With a shift in our market, an exchange may speed the right outcome for your situation.

Imagine a younger couple in a South Beach condo with children on the way wanting more space and perhaps a single family home, and then imagine an older couple with a single family home wanting to downsize and escape from their home maintenance duties and be in an area, like South Beach, with the convenience of amenities and entertainment within walking distance. Here’s an ideal situation where the real estate desires of the parties would indicate a possible swap.

But exchanges are not limited to San Francisco, maybe you’re ready to swap out your rental property for a place in Tahoe, or Hawaii.

I’m putting together a site for those interested in learning more about swapping and to post what they have and what they want to exchange. If you’re interested in learning more about exchanges feel free to send me an email at


A Picture’s worth a thousand words, but it’s all in how we say it


This photo, taken in 1972, remains one of the most requested documents from the National Archive after almost four decades. And, at the Richard Nixon Library gift store, merchandise with the famous image are the most popular items. Elvis would have been 72 earlier this month and the world knows him as nothing less than one of the first international brands. In the last fifty years branding itself has become art/science/academic with rules and strategies for acheiving and maintaining the personality of your brand.

So what does Elvis, a personality power brand, have to do with San Francisco real estate? I’ve recently had conversations with Katherine Webster who runs where she has a wonderful story on the history of the area. We were comiserating about how alike all the web sites of the new buildings going up nearby on Rincon Hill look. Where is the story telling, the personalities of these buildings are bland and brandless as expressed online. A little music, photos, computer graphics and then grocery lists of amenities, appliance brands, floor plans. Can’t we see a little more Elvis-like hip action?

I actually like the music and line drawings of One Rincon Hill … but then that stops and you go to a listing of, you guessed it, appliances, floor layouts, amenities. You can link to all the building sites on the list below to see for yourself. The Infinity is particularly horrible. Our developers are in the dark ages, so 2004, of web marketing at this point. Certainly *The Donald* gets the Elvis-ness of branding, attaching that to his buildings. But we have no Donald, for now, in San Francisco. Take a look and let me know if I’m wrong.

The inspiration for this post is all about this little challenge.


December South Beach Real Estate Sales Statistics

Not surprisingly many sellers tend to remove their property from the active market over the holidays preferring not to be interrupted with showings — 14 properties in the South Beach area were withdrawn from our multiple listing service over December.

For the month of December the South Beach 9H area had 17 condo/loft sales per the multiple listing service. The mls also showed 34 active listings in this period (4 of these have offers), and 26 pendings (although 11 of these are at the 50 Lansing building). Six new listings have been added to the inventory during the first week of January. I also noticed 2 for sale by owner units in South Beach on, one in the Portside and one in The Towers.

South Beach Lifestyle

299113_06.jpgI started the New Year watching the fireworks at the Ferry Building from my patio and just reflecting on the fact that we’re so wonderfully spoiled here in South Beach with great restaurants, easy shopping, transportation and conveniences, the excitement of baseball and many interesting neighbors. I actually feel like I’m on vacation every day, perhaps it’s because people travel thousands of miles to visit us; that’s the South Beach lifestyle in a nutshell! And there is certainly a sense of excitement with more residents moving into completed buildings and a growing merchants association.

So here’s a list of some of my favorite things in the ‘hood:

Last week I met the boys over at Club Sportiva and had the opportunity to oogle their toys and check out their well appointed club house. Their holiday special might be just the thing for the guy who has everything. Beyond use of the cars the club has poker nights and scotch tastings as well as dinners, road rallies, and other events for member socializing. This may also be the perfect complement to City Car Share with Cal Trans Fourth Street Station and BART so close many residents are foregoing private car ownership and parking expenses.

Sixth annual dine-about-town is your opportunity to get out in January and take advantage of neighborhood restaurants for special prie fix dinners at special prices at restuarants such as Jack Falstaff, owned by our Mayor, Paragon, Momo’s, Bacar, Acme Chophouse, Fringale, and AsiaSF, among others.

If you don’t consider eating a recreation, check out the new building housing the South Beach Yacht Club and their racing schedule, or burn off a few calories at The San Francisco Tennis Club . I have to admit I truly miss the driving range, but we now have all the nearby activities at the Yerba Buena Center from bowling to skating to the best contemporary dance venue in the country. Not to mention the Metreon. And now, there’s Bloomingdales, and more movie theaters! All this in the middle of our musuem district with the SFMOMA and newly opened Museum of the African Diaspora.

For commuting to the South Bay or the East Bay, South Beach is by far the most convenient neighborhood with easy access to 280 and the Bay Bridge. If you’re working in the Financial District your commute is a morning walk or a quick hop on a historical trolley car.

October 2006 stats and musings about the resale condo market

Not all building complexes are equal when it comes to the pace of the South Beach condo market. When looking at the numbers over the last 60 days 200 Brannan and The Bridgeview are definitely faring better than others. Let’s start off with the numbers for the South Beach area over the last 60 days:

  • 79 actives (5 have offers awaiting contingencies to be removed) and 24 pendings. Also 53 withdrawn units and 31 solds during this period.
  • 200 Brannan has 3 actives (1 with a contingent offer) and 2 pendings, with 2 sold in this period altogether this market activity represents about 2.8% of the total 250 units in the building. The market is even, neither a seller’s nor buyer’s market.
  • The Bridgeview is also in a temperate market with 4 active, 3 pending. There is 1 withdrawn and 4 solds for the period.  One advantage is that the water views units won’t be impacted by any building as the space below the bridge is slated to be a park area after the completion of the Bay Bridge retrofit.

Rental Roundup for South Beach – October 12

I just found this little tool when researching what rents are trending in the South Beach area. It aggregates postings from, which doesn’t include all the units on the rental market, but gives an immediate snapshot of what is going on in the market of privately owned condos.

When determining what market rent a unit will yeild, consider availablility of rental units within a building (supply) and then specifics of a unit (view, upgrades, condition, parking, etc.). To move a unit quickly consider paying for move-in costs in buildings that charge a few hundred dollars for this (The Brannan, Museum Parc), or other incentives such as a free month, parking included, etc.

Here’s some examples of what is currently being advertised on the market:

Watermark: 2/2 $5000/month, 2/2 $4350/month, 1/2 $4350
The Palms: 2/2 $3999/month, 2/2 $3400/month, 1/1 $2500/month
The Beacon: 2/2 $3400/month, 1/1 $2900/month, 2/2 $4195/month (October free), 2/2$4999/month, 1/1 $2999/month
The Towers: 2/2 $4800/month
200 Brannan: 2/2 $7000/month (1800 sq ft)

The Metropolitan: 2/2 Penthouse $4100/month, 2/2 Penthouse $6900/month (1600 sq ft)

Four Seasons: 2/2 offered at $7800/month

188 King: 2/2 $4500/month, 1/1 $2950/month
300 Beale: 2/2 $4000/month

Museum Parc: 2/2 $5950

And this trend of landlords being in the driver seat is nationwide: 

Feel free to contact me at 415.948.6406 should you be looking to rent your unit in South Beach.

200 Brannan stats and thoughts for September 2006

I’m trying an experiment with this post by dropping in todays numbers from the mls search that I did to come up with this analysis for 200 Brannan. But the numbers are never perfect.

Remember that the mls (multiple listing service) is input by the over 5,000 agents we have in San Francisco; sometimes they imput the information correctly, and sometimes they don’t. Also be alert to the fact that most new construction is not reflected on the mls, which means that South Beach, with lots of new buildings, has much more inventory than reported on the mls.

What I noticed in today’s search is that a 1 bedroom sold in September for $640,000 after 23 days on market (nice) and indicated that it was 871 square feet; there’s also a 1 bedroom listing that has been on the market for 70 days and is entered at 871 square feet — looks like a simple transposition, but it makes a big difference on the $s per square foot that buyers look at closely.

Another listing difference I noticed is that some agents are listing 200 Brannan as “lofts” and others as “condos” — does this make a difference for your listing? The truth is that the building ownership is how a condo is defined, but the style and feel of the units are loft-like. There is a buyer group out there that is crazy about the loft design, it’s the only thing they want. And they may do their searching for properties on the mls, and other sites only for “lofts,” if your unit was listed as a condo you wouldn’t show up for them to see at all, and over 72% of all buyers begin their search online.

The stats: There are 3 actives came up in September 2006, and one price reduction among those to match a new listing (good strategy). Also, one pending; One sold; One expired; One withdrawn — doesn’t that sound like a playground jump rope rhyme?

Price ranges still look like the market segment under $1 million is moving, albeit slower than last year, but over $1 million is stagnant in this building with properties being withdrawn and expired at 83 days on market and 63 days on market respectively.

I firmly believe if you do your homework the numbers can help you cut the right deal for the property you want. Know the numbers of the building and marketplace, whether you are buying or selling.


$649,000   70 days on market  200 Brannan St #139  Condo  1  bed/1 bath   817 sq ft

$819,000   11 days on market  200 Brannan St #201 Loft  1 bed/ 2 bath   1151 sq ft

$1,088,000    21 days on market  200 Brannan St #441 Loft  1 bed/ 2 bath  1522 sq ft

$1,099,000    26   days on market  200 Brannan St #212 Condo  1 bed/2 bath  1517 sq ft


$949,000  26 days on market  200 Brannan St #130 Loft  1 bed/ 1.50 bath  1530 sq ft


$640,000 23 days on market  200 Brannan St #122 Condo   1 bed/1 bath   871 sq ft


$1,150,000 63 days on market 200 Brannan St #504 Condo  1 bed/ 1.50 bath  1123 sq ft


$1,495,000  83 days on market  200 Brannan St #507  Condo 2 bed/2 bath  1323 sq ft