Real Estate Information Archive


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SFJAZZ Center Sneak Peek

by George Calys




All reports to the contrary, jazz is alive and thriving in San Francisco. The heart of jazz is beating so hard that SFJAZZ, the organization that has promoted jazz in the Bay Area for thirty years, is nearing completion of a state-of-the-art performance facility in Hayes Valley.


Progress is visible in October at SFJAZZ Center's new buildingSFJAZZ Center in Mid-October nearing completion. Photo: George Calys


Randall Kline, founder and executive director of SFJAZZ, has led the effort to fund and build one of the few dedicated jazz performance spaces in decades. During a recent construction tour, it was obvious that this facility will rival New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center, both in quality of the space and in the musicians that it will attract. Tapping Mark Cavagnero Associates, SFJAZZ selected one of the Bay Area’s most gifted architects to design the Center. Cavagnero’s recent cultural buildings include the renovation of the Oakland Museum and the ODC Dance Theater’s permanent home in the Mission district.


Artist's rendering of SFJAZZ Center exteriorArtist's rendering of SFJAZZ Center exterior


On a tight urban site in the Hayes Valley district near the San Francisco Ballet, Symphony, and Opera venues, Cavagnero has inserted a transparent jewel box of glass and concrete. The predominantly glass facades along both Fell and Franklin Streets allow pedestrians and drivers multiple views inside the building. At one vantage point, passersby will be able to see from the street clear through to the performance stage—a view that Kline said “is reminiscent of peering through the right field fence at AT&T Park.”


Artist rendering of Robert N. Miner AuditoriumArtist rendering of Robert N. Miner Auditorium


The centerpiece of the facility is the Robert N. Miner Auditorium. Assisted by acoustician Sam Berkow and theater designer Len Auerbach, the architect has crafted a multi-configuration music hall whose stage can be adjusted from quartet-size to large enough for an orchestra. Similarly, the seating configuration can be altered in three steps:  350, 550, and 700 seats. The facility will also include an 80 seat ensemble room, rehearsal spaces, digital learning lab, café, ground floor lobby, retail shop, box office and administrative offices. 


Robert N. Miner Auditorium under construction, Oct. 2012Robert N. Miner Auditorium under construction, Oct. 2012 Photo: SFJAZZ


Constructor Hathaway Dinwiddie is working feverishly to complete the $53 million center in time for a January 21, 2013 ribbon cutting and an opening night concert and gala on January 23.  By any estimation, the SF Jazz Center will be an architectural, musical, and educational gem in the Bay Area cultural scene.

Go ahead, New York. Be envious.



Photo of a home under construction

Homebuilders are bullish on the prospects of a busy year ahead, according to a new report.

Here’s a look at news this week of interest to homebuyers, home sellers, and the home-curious:


U.S. builders started construction of new homes and apartment units at a blistering pace in September – up 15 percent from the month before and 35 percent from a year earlier, for the highest level of housing starts in more than four years, according to numbers the Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released Wednesday.

In a separate report showing renewed vigor in home construction, the National Association of Home Builders said Tuesday that builder confidence in the market for single-family homes rose for a sixth consecutive month in October to its strongest level in more than six years.


A highly respected economic forecast puts San Francisco first in the nation for real estate investment, development, and housing in the coming year.

The Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2013 report from the Urban Land Institute and PricewaterhouseCoopers deals mostly with commercial real estate and investment but also includes data on the housing industry. An executive summary of the report, released Wednesday, had this to say about San Francisco:

“The market is driven by growth and a strong jobs outlook, led by technology and a structural change away from suburban and toward downtown. Continued infill interest is supported by providing one of the best transit systems in the country and a city center with walkability that is number two only to New York City.”

The report bookends our own Bay Area forecast for 2013, published Tuesday.


The tight supply of available homes lowered California home sales in September, while the median price reached its highest level in more than four years, the California Association of Realtors reported on Monday.

Statewide, September home sales were down 1.2 percent from a year earlier, while median prices for single-family homes and condominiums rose more than 19 percent.

The Bay Area did markedly better than the rest of the state, according to the C.A.R. report, with home sales up 6 percent in Marin County, 5.8 percent in Sonoma County, 5.6 percent in Contra Costa County, 4.8 percent in Napa County, and 0.4 percent in San Francisco. Only Alameda County recorded a drop-off, with sales down 4 percent.


Rating agency DBRS expects foreclosure filings to keep falling in 2013 as short sales continue to rise.

Short sales have become the “primary loss mitigation tool to prevent delinquent loans from entering foreclosure,” DBRS said in a research note Monday. Foreclosure, it said, only adds expenses to a money-losing scenario.


The housing recovery continued to gain traction in September, with list prices rising in most California markets, according to data compiled by the website

The San Francisco metro area came in third on a list of the top 10 markets in the United States with the greatest year-over-year list price increases (18.11 percent). Oakland was seventh (13.97 percent). Other California metro areas on the list were: Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc (32.05 percent), San Jose (17.5 percent), Sacramento (14.23 percent), and Riverside-San Bernardino (12.56 percent).

Other stats: Oakland remained No. 1 in the nation for the shortest number of days that homes sit on the market – an average of just 21 days from listing to sale. Oakland has held that distinction since February, when began tracking days the metric.

(Home construction photo courtesy, via Flickr.)

Riding the Trillion-Dollar Real Estate Recovery Roller Coaster

by Eric Proulx


Riding The Trillion-Dollar Real Estate Recovery Roller Coaster

The analogy between real estate and roller coasters is obvious. Everyone knows they both have crazy ups and downs. With the U.S. real estate ride lately, we are all wishing we were riding on the kiddie roller coaster with the small bumps and turns. Unfortunately, it’s more likely we are riding on the Kingda Ka roller coaster with its record-breaking 418-foot drop.

The team brings you breaking real estate news weekly, and we’ve noticed a trend – real estate news is positive one month and dismal the next. We set out to find a simple way to measure the status of the market, and we found one way to do just that. Here are the results.

real estate recovery
Riding the Trillion-Dollar Real Estate Recovery Roller Coaster.  

Here’s a little bit about our methodology:

We calculated the total value of the housing market for three separate months – the peak (March of 2007), the trough (Nov of 2011) and the latest (June of 2012). We then calculated the theoretical value of the housing market during each of these periods, by multiplying the average price of a sold home by the estimated number of housing units, using numbers supplied by the U.S. Census Bureau.

These numbers are what they are, and as long as we believe the Census Bureau is accurate in their bean counting, they are absolutely true.

But I know what some of you are thinking. Have we really recovered that much market value since November of last year? Maybe, maybe not. A lot of smart people have calculated that the rebound from the bottom has been less than that, and they may be right.

For one thing, our numbers are not seasonally adjusted. Sale prices in November are typically lower than prices in the summer, so part of this increase could be due to seasonality. Also, the prices could be affected by the mix of houses being sold. Since not all houses are sold every month, the increase in home sale prices could be because more expensive houses are being sold now than they were in November, and not necessarily because the value of those houses has increased. And finally, this is monthly data, and month to month there are going to be some random variations in the data. (In fact, the actual trough came in January of 2009, but the bottom was so sharp and short lived that we chose to use the November of 2011 data point. It makes hardly any difference in the calculation.)

It’s only natural that when making adjustments to data, one’s own assumptions and interpretations may be injected into the mix. We presented raw data on the price of homes sold in a given month. This may or may not reflect exactly what is going on in the housing market, but we leave it to you to make those adjustments and interpretations. What this data truthfully, accurately says is that the price of a sold home dropped 25 percent from March of 2007 to November of 2011, and then increased 10 percent from November of 2011 to June of this year.

We’ve hit on what we think is a simple way to look at what’s happened in the real estate market over the past few months, without chasing the target around the room. Will conditions remain the same? Of course not – that’s the nature of the roller coaster real estate market.

We also understand that national numbers mean little to homeowners across the country who happen to live in stagnant, even still-falling markets. This infographic means nothing to the Atlanta homeowner whose home value fell 12.1 percent from June 2011 to June of this year. The family living in southwest Las Vegas, in a home that is still losing value, will beg to differ with the findings. The gentleman living on the slopes of Hualalai in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, who just lost another 4.4 percent in home value, thinks this method is just crazy.

So, yes, your mileage may vary when the market is looked at through a national lens. With this kind of complexity and all the variations of local markets, it’s clear that homebuyers and sellers can really use a professional agent to help them navigate these roller coaster times.


Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3

Contact Information

Photo of Ken J. Gendemann Real Estate
Ken J. Gendemann
Pacific Union International
1699 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco CA 94109
Cell: (415) 828-4063

Ken J. Gendemann, CPA
Pacific Union & Christie's International Real Estate
1699 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94109

Cell: 415-828-4063, Office: 415-345-3083
 License #: 01884446