Real Estate Information Archive


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2012 to Set a Record for Housing Affordability

by Pacunion

The National Association of Realtors says 2012 will set a record for housing affordability as home prices hit bottom and mortgage rates set record lows. And 2013 won’t be far behind in terms of purchasing power. Read all about it here

Originally published on

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

The Bay Area leads the nation in rising home prices over the past three-and-a-half years, according to statistics the Wall Street Journal compiled from the monthly S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index.

Home prices in the San Francisco metropolitan area were up 9.6 percent in July compared with January 2009. That’s far better than the national average over the same time period, during which home prices fell 3.7 percent among the nation’s 20 largest metro areas.

The Journal chose the odd time frame of three-and-a-half years in an effort to answer the politically charged question of whether the U.S. housing market is in better shape after nearly four years with Barack Obama as president.

The Journal noted that home prices are up from one year ago but remain narrowly below the recent peak set in May 2010, when tax credits fueled a brief burst of sales.

Trailing San Francisco in rising home prices were Washington, D.C. (8.4 percent) and Denver (4.6 percent). The biggest declines were in Las Vegas (24.7 percent), Atlanta (18.5 percent), and Tampa (12.1 percent).

The San Francisco metro area includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo counties.

Speaking of the Case-Shiller Home Price Index, the Bay Area housing market continues to pick up momentum, with the latest proof coming from the aforementioned monthly index.

Home prices in the San Francisco metropolitan area rose 0.5 percent in August from the previous month and 5.3 percent from August 2011, Case-Shiller reported on Tuesday. Only five other metro areas topped San Francisco in year-over-year sales gains: Phoenix (18.8 percent), Detroit (7.6 percent), Minneapolis (7.4 percent), Miami (6.7 percent), and Denver (5.5 percent).

On average, August marked the fifth straight month of rising home prices across the nation.

The Case-Shiller index lags two months behind the current statistics, but it remains one of the most closely watched gauges of housing market health – one of several gauges that have turned upbeat in recent months. New and existing home sales have gained strength, inventory of homes for sales have fallen, and developers have stepped up building activity.

Americans remain wary of home ownership as the nation slowly recovers from the housing market collapse, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The agency reported Tuesday that the nation’s home ownership rate was 65.5 percent in the third quarter, down from 66.3 percent a year earlier. But the rate was unchanged from the previous quarter, a sign that the drop in ownership may have hit bottom, as record-low mortgage rates lure consumers back into the housing market.

Today’s ownership rate is well below rates near 70 percent reported during the housing boom.

Foreclosures have drained nearly $2 trillion in home equity from surrounding neighborhoods across the country, according to a report from the Center for Responsible Lending.

The report determined that residents who live close to foreclosed properties have lost $1.95 trillion in property value. The cost does not include the total loss in home equity resulting from the foreclosure crisis, estimated at $7 trillion, and also does not take into account the equity lost by families who are actually foreclosed on.

African-American and Latino communities are seeing the greatest share of the $2 trillion loss, where the average spillover cost per family is estimated at $37,000 in household wealth.


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.)

August Bay Area Home Sales Highest in 6 Years

by Pacific Union



Home Sales, Prices Point to Solid Recovery

by Pacific Union



Where are Home Prices Headed? It Depends on Where You Look.

by Pacific Union



Bay Area Home Prices Rise; Sales Up Sharply

by Pacific Union



Displaying blog entries 1-8 of 8

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