Realtor Patrick Belhon Maintains Positive View of the 2014 San Francisco Real Estate Market

The 2014 San Francisco real estate market is projected to be the top performer among the top 20 real estate markets in the United States.

By Patrick Belhon
Men in San Francisco thinking of buying a house -funny photo
Tight inventory and strong demand, especially for commercial properties, will help drive prices higher in the strong and flourishing local economy.

In 2013, sellers of residential real estate in San Francisco and the Bay Area of California did very well. Low inventory levels and high demand for homes in all price ranges led to the most desirable homes being snapped up as soon as they hit the market. Competition led to many homes being sold for more than their asking price.

The high price of San Francisco real estate did not dissuade buyers from entering the market. The luxury market did particularly well with more than 350 homes and 120 condos selling in excess of $2,000,000. Foreign investors helped to contribute to the demand for both moderately priced and luxury residences.

Commercial real estate also performed well in San Francisco and the entire Bay Area. Thanks to the strong economy in the region, demand for office space outstripped supply, leading to higher prices. According to a 2013 report by CBRE, a Fortune 500 commercial real estate company based in Los Angeles, the San Francisco business district (greater downtown area) had 5.7 million square feet of vacant office space and there was a demand for 6.3 million square feet of downtown office space.

What will 2014 look like?

Forecasts for 2014 residential real estate in most of the Bay Area neighborhoods are positive. While sale prices can vary significantly by neighborhood and type of home, on average, home prices are expected to increase by 6-8 percent in 2014. Inventory levels are still tight and are only expected to reach more normal levels by the end of the year or early in 2015. Foreclosures are down and continuing to go down. Mortgage rates show very little change and are expected to stay under 5 percent for the year.

San Francisco is experiencing a net influx into its population ranks. More people are moving in to the city than are migrating out of the city. The opportunity for work in high-paying fields such as technology, banking and insurance, is likely to result in an overall job growth rate of 2 percent for 2014.

San Francisco earns number 1 ranking in real estate

A highly-regarded report entitled Emerging Trends in Real Estate – 2014, was published in 2013 by PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) and ULI (Urban Land Institute) that gave valuable insight into the top 20 real estate markets in the United States. San Francisco finished number 1 in the overall rankings.

The study interviewed and surveyed more than 1,000 industry professionals. Included among the respondents were investors, mutual & pension fund managers, developers, property companies, lenders, brokers, advisers and consultants.

Consensus opinion was that San Francisco will continue to be a very good place to invest in both residential and commercial real estate. Private home ownership is expensive, but the prospects are good that prices will continue to rise throughout the year. According to the experts, commercial real estate has the potential to outperform residential real estate (more demand & price appreciation) in 2014.

Respondents were asked to give their opinion on the performance of the different segments of the San Francisco commercial real estate market. The question asked was whether you would buy, hold or sell a particular type of commercial property.

Hotels: 55.6% would buy – 24.4% would hold – 20.0% would sell
Industrial: 54.2% would buy – 37.29% would hold – 8.47% would sell
Retail: 50.8% would buy – 32.5% would hold – 16.7% would sell
Apartments: 49.0% would buy – 20.4% would hold – 30.6% would sell
Office Buildings: 45.0% would buy – 30.9% would hold – 24.2% would sell

If you define a positive outlook on commercial real estate as either buying property or holding on to property you already own, these statistics are clearly bullish for investors.

• Hotel segment: 80% positive outlook
• Industrial segment: 91.31% positive outlook
• Retail segment: 83.3% positive outlook
• Apartment segment: 69.4% positive outlook
• Office building segment: 75.9% positive outlook

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Castro District: 2013 Portal Destination of Gay Pride

Castro Street in San Francisco, California is what is considered the main battlefront ground for the alternate lifestyle individual.

Many modern activists supporting gay rights and gay culture has launched from this prominent battlefront. Castro Street was originally called Castro Street because Jose Castro a politician and activist bolstered the movement to oppose Mexican opposition to the United States governing of California around the 19th century time period.

 Castro District San Francisco Graphics 2013

The Castro district we know in these modern ages was created from the Market Street Railway Company that embarked on the quest of building the railway and creating a line of track from Eureka Valley to what is known as down town San Francisco today.

1906 was a year that brought a lot of destruction to San Francisco. The great earthquake was a disaster that nearly destroyed San Francisco and its cultured neighbourhoods. The mansion of Alfred E. Clark survived the natural disaster and today the mansion is located on the corner of Caseli Ave and Douglas. The mansion is now called the Caselli Mansion. The mansion is well worth a tour to experience rich exposure to Scandinavian craftsmanship.

Originally known as, “Little Scandinavia” the Castro District was saturated with predominantly Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish decedents. Scandinavian architecture can be viewed all over the city near Market Street, Cove Street, and 15th Street. Church Street in the Castro District has some of the finest Scandinavian Architecture to be seen. Roof timbers still grace the buildings and are viewable to the general tourist from a glance.

Originally Gay servicemen were dishonourably discharged in World War 2 for being practicing homosexuals. Those same men were offloaded and began the building of the gay culture and alternate lifestyle acceptance in modern Castro District. The Castro district is now primarily known for its wonderful acceptance of alternate lifestyle cultures. Acceptance can be found in and among its many residence for those who feel that they have no place to flourish and practice their lifestyle choices.

Harvey Milk in 1973 opened a camera store in Castro District. The camera store fast become a gay activist headquarters lead by no other than Harvey Milk. Harvey Milks Camera store is still there and now is a favourite tourist attraction for those who wish to see this pioneer headquarters from the past. The tour and visit is sure to open new ideas and new acceptance of what was a major factor in helping gays around the world find love and acceptance.

The Castro District of today is full of many different stores that show off the art that San Francisco culture is well noted. Stores that have blown glass and beautiful artisan crafted glassware offer the curios tourist the glimpse of fine art desired by most. Culture and activities seem to govern the atmosphere in this district. There is never a dull moment for the tourist that wished=s to see some debating supporting the gay activist culture. Politically the movement is always present in the Castro district of San Francisco.

Life as most know is quite different when an individual wakes to the smell of the fresh seafood and smells of the water front rolling up the Avenue while staying as a tourist in the Castro District. A short hop away from the Castro district and the trolley car can arrive the interested tourist at a destination called Market Street. Market Street will give a tourist the taste of the freshest sea food money can buy. Seafood of every variety and every prepared way is available to taste. Tourist will find this destination full of fun and sparked full of new ideas for other destinations.
– Guest writer: Eric Palad from San Francisco 1971/Journalist

San Francisco

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