Get Chauffeured: A Narrated Virtual Tour of San Francisco

Get Chauffeured: A Narrated Virtual Tour of San Francisco

PinExt Get Chauffeured: A Narrated Virtual Tour of San Francisco


52  Blocks of  Sightseeing in  San Francisco
You are visiting from out of town, we hop in the car, wander around and see some sights (some touristy, some not). We’ll follow Mississippi Street to 7th Street to Leavenworth Street, passing through the neighborhoods of Potrero Hill, Mission Bay, SoMa, Civic Center, Tenderloin, Nob Hill, Russian Hill, and Fisherman’s Wharf. About 52 blocks in all, give or take, depending upon what you consider a “block”. Occasionally we’ll teleport out of the car and take some side trips. This started out as a regular “drivelapse” but somehow along the way morphed into a full driving tour, kind of a drivelapse-travelogue hybrid. Two cameras on board, plus GPS, and a chatty driver.00:00 Opening, route overview, vehicle choice.
01:28 Starting in Potrero Hill.
01:48 View of Potrero Terrace and Annex housing projects.
02:44 View of the Bay from Potrero Hill.
03:14 San Francisco skyline view from Potrero Hill.
04:21 Passing Caltrain.
05:00 Entering Mission Bay.
05:20 Car campers on 7th Street.
06:48 Mission Bay Pump Station Number 4.
08:02 Caltrain mural.
08:37 Experimenting with magic video enhancement software.
10:12 Entering SoMa (South of Market).
12:06 Hall of Justice, jails.
13:16 Auto Return, police impound.
14:00 San Francisco Federal Building.
15:08 James R Browning Courthouse.
15:40 Grant Building, interior and 1906 earthquake survival.
18:40 Muni F-line historic restored street cars.
21:00 Briefly passing through a corner of Civic Center.
21:25 Entering The Tenderloin.
21:39 Tenderloin scenes.
23:54 Tour busses.
24:25 Letter to “Cythia”.
25:19 T-shirt.
26:20 California Street Cable Car side trip.
27:55 Entering Nob Hill.
28:34 Entering Russian Hill.
28:42 View of Alcatraz.
29:13 Coit Tower side trip and 360° views.
35:33 Lombard Street.
38:00 Entering Fisherman’s Wharf.
38:03 Musée Mécanique.
39:31 Scavenger.
39:56 Mingling with the tourists at Fisherman’s Wharf.
41:13 Bushman.
42:26 Closing credits.

Music used with permission from:  Kevin MacLeod (  and  1906 Earthquake photographs are in the public domain (copyrighted before 1922, therefore the copyrights have expired).  USGS photographs are in the public domain.  Google maps used in accordance with the Google terms of service for an “online video”  All other video and audio created by PartyOfTheThirdPart

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Agent Kim Barnes Pioneering the Use of Cinematic 3D Technology To Market Luxury Properties


FOR MORE INFORMATION:  Michelle Galvez , Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage     925.275.3085

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Agent Kim Barnes Pioneering the Use of Cinematic 3D Technology To Market Luxury Properties

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – June 17, 2013 – 3D video technology has been used in $300 million blockbuster movies for a number of years, but now a San Francisco agent for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage is helping to pioneer the use of cutting-edge 3D blu ray technology in marketing luxury homes in the tech-savvy Bay Area.

Kim Barnes, an agent in the company’s San Francisco Van Ness office, has partnered with Golden Gate 3D, a locally based video production house, to create 3D virtual tours and other videos in her marketing of local properties. She is one of the first Realtors in the country to adopt the technology for real estate sales.

“When you market high-end homes, the focus is on making your clients’ listings stand out from all the rest,” Barnes said. “These films do just that. They are absolutely breathtaking and really make potential buyers feel like they are actually there inside the home.”

Barnes said the use of 3D technology in marketing is appropriate given her target market. “The kind of people who are likely to purchase our high-end listings will likely own 3D blu ray equipment and all the latest and greatest technology,” she said.

But even without 3D capabilities, viewers of the property will still be stunned by the quality. “The 2D version by itself is so gorgeous.  There is such high definition and detail that you would never see anywhere else,” she said. “Add 3D and it takes the experience to a whole other level.”

Producing 3D videos for her clients is costly. On average, Barnes will spend $10,000 a day for production costs and videos can take upwards of three days to shoot. “Obviously we can’t spend that on every home we sell, but for the luxury listings it is worth it,” she said.

The reason for the high cost starts with the sophisticated production equipment, which can run more than the home being filmed. The ultra high-def 5K 3D resolution in the videos is higher than most still photographs, let alone actual videos.

The cost of the new high-definition 3D technology and the unique technical and artistic skill set required to capture and process content have prevented it from reaching the mainstream media thus far, according to Peter Chang, founder of Golden Gate 3D.  Chang recently shot IMAX 3D films Panama 3D: A Land Divided, A World United and Jerusalem 3D, which will be released by National Geographic in IMAX and digital 3D theaters in September.

Barnes has long been enamored by technology, an interest that goes back to her days as vice president of sales for what is now Yahoo! Mail, and in online print and advertising. When she was approached to help test the use of 3D video in real estate marketing, she was enthusiastic about seizing the opportunity to be involved with Golden Gate 3D.

“I’ve always been a bit of a tech evangelist,” she said. “The more I learned about this technology and what it could do for marketing homes, the more excited I got. The video quality is so far superior to anything thing else that is out there. This could be a game changer in real estate.

“I imagine a potential buyer sitting in a skyscraper in China watching this film and truly experiencing the feeling that he’s actually in the home right now, walking through each room and taking in the panoramic city view from the balcony. Nothing else puts you there in the quite the same way as this technology.”

Barnes first used the 3D technology for a tour of a mid-century penthouse located at 1998 Broadway St. #1605 in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood.  Offering panoramic views of the City, the video is designed to immerse viewers into the unique beauty of the home.  Click here to view both a 2D and 3D version of the tour.

Kacie Ricker, regional vice president of marketing for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, said pioneering new technology in real estate marketing is nothing new for the company.

“Some 75 years ago, Henderson Talbot, the founder of Coldwell Banker Previews, redefined luxury real estate marketing by capturing prized estate homes on film and holding exclusive gatherings for affluent buyers to preview them,” she said.

“I think it’s only fitting that 75 years later, here we are again today, reinventing the way consumers view the finest homes and estate via video,” Ricker said. “We are continuing to set the benchmark for luxury real estate marketing around the world.”

Barnes is located at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage’s Van Ness office, 1699 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco.  She may be reached directly at 415.730.2593 and via e-mail at  For more information on 1998 Broadway St. #1605, please contact Barnes directly.

About Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage is the largest residential real estate brokerage in Northern California and serves the markets from Monterey to Tahoe and nearly every market in between.  The company has 62 office locations and more than 3,600 sales associates throughout Northern California.  Last year the company handled 13.5% of all dollar volume sold in Northern California, more than double its nearest competitor.  Through its internationally renowned Coldwell Banker Previews® program, Coldwell Banker leads the luxury home market in Northern California, representing more than 22% of all dollar volume sold of properties over $1 million.  A subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY), NRT operates Realogy’s company-owned real estate brokerage offices. For more information please visit or call 925.275.3085. DRE #01908304.

About Golden Gate 3D

Golden Gate 3D is an award-winning creative agency and production company that provides cutting-edge stereoscopic 3D content acquisition and delivery. Their work is featured in two upcoming 3D IMAX films, and they are pioneering this level of production value into other media sectors. Golden Gate 3D is equipped with the latest cinema-grade 3D technologies, revolutionizing lightweight, mobile 3D production. In 2012 Golden Gate 3D filmed the world’s first 3D TED talks, the world’s first 5K 3D wedding, and licensed content to NBC Universal. More information can be found at

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San Francisco’s Top 10 Yelps for May 2013

Oh Yelp. What would we do without you? You have to admit that the uncertainty of trying a new restaurant, store or service has greatly diminished since the debut of this opinion-driven site. Thanks to the experiences of thousands of others, you almost know whether or not you’ll enjoy a new restaurant even before you even walk in the door. It can help you decide what menu items to order, where to take your car for a tune-up, which new hair stylist to try, what dentists to avoid and so much more. So, in a city filled with so many wonderful places and so many opinionated people, which are the top Yelped Places in San Francisco? Let’s take a look!

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1. Bi-Rite Creamery
3692 18th St. in the Mission
5,475+ Reviews
Average Rating: 4.5 Stars
Review Highlights: Salted Caramel, Roasted Banana, Balsamic Strawberry

2. Yelp
6 Mission St. in the Financial District
4,900+ Reviews
Average Rating: 3 Stars
Review Highlights: N/A

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3. Ike’s Place
3489 16th St. in the Castro
4,750+ Reviews
Average Rating: 4.5 Stars
Review Highlights: Dutch Crunch, Dirty Sauce, Menage a Trois

4. Tartine Bakery
600 Guerrero St. in the Mission
3,975+ Reviews
Average Rating: 4 Stars
Review Highlights: Bread Pudding, Morning Bun, Banana Cream Tart

5. Burma Superstar
309 Clement St. in the Inner Richmond
3,610+ Reviews
Average Rating: 4 Stars
Review Highlights: Tea Leaf Salad, Coconut Rice, Samusa Soup

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6. Brenda’s French Soul Food
652 Polk St. in the Tenderloin
3,525+ Reviews
Average Rating: 4 Stars
Review Highlights: Beignets, Watermelon Iced Tea, Grits

7. House of Prime Rib
1906 Van Ness Ave. on Nob Hill
3,375+ Reviews
Average Rating: 4 Stars
Review Highlights: Yorkshire Pudding, Creamed Spinach, English Cut

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8. Gary Danko
800 N Point St. on Fisherman’s Wharf/Russian Hill
3,300 Reviews
Average Rating: 4.5 Stars
Review Highlights: Roast Maine Lobster, Chocolate Soufflé, Cheese Cart

9. The Slanted Door
1 Ferry Bldg. on the Embarcadero
3,215 Reviews
Average Rating: 3.5 Stars
Review Highlights: Spring Rolls, Cellophane Noodles, Daikon Rice Cakes

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10. San Tung Chinese Restaurant
1031 Irving St. in the Inner Sunset
3,185+ Reviews
Average Rating: 4 Stars
Review Highlights: Dry Fried Chicken Wings, Shrimp & Leek Dumplings, Black Bean Sauce Noodles

San Francisco’s Fabulous Farmers’ Markets

Travel & Leisure rated the Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market as the 3rd best Farmers’ Market in America.

Berries main photo Best Best Farmers’ Markets in California

Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market
One Ferry Building—Along the Embarcadero at the foot of Market Street
Tuesday & Thursday: 10 am to 2 pm, Saturday: 8 am to 2 pm

The Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market is renowned throughout the nation for its amazing variety of farm-fresh products, artisan specialties, and prepared foods. Every week, nearly 25,000 shoppers browse through a huge assortment of vendor and grower goodies scattered throughout the market with everything from squash blossoms and Meyer lemons to Korean street food and wood-fired pizzas at hand. Keep your eyes open for some of San Francisco’s top chefs while you’re there—this is their go-to place for their dishes’ freshest ingredients.  is your farmer’s market travel companion. Here is an SF short list:

Farmers Market Where Day Time
Alemany  100 Alemany Sat 6 to 230
Bayview Hunters Point 4705 Third Wed 830 to 12
Castro  Noe/Market Wed 4 to 8
Crocker Galleria 50 Post/Lick Pl TTS 11 to 3
Divisadero Grove/Divisadero Sat 10 to 2
Fern Alley  Fern & Polk Sat 10 to 2
Ferry Plaza 1 Ferry Bldg TTS 10 to 2
Fillmore  O’Farrell/Fillmore Sat 9 to 1
Fort Mason Fort Mason Center Sun 930 to 130
Glen Park  BART/Bosworth Sun 10 to 2
Heart of the City United Nations Plaza WFS 7 to 530
Inner Sunset 8th Ave/Judah Sun 9 to 1
Kaiser Permanente 2425 Geary Blvd Wed 10 to 2
Mint Plaza  66 Mint/5th & Mission Fri 11 to 2
Mission Community Bartlett/21st Thu 4 to 8
Noe Valley 3861 24th/Vicksburg Sat 9 to 1
North Beach Powell/Union Sun 10 to 2
Rincon Center 101 Spear St W, F
Second Street Plaza 303 Second/Folsom Wed 10 to 2
Stonestown Pkg lot Macy’s Sun 9 to 1
UCSF Parnassus  505 Parnassus Wed 10 to 3
Upper Haight Waller/Stanyan Wed 3 to 7
VA Farmers’ Market Veterans Dr/Clement Wed 10 to 2
Yerba Buena Lane  Market/3rd & 4th Tue 1 to 6

Bay to Breakers 2013

Bayto Breakers






There is no sporting event quite like Bay to Breakers. What other race combines world class runners with costumed party-goers on such a grand scale? It’s a testament to San Francisco, the city of creative spirit, that a footrace can be turned into such a massive demonstration of uniqueness, audacity and jubilation.

Each year, more than 50,000 people participate in the race itself while more than double that number line the streets to watch. The route itself is challenging and beautiful. Starting on the Bay side of the city, it cuts through downtown, chugs up Hayes Street Hill, embraces the edge of Golden Gate Park and finishes at the crashing waves of Ocean Beach.

The first ever Bay to Breakers, then known as Cross City Race, was held January 1, 1912. With only 218 registrants, the winner was Robert Jackson “Bobby” Vlught, a St. Mary’s College student who finished with a time of 44:10. Now a major destination for the world’s top runners, thousands travel from around the globe to compete. Last year’s winner, Sammy Kitwara from Kenya, completed the course in just 34:45, which was a just a bit slower than the race record of 33:31, which he set himself in 2009.

From start to finish, today’s race route is packed with vibrancy. But it wasn’t always that way. In fact, the first costumed runner didn’t show up until 1940.  He dressed as Captain Kidd and finished last. It is him who we may thank (or blame, depending on how you look at it!) for introducing non-traditional race attire to Bay to Breakers. It was just the beginning of what we enjoy today.

So on Sunday, May 19, whether you’re on the race route cheering on the participants or comfortable in your quiet and cozy home, you can expect a good show. For more information about Bay to Breakers and the street closures or to register, visit

Elegant Victorian Residence in Pacific Heights

Click Here For All Photos New Listing – Elegant Pacific Heights Residence $1,775,0003008 Clay Blog

Historic elegance in a beautifully renovated and well maintained house-like stately Victorian on a lovely tree-lined street in City’s finest neighborhood. Gracious scale, architectural details, soaring ceilings and hardwood floors grace the sun-filled formal living room and dining room with fireplace which are joined by a pretty glass paned door. The chef’s kitchen with its honed granite island, built-in espresso maker, and 500 bottle wine room extends into a family room with French doors that open to a beautiful garden with deck. The second level below encompasses a master and two bedrooms all with gorgeous hardwood floors, two full baths and the laundry. The master suite’s generous sitting area with a large installed plasma television, two large closets and a double Carrera marble vanity bath creates a special retreat. A washer and dryer, deeded garage parking, storage areas and shed are all additional features that complete this special home. Only two blocks to Alta Plaza Park, Sacramento shops and restaurants, and the City’s top schools.

Built in 1908
1956 square feet per tax records
Shared garden and deck with built-in seating
Deeded 1 car side by side garage (fits a Range Rover)
Storage in garage and beneath outer deck
HOA dues of $260 include water, building insurance, trash
Walkscore Paradise 95

Public Rooms
Formal living room with barrel window and glass paned door
Custom silk drapes in formal living room
Formal dining room with fireplace
Powder room
Conrad window treatments in dining room and hall

Kitchen Features (in alphabetical order)
Blanco Sink
Custom Kitchen Cabinets
Custom Kitchen Pantry
Franke Water Filtration System
Honed Granite Kitchen Island and Counters
Meile Coffee Center
Meile Dishwasher
Pot-filler over Stove
Restoration Hardware Clemson Pendant Lighting
SubZero Refrigerator
Thermador Hood
Viking Convection Microwave
Viking Oven
Viking Stove Top
Whisper Kool 3000 Wine Room Cooling System for 500 bottles

Lower Floor
Master suite with seating area
Carrera tile double vanity in spacious master bath
Two bedrooms and guest bath
Kenmore Washer & Dryer

Bay Area Housing Market Continues to Gain Strength, New Report Shows

A new report out this week shows that the Bay Area’s housing market continues to gain strength with growing demand and a shortage of listings driving prices sharply higher and boosting sales once again in January.

DataQuick, the La Jolla-based real estate information service, reported that the local market turned in its strongest January sales in six years and marked the 10th straight year-over-year increase in the median sale price of a Bay Area home.

A total of 5,501 new and resale single-family homes and condos sold last month in the nine-county Bay Area, up 3.2 percent from January a year ago. Last month’s sales were the strongest since January 2007 before the downturn in the housing market.

The real story here, though, is the rapidly increasing median sale price for Bay Area homes. In January, the median price paid for a home in the region jumped to $415,000, surging 27.3 percent from a year ago.

DataQuick noted that half of the increase in the median price is due to changes in market mix with sales shifting from low-cost foreclosures and short sales to more of the mid-market and move-up home category. But clearly, a shortage of homes on the market is pushing prices higher as well, especially as multiple offers are becoming the norm in many communities.

The biggest jump in median home prices last month was in Santa Clara County where the median surged 31.6 percent year over year to $550,000. Alameda County saw a 30.5 percent jump, San Mateo a 29.1 percent increase, and Contra Costa County a 28.3 percent boost. The lowest increase was 14.3 percent in Napa County.

To give you an idea where we are in the recovery, the low point for Bay Area median home prices was March 2009 (also the low point of the stock market), when the median fell to $290,000. But at $415,000, we’re also still below the Bay Area peak of June and July 2007 when the median hit its high of $665,000.

But as we know, real estate is really about location, location, location. And some of our markets that didn’t fall as much as others in the Bay Area have already seen prices bounce back to their pre-recession levels.  Indeed, some towns in the Peninsula are seeing some all-time highs for homes in certain neighborhoods.

Still, the takeaway from this report is that while the housing market continues to gain steam, home prices still have a ways to go in many markets around the Bay Area. That’s good news to those who have been thinking about buying but haven’t made your move yet. You’ve still got a great opportunity to buy a home at attractive prices and with near-record low interest rates.

But given the rapidly improving market, my advice is not to wait too long. You can read the DataQuick report here.

Below is a market-by-market report from our local offices:

North Bay – Our Southern Marin manager says he’s hearing more stories about too many buyers chasing too few listings. One agent said she wrote three offers over asking price this week and all of her clients were outbid.  One home hadn’t even hit the market yet. “It feels like 2006!” she said. Agents in Northern Marin are beginning to see what might be a change in the market.  From 1/28 to 2/8, there were over 20 new properties on the market, at a broad range of prices – from $190,000 up to $1.35 million.  The majority are in the $500-700K range, so this might be the first price range that is getting a more normal selection of homes.  Multiple offers are still the norm and the buyer demand remains fierce at all price points.  One open house had 170 attendees, and we are seeing fewer short sales and REOs.  Buyers are generally having to make 3-4 unsuccessful offers before realizing what is needed to get the house – over asking and short contingencies or cash. If priced inappropriately homes in the Santa Rosa area are receiving as many as 20 to 30 offers.  Pricing strategy is key to an over solicited market.  At some open houses agents have been limiting the number of people walking through to one at a time, which has resulted in huge backups outside the doors and down the front sidewalks of the homes. There is an increase in Buyer calls in the $1-2 million range.  Agents in the luxury market are cautiously optimistic. Homebuyers in this type category are very price conscious.  While there is an upward trend in pricing at the lower end of the market, this has not translated into an uptick in the pricing of the higher end market.

San Francisco – One measure of the health and strength of a market is whether it is stable enough to reward the effort of developers who purchase a property, rehabilitate and upgrade it and then market the new improved product.  In today’s market the answer is a resounding yes, according to our Lakeside manager.  Our office’s listing on Lake St. last year sold just over $3 million.  Last week, the property came on the market at just under $8 million after a reported $2 million upgrade.  It was under contract in one week. Our Lombard manager says inventory shortage definitely is affecting sales. Some buyers are dropping out, discouraged by competition. Aggressive pre-emptive offers are more common. A few new listings trickling onto the market have raised the number of ratified deals, our Market Street manager reports.   With buyer demand still at a fever pitch, nearly every sale received multiple offers (between 2 and 13).   The ratified deals with single offers were sold prior to being introduced to the market, or were in the luxury price range. Our Sunset manager says some homeowners who were planning to sell are holding off for an expected appreciation in value as the market continues to tighten.

SF Peninsula — The heavy buyer demand in the northern Peninsula area shows no sign of letting up with buyers and their agents getting ever more creative in finding off-market listings and constructing offers designed to win, our Burlingame manager says. Every offer is a multiple, sometimes as many as 20-50 on a property. One San Mateo property went for $200,000+ over asking for a fixer upper, all cash, five-day close.  Millbrae is particularly tight with inventory – only five at this time. There are 50 active and 12 pending listings in Hillsborough at this time, up slightly over the last few weeks. The over $3 million segment is still a bit slow while the $8 million is quite active. About half of the homes that closed escrow in January sold for the asking price or more, according to our Burlingame North manager.  The multiple offer activity in January was off the charts.  Maybe those numbers will be reflected in the February closed sales.    In Half Moon Bay, listing inventory was up this week – the coast-side’s market is strong, not as competitive as the Peninsula.  Agents are seeing many buyers coming over the hills as they’re tired of getting beat out of offers with the aggressive competition on the mid-Peninsula. The $900k to $1.3 million market up and down the El Camino corridor from San Carlos to Cupertino is almost out of control, our Menlo Park manager reports.  Open houses are mobbed and 5 to 10 offers are common. Between the ‘healthy’ stock market and low rates (that are going up at some point) buyers are almost in a land rush mentality.  The entry level of each city is seeing exponentially increasing prices.  Inventory is lower than it has ever been in Palo Alto.  All price ranges under $1.4 million are active in Redwood City-San Carlos area. The townhouse/condo market has picked up. The Woodside and Portola Valley market are doing well, including the high-end market.

East Bay – Still not enough listings to satisfy the growing buyer demand, our Berkeley manager reports. Last week there were a total of 16 listings in Berkeley, with four over $1 million.  Only seven Berkeley properties on last week’s Brokers’ tour and 28 listings on tour for a huge area from El Sobrante through Oakland.  Buyers are beginning to understand that they will face tough competition of every home and their first offer has to be their best.  Offers are being written 10-30% over asking for the most part. Inventory is slowly inching upwards with 16 homes on the Lamorinda tour this week. Agents continue to work overtime trying to find homes for their buyers. Many agents are broadening their search radius to increase their client’s opportunities. Walnut Creek agents are starting to see a very slight increase in listings but they are sold almost immediately.  They are still seeing homes being sold for above asking with few contingencies.  Cash is still king.

Silicon Valley – Our Cupertino manager says that lots of people would like to list their homes, but are afraid that they can’t find anything to buy. The number of multiple offers per property is amazing, she notes.  Pre-emptive offers are a hot topic in the Los Gatos market.  Sellers are torn between accepting an early offer that is written well above list price or waiting until the offer date to be fair to all buyers.  Each situation is being handled on a case-by-case basis.  An agent in our office showed a property that just came on the market in a very popular neighborhood close to town.  The listing agent informed her the seller was waiting until after the weekend to review offers. The buyer’s agent encouraged her client to write a strong “pre-emptive” offer over asking price to show the seller the seriousness of the motivated buyer. The seller signed the offer and the buyer is in contract. In this case, the perseverance of the buyer and the buyer’s agent paid off! Inventory in the San Jose Almaden market is increasing albeit at a snail’s pace.  Just about every offer written or received on a property is a multiple offer. That’s echoed by the San Jose Main office, where the local manager reports two properties listed last week ($629,000 list and $689,000 list) received 25 offers and 31 offers apiece. And our Willow Glen manager notes that some frustrated buyers are bidding up regardless of recent comps, and they are not concerned about appraisal issues. Lots of foreign money “all cash” offers seems to be the norm.

South County – The South County market is all about multiple offers and positioning a buyer for success, according to our Gilroy manager. Entry-price homes are receiving 15+ offers. Bank owned properties are drying up quickly. Short sales are coming out as people run out of options for loan modifications. But move-up buyers are back as they now have equity to leverage. All cash and the removal of an appraisal contingency are commonplace. Most open houses need to be staffed with two agents as we are seeing a flood of buyers coming down to South County. On Tuesday of this week there were only 40 properties listed for sale in all of Morgan Hill, our local manager reports.  They ranged in price from $2 million+ to under $400,000.  In addition, there is only one condo for sale in all of Morgan Hill.  Inventory remains a challenge to buyers and to agents.   There are several new home developments in Morgan Hill.  Last Saturday a local new homebuilder released three single-family homes for sale from $799,000 to $890,000.  Prospective buyers actually camped out in front of the sales office for two days prior to the release.  The three homes were sold on Saturday morning in a matter of minutes—with several “back-up” contracts accepted on each as well.

Santa Cruz County – The agents are generally optimistic about the Santa Cruz market and all are busy.  We are starting to see a slight increase in inventory.  Open houses have been well attended and there are Silicon Valley types who are perusing the beach properties and have cash to spend.  Some properties that were formerly on the market and did not sell are now selling.  Buyers have a bit of anxiety about having to compete for homes, however, the Santa Cruz area is a microcosm of the market “over the hill” – multiple offers here can mean 2 – 10 offers.  Properties are going over asking in some cases, and appraisals are all over the map.  In some instances the property appraises, then a second look by the lender at the last minute causes some issues.  Lending continues to be a huge challenge for the Buyers, even those qualified with sufficient down payment.

Monterey County – Sales activity on the Monterey Peninsula continues on its steady pace, with sales of the higher end properties becoming more frequent, after only a slight lull over the holidays.  Our local manager said agents would likely see more sales except they are becoming shorter on inventory.  The area was full for the AT&T Pro-Am last week.  While there were some showings to those attending, most were concentrating only on golf, as is usual.


Happy Valentine’s Day!

Flowers. Vday

The 2012 edition of the Previews Luxury Market report

The 2012 edition of the Previews Luxury Market report has been released! As 2012 comes to a close, Coldwell Banker Previews International® has taken a look back on the affluent marketplace for the December 2012 Luxury Market Report. Inside the report, you’ll find:

  • Ultra-Affluent Market Survey. What motivates a buyer or seller at the very top of the market? We surveyed Previews® NRT agents who have either listed or sold a property priced at $10 million and above in the last three years to give you new insight into this rare consumer.
  • Women of Affluence. Did you know that women control $20 trillion in consumer spending worldwide and women’s global incomes have been estimated to grow by $5 trillion in only a five-year span? Previews explores the reasons why affluent women have become one of the most influential groups in the luxury marketplace today, and how they’re rapidly changing the business of real estate.
  • Top 10 U.S. ZIP Codes. This year, the ZIP code charts reveal a few new hotbeds for affluent buyers, such as Manhattan Beach, Calif. and Saratoga, Calif., in addition to the blue-chip luxury neighborhoods of Beverly Hills and Greenwich, Connecticut.



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