CFAH

In the words of then Coldwell Banker President and COO Avram Goldman in mid-2006:

The media still continues to hammer the housing market—trying to look for every negative shred of evidence that the housing market has tanked. In spite of their efforts—many smart buyers know this is an excellent time to buy—more choice, a break in interest rates as they continue to come done and a environment conducive to negotiations.

[T]he SF/Bay Area is a highly attractive place to live and certain areas, no matter what is happening in the general market, their desirability increases value of properties in spite of the transitional market.

In the words of Pacific Union departing CEO Avram Goldman in mid-2009:

As I have reported previously, many homes in the over million price range require more air to be let out of their prices. The upper end is not immune to price declines, it has just been slower in coming.

One wonders how those upper end sellers’ expectations in the highly attractive SF/Bay Area could have possibly become so misaligned.
San Francisco Real Estate Market Update: September 4 -10, 2006 [sfresidence.com]
The Goldman Report for August 3, 2009 [sfresidence.com]
Pacific Union Sold To Morgan Lane Marin Principals [SocketSite]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Mystery Realtor

    It’s his job to be a cheerleader

  2. Posted by unwarrantedinlaw

    A shill like Avram speaks only to further his agenda.
    In the bubble, he’s saying: Buy! because that’s what makes him money.
    After the bubble, he’s saying: Sellers, lower your prices! because that’s what makes him money.
    Sometimes Avram’s right, but that’s not his aim. Avram’s goal is to speak the words that best suit what Avram wants.

  3. Posted by ex-avramagent

    used to work for him at PU. nice guy, but most of the time you wish he’d spare you the blowing of smoke up the ass of the marketplace.
    basically, everything said above is correct.

  4. Posted by honestly_now

    Hmmmm, maybe since he was so off in 2006 (better to sell than his buy recommendation) that now is a better time to buy LOL! Would be interesting to know what he was actually doing in 2006, was he buying or selling. Interesting how the CEO’s of Enron, World.Com, etc. all go to jail for spewing self serving advice to mis-direct investors.

  5. Posted by gladimnothim

    I guess socketsite doesnt care much for Avram. I am sure you can find 200 other realtor/brokers that also guessed wrong in the market but to single one guy out and plaster it is wrong! His comments were documented and he was incorrect but no need to slam the guy!

  6. Posted by Trip

    I have no idea what the editor’s take on this gentleman is. I, for one, had never heard of the guy before today. Based solely on his latest, public recognition of the sorry state of the $1M+ real estate market, I respect his (at least current) honest assessment. Beats the conventional cheerleading — “bottom is here,” “never a better time to buy,” etc. And the fact that his note jibes perfectly with a point I’ve been raising here for the last few months has absolutely nothing at all to do with it . . .

  7. Posted by viewlover

    He leaves out that those million plus prices were arrived at by the realtors for the most part, by presenting comps to the sellers and agreeing to list at the “sellers” price. Now that he leaves he finds perspective, if that’s even what this is. To me it just sounds pretty hollow.

  8. Posted by mac

    He deserves to be slammed. He arrogantly slammed the media for cautioning on the housing bubble. Just like the people that said that “sub-prime is contained”. People like that need to be slammed and slammed and slammed again.

  9. Posted by anon

    We will have reached bottom when the opinion of a realtor is no longer considered newsworthy.

  10. Posted by Topher

    Touche’ unwarrantedinlaw.
    Well said ! Don’t these guys get Jail time for saying stuff like that ?

  11. Posted by chguy

    “His comments were documented and he was incorrect but no need to slam the guy!”
    Really? He made self-serving and foolish statements that had the potential to cause significant financial harm to a large numbers of people, and that’s not a reason to slam him? For the sake of short-term profits he pretended that the rules of economics were magically suspended within the borders of San Francsico, and that’s not a reason to slam him? His firm made millions of dollars while many of the buyers who listened to him ended up facing default and bankruptcy, and that’s not a reason to slam him? What would be a reason then?

  12. Posted by LMRiM

    many smart buyers know this [September 2006] is an excellent time to buy
    I wonder how many of those “smart” suckers are finding out that this (mid-2009) is a bad time to sell. Looking at the number of pulled listings these days, I’d say a high percentage.

  13. Posted by joh

    From the WSJ:
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124924069909799645.html
    When the foreclosure crisis began two years ago, there were few signs the high-end market would suffer. “It’s God’s country,” Leslie Appleton-Young, chief economist for the California Association of Realtors, told an audience of real-estate agents in 2007. “When is the 30% decline in Marin County’s market going to happen? Not in my lifetime.”
    Home prices there have fallen by 21% from their 2006 peak, according to Zillow.com, a real-estate Web site. Ms. Appleton-Young now says there’s “no doubt that the high-end housing prices have adjusted and will continue to adjust.”

    Comments such as these are definitely self-serving, but I’m pretty sure those making such statements believe everything they’ve said.

  14. Posted by StockBoySF

    Please- he’s whining because he wants people to sell more homes- so he can make money. He’s practicing the fundamental of economics- lower the price and sell more.
    His business earns more from a commission on a $5MM home than a $500K home.
    Besides he was right in 2006- just depends on which side of the fence his audience was really sitting on. Anyone who wanted to could read whatever they needed to read between the lines. Sellers could read between the lines and think 2006 was a good time to sell because prices might drop. Buyers could read between the lines and think it was a good time to buy, because while some people were naysayers, prices would only increase.
    The first post by Mystery Realtor, “It’s his job to be a cheerleader” hit the nail right on the head.

  15. Posted by pumpkin patch

    I disagree with all of you.
    I was looking in 2006 and I am out and about looking today.
    2006 was a break from all the heavy multiple offers in years before. The 2006 market was strong and, there still were multiple bids (just not as many). And, houses were going.
    Today, when I walk around, I see many homes that would have sold quickly in 2006 SIT on the market! Their prices need to adjust to what people are willing to spend today. A home is only worth what the highest bidder is willing to spend. If a home is sitting and sitting and sitting, it is not worth the listing price.
    I think Avram Goldman is just telling people what the atmosphere was and is. It changes with time.
    And, to be honest, I am not sure why more reductions aren’t being shown on socketsite. It is quite an eery environment in the upper range. Prices have NOT found themselves, yet.

  16. Posted by anonn

    Somebody said one thing in 2006 and then said something different a scant three calendar years later! News @ 11!

  17. Posted by Buy High, Sell Low

    I was out making the open house rounds this weekend…
    Lots of previously vanished inventory was back with a vengeance after having fallen out of 2-4 months of painful escrow finally shut down by the banks refusing loans.
    And the correlation between value and asking price seemed a little random. Some units were priced at what ought to sell in the next 30 days and others were partying like it as 2007 all over again.
    Seems like a great time to be waiting…

  18. Posted by Avram Goldman

    I don’t know what you are out to prove. You take two short excerpts from two of hundreds of my reports and compare them without any context. My reports reflect the markets at the time they are written, honestly and with facts.
    My reports talk about trends in the Bay Area, not just San Francisco. I do site areas that don’t follow the the general trends and many times San Francisco falls in a different category. San Francisco home prices were the last in California to be impacted by the recession.
    Where were you in Sept of 2006 predicting the global financial collaspe of 2008? Many econcomists supported my views after my article was written in Sept. 2006. Renowned economist, Richard Florida in October 2006 wrote in the Atlantic Monthly that San Francisco was one of a handful of cities in the world that he classified as “super-star” cities that beat to a different drummer and whose values would continue to rise.
    If you checked your facts, San Francisco county median price has fallen less than any other county in the Bay Area and I would surmise any county in California. It has fallen less than any other Metropolitan area in the country with a similar median price.
    Much smarter people than I (including Mr. Greenspan) did not predict what occurred. San Francisco is certainly not exempted from what happened globally. However, it has withstood far better than other cities in the Bay Area and around the nation.
    Guess you missed the home on 2912 Sacramento St. listed at $1.6 mil. that recently garnered 14 offers or the home on Washington St. that sold last year for $4.2mil, was redone and recently closed for $5.7mil.
    I do call what I see, good or bad, as one commentor mentioned. Anyone can be a Monday morning quarterback—hindsight is always 20/20.
    By the way I don’t publish my comments anonymously as all your commentors do.

  19. Posted by LMRiM

    I don’t know why people still think Greenspan is so smart. I’ve met him – and I know a few people very well who’ve spent extensive time talking with him. He sure was a good pick by the banksters back in ’87, but that’s more a statement on how smart the banksters are, not Greenie.
    Avram, SF real estate didn’t fall because of any global crisis. It fell because it’s too expensive in view of the productive capacity of the end users, and that’s why it will continue to fall. And plenty of people saw a credit crisis on the horizon even as early as 2006, although it didn’t become blindingly obvious as to the approximate timing until 1H 2007.

  20. Posted by 45yo hipster

    I must disagree lmrim. SF RE took a pecipitious hit right after the banking crash oct 09. Prior to that prices were either stabilizing or slowly trending down (with the exception of d10). Even now there are people dutifuly saving their shekels to buy their dreamhome in SF. and good thing too, IMO, as these dedicated folks are keeping my property values up. In a few years the multiunits I paid sub $200k for per unit will make lovely tic’s for aspiring yuppies…just in time for the twentysomething hipsters-turns-to-yuppy migration…I’m already seeing more baby strollers in the mish. Just give it a few years and the equity upside will be there in spades. Until then, peace out.

  21. Posted by LMRiM

    Correlation is not the same thing as causation, 45YOH.
    Besides, we’re still pretty early into this process. Just think of how excited the tech stock wound lickers were when the NASDAQ crossed 2000 again back in late 2003/early 2004. Don’t go counting that equity upside too soon, and by all means try to cash out equity whenever possible and stash it into bk-remote vehicles (529 plans, gifting strategy to trusted family members, qualified retirement arrangments, etc.).

  22. Posted by Elenowitz

    Really? He made self-serving and foolish statements that had the potential to cause significant financial harm to a large numbers of people, and that’s not a reason to slam him? For the sake of short-term profits he pretended that the rules of economics were magically suspended within the borders of San Francsico, and that’s not a reason to slam him? His firm made millions of dollars while many of the buyers who listened to him ended up facing default and bankruptcy, and that’s not a reason to slam him? What would be a reason then? “His comments were documented and he was incorrect but no need to slam the guy!”

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