Investing In The Bubble

Entrepreneurs from coast to coast are creating investment funds and ancillary businesses to capitalize on any downturns in the real estate market. One such “opportunity fund” has a stated plan of acquiring “new and converted condominium units purchased by speculators” and then holding them for “extended periods or shorter-term... Read More »

Greater Fool Theory Comes Home

Bubble buzz phrase of the week: ‘Greater Fool Theory‘. Even National Public Radio joined the debate this weekend.  And like the old Saturday Night Live skit, it just begs the questions: who is this fool, just how much money does he have, and shouldn’t somebody warn him? Read More »

Market Similarities (Beyond Just The “U”)

Two select quotes and five “lessons” from CNNMoney’s look at the U.K. housing market slowdown. Perhaps a little foreshadowing of what’s to come in the U.S.? And isn’t our market rationalization du jour all those wealthy Europeans? “In these markets there is a herd instinct where people rush out... Read More »

Section 1386 Update: Andy Sirkin Weighs In

It’s worth reading Andy Sirkin’s overview and perspective on the Board of Supervisors vote to block the condo conversion of a lottery-winning six-unit TIC. Yes, the owners won the condo lottery but were still denied conversion based on Section 1386 of the City’s Subdivision Code. Sirkin writes: Until the... Read More »

Riotous Living Anyone?

According to a study by the California Building Industry Association, Bay Area homeowners have increased the equity in their homes by roughly $234 billion over the past five years. Which, if the basic assumptions of the study were neither biased or flawed, would be quite impressive. The study assumed... Read More »

San Francisco ScrapHouse Nearly Complete

San Francisco ScrapHouse Nearly Complete

Blitz-built from salvaged materials (including street signs, phonebooks, and fire hoses), ScrapHouse will open to the public tomorrow (6/2). Built in conjunction with World Environment Day 2005, ScrapHouse is billed as an opportunity to see “creative, real-world solutions for re-use and green building” and “illustrates the possibilities–as well as... Read More »

Curb Appeal: 3132 Laguna

Curb Appeal: 3132 Laguna

3132 Laguna: A surviving bit of character on a block of nondescript facades. ( Read More »

Great Advice For Buyers

James Stewart at SmartMoney hits the nail on the head. If you’re a first-time buyer looking to purchase a primary residence and you can easily afford the down payment, ongoing mortgage, taxes, and upkeep – just do it. Don’t try to time the market, just do it. Current mortgage... Read More »

San Francisco’s Housing P/E

As sales prices have risen, and rents have dropped, San Francisco’s residential “rent ratio” has climbed to a nation-wide high of 34.1 (according to The New York Times). We’re higher than New York City (25.4) and San Diego (28.9), and up from a rent ratio of 12.5 in 2000.... Read More »

Bet On A Bubble (Or Not)

We don’t know whether to be extremely terrified or slightly intrigued. Quite honestly, we’re a little bit of both. Promoted as an opportunity to “Hedge, Speculate, and Invest” in specific real estate markets without actually buying property, HedgeStreet’s “Hedgelets” allow just about anyone to take a position on the... Read More »