Cirios Trends
State of the Markets June 2013: Know Who You’re Betting Against

We are indeed in a brave new financial world. On a macro level, fundamentals barely matter. With central banks around the world aggressively debasing their currencies to prop up exports and keep interest rates low, even impending crises in the Middle East, Europe and Asia barely spook investors. US stock markets are at all-time highs, […]

2013 Housing Outlook: What if the Consensus is Wrong?

“To me, consensus seems to be the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies. So it is something in which no one believes and to which no one objects.” – Margaret Thatcher It’s hard to find a prognosticator not painting a cautiously optimistic outlook for housing in 2013. This, in and of itself, […]

2013 Outlook: Palo Alto Prices Set Record, Raise Red Flag
2013 Outlook: Palo Alto Prices Set Record, Raise Red Flag

By all accounts, property values at the peak of the housing boom were unsustainably high. But don’t tell that to the good folks in Palo Alto. Values, when measured by price per square foot, are actually higher now, at more than $1,000 per square foot, than they were back in 2007 when the market last […]

2013 Outlook: Is the SoMa Condo Market Booming or Teetering?
2013 Outlook: Is the SoMa Condo Market Booming or Teetering?

Mark Twain is generally credited with coining the phrase, “lies, damned lies and statistics,” to capture the malleability of number crunching and how easily statistics can be manipulated to prove a certain point. Housing data isn’t immune, and even well-meaning analysis can be off-base. Take a look at the first graph below, which shows SoMa […]

2013 Outlook: Was the Facebook Effect Real?
2013 Outlook: Was the Facebook Effect Real?

Earlier this year, real estate’s pontificating class was awash with predictions about the “Facebook Effect” on home prices. It doesn’t take a statistician to read the tea leaves below: Home prices took off in 2012. And it just so happens that Facebook also announced their IPO in the same year. The graph below shows condo […]

2013 Outlook: Marina Condo Prices up 14% in 2012
2013 Outlook: Marina Condo Prices up 14% in 2012

When talking about housing as it relates to the tech boom, we typically hear about soaring prices in SoMa and Noe Valley. Even Hayes Valley and NoPa get a mention, as both are up-and-coming neighborhoods hot with the tech crowd. But the Marina? Despite your average programmer not really understanding the appeal of living in […]

2013 Outlook: East Oakland Prices Up Sharply
2013 Outlook: East Oakland Prices Up Sharply

If you enjoy safety, there isn’t a ton to like about East Oakland. Slammed with foreclosures, crime and general neglect, the housing downturn was hard on this downtrodden part of town. But price is a powerful force, and as values pushed lower, some intrepid investors took the plunge. Being a landlord in East Oakland takes […]

2013 Outlook: Markets Overcorrect on the Way Down
2013 Outlook: Markets Overcorrect on the Way Down

When a market is in free-fall, betting on a turnaround is, as the saying goes, akin to trying to catch a falling knife: You may get it right, but chances are you’ll get bloodied in the process. For this and other reasons, markets tend to overcorrect on the way down. That is, they fall beyond […]

2013 Outlook: Mountain View Back on Top
2013 Outlook: Mountain View Back on Top

With the Bay Area housing market on the rise again, we are starting to hear talk about current home prices approaching “peak highs.” In other words, in certain areas prices are starting to approach levels not seen since before the crash. And while comparing nominal prices is convenient, it’s also misleading: It ignores interest rate […]

2013 Outlook: Excelsior Home Prices up 27% in 2012
2013 Outlook: Excelsior Home Prices up 27% in 2012

The trend in San Francisco of money moving south is nothing new. All it takes is a quick look at Noe Valley or Potrero Hill to see that Pacific Heights isn’t the only neighborhood in the city that attracts wealth. And as central and southern locations become more expensive, the definition of “central” also migrates […]

2013 Outlook: Temescal Market Stays Red Hot
2013 Outlook: Temescal Market Stays Red Hot

They say that real estate is all about location. But when it comes to investing, timing the market right doesn’t hurt either. And when you get both right, investing in real estate can feel downright easy. The 94608 zip code includes Emeryville and trendy Temescal, that special part of Oakland that feels more like Berkeley. […]

2013 Outlook: Is It Finally Time to Buy in Bayview-Hunters Point?
2013 Outlook: Is It Finally Time to Buy in Bayview-Hunters Point?

If you pay attention at all to San Francisco real estate and development, chances are the subject of the Hunters Point redevelopment project has come across your desk. The area has been a toxic mess for decades, stemming from the cleaning of World War II ships returning from the Pacific and other radiation research performed […]

2013 Outlook: Antioch Home Prices Up 30% From Lows
2013 Outlook: Antioch Home Prices Up 30% From Lows

Antioch was ground zero for rampant speculation and overbuilding during the housing boom: Prices crashed spectacularly, plummeting 71% from the peak in 2006 to the nadir in 2009. But if you were intrepid — and lucky — enough to buy at the bottom, you’d be up a cool 30% already. Investors, both flippers and buy-and-holders, […]

2013 Outlook: How Much Higher Will Redwood City Home Prices Go?
2013 Outlook: How Much Higher Will Redwood City Home Prices Go?

There are a lot of ways to try and figure out where home prices are headed. On the way down, we heard a lot of things like “Well, prices can’t go much lower, they are all the way down to where they were back in 2003.” In fact, those comparisons were meaningless. In most markets, […]

Cirios Trends: 2013 Housing Outlook

In 2012, housing outperformed even the rosiest of expectations. Will history repeat in 2013, or will stubborn housing bears be vindicated after four years of being wrong? In this year’s outlook piece, we take aim at the consensus view that housing will drift up during 2013. The consensus is usually wrong, so click here to […]

State of the Markets – December 2012: They Will Rise

No run-of-the-mill economic commentary today is complete without a discussion of the so-called “fiscal cliff.” For that reason, we will ignore the fiscal cliff and move on. Housing is in recovery mode. However government subsidized it may be, demand is strong, inventory is low and real estate prices — in certain markets — are rising. […]

State of the Markets October 2012: Rental Market Cools Down … Finally

Last month, we made the bold prediction that September 2012 would see more new listings in San Francisco than any other month on record. The data is in and unfortunately, we were wrong. There were 927 new listings in San Francisco last month, the fifth most on record, behind the month of September in 2005, […]

Dear San Francisco Property Owners: It’s An Unbelievably Good Time to Sell
Dear San Francisco Property Owners: It’s An Unbelievably Good Time to Sell

Here’s a bold prediction: There will be a record number of new listings in San Francisco this September. Why? Simple: It’s an unbelievably good time to sell real estate. Labor Day in San Francisco marks the beginning of Indian Summer, those gloriously sunny two months when we remember why we argue that the city does, […]

State of the Markets – September 2012: Hot, Hot Indian Summer

As we head into San Francisco’s Indian Summer, real estate agents are gearing up for a wild two months (for our bold prediction of just how wild, check out: San Francisco Property Owners: It’s An Unbelievably Good Time to Sell). September and October are typically the city’s most active months, as buyers and sellers alike […]

Sunset Heating Up
Sunset Heating Up

San Francisco’s Sunset District is not known for it’s balmy weather. But don’t tell the real estate market that, as prices in the Sunset have turned positive and look poised to rise in the foreseeable future. One of the few areas where you can find a reasonably sized home for under $1 million in San […]

State of the Markets – August 2012

Two Years of Nothing (sort of) “The EU finally solved the Greek problem, only to find out the solution just accelerated the day of reckoning for Europe’s other sick children, Portugal and Spain.” “Look around this country at the ailing finances of our states, counties and cities … bloated budgets, shrinking income and debt burdens […]

Ask Cirios

Dear Cirios: My wife and I own a condo in the city and are thinking about moving to Marin to start a family. We have a nice little nest egg to use for a down payment on a new house, so don’t necessarily need to sell our condo in order to buy in the suburbs. […]

State of the Markets – April 2012

“What does your future hold?” For most young people, there may not be a single topic more mind numbingly boring than saving for retirement. In our immediate gratification world, planning for a future that may be decades away just doesn’t make it onto many to-do lists. Meanwhile, we are reading about and seeing firsthand what […]

State of the Markets – February 2012

For being the year the world is supposed to end, 2012 has a lot of potential. After all, this is the year the housing market is supposed to hit bottom. Again. It’s also the year banks are finally supposed to unleash their bloated inventory of distressed properties onto the market. We’ve had the story before, […]