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SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Jun 13, 2013) - Wayne J. Chi, Zephyr Real Estate agent and broker, has been invited to join a multi-million dollar Silicon Valley investment fund as an advisor. First Partners Real Estate Investments, LLC is a Silicon Valley-based real estate investment fund specializing in investing in single-family residences and multi-family units in the Bay Area and across the nation.

Because of Chi's impressive background as an attorney and a real estate broker in both Hawaii and California specializing in commercial, high-end luxury residences, and multi-family units, the Fund sought him out to augment its value-add real estate opportunities. Chi's expertise in rental management, as a real estate investor, and his advisory experience with private real estate foundations placed him at the top of the list for this position.

Chi has accepted the invitation to further expand real estate opportunities for his clients both locally and abroad. "The advisory role also provides additional methods for me to further refine my repertoire as a counselor to local and international real estate investors, benefiting my real estate clients," he commented.

Chi will serve as the single advisor to an exclusive multi-million dollar fund, providing an opportunity for maximum involvement, input, and analysis and focusing on multi-family units with a minimum of 100 units in areas of projected growth and housing demand.

"Congratulations to Wayne on this latest achievement in a long list of accomplishments," stated Randall Kostick, Chief Operating Officer of Zephyr Real Estate. "He joins an elite group from Zephyr who are outstanding in their leadership for the greater good of our community and beyond."

Chi is a California broker, the highest distinction for a REALTOR® achieved by only one in four members of the California Association of REALTORS®. He is also fluent in Mandarin Chinese and a member of both the California and Hawaii State Bars. He is a member in good standing with the San Francisco, California and National Association of REALTORS®. He can be reached by e-mail at wayne@sfchi.com or by phone at (415) 689-9999. For more information, please visit:www.sfchi.com.

 
 
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The San Francisco real estate market should see more inventory in the coming months. With more supply, the market will be more in balance and buyers will have more choices. Several forces will drive this uptick in inventory. 

  1. First, many home owners have seen the market become very active and so are now finally deciding to sell. 
  2. Second, with school out for summer vacation many home owners choose summer months to make their transition to a new residence. This is not a new phenomenon and follows the general real estate trend. 
  3. Third, there will be about 3000 new condo units coming to the market by the end of this year. Read Wayne's San Francisco 2013 Condominium Forecast. However, given the incredible demand and projected population increase for San Francisco, these new condos will not necessarily make any meaningful impact on the overall market activity in San Francisco. 
  4. Finally, on-going market behavior analysis by Wayne indicates fresh inventory just on the horizon. 

These factors may not necessarily shift the market completely in favor for buyers, but it will at least provide more options. Nonetheless, those looking to invest should continue to actively identify suitable investment opportunities because interest rates are still at historic lows (nearly on par with the rate of inflation) and because in real estate, sooner is always better as we have seen the rate of property values in San Francisco and the Peninsula increase nearly every week.

Wayne J. Chi, Esq. is a California real estate broker who specializes in negotiating and closing complex San Francisco real estate transactions involving confidential representation, luxury and multi-unit properties, estates and corporate entities, foreign capital, and 1031 investment exchanges. Contact Wayne at wayne@sfchi.com or call directly at 415.689.9999.

 
 
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This is an update for all San Francisco tenants and landlords.

Effective March 1, 2013 through February 28, 2014, the allowable annual rent increase amount is 1.9 percent. In accordance with Rules and Regulations Section 1.12, this amount is based on 60 percent of the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for All Urban Consumers in the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose region for the 12-month period ending October 31, which was 3.2 percent as posted in November 2012 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

To calculate the dollar amount of the 1.9 percent annual rent increase, multiply the tenant's base rent by .019. For example, if the tenant's base rent is $1,250.00, the annual increase would be calculated as follows: $1,250.00 x .019 = $23.75. The tenant's new base rent would be $1,273.75 ($1,250.00 + $23.75 = $1,273.75).

In addition, the Rent Board has published the interest rate payable on security deposits for the 3/1/13 to 2/28/14 period. Pursuant to Chapter 49 of the San Francisco Administrative Code, the new interest rate for deposits is 0.4 percent.


Wayne J. Chi, Esq. is a California real estate broker who specializes in negotiating and closing complex San Francisco real estate transactions involving confidential representation, luxury and multi-unit properties, estates and corporate entities, foreign capital, and 1031 investment exchanges. Contact Wayne at wayne@sfchi.com or call directly at 415.689.9999.

 
 
This San Francisco pent house sold for $28 million in 2011, the most expensive condominium transaction ever in San Francisco.
San Francisco continues to be a great place to live, work, and invest in real estate. Historically, San Francisco's real estate market has shown resilience toward the national trend, has seen an increase in value, and has rebounded faster and further than whatever was previously lost within its own market bubble.  Why such market stability?

First, San Francisco is landlocked. Unlike Las Vegas, there is a limited amount of space for new developments. Without expansion potential, property value actually increases along with demand. For example, only 340 new units will become available in San Francisco in 2013. Currently, there are only 9 new development projects selling a total of only 201 units. Madrone just sold out, but still available are units in the Millennium Tower, One Rincon, One Hawthorne, Candlestick Cove, 5800 Third Street, BLU, The Artani, and 2020 Ellis. There are about 5 buildings under construction with units to hit the market within a year or two.

Second, demand for San Francisco real estate has historically been high. San Francisco is conveniently located near major Canadian, Latin American, and Asian cities all within a non-stop flight away. This drives incredible demand by tech companies and other global corporations to base their operations out of San Francisco. The close proximity to Silicon Valley and the high tech talent pool has also driven strong commercial real estate demand within San Francisco. Twitter, Adobe, Zynga, and several other high profile tech companies have based their operations out of San Francisco. Along with all the commercial activity, we see an increase in demand by employees for San Francisco condominiums...whether they be in the form of rentals or first time home buyers. 

This demand has not been keeping pace with supply. The benchmarks for inventory remaining include: 0-4 months indicating a tight seller-side market, 5-7 months indicating a balanced buyer-seller market, 8-11 months indicating a buyer-side market, and 12+ months indicating a soft market. In this last quarter, San Francisco's level of inventory is 2.8 months, setting a historic market low, compared to 5.3 months just a year ago.

What does this all mean? With interest rates still at historic lows, major tax advantages, and appreciation potential due to projected increase in future demand, investing in San Francisco real estate is still a sound and solid decision. In another study, rent has increased nearly two-fold in every San Francisco neighborhood. This means that your rent will continue to increase and you'll lose out on the equity gains of appreciation. 

While many neighborhoods continue to see a healthy activity of sales, you should not be discouraged in getting in on the game. You deserve to step up to the table and take full advantage of the benefits of home ownership. 

Wayne J. Chi, Esq. is a California real estate broker who specializes in negotiating and closing complex San Francisco real estate transactions involving confidential representation, luxury and multi-unit properties, estates and corporate entities, foreign capital, and 1031 investment exchanges. Contact Wayne at wayne@sfchi.com or call directly at 415.689.9999.

 
 
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I recently helped a good friend remodel her kitchen. Deciding on the final details, such as which cabinet handles to select, were seemingly trivial but metaphorically substantial.

Several years ago, she approached me as a nervous and anxious first-time home buyer. For her, buying her first home was a major milestone. No doubt, she was the first person in her family to graduate from college. She then arrived on American soil with no more than a “Hello” and “Good-bye” as part of her English vocabulary. She worked hard and completed her Master’s degree. Currently she is working on her PhD. 

She was a woman fulfilling her American dream. Yet with all her accomplishments and determination, she was nervous and anxious about home ownership. This reminded me of one my favorite Space Race speeches from President Kennedy delivered on September 12, 1962: 


 
 
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I have many friends, family, and clients who ask me: Have we hit bottom yet in our real estate market? This, of course, depends on what market you're asking about. 

In San Francisco, the signs are strongly pointing toward a recovery in process. The supporting data for this conclusion involve a rise in San Francisco median sale prices over the past 12 months from $620,000 city-wide to a startling $725,000 (including single family homes, condos and TICs). Also contributing to this conclusion is a decisive drop in the percentage of properties that required a price reduction prior to sale from 37% one year ago to 18% today!

For buyers who have been waiting for the market to reach bottom, it appears that it took place about twelve months ago. The San Francisco market was one of the last locations in the U.S. to feel the impact of the recession and looks to be one of the first to emerge from it.

Don't worry, you haven't missed the boat. The timing is superb to refinance or purchase your first home (or even an investment property) as interest rates are at historic lows. 

Take a look at the two charts below. They describe median sale price and the dropping percentage of listed
properties requiring a price reduction to sell. Once we have a few more sellers deciding to cash in on the existing
excessive demand we’ll have another impressive graph to show you…illustrating the rapid rise in volume of
properties sold. Stay tuned!

Wayne J. Chi, Esq. is a California real estate broker who specializes in negotiating and closing complex San Francisco real estate transactions involving confidential representation, luxury and multi-unit properties, estates and corporate entities, foreign capital, and 1031 investment exchanges. Contact Wayne at wayne@sfchi.com or call directly at 415.689.9999.