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June 6, 2012

TIC Market Slower, But Still Strong

The tenancy-in-common (TIC) market in San Francisco may not be the busiest it’s ever been. After all, condo prices have fallen since the 2005-2008 market heights, and most buyers would prefer to own their own unit (vs an interest in a building, with fellow owners all on the same title).

But the TIC market is certainly not dead. A total of 120 TIC interests have sold year to date, at an average of $598,422. TICs are taking longer to sell than other property types, and those 120 TICs took an average of 80 days to sell. There are 90 TIC interests currently in contract, and 54 TICs on the market (including a newly renovated, seven-unit building on Dolores at 22nd Street).

The bottom line is that buyers will consider TICs if they can get a better location, space and price than that of a condo. Taking one of these attributes out of the mix results in a property that will sit longer than its competitors. For example, a 2BR/2BA TIC listed at $749,000 in the more remote neighborhood of Clarendon Heights has been sitting on the market since March. On the flip side, the 2BR/1BA TIC with leased parking at 31 Camp in the hot Mission Dolores area went into contract in 14 days—much faster than the average TIC.

Fractional financing for TICs is still widely available, though only a couple lenders are issuing such loans. Interest rates are much lower than they were in the past. (I remember when 7% was an expected interest rate.) And these loans continue to perform well, with little to no foreclosure activity involved, according to Sterling Bank & Trust, the leading TIC lender in the city. However, if you’re trying to sell a TIC in a building that has a group loan (i.e., everyone on the same loan), you’ll probably have an extremely difficult time selling unless the other owners are open and able to a fractional loan refinance situation.

What fractional financing has done is make it acceptable to own a TIC, without factoring in the goal of condo conversion. I tell my TIC clients that if they’re purchasing an interest in a 3+ unit building that’s never set foot in the condo lottery, they will most likely be selling that property as a TIC.

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