Five White-Hot Districts In A Red-Hot San Francisco Real Estate Market

July 2013 Special Report

Virtually every area of San Francisco and the Bay Area has been experiencing dramatic home-value appreciation in the past 12 to 18 months. Some that were hard hit by distressed property sales, which experienced the largest price declines, have surged in price but remain 20% – 30% below previous peak values reached in 2006 – 2008. As a state, California is still about 25% below its 2007 pre-crash median home price. And in San Francisco itself, many if not most neighborhoods now appear to have re-attained or moved slightly beyond previous high points.

But in this past quarter, a handful of neighborhoods and districts in the city have leapt well beyond the highest average home values achieved in the past. Interestingly, comparing these white-hot areas with one another, there are often huge differences in property type, era and style of construction, and neighborhood culture or ambiance. But all of them have been very affected by affluent – often newly affluent – high-tech professionals of one age group and level of affluence or another. Naturally, these neighborhoods are highly desired by other buyers too – often professionals in finance, bio-tech, medicine and law – but the high-tech-buyer dynamic has generally super-charged these markets in particular.

However, please note that the difference we’re talking about between these neighborhoods and the rest of the city is between white hot and red hot: Quite honestly, they’re all very hot markets right now.

The Inner Mission 

Super hot, super hip, generally young: this neighborhood has seen very dramatic changes since the early nineties as a classic process of gentrification occurred — changes which have recently accelerated. Houses here are often large, classic Victorians, while the condos are mostly modern, built within the last decade or so. This area has a large, vibrant and diverse commercial district centered around Mission and Valencia Streets, but is still close to Noe Valley and the Castro. This chart focuses on the condo market, in which values are approximately 15% above the previous peak.

Noe Valley – Eureka Valley (Castro) – Dolores Heights 

These neighborhoods are part of a district that includes Cole Valley, Ashbury Heights, Clarendon & Corona Heights, Duboce Triangle, Mission Dolores and Glen Park, all of which have seen enormous recent appreciation. Housing here is typically older, built in the first 4 decades of the last century; there are many parks for kids and pets; the streets are tree-lined and the ambiance of the neighborhoods is relaxed and family friendly. This district surged in popularity and price in the mid-late nineties, was one of the last to peak in value in 2008, and has been at the forefront of the market rebound which started early here, in 2011. Among other advantages, it has relatively easy access to highways south to Silicon Valley. The district also has a large condo market, but this chart focuses on house values.

South Beach & Yerba Buena 

After the Embarcadero freeway came down in 1991 and then AT&T Park built in 2000, this area changed from a place for B-class offices and car stereo installations to the home of some of the most dramatic and expensive condo and loft buildings in the country. More condos are now sold here than anyplace else in the city and high-floor units with staggering views often sell for millions of dollars – one sold for $28 million. It’s popular with a number of demographics – high-tech and bio-tech workers working in offices nearby in SoMa and Mission Bay, financial district professionals, and empty-nesters who want to enjoy city life and have all the amenities, but without the responsibility of maintaining a house. Affluent foreign buyers are also a significant segment. Its neighborhood ambiance is very urban. This chart is for condos below the price of $1,800,000, but the dynamic for ultra-luxury condos is also white hot, with an average dollar per square foot value of over $1200.

Bernal Heights 

Like Noe Valley and Glen Park, Bernal Heights was originally a blue-collar neighborhood filled with Victorian houses. Noe Valley soared in value first, becoming wildly popular, and now people who want a similar family-friendly neighborhood ambiance, but at a more affordable cost, have increasingly turned to Bernal Heights. It also has easy access to highways south to the peninsula.

 

Hayes Valley-North of Panhandle (NoPa)-Alamo Square

This condo market is made up of two totally different types: Edwardian flats that have been turned into condos and brand new, ultra-modern condo developments. The Hayes Valley commercial district is very hot and hip, similar to, but still different from the Mission’s Valencia Street. Buyers who are priced out of the nearby Cole Valley-Haight Ashbury condo market often look here for a similar neighborhood ambiance at lower cost. Hayes Valley is also close to the Civic Center cultural cluster of museum, opera, symphony, ballet and other performing arts, which appeals to another buyer demographic as well.

To put all of these charts into one simple suggestion: It’s a great time to sell your property in San Francisco, and our market desperately needs the inventory!

If you have questions or would like information regarding a neighborhood not listed above, please contact us.

139 Corbett, Asking $799,000, Receiving 30+ Offers: Where Will It Be When The Dust Settles?

At what point do you, dear fellow colleague and wonderful real estate companion, stop and say, “Okay, maybe I under-priced this property a bit, so I’ll just go ahead and raise the marketing price $100,000 now, so I don’t make a lot of agents and their buyers think they stand a snowball’s chance in hell of getting this property?”

Case in point, 139 Corbett, a Single Family Home in “Corona Heights” (we can just call this almost heart-center Castro), with three bedrooms, two baths, two car parking, expansion potential down, a yard, and big (nay, fantastic) VIEWS of Eureka Valley/Castro…asking $799,000:


There were 30+ offers! My client offered $932,000 and wasn’t even close. It’s certainly going to sell over $1,000,000, and I’d even guess a sales price close to $1,100,000…but “comps supported” a $799,000 list price? Really? Do you need 30 offers? Wouldn’t 10, or even two, offers be just as good?

Maddening. Truly maddening.

-139 Corbett, $799,000, 3bd, 2, ba, 2 pk [MLS]

Tour de San Francisco (real estate) gets a new stage…Corona Heights!

I don’t believe it myself, but I finally got out, then sat down and wrote another stage of my Tour de San Francicsco (real estate), and boy was it fun!

The stage this week is Corona Heights. Check it out.

I was also finally able to do a proper sfnewsletter (I’ll publish that around 10 or 11 a.m.), and it is again loaded with data and good stuff, so if you don’t subscribe to that, now is the time.

It’s Madness! (no, not the band)

3840clay.jpg
By now you’ve probably heard about 3840 Clay (pictured above), the Pacific Heights fixer that was asking $3,000,000 and sold for $4,020,000 in less than a blink of an eye. (In MLS on 4/12, 30 disclosure packages were handed out, offers reviewed on 4/16, in contract 4/19, sold 4/25… we’re told for cash.) The home was a “scary fixer”, and “needed at least $2MM in renovation”. Those darn fixers.

But you probably haven’t heard about -451-453 Roosevelt (pictured below), and so we’d like to share:
451roosevelt.jpg
Asking $1,895,000, this 2 unit (with bonus illegal third unit and tenant(not illegal)), needs a new retaining wall (notice the views, we’re thinking that ain’t gonna be cheap), [mis-information] received 5 offers within the first week of being on the market, two of those offers were countered above $2.1MM, and well, they’re probably in contract above that. We’ll just have to wait and see the outcome, so remind us to update you.

And you certainly haven’t heard of this little gem of a 3 bed, 1.5 bath, Victorian condo in Buena Vista Park at 27 Divisadero (pictured below).
27divis.jpg
Asking $915,000 and also received five offers, a couple of which were well over $1,050,000. We’re thinking it sells around $1.1MM+/-? Just a hunch. We’ll have to watch this one too. Remind us.

Weee’ve got more, but that’s enough for today. Since you’re here, you might as well check out some interesting before and afters.

-3840 Clay [MLS]
-Good Bones [sfn BLOG]
-451-453 Roosevelt [MLS]
-27 Divisadero [MLS]
-before and afters [sfn BLOG]

The Power of Purple

200corbett.jpg

We present: 200 Corbett, a 3 bed, 2 bath, single family home built in 1908 just hitting the market. We had the pleasure of checking it out, and we must say, it is pretty damn sweet, and yet another unique property that makes you love the real estate here. (Yes, that is a Breville Die-Cast Espresso Machine on the counter.)

A bit of history for the “real estate is a bad investment” crowd:
-Oct. 1997-sold for $474,000
-Nov. 2001-sold for $725,000
-Jul. 2004-sold for $1,250,000
-Mar. 2007-Asking $1,665,000

Except for the Broker Tour, it is being shown by appt. only, so contact your sfnewsletter provider to get you in.

Pictures: Furnished, and for another perspective Unfurnished.
[Pictures on our blog, and on “furnished” taken by Bryan Nazario