Are “Leaning Tower” Condos Worth Top Dollar?

“Millennium Towers [sic] is one of the most luxurious condominium buildings in San Francisco,” this new listing boasts, and in all fairness that is actually true; we’ve been in that building a lot, it runs like a self-contained, vertical neighborhood, the hype is definitely real.

But that of course is not what people associate this address with these days. Indeed, even long after they fix the tower’s foundations (a process that is ever-ongoing and, ah, not exactly running the smoothest course these days), 301 Mission will probably labor under the stigma of having been the “leaning tower” for years if not decades to come–there’s just no getting around certain things.

That said, as we learned last year, some people don’t seem to care: Some of SF’s wealthiest buyers still pay top dollar to own units in this building, including a $13 million penthouse sale that was the most expensive in the building’s history and minted years after the tower’s woes made headlines.

Just in the past 12 months we’ve had eight new Millennium Tower sales on MLS, although they have all been relatively modest by the standards of this particular building, ranging from $650,000 to $1.75M; two of them even took over 200 days to find a buyer, whereas prior to 2016 only one unit in the history of the building took so long to net a buyer.

Still, sales are sales are sales, which brings just to today’s feature listing, a fairly normal one bed, one bath, fourteenth floor Millennium Tower condo now leaning into the trade winds and seeking $680,000.

What’s interesting about that figure is that while it’s technically more than the last time this unit sold, that past sale was over a decade ago back in 2011; $633,000 at the time is more like $800,000 now, so this asking price is really a lowball bid.

For comparison, the median price of a one-bed condo elsewhere in SF in 2011 was $490,000–we’ll just pause to let that sink in before continuing–whereas over the past 12 months it’s been $1.25 million, an appreciation of over 155 percent at just face dollar value.

In all, there are nine Millennium Tower homes presently on the market, including a ninth floor setup that’s been up for more than 500 days; it’s presently seeking $3 million.

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