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Guess What: SF’s Rents are the Highest in the World

Highest monthly rental payments not just in the U.S., but the world—that’s the conclusion of a recent study done by Nested. Which, of course, means that our beloved SF is the highest in the nation as well.

The study focused on square footage rentals in a number of the most expensive U.S. cities, along with 33 London boroughs, 15 U.K. cities and 72 cities in other countries globally.

Nested used current market listings for a square foot pricing of rentals in the cities, establishing a minimum square footage space as being for one person and a maximum square footage as being for four for family listings. They also included a minimum salary as an indicator of relative affordability from city to city.

Based on these factors the minimum salary for an individual to live by themselves in the San Francisco is $86,000. For a family it is $163,000. In San Francisco we pay an average of $4.95 per square foot to rent a home. New York comes in second at $4.75 per square foot. Hong Kong is the most expensive city to rent in outside the U.S.

Metallica Rocker Keith Hammet’s SF Home Up for Cool 16M

At 54 Keith Hammet is a rock icon and iconoclast—established over decades as the hard-riffing lead guitarist and songwriter for Metallica. And like many rockers who project an image of edginess and rebelliousness on stage and in parts of their public lives his tastes in his home life are staidly and beautifully contemporary-modified classical. This month Hammet’s Sea Cliff Avenue home went on the market for a head-turning $16 million. The home is a stunner, reflecting the lifestyle of a bestselling author or a professor with big bucks rather than a rocker. It boasts views of China Beach and the Marin Headlands that’s are among the best ocean panoramas in the city.

The home was built in 1922 in the neoclassical style with four bedrooms, five bathrooms settled into 4,180 square feet of interior space, with a wall surrounding the 6,760 square foot lot. A finely manicured garden is ensconced on the grounds. Some of the appreciable aesthetics of the home is its custom ironwork, original fireplace and crown moldings.

The house was last sold in 2005 for $5.7 million.

Where to Buy a Home in San Francisco for the Money You Want to Spend

The charts below are based upon San Francisco home sales reported to MLS during the 12 months from 2/16/16 – 2/15/17, breaking out the neighborhoods with, generally speaking, the most sales within given price points. Other neighborhoods not listed did have smaller numbers of sales within given price segments.

Where to Buy a HOUSE for under $1 million
The overall median HOUSE price in the city in 2016 was $1,325,000, so the under-million-dollar house is becoming increasingly rare. For context, in 2011, 75% of San Francisco’s house sales were below $1,000,000; that percentage has dropped to 24% to 26% (depending on how one is measuring). The vast majority of house sales in this price segment now occur in a large swath of neighborhoods running across the southern border of the city, which are by far its most affordable house markets: from Bayview through Portola, Excelsior, Visitacion Valley and Crocker Amazon, to Oceanview and Ingleside.

The chart’s horizontal columns reflect the number of sales of houses with at least 2 bedrooms, with parking, for under $1 million, while the median sales prices noted are for all 2BR house sales during the period. Median price provides a good idea of overall neighborhood house prices.

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Where to Buy a CONDO, CO-OP OR TIC for under $1 million

The overall SF median condo price in 2016 was $1,095,000, and sales under $1m still occur in almost every area of the city that features these property types – but a studio unit in Russian Hill may cost as much as a 2-bedroom condo in Diamond Heights. Note that these charts only reflect sales reported to MLS, and many new-project condo sales do not.

Of these property types, condos make up about 90% of sales, stock co-op apartments 1 to 2%, with TICs making up the balance. TICs typically sell at a significant discount (10% – 20%) to similar condos.

The horizontal columns reflect the number of sales under $1m broken out by 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom units. You can see that if you want to buy a condo in the South Beach/Mission Bay district, you are pretty much limited to 1BR units (or studio units). The box of median sales prices is just for 1BR units, again simply to give an idea of relative values between neighborhoods. Median price is that price at which half the sales occurred for more and half for less.

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Spending $1 Million to $1.5 Million in San Francisco

In this price point for houses, one starts moving into another layer of neighborhoods in the west and the central-south areas of the city: The Sunset and Parkside neighborhoods, Golden Gate Heights, Miraloma Park, Sunnyside, Mission Terrace, Bernal Heights and others as shown. There has been a lot of upward pressure on these areas in the past 2 years in particular.

The horizontal columns reflect the number of sales, with the average dollar per square foot values for the homes in this price range noted alongside.

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Condo and co-op sales in this price range are mostly concentrated in those areas where newer condo developments have surged onto market over the past 10 – 15 years, and continue to arrive in increasing numbers – South Beach, Mission Bay, Inner Mission, Hayes Valley, Dogpatch, SoMa – as well as in high-end neighborhoods such as Pacific Heights, Russian Hill and the greater Noe-Eureka Valleys area.

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Condos & Co-ops for $1.5 million to $1.85 million

Houses for $1.5 million to $2 million

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Buying a HOUSE for $2 million to $2.999 million

When you get to the $2 million to $2.999 million range, the house market becomes dominated by the greater Noe-Eureka-Cole Valleys district, the St. Francis Wood-Forest Hill district, the Potrero Hill-Inner Mission area, the Inner-Central Richmond and Lake Street area, and Inner Sunset/ Golden Gate Heights. One no longer can find much in this price range in the Pacific Heights-Marina district.

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Buying a LUXURY HOME in San Francisco

San Francisco houses selling for $3 million and above, and condos, co-ops and TICs selling for $1.85 million and above constitute about 10% of sales and, for the purposes of this report, are designated as luxury home sales. What you get in different neighborhoods for your millions of dollars will vary widely. Views often play a significant role in SF home values, but particularly in the luxury condo market, where the most expensive units often offer staggering views from very high floors. Over the past 15 years – and accelerating in the current market recovery – there have occurred some very large shifts in the luxury home market, with districts other than the old-prestige, northern neighborhoods becoming major destinations for (very) high-end homebuyers. However the northern neighborhoods like Pacific Heights still dominate the ultra-high end in SF: houses selling for $5 million or more. The greater South Beach-Yerba Buena area, with its many new luxury condo towers now comes in second place for luxury condo sales (reported to MLS) after the Pacific Heights-Marina district.

Luxury CONDO, CO-OP & TIC Sales

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Luxury HOUSE Sales

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San Francisco Neighborhood Map

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For prevailing SF (and Bay Area) median home sales prices, our interactive maps of neighborhood and city values can be found here: Bay Area & San Francisco Home Price Maps

Other updated reports you might find interesting:

SF Home Prices by Bedroom Count, Property Type & Neighborhood

Our Most Recent Market Analyses

San Francisco Market Overview Analytics
: Interactive, auto-updating charts for all the standard real estate statistics – median sales price, average dollar per square foot, days on market, months supply of inventory, listings for sale, and so on.

San Francisco District Sales Overview: A breakdown of sales by price segment for 14 different sections of the city.

SAN FRANCISCO REALTOR DISTRICTS

District 1 (Northwest): Sea Cliff, Lake Street, Richmond (Inner, Central, Outer), Jordan Park/Laurel Heights, Lone Mountain

District 2 (West): Sunset & Parkside (Inner, Central, Outer), Golden Gate Heights

District 3 (Southwest): Lake Shore, Lakeside, Merced Manor, Merced Heights, Ingleside, Ingleside Heights, Oceanview

District 4 (Central SW): St. Francis Wood, Forest Hill, West Portal, Forest Knolls, Diamond Heights, Midtown Terrace, Miraloma Park, Sunnyside, Balboa Terrace, Ingleside Terrace, Mt. Davidson Manor, Sherwood Forest, Monterey Heights, Westwood Highlands

District 5 (Central): Noe Valley, Eureka Valley/Dolores Heights (Castro, Liberty Hill), Cole Valley, Glen Park, Corona Heights, Clarendon Heights, Ashbury Heights, Buena Vista Park, Haight Ashbury, Duboce Triangle, Twin Peaks, Mission Dolores, Parnassus Heights

District 6 (Central North): Hayes Valley, North of Panhandle (NOPA), Alamo Square, Western Addition, Anza Vista, Lower Pacific Heights

District 7 (North): Pacific Heights, Presidio Heights, Cow Hollow, Marina

District 8 (Northeast): Russian Hill, Nob Hill, Telegraph Hill, North Beach, Financial District, North Waterfront, Downtown, Van Ness/ Civic Center, Tenderloin

District 9 (East): SoMa, South Beach, Mission Bay, Potrero Hill, Dogpatch, Bernal Heights, Inner Mission, Yerba Buena

District 10 (Southeast): Bayview, Bayview Heights, Excelsior, Portola, Visitacion Valley, Silver Terrace, Mission Terrace, Crocker Amazon, Outer Mission

Some Realtor districts contain neighborhoods that are relatively homogeneous in general home values, such as districts 5 and 7, and others contain neighborhoods of wildly different values, such as district 8 which, for example, includes both Russian Hill and the Tenderloin.

As always, the quality of the specific location and the range of amenities of the property; its curb appeal, condition, size and graciousness; and the existence and quality of parking, views and outside space can all significantly impact unit values.

These analyses were made in good faith with data from sources deemed reliable, but they may contain errors and are subject to revision. Statistics are generalities and how they apply to any specific property is unknown without a tailored comparative market analysis. Sales statistics of one month generally reflect offers negotiated 4 – 6 weeks earlier. Median sales prices often change with even the smallest change in the period of time or parameters of the analysis. All numbers should be considered approximate.

© 2017 Paragon Real Estate Group

New SF Private-Public Housing Fund Helps Rescue Affordable Housing

Affordable housing is an ongoing concern for San Francisco authorities and residents—particularly in light of SF’s very competitive real estate market and how many home residences are going to be needed over the next twenty years.

Now, a nonprofit fund has just been formed to provide loans to affordable housing developers so they can buy land and buildings already occupied by long-term tenants who face eviction. The newly created San Francisco Housing Accelerator Fund is beginning with close to $50 million in commitments comprised of $10 million from the city, $7 million in philanthropic grants and nearly $30 million in private investments due in by the end of 2017. The anticipation is that the fund will have $200 million in funds over the next few years.

Essentially, the fund provides nonprofit developers the serious monies to compete faster against real estate private bidders looking to pick up properties to bring onto the mainstream and luxury home markets.

Rebecca Foster, director of the fund, said: “We need to start deploying capital yesterday to buy these sites. We need to be closing on loans, tons of them, and fast, and we’re ready to do it.” Foster said the fund’s goal is to preserve (or create) 1,500 affordable units over the next five years.

New Means to Curb SF Traffic Being Rolled Out

A few days ago I wrote a blog about San Francisco being the best US city to live in without a car. But, of course, there’s a lot of room for improvement, as we all know our cultural-and-work popular city is still swollen with traffic and can be frustrating to navigate. Wired.com reports that urban planners are saying that the only real traffic-lessening cities are those that are declining in the Rust Belt, whereas cities that are thriving are facing serious and growing congestion.

Just recently the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a new ordinance requiring new residential or commercial projects to have more no-car-use incentives and alternatives. The intention is reduce the number of car trips taken by SFers and the length of the trip.

Beginning in March 2017 developers building in more free parking for a project are required to encourage alternatives to cars for getting around. The way this is being done is through a point system. If you’re putting in 20 parking spots then you need 13 points of Transportation Demand Management offsetting. For instance the developer can facilitate car sharing services (6 points), offer bicycles for use for residents (1 point), setting aside space for on-site day care (2 points), and many more options. Estimates are that the program will see serious benefits ten to twenty years out.

America’s First Transgender Neighborhood Planned in SF’s Tenderloin

It’s historic (as much of San Francisco history is in being a pathfinder in social/civil rights issues): the first transgender neighborhood in the nation is being developed through a collaboration between District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim and the developer Group i—which is the company currently developing the 950 Market space. The neighborhood will be created in the Tenderloin, certainly an important contributor to SF’s groundbreaking community and literary history.

The legislation is looking for a part of the Tenderloin area to be renamed the Compton’s Transgender, Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual (TLGB) District. It is eponymously named for Compton’s—the eatery at which the first transgender civil rights demonstration in the US occurred. If Supervisor Kim’s bill is passed it would create the first legally established transgender district not only in the US, but in the world.

Kim said, “The lower Tenderloin is the most important neighborhood in America for transgender history, culture, and civil rights. By creating the Compton’s TLGB District we are honoring this vibrant community built by transgender people, and are sending a message to the world that trans people are welcome here.”

San Francisco Home Value Tables by Neighborhood, Property Type & Bedroom Count

These tables report median sales prices, average home size and units sold, by property type and bedroom count for a variety of San Francisco neighborhoods. If you are interested in data for a neighborhood not listed, please contact us. The tables follow the map in the following order: houses by bedroom count, condos by bedroom count, and 2-unit building sales. Within each table, the neighborhoods are in order of median sales price.

The analysis is based upon sales reported to San Francisco MLS in 2016 by December 22. Value statistics are generalities that are affected by a number of market factors – and sometimes fluctuate without great meaningfulness – so all numbers should be considered approximate. Median prices often disguise a huge range of values in the underlying individual sales.

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Median San Francisco House Prices

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Median San Francisco Condo Prices

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Median Prices: San Francisco 2-Unit Buildings

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These statistics apply only to home sales with at least 1 car parking. Homes without parking typically sell at a significant discount. Below Market Rate (BMR) condos were excluded from the analysis.

As noted on the tables, the average size of homes vary widely by neighborhood. Besides affluence, the era and style of construction often play a large role in these size disparities. Some neighborhoods are well known for having “bonus” bedrooms and baths built without permit (often behind the garage). Such additions can add value, but being unpermitted are not reflected in square footage and $/sq.ft. figures.

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Selected San Francisco District Snapshots

Illustrating the breakdown of home sales by price segment over the 12-month period.

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Our full collection of district snapshot charts is here: SF District Home Sales by Price Segment

The Median Sales Price is that price at which half the properties sold for more and half for less. It may be affected by “unusual” events or by changes in inventory and buying trends, as well as by changes in value. The median sale price for an area will often conceal a wide variety of sales prices in the underlying individual sales. All numbers should be considered approximate.

Square footage is based upon the home’s interior living space and does not include garages, storage, unfinished attics and basements; rooms and apartments built without permit; decks, patios or yards. These figures are typically derived from appraisals or tax records, but can be unreliable, measured in different ways, or unreported altogether: thus consider square footage and $/sq.ft. figures to be very general approximations. Size and $/sq.ft. values were only calculated on listings that provided square footage figures. All things being equal, a house will have a higher dollar per square foot than a condo (because of land value), a condo’s will be higher than a TIC (quality of title), and a TIC’s higher than a multi-unit building’s (quality of use). All things being equal, a smaller home will have a higher $/sq.ft. than a larger one.

Many aspects of value cannot be adequately reflected in general statistics: curb appeal, age, condition, views, amenities, outdoor space, “bonus” rooms, parking, quality of location within the neighborhood, and so forth. Thus, how these statistics apply to any particular home is unknown without a specific comparative market analysis. Data is from sources deemed reliable, but may contain errors and is subject to revision.

This link below can be used to access other real estate reports and articles.

Neighborhood Market Reports

SAN FRANCISCO REALTOR DISTRICTS
District 1 (Northwest): Sea Cliff, Lake Street, Richmond (Inner, Central, Outer), Jordan Park/Laurel Heights, Lone Mountain

District 2 (West): Sunset & Parkside (Inner, Central, Outer), Golden Gate Heights

District 3 (Southwest): Lake Shore, Lakeside, Merced Manor, Merced Heights, Ingleside, Ingleside Heights, Oceanview

District 4 (Central SW): St. Francis Wood, Forest Hill, West Portal, Forest Knolls, Diamond Heights, Midtown Terrace, Miraloma Park, Sunnyside, Balboa Terrace, Ingleside Terrace, Mt. Davidson Manor, Sherwood Forest, Monterey Heights, Westwood Highlands

District 5 (Central): Noe Valley, Eureka Valley/Dolores Heights (Castro, Liberty Hill), Cole Valley, Glen Park, Corona Heights, Clarendon Heights, Ashbury Heights, Buena Vista Park, Haight Ashbury, Duboce Triangle, Twin Peaks, Mission Dolores, Parnassus Heights

District 6 (Central North): Hayes Valley, North of Panhandle (NOPA), Alamo Square, Western Addition, Anza Vista, Lower Pacific Heights

District 7 (North): Pacific Heights, Presidio Heights, Cow Hollow, Marina

District 8 (Northeast): Russian Hill, Nob Hill, Telegraph Hill, North Beach, Financial District, North Waterfront, Downtown, Van Ness/ Civic Center, Tenderloin

District 9 (East): SoMa, South Beach, Mission Bay, Potrero Hill, Dogpatch, Bernal Heights, Inner Mission, Yerba Buena

District 10 (Southeast): Bayview, Bayview Heights, Excelsior, Portola, Visitacion Valley, Silver Terrace, Mission Terrace, Crocker Amazon, Outer Mission

Some Realtor districts contain neighborhoods that are relatively homogeneous in general home values, such as districts 5 and 7, and others contain neighborhoods of wildly different values, such as district 8 which, for example, includes both Russian Hill and the Tenderloin.

© 2016-2017 Paragon Real Estate Group

SF & Other Bay Area Real Estate Markets in Country’s Top Ten

SF in the top ten real estate markets in the US? There’s no surprise there. It would be logically expected in our market of low home/condo inventory and high buyer demand. According to the realtor.com Hotness-Index that covers national real estate sales over specific time periods the number 1 area in the country in January 2017 is the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward metro region. Number 2 is our neighbors in the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metro area. So, we’ve got numero uno and dos all tied up.

But that’s not all. Other northern California neighbors of ours are also dominating the top ten list. What is number 3 on the list? Vallejo. Yes our cousins just a quick drive to the northeast. Sacramento is number 6. Yuba City is number 7. Stockton is number 9, and Fresno is number 10. That is 7 out of 10 of the hottest markets in the entire country right here in our backyard.

What’s going on? The chief economist for realtor.com, Jonathan Smoke, noted, “Buyers who are challenged by affordability are starting to look to the outlying areas. The average down payment in 2016 in San Francisco and San Jose was $150,000 or more. The average down payment in Fresno and Yuba City was under $28,000. That’s quite a bit of difference in terms of what it takes to become a homeowner.”

Best City to Live In Without a Car: Well—San Francisco, Of Course

Are cars going extinct in SF? No. Not quite. But our city is the closest you can get to futuristic cities where cars as we know them would not exist. According to Redfin, San Francisco is the at the top of the heap of cities with a population of 300,000 or more for it’s The Best Cities for Living Without a Car list. Once again, our fair city beats out our cousins in Los Angeles and New York for the top spot.

The Redfin list is distilled down from Walking Score, Transit Score and Bike Score rankings. Redfin defines this as “These are places where you could forgo having a car and still be able to get around town in a variety of ways, whether it be by foot, bike or public transit.”

Now, for full transparency, we didn’t score first in any of these 3 Scores. We scored 2nd in all of them. But our aggregate score put us at #1 in the country. And as we all know SF is a great city to walk or bike around, and our public transit and pedestrian-accommodating projects have been an intense focus in the city lately, and will be into the future.