SFRealEstateBuzz: The Ice Cream Investment Strategy

Hello My Favorite People!

In this Buzz:

  • Quick Stats – and an Upward Trend
  • Transit Rich and Walkable

The January figures are in and reflect the upswing I predicted in my last Buzz. To prove me out, here are some stats:

Average Selling Price for Single Family Homes UNDER $1.75M

$1,180,000 in December

$1,316,000 in January

Average Selling Price for Single Families OVER $1.75M:

$3,492,000 in December

$3,801,000 in January

Average Selling Price for All Condos

$1,204,000 in December

$1,348,000 in January.

Number of Pending Sales in December: 98

Number of Pending Sales in January: 129

Number of Closed Sales in December: 105.

Number of Closed Sales in January: 469


Those are impressive numbers. However, the % of houses selling above asking remains nearly identical (55/53%), as do condos (18%). This indicates that market is at a simmering right now- but certainly not moving towards an aggressive boil. .

These market conditions are also inclining us to offer homes in advance of coming fully to market- a strategy designed to test higher pricing and perhaps save Sellers the time, cost and effort of property preparation.


Ever since I graduated from college, I have always made a point of living in homes within a quarter-mile radius of an ice cream parlor. I know this is a different metric from coffee, but I preferred sugar over caffeine then and Starbucks didn’t yet exist.

Walkability is a primary factor for nearly everyone when home shopping in San Francisco. It almost always falls in the “must-have” column for my buyers. Because I share their passion, I often point them to pocket neighborhoods that offer that coffee/ice cream combination, like Ocean Avenue in the Ingleside District or the inner blocks of Sunnyside close by Glen Park Village.


This non-negotiable is backed up by hard statistics: A National Association of Realtors study reveals that 77% of buyers would pay a premium for walkability. And Smart Growth America did a study called “Walkable Urbanism“ which revealed that homes with a high Walk Score sold for 34% higher per-square-foot. When you drill down this stat into condos alone, the difference jumps to 47%.

Public Transit has also become important in our post-Covid world. Today 65% of buyers say “having public transit nearby” is important, Millennial and Gen Z buyers stress it even more.

These trends get me excited about condo investments in the Yerba Buena neighborhood. Centered around MOMA and the Yerba Buena Center, this district has a 97% WalkScore and benefits from a newer T-Line that runs up 4th Street from CalTrain to Chinatown.

If I were shopping in this little pocket neighborhood, I would target The Palms at 555 4th Street (luxury building with Miami vibe), 601 4th Street (steel and concrete loft conversion) and 829 Folsom (boutique building with good design and functional layouts). A studio at The Palms recently closed for $470,000. A groovy and very big corner loft with 2-car parking closed at 601 4th Street closed for $767/square foot at $1.6M. And 829 Folsom has a one bedroom with parking is currently listed for $699,000 at $861/sf.

These buildings also lie inside the Yerba Buena Community Benefit District- which provides a robust team of civic workers to keep the streets clean and respond quickly to eyesore complaints. I’ve seen them in action and you can feel the results if you walk the blocks around these addresses.

This is a just an initial pass at options that I think could be smart investments. There are many others and a bunch of new listings coming to market within the next month. Wanna know more? I’m here to fill you in on even more details.


Have I already told you how much it tickles my fancy and warms my heart when I get feedback from people I’ve never heard from before? Do you already know how much it suprises and delights me each time a near stranger tells me they enjoy my infotainment and anecdotes?

I think people like them because I decided about fifteen years ago to just stop worrying about what everybody thought and just write the way I talk. I also stick with topics I enjoy. If you read my newsletters regularly, you’ve probably figured out that I know A LOT about San Francisco real estate and I have A LOT of opinions about it. You may also have picked up on my passion for my chosen city.

The best thing about communicating this way is that when I meet a buyer or seller for the first time, they feel like they already know me. My referral partners also only send me clients they think are the right fit for my style. Since I am always up for meeting new people and talking to them about a few of my favorite things, this creates an ever-expanding circle of new clients and friends. So send me your best ones! I’d love to hear from them.

Cece Blase

License #00926690

1980 Union Street

San Francisco, CA 94123

Direct 415-577-0809

Fax 415.738.7264

Mobile 415.577.0809

Cece Blase

Vantage Realty

415-577-0809 . . catch it!

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